The Best Japanese Restaurants in the Bay Area


This North Beach cafe is a quirky home for Japanese comfort cooking.

A Japanese-style coffee shop by restaurant industry veterans Jessica Furui, Tadayuki Furui and Ray Lee, Family Cafe has a much humbler feel than the luxe sushi restaurants where they cut their teeth. Drinks include nutty hojicha lattes ($6.50), sodas ($8) flavored with Thai basil and fresh berries, and refreshing cold-brewed barley tea ($4). The team has adapted the now-ubiquitous Japanese-style sandwich in fresh ways, including one stuffed with panko-crusted pickles and the vegan King George ($16) with julienned vegetables, cashew cream and preserved lemon vinaigrette. Grab a book from nearby City Lights and hang out on the cafe’s charming, plant-filled parklet as you eat.


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