Eiji Japanese restaurant: hidden gem in the Castro

I came across Eiji, a Japanese restaurant on Sanchez Street in the Castro the other day quite by accident. It’s easy to miss: hidden behind trees, in a residential neighborhood, why would one expect to find good soup noodles and sushi here of all places? But I was impressed. For lunch I had the kitsune soba noddle soup with tofu puffs — the soup was not salty at all and it felt so purifying. I also ordered the cold tofu with tamari, spring onions and grated ginger, very delicious indeed.

Lunch here is inexpensive. I paid $7.50 for the large bowl of kitsune soup noodles; for the sushi and sashimi lunch plates which include miso soup, you pay $12.50. For dinner you must reserve because the restaurant is tiny but they have a good selection of fish and of course, those excellent tofu dishes. I don’t know why this restaurant is so unknown but it deserves a place in my pantheon of favorite ethnic dives. The one thing I do appreciate about Japanese ethnic dives is that they are very clean and their decor is sparse but comforting.

  • Vibe: relaxed Japanese restaurant, minimalist decor, very clean, quiet
  • Pros: excellent tofu dishes, inexpensive delicious noodle soups for lunch, wide selection of fish for sushi, sashimi, chirashi; excellent service
  • Cons: difficult to find parking in the neighborhood, but luckily, two Muni stops (Church Street, Castro) are only minutes away

Eiji Restaurant
317 Sanchez Street
San Francisco, CA
+1 415 558 8149

Eiji on Urbanspoon

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About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.


  1. I am so glad that you profiled Eiji, it is one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in California. Their Tofu dishes are incredible, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their dishes, as they are all equally incredible.