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Yak It Up: Where to Score Killer SF & East Bay Yakitori

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No meat on a stick power hour is complete without yakitori, the chargrilled Japanese skewers that are the perfect accompaniment to an evening of beer and sake. The Bay Area has exploded with izakaya-style restaurants in the past few years, many of which proudly feature every part of the chicken (from chicken oyster to tsukune meatballs), bacon-wrapped seafood, pork belly, and much, much more, all eaten with ease off a handy skewer. Here are our 15 top picks for yakitori in San Francisco and the East Bay. We dare you not to drool.


What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

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· All The Five Days of Meat posts [~ ESF ~]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. PABU

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101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111
Michael Mina's newly opened Pabu offers a robata grill with the full complement of skewers, from chicken tails and hearts to beef tongue and California quail.

2. Izakaya Yuzuki

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598 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 556-9898
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The subject of a recent Bauer rave, Izakaya Yuzuki boasts a notable selection of koji-accented skewers like tsukune (chicken meatballs) and negima (chicken with scallions).

3. ICHI Sushi + NI Bar

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3282 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 525-4750
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A new incarnation of a perennial favorite, ICHI now offers an izakaya menu at the back bar, including yakitori chicken thighs with tare and sichi.

4. Nojo

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231 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 896-4587
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Nojo is a meat on a stick mecca, with nearly every bit of of the chicken (including neck, liver and gizzard) on a skewer, plus half squad, pork jowel, bacon-wrapped mochi and more.

5. Izakaya Roku

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1819 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 861-6500
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Izakaya Roku is another grilled meat haven, with specialties like gyu tan shioyaki (grilled beef tongue), pork belly skewers and another iteration of bacon mochi.

6. Roka Akor | San Francisco

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801 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 362-8887
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This well-designed stunner features a full robata grill with dishes like scallops with yuzu shiso and wasabi.

7. Ippuku

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2130 Center St
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 665-1969
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This Berkeley spot is meat on a stick heaven, with everything from bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms to nankotsu (chicken breast cartilage) to an omakase selection of chicken liver, momo (thigh), mune (breast), kawa (skin) and teba (wing).

8. Izakaya Sozai

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1500 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 745-5122
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Get your fill of yakitori at this neighborhood spot, which features plenty of skewers like bacon-wrapped enoki mushroom, arabiki sausage, chicken skin and more.

9. Nihon Whisky Lounge

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1779 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-4400
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Get the pork belly 'butabara' skewers at this intimate lounge, and make sure to wash it down with some Japanese whiskey.

10. Izakaya Kou

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1560 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 441-9294
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Yakotori at this spot includes classics like mom (chicken thigh), tsukune (chicken meatball) and shishito peppers, plus black pork sausage and bacon-wrapped asparagus.

11. Ebisu

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1283 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 566-1770
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Ebisu's kushiyaki selection spans everything from Kobe beef to bacon-wrapped scallops to eggplants and zucchini.

12. B-Dama

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4301 Piedmont Ave, Ste A
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 420-1278
Though it's moving locations soon, B-Dama will continue to offer selections like ika (squid), butabara (black pork belly with sauce), and negima (Rocky chicken and scallion skewer).

13. Ozumo Japanese Restaurant

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161 Steuart St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 882-1333
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This sleek spot features a robata grill that turns out seafood and meat specialties tht get creative with rice, veggies and more.

14. Chotto

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3317 Steiner St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 441-2223
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Chotto is another izakaya featuring yakitori grilled over Japanese charcoal, with dishes like beef ribeye with green onion. pork jowl and sea salt, pork belly and much more.

15. Ryoko's Japanese Restaurant & Bar

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619 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 775-1028
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This popular spot boasts a wide variety of sushi, but there's chicken yakitori on the menu, too, along with starters like grilled mackerel and fried oysters.

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1. PABU

101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Michael Mina's newly opened Pabu offers a robata grill with the full complement of skewers, from chicken tails and hearts to beef tongue and California quail.
101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

2. Izakaya Yuzuki

598 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110
The subject of a recent Bauer rave, Izakaya Yuzuki boasts a notable selection of koji-accented skewers like tsukune (chicken meatballs) and negima (chicken with scallions).
598 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110

3. ICHI Sushi + NI Bar

3282 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
A new incarnation of a perennial favorite, ICHI now offers an izakaya menu at the back bar, including yakitori chicken thighs with tare and sichi.
3282 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

4. Nojo

231 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Nojo is a meat on a stick mecca, with nearly every bit of of the chicken (including neck, liver and gizzard) on a skewer, plus half squad, pork jowel, bacon-wrapped mochi and more.
231 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94102

5. Izakaya Roku

1819 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Izakaya Roku is another grilled meat haven, with specialties like gyu tan shioyaki (grilled beef tongue), pork belly skewers and another iteration of bacon mochi.
1819 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103

6. Roka Akor | San Francisco

801 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94133
This well-designed stunner features a full robata grill with dishes like scallops with yuzu shiso and wasabi.
801 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94133

7. Ippuku

2130 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704
This Berkeley spot is meat on a stick heaven, with everything from bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms to nankotsu (chicken breast cartilage) to an omakase selection of chicken liver, momo (thigh), mune (breast), kawa (skin) and teba (wing).
2130 Center St
Berkeley, CA 94704

8. Izakaya Sozai

1500 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Get your fill of yakitori at this neighborhood spot, which features plenty of skewers like bacon-wrapped enoki mushroom, arabiki sausage, chicken skin and more.
1500 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

9. Nihon Whisky Lounge

1779 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Get the pork belly 'butabara' skewers at this intimate lounge, and make sure to wash it down with some Japanese whiskey.
1779 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103

10. Izakaya Kou

1560 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Yakotori at this spot includes classics like mom (chicken thigh), tsukune (chicken meatball) and shishito peppers, plus black pork sausage and bacon-wrapped asparagus.
1560 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

11. Ebisu

1283 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
Ebisu's kushiyaki selection spans everything from Kobe beef to bacon-wrapped scallops to eggplants and zucchini.
1283 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

12. B-Dama

4301 Piedmont Ave, Ste A, Oakland, CA 94611
Though it's moving locations soon, B-Dama will continue to offer selections like ika (squid), butabara (black pork belly with sauce), and negima (Rocky chicken and scallion skewer).
4301 Piedmont Ave, Ste A
Oakland, CA 94611

13. Ozumo Japanese Restaurant

161 Steuart St, San Francisco, CA 94105
This sleek spot features a robata grill that turns out seafood and meat specialties tht get creative with rice, veggies and more.
161 Steuart St
San Francisco, CA 94105

14. Chotto

3317 Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Chotto is another izakaya featuring yakitori grilled over Japanese charcoal, with dishes like beef ribeye with green onion. pork jowl and sea salt, pork belly and much more.
3317 Steiner St
San Francisco, CA 94123

15. Ryoko's Japanese Restaurant & Bar

619 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102
This popular spot boasts a wide variety of sushi, but there's chicken yakitori on the menu, too, along with starters like grilled mackerel and fried oysters.
619 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94102

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