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Nihon Whisky Lounge

4.1
391 reviews
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$50 and over
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Japanese
Perfect For:
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem

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About

Nihon offers contemporary Japanese cuisine with a sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya (Japanese version of tapas). The cuisine also offers a wide array of fresh sashimi and sushi rolls.
If you are a whisky lover, Nihon also offers the largest single malt selection found on the west coast with over 400 selections all available through bottle purchase. All bottles purchased can be stored in a private locker in the premises for future visits. Nihon is renowned for amazing house made creative whisky and champagne cocktails.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Japanese, Japanese Speciality
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Hours of operation
Dinner:
Tuesday-Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Closed Sunday & Monday for private events
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Phone number
(415) 552-4400
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Yohei Sugihara
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Private party facilities
We offer a private room that can accommodate up to 20 guests. The whole venue can be booked accommodating up to 100 guests.
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Private party contact
Angel: (415) 552-4400
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
14th Street
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Entertainment
DJ's play Friday & Saturday from 8pm-1am.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
What 391 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
3.9
food
3.7
service
4.0
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on January 19, 2018

Great food and super nice Service.

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3.0Dined on December 30, 2017

Careful when ordering whiskey

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5.0Dined on December 6, 2017

Always a great time at Nihon. Superb selection of liquor and premium cuts of fish and meat. Happy Hour is amazing as well.

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5.0Dined on December 6, 2017

Awesome experience! Johnny was our server and he was the perfect host. We will be back!!!

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5.0Dined on December 1, 2017

Another lovely night at Nihon! Great drinks and really good modern Japanese in a hip atmosphere.

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2017

My son (24) thought it was the best meal he had ever eaten. It was my first experience of Japanese whiskies and I really enjoyed tasting some and the breadth of the selection.

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3.0Dined on November 24, 2017

Amazing selection of single malt Scotch, imaginative and well prepared cooked items. Service was pleasant and friendly, although plates were whisked away too quickly.

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3.0Dined on November 11, 2017

Pretty average. Nothing special.

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5.0Dined on October 20, 2017

Delicious food. Great drinks. Loved it. Great happy hour prices. Unusual location and unexpected interior. Unique. It does not fit any mold.

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4.0Dined on October 4, 2017

Overpriced whisky. Be aware, the first column is a tasting, the second a single shot and the 3rd a bottle.

Don't be fooled into thinking the 1st column get you a full pour.

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3.0Dined on September 29, 2017

Nihon Whiskey Lounge is a cute place but the food and cocktails are nothing special. It wasn't bad, but given the prices and previous reviews I really expected more.

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5.0Dined on September 14, 2017

Great Whiskey Selection! Knowledgeable staff! Steak was awesome, and great rolls

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4.0Dined on September 9, 2017

The food was amazing, and they sat us in a private area. Whiskey tasting was unbelievable.

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5.0Dined on August 16, 2017

The staff at Nihon Whiskey Lounge was really thoughtful and made a perfect gesture for the special occasion. The food was delicious and super fresh. We had a wonderful time!

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2017

Nihon never dissapoints with the Whiskey selection. We were also able to get happy hour food prices upstairs with our reservation. Service is super attentive and the food is fantastic. I would recommend!

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4.0Dined on July 6, 2017

Food was good, but pricey. The cocktails were delicious and the wine pours generous. This is definitely a good place for drinks, but not really for the food.

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2017

With the right attitude and budget, you can really enjoy this special spot.
If you're going to come, be prepared to spend a dime and not worry about the price to get the best experience. My favorite whiskey - recommended by our very knowledgeable and super amazing server, was $110 for a pour; you can spend from $35 up to $1000 for one, or try a flight. We mostly followed our server/guide's recommendations, which was easy given his charisma, and a good choice, as everything we got was amazing - the red snapper sushi special was some of the best we've ever tasted. At $475 for 2 (4 whiskey pours, 2 sashimi, tempura, 2 small plates, and 1 roll), it would have been difficult to follow the on-point and personalized recommendations and be thrifty. So - for us- it was great as a special occasion (thanks ETH!). And on Thursday at 8 was decently quiet in the back room - ask if that's your preference; we had it all to ourselves for half the night.
[I will say - the Remi Martin promotional shot and photo handed out by two flappers and a pushy gentleman was a bit tacky, though well-timed at the end of our meal.]

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2017

The food is excellent as are the drinks, both in respect to range and taste. The interior is really well designed in a contemporary Japanese/lofthouse kind of space. The only drawback is that the drinks and food are very expensive.

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5.0Dined on April 26, 2017

It was awesome! our waiter was amazing and extremely knowledgeable. He also described the dishes really well so you know if you going to like it or not.

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5.0Dined on April 19, 2017

Had a great meal and lived all the whiskey and cocktail options. Really nice for a special occasion or a date.

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4.0Dined on March 22, 2017

The food and drinks were great. However, the service was not great. We ordered family-style food and a drink each. We had finished the food before our first round of drinks ever came around. I saw this same trend in Yelp reviews from other users. The service for drinks has to be sped up... otherwise people get antsy.

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2017

The best sushi I have had in years! I appreciated the intricate flavors and complexity of the rolls without being overly worked.

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5.0Dined on January 26, 2017

Nihon is one of the greatest whisky bars anywhere in the world. What I didn't expect - the food is fantastic! Japanese bar-food that was authentic and out-of-this-world good. The service is excellent, too, very knowledgeable and attentive. Not super-pricey but a bit spendy. Worth a splurge. Take friends, it's great for groups to share menu items and whisky tasters.

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2.0Dined on January 20, 2017

Service across the board was disappointing. The hostess was rude from the moment we walked in, and our waiter was both slow, inattentive, and snarky (i.e. when we each ordered 1-2 items he said "that's all you're getting? guess it's going to be a light night") as if we were a waste of a table. I couldn't believe how long it took to get the check etc. Good whiskey (mostly scotch) selection if that's your thing, so I'd go for a drink at the bar, but otherwise overrated.

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5.0Dined on November 2, 2016

I've had countless recommendations to go to the Nihon Whiskey Lounge and it was well worth it. One of if not the best whiskey selection in SF, amazing atmosphere, super friendly staff, and tasty (though small servings) food. And of course, the whiskey selections were top flight. I brought a group of my friends there and we've all decided to make it a regular destination.

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4.0Dined on October 26, 2016

Great atmosphere, not my favorite Japanese mall I've ever had, especially for the price, but I would come back again.

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3.0Dined on October 8, 2016

They have a wide selection of whiskey and whiskey cocktails, and the food was delicious. However, the service was subpar compared to the other $$ restaurants in the city. Our food order took over 50 minutes to arrive, even though it was a sushi roll. They probably forgot the order, but made no accommodations and weren't even apologetic.

Overall, it was a unique experience dining in a Japanese whiskey bar. But if you're in the $$ price range, I expected a more attentive staff.

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4.0Dined on September 23, 2016

Well-crafted drinks and good, shareable food.

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5.0Dined on September 21, 2016

Food was excellent. Presentation and taste top quality. The service is fantastic. Highly recommended !!!!

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3.0Dined on August 27, 2016

I've been there many times but last Saturday was disappointing. Four of us ordered and the food came sporadically. We didnt get to eat together. We had to leave by 10:30 for a show and I received my meal at 10:25 pm. Not sure if I'll go again.

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5.0Dined on August 19, 2016

Really enjoyed dining at Nihon this visit and on previous occasions. I recommend getting a bottle of sake for the non-whisky drinkers to share or in addition to drinks from the bar. The baby mackerel was delicious and everything had excellent presentation. The sushi platter with 24 pieces was just the right amount of food for two in addition to the baby mackerel and the crudo special of the day. Our host was swift, our server was attentive and knowledgeable, and our dinner was delightful. We will definitely be back for another date night.

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3.0Dined on August 5, 2016

Food was soso, drinks were expensive. But good energy tho

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2016

The best Albacore Tuna you can get. Great cocktails. It gets a little cold, bring a jacket.

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4.0Dined on July 29, 2016

Great food but too expensive. Wish there was some cheaper food and drink options.

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4.0Dined on July 9, 2016

The duck was fantastic, as was the whiskey list and the service.

A loud crowd was in the main floor, and it was very loud throughout that room. However, we were in the offset dining room, which was very quiet and cozy!

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4.0Dined on June 8, 2016

One of the best, serious (but not-too-serious) whiskey bars in town with serious sushi too. Truly authentic. A great spot to educate oneself on the full range of whiskey and scotch varieties. Enjoy!

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3.0Dined on May 20, 2016

Well, I am going to be super clear. If you're looking for whisky, this is a great place. If you're looking for Japanese food, this is in the lower decile, and on top of it, it's expensive. You have so many great choices in SF, just stay away from Nihon if you're planning on getting good Japanese food.

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3.0Dined on April 29, 2016

Food was good but quite overpriced for what we got ($110 per person). Service was wonderful.

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2016

Came to San Francisco for a quick weekend trip and pleasantly surprised to have been recommended this place! Love it!

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2016

Large Whiskey selection

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