Izakaya Ginji

4.6
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137 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Japanese

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Casual
Izakaya Ginji, located in downtown San Mateo, is a Japanese gastropub specializing in Yakitori and tapas style dishes. Favorite items include Bonbochi (chicken tail), Harami (chicken skirt), and Gyu-Kushi (beef short rib) skewers. Izakaya Ginji also has a vast selection of rare Sake and unique Beers. For Japanese spirits, the restaurant also offers a variety of Shochu. Space is also available for parties up to 20. We look forward to providing you with an authentic Japanese dining experience in San Mateo.
What 137 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SF
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food2service1ambience3

It took one hour to get our 3rd appetizer and sake was lukewarm

OT
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious! So much variety, you’ll never get bored. Service was attentive and informative when you ask what dishes are good.

DP
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Set up a reservation for 8 pm for 5 people. They had our table ready by 7:45, so we could get seated a little early which was nice. Food was great. Highly recommend.

N
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience2

Local sushi place with excellent bbq options and hi quality sashimi.

2
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is a fantastic neighborhood restaurant. Quality remains excellent. We've been to dinner many times. Highly recommend it. Whether it comes from the grill or kitchen you're in for a treat.

s
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It’s Izakaya, meant Bar & food in Japanese. It’s not romantic or quiet environment but food is good & Ginji is live!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Not good for weekend friends reunion. Even they take reservations, but each one only gives 1 and half hours, and the staff is very pushy.

r
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

土曜日に予約していったので、直ぐに入れました。
いつも気持ちの良いサービスをしてくれて、
お値段もとてもリーズナブルだと思います。
焼き鳥はふっくら柔らかくて
毎日食べたいぐらいです!

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D
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We haven't been to Izakaya Ginji for sometime. They have expanded their menu and everything we tried was very good. There's a great selection of ingredients and preparation styles. The Sashimi was very fresh. It's nice to be able to sample many items. Sake is also offered by the carafe so you don't have to buy a whole bottle. We won't wait so long to return.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The food was very flavorful and tasty and the menu had a variety of interesting dishes. However, the service was rather slow and we were there for a little over two hours.

MA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

great pub food and fantastic sake selection

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve been going to Ginji for a while now and love everything about it, the food, the service and the atmosphere.

b
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

They held my reservation because I was late due to traffic, and were very welcoming and service friendly and efficient. Food was delicious! Thank you Izakaya Ginji.

CS
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite izakaya

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m
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Too salty and briny. Would not try again. Bought $78 worth of food for 2.

r
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

土曜日の7時、外に沢山の人が待っていましたが、予約をしてから行ったので、すぐに席に通して頂きました。
相変わらず、ここ焼き鳥は美味しいです!
焼き具合も完璧、熱々のものを持って来てくれます。
お酒のセレクションが多く、選ぶのが楽しみ!
サービスも皆さん笑顔で明るくて、
注文も日本語で出来るのが嬉しいです。

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M
New England
14 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This is probably my 10th time there in the past 2 years. Consistent quality of food! Not cheap but I value quality more than quantity.

RO
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Authentic Japanese Yakitori - a variety of sake with good selection. Ambience is very much Japanese Izakaya with coziness and style!

TD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is soooooo good! Such skill and use of quality ingredients!!!

r
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

焼き鳥はここが一番美味しいと思います。
いつ行っても期待を裏切らない味なので、
安心してお客様を招待できました。
酒のメニューがとても豊富で選ぶのが楽しかったです。

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great as usual

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service and food every time!!!

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Ginji is our go-to place for amazing and creative Japanese food. We love it!

R
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved the whole experience. From letting us try 3 different sakes to see which one we like, to recommending dishes, to the gracious service.

We tried the grilled beef tongue, grilled short ribs, grilled chicken liver, octopus balls (octopus wrapped in some sort of dough and then deep fried), grilled eggplant, and carbonara that every reviewer recommends. Everything was delicious but I’m partial to all the grilled items

One mistake we made was to order everything at the start. It’s best to pace yourself and order as you go.

OT
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely loved this restaurant! Delicious food paired with a unique and up-beat atmosphere. Ask for Zack if you are interested in sake recommendations. Will definitely come again!

CS
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Authentic grilled Japanese food

VM
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great...thanks Zack!

PC
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience3

I unfortunately was disappointed with my experience with Ginji. I've gone here before and it's always been a fun and pleasant experience. Between swatting the fruit flies away from my table and the lack of items available on their menu, I would rethink coming back.

f
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always have a great experience at Ginji. The wait staff are so attentive. Food is excellent...taste, temperature and presentation!! This restaurant speaks for itself...always crowded and people waiting...thus, 5 stars*!!!

OT
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was awesome, and servers were very friendly. Foods were great as always! We highly recommend!

r
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great!!
Yakitori is sooooooo tasty as always.
Ginji the best!!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience3

Change in management

z
San Francisco
41 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Our consistent late night dinner spot. Great Japanese tapa small plate items. The eggplant, monk fish liver, yak tori are always winners. The only issue is that I believe they have new owners and the food has gone down so I am not sure we would go back as often anymore. I think Yakitori Kokko is now the better late night Japanese grill

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly service and great food

FW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Been there several times in the past and always enjoy it. The fried foods are a bit greasy, but not to bad. They need some Japanese training on how to slice and present their sashimi, but the fish is very fresh. Overall we enjoy this restaurant and will return.

t
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

The food was good but the service was awful. We arrived at 540 for a 545 reservation. We were seated, ordered, and the food came out, but they "forgot" 2 of our items so we had to wait for them to be made. After that we ordered a little more yakitori, and at that point a different waiter came over and asked us how much longer we would be there because there were people waiting for our table - this was at 630, so less than an hour after we were seated they were kicking us out. I could see this reaction if we had been there for 2+ hours, but less than an hour for a place that makes food to order (and which forgot 2 of our dishes and we had to wait for them to be made after-the-fact) is unacceptable. This isn't McDonald's. Our previous visits were relaxed and we never felt rushed (if anything they always encouraged us to order more), so I don't understand the rushed reaction that we received this time. I felt unwelcome and uncomfortable (like it was somehow my fault that people were waiting for my table), and it will definitely effect my desire to go there in the future.

r
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always have a good time at Ginji. We never disappointed.
Yakitori is the best in the city.
And service is great.
We invite friends from Japan this time and they loved!!
Thank you,Ginji!!
We will be back soon.

OT
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect as always. Foods are great & service is very friendly. We go there every two weeks, but never tired of. Highly recommended.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Never experienced such an attentive and accommodating wait staff anywhere else. Coupled with delicious and traditional Japanese food and drinks, Izakaya Ginji will always be my go-to restaurant in the San Mateo area.

JA
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Definitely a go to spot for yakitori paired with a favorite alcohol. They have an arrangement of yakitori and a ton of different menu items. They also have a ton of different sochu and sake!