Jaillan Yehia

Top 10 Japanese Restaurants in London

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Nobu London

Nobu is London’s most celebrated Japanese Restaurant, but is it the best?

London has more global cuisine than anyone could hope to eat in a lifetime including a bewildering array of around 450 Japanese restaurants, but how can you find the most authentic Japanese restaurants in the capital if you don’t know your sushi from your sashimi?

In this guest post Japanophile and Japan Journeys expert James Greenfield reveals his top 10 Japanese restaurants in London for all budgets  – from cheap eats through to, well, Nobu…

The Top 10 Japanese Restaurants in London are…*

1. Mitsukoshi Restaurant

Area: West End (Lower Regent St)

Best for: A Good value lunch (though more expensive for dinner)

2. Ten Ten Tei

Area: West End (Brewer Street)

Best for: Good set dinners

3. Tokyo Diner

Tokyo Diner

Area: West End (Little Newport Street)

Best for: Value with a conscience – the restaurant uses only fish from sustainable sources and doesn’t serve tuna as it is over-fished.

4. Mai Food

Area: Earls Court (Kenway Road)

Best for: Its wide selection of small grilled dishes

5. Tsurukame

Also known as the Crane & Tortoise.

Area: Holborn (Gray’s Inn Road)

Best for: Enjoying Japanese food in a relaxed pub setting

6. Yoisho

Fitzrovia (Goodge Street)

Best for: An genuinely authentic setting aimed at ex-pat Japanese customers rather than Westerners and serving high quality but pricey sushi

Koya London

7. Koya

Area: Soho (Frith Street)

Best for: Their specialty hand-made Giles Coren-approved udon noodles in a contemporary setting.

8. Atari-ya

Area: Ealing Common (Uxbridge Road)

Best for: The reasonably priced sushi – and there are outlets all over North London including Finchley Road, Golders Green, Swiss Cottage and Hendon, along with retail stores. The company started life as a specialist supplier and continues to supply many other restaurants, including, so we hear, Nobu.

9. Ittembari

Area: Soho (Brewer Street)

Best for: Tasty, cheap ramen noodles

And finally…

10. Nobu

Area: Park Lane (Inside the Metropolitan Hotel)

Best for: Posing and celeb-spotting, as well as expensive Japanese fusion cuisine with a Michelin Star

*This is obviously a subjective – and by no means an exhaustive – list of just some of the great Japanese restaurants in the capital so please feel free to add your own recommendations (as well as places to avoid!) in the comments section below.

Good luck – and happy non nom nomming!

James Greenfield of Japan Journeys

James in Japan

About the writer:

James previously lived in Tokyo for 4 years and now heads up the team at specialist Japan travel company Japan Journeys a respected and knowledgeable provider of holidays to Japan ranging from tours of the country’s highlights, to highly bespoke manga, bonsai and traditional craft tours.

[wpdreams_rpp id=0]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Comments (21)

  • Avatar

    Miret

    |

    London is a foodie’s paradise, isn’t it? 🙂

    Thank you for sharing these Japanese restaurant tips!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Global Grazers

    |

    Terrific post! London really has it all these days… I like the fact that this list includes a restaurant for every occasion!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    In Mozart's Footsteps

    |

    What great restaurants. I feel I should print this out and insert it in my London map!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Anisha

    |

    Yum! I adore Japanese food so will surely be trying some of these soon!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Cristina Bonetti

    |

    I love London :))) next time i want try Mitsukoshi Restaurant

    Reply

  • Avatar

    savoirthere

    |

    London really is a foodie paradise. I’m a bit lazy sometimes as I have my own favourite local Japanese places but I want to work my way around all of these, in time!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Andrea Mueller

    |

    The thing I missed the most while traveling in Europe for 6 months was my weekly (or twice weekly?) sushi fix! I was in London right before I came home and had to pay way more than I should have for sub par sushi. Too bad I didn’t have this little list to refer to back then!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      savoirthere

      |

      There is some great sushi in London – and some mediocre stuff too. Even knowing your way around London like I do it can be hard to be seek out the good stuff, but London does have great world cuisine these days!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Jetting Around

    |

    I wouldn’t normally think to eat Japanese food when in London, but really – why not? Especially during an extended stay. One of the great things about the city is that you can find so much variety there! 🙂

    Reply

    • Avatar

      savoirthere

      |

      I really believe London has one of the best selections of food in the world if you know where to look!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Toku

    |

    Hmm… mixed feelings as I know for sure some of them are not owned or run by Japanese people – they are actually Chinese… I don’t know where authentic really starts… but I do not like to eat anything made with Chinese ingredients due to food contamination issues which are common in that country…
    Went to few of above with my Japanese friends and some foods were far from Japanese recipes. Ittembari for example WAS very traditional and good restaurant till they have started mixing and selling ramen and sushi (which is not common practice), plus using funky ingredients like fried onion (which by the way totally ruin the flavor of stock) – yuck

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jaillan Yehia

      |

      Thanks for your comment Toku – are there any other Japanese eateries you would recommend instead?

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Wonderlusting

    |

    A couple more I would highly recommend are Hazuki near Charing Cross and Kiraku in Ealing Common

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jaillan Yehia

      |

      Thanks for adding your recommendations!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Rachael Kenchington

    |

    Jaillan can you advise please. My children love Japan and everything Japanese. We would like very much on my son 21st to try a real japanese experience, can you advise a good Japanese restruarant please in London

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jaillan Yehia

      |

      I went to Tokyo Diner the other week and it is very authentic – but for a really special occasion I think you can’t beat Nobu. The decor is not traditional Japanese but the food is first rate – if you have the budget!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Jaillan Yehia

    |

    Thanks for recommending Cafe Japan, I’ve walked past it many a time and never tried it, and Sushi Waka has a great reputation and is also in my area! I’ve been meaning to try Dinings since it opened but hadn’t considered Yashin, so thanks for the thoughtful suggestions, I hope some of my readers can try these places out and report back 🙂

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Dominic

    |

    I am a Londoner, born and bred, and enjoy Japanese food immensely. I am saddened by the poor choice and quality of Japanese food in London, and by the high prices. The US (and not just New York) does it so much better, and so do many European cities, particularly Berlin and Amsterdam. Yes, London can pat itself on its back for its Indian cuisine, for Turkish, for Lebanese, for many different sorts. But Japanese? No, I’m afraid not.For a city that normally offers so much, I think it’s rather sad.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Viktor Navarro

    |

    I completely agree that Tokyo Diner is one of the best japanese restaurants in London, and I have gone through most of the decent and half-decent ones over my time there. I’m serious, I can compare, and Tokyo Diner is probably in my own top 3.
    https://restaurantguru.com/Tokyo-Diner-London
    https://restaurantguru.com/
    It’s very peculiar in that they hire cooks and waiters based on skill, yet the food there is always 100% authentic. This is the kind of restaurant everyone would and should support.

    Reply

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.