London's best Japanese restaurants

Whether you're looking for shrines to sushi or a full-blown kaiseki experience

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Whether it’s a steaming bowls of ramen noodles, super-fresh sushi or an up-market kaiseki meal you’re after, you’ll find them on our list. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Dinings

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Once one of Marylebone’s best-kept secrets, Dinings now has a reputation larger than its compact, converted-townhouse setting. Getting a table in the basement is unlikely without a booking, but if you’re lucky there may be a spare stool at the street-level sushi counter. If you’re not keen on small spaces, then you may just like the ground floor better – it’s brighter with more windows. Whatever your thoughts on the venue itself, the food is indisputably excellent (make

  1. 22 Harcourt Street, W1H 4HH
  2. Main courses £6-£28. Set lunch £14-£29
More info

Zuma

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

Out of simplicity can come excellence, and the food at Zuma is a case in point. The venue may be swish (with well-to-do patrons propping up the amply stocked cedar bar), the fixtures and fittings expensive, but when it comes to the food, much of the wow factor is down to high-class ingredients that haven’t been messed around with too much. Own-made silken tofu, presented in a cedar saké cup, was rich, creamy and light. The barley miso, freshly grated wasabi and other

  1. 5 Raphael Street, SW7 1DL
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Ikeda

  • Rated as: 4/5

Like many of the venues around the Japanese Embassy, Ikeda is old school. No self-respecting businessman would have any qualms about bringing clients here, and a meal with the in-laws wouldn’t go amiss either – but a raucous party is probably out. The decor is inoffensive but just a little bland; the staff are affable, turning out the same mix of efficient but unintrusive service since 1978. The highlight is a ringside seat by the tiny open kitchen, where sparklingly fresh

You can now try Japanese "KOBE" beef at Ikeda restaurant.We only serve the iconic A5 Japanese black cattle Kobe beef.
  1. 30 Brook Street, W1K 5DJ
  2. Main courses £20-£70. Set meal £55-£75 3 courses
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Koya

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The opening of Koya in 2010 marked a more youthful movement in the Japanese dining scene. With blond-wood sharing tables, white walls and a generally fresh-faced crowd of diners, the venue feels more like a friendly caff than a slick West End eaterie. The handmade udon noodles produced here are top notch, which explains why expectant diners often queue out of the door. Don’t be deterred: service is generally snappy, so you won’t have to wait too long. The well-priced menu

  1. 49 Frith Street, W1D 4SG
  2. Main courses £6.90-£14.90
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Flesh & Buns

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

How did food get quite so rock ’n’ roll? This summer London’s teeming with ‘gourmet’ fast food joints, rooftop pop-up bars, night food markets and street food vendors. This new wave of edgier eateries are changing the game for restaurateurs too – crisp tablecloths and prim service are out, industrial-chic décors and young, liberally pierced and tattooed staff are in. One chef who’s at the fore of the latest trends is Ross Shonhan. His first solo venture, Bone

  1. 41 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LX
  2. Main courses £13-£24
Make reservation

Bone Daddies

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Cock scratchings are not the first thing you expect to see on a ramen bar’s menu. But Bone Daddies is not your average noodle joint. Instead, it’s a New York-inspired, butched-up ramen-ya with gutsy noodle soup dishes that don’t skimp on flavour. As you open the door you’re met with a barrage of belting rock guitar, walls covered in images of quiffed and tattooed Japanese rockabillies, and a room full of diners seated on high stools soaking it all up. So, perhaps not

  1. 30-31 Peter Street, W1F 0AT
  2. Main courses £9-£13. Meal for two with drinks...
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Sushi-Say

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

For more than two decades, the wife-and-husband team at Sushi-Say have been dishing up an ample selection of Japanese staples at this inconspicuous Willesden haunt. Little changes, apart from the odd lick of paint, but this is no bad thing. Locals come back time and again, so the dining room is almost always full; even if you’re planning on eating early, it’s worth booking. The chef/proprietor mans the counter at the front, where he crafts all manner of sushi, thickly slicing

  1. 33B Walm Lane, NW2 5SH
  2. Main courses £7.20-£24.60. Set dinner...
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Shoryu Ramen

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Shoryu pips its tonkotsu-touting West End rivals for texture and stock, even though Bone Daddies stands out for extra fat and lashings of rock ’n’ roll. As well as Hakata-style ramen (noodles in a rich, boiled-down, pork-bone broth), speed is of the essence here: within months of opening in 2012, this original branch started a standing-only service; in July 2013, Shoryu Express opened a few doors down, proclaiming itself ‘a rapid, self-service-style prototype ramen bar…

  1. 9 Regent Street, SW1Y 4LR
  2. Main courses £6.90-£12.50. Meal for two with...
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Kirazu

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

There’s no sign above the door, no flashy exterior. Just an A-board advertising ‘Japanese Tapas and Ramen’. Kirazu may be paces away from Spuntino – one of Soho’s trendiest ‘hidden’ diners – but it’s easy to walk past Kirazu without a second glance. Don’t. You won’t find anything else in London quite like it. Despite the understated exterior, Kirazu’s ad-hoc interior wouldn’t be out of place in a hip Hackney eatery. Bare light bulbs dangle from the

  1. 47 Rupert Street, W1D 7PF
  2. Dishes £2.50-£10.50
More info

Roka

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Zuma’s younger sibling gets top marks for glitz and glamour. Much of the action takes place on full show at the central robata grill, where a repertoire (similar to Zuma’s) of contemporary izakaya-inspired food is created. The knotted wooden counter, framed by glass cases displaying the day’s produce, is filled with expectant punters enjoying the show. The tasting menu is popular with first-time diners, taking them on a spin of the best that Roka has to offer. Ours started

  1. 37 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RR
  2. Main courses £4.50-£68. Set meal £50-£75...
More info
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Users say

9 comments
TAKA
TAKA

I found new Japanese Restaurant in South kensington. It is Sushi des Artistes. it is no typical Japanese . but it is new mix style ...sushi . and Cook Sushi . it is very nice !! New style of Japanese Restaurant. also Lunch menu , Ramen !! It is best in Town for me !!

Steve
Steve

2 Japanese restaurants I would highly recommend in London are Kiraku in Ealing Common and Asakusa in Mornington Crescent. Both very well priced but most importantly the food is brilliant. You know Kiraku is special when the place is heaving with Japanese, they know best!

Tom of Brixton
Tom of Brixton

Definitely agree with Hamish and Thai Chef. Went to curry Ono in Brixton Market last night. I thought the food was unusual and tasty. Especially the Katsu Curry. Try the green tea ice cream - like something off Masterchef!

Hamish
Hamish

Curry Ono at Brixton Markets serves the best Japanese curry in London and interesting Japanese home foods. The price is reasonable.

Your Thai Chef
Your Thai Chef

Curry Ono at Brixton Market is a must-try for their home-made katsu curries.

James Sweeney
James Sweeney

Yo-I-Sho, on Goodge Street, is the Japanese restarant par excellence. The clientele is mostly Japanese, the food and drink is authentic, the staff are well laid back and cool, and for whatever reason one of the chefs is a mad Celtic fan. All in all, definitely worth a visit.

nNuches
nNuches

i think u missed one nice japanese restaurant, Kyoto, located at Romilly street, Soho

Davina Askew
Davina Askew

I absolutely disagree with the choice in Ealing. Hiraku is only 4 doors down from Sushi-Hiro and offer a much broader range of delicious authentic dishes. I challenge anyone to go to Hiraku and not come away thinking they had had the most scrummy, well priced and authentic Japanese meal ever!