Don’t settle for bullet-hard nigiri in a black plastic tray – take a look at the best sushi restaurants in London and get ready to tuck in. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.
Don't know your temari from your temaki? Check out our spotter's guide to sushi.
With its minimalist blond wood decor and prominent sushi counter, Atariya would sit just as comfortably in a Tokyo suburb as it does in Ealing. The selection, too, is authentic, and more diverse than other London sushi bars. Alongside the usual salmon and tuna, you’ll find natto (slimy and potent fermented soya beans) and less common ingredients such as razor clam, while hard-to-get-right toppings such as squid and scallop are perfect. For a central London lunch, try the Atariya takeaway near Bond Street station (20 James St, W1U 1EH).Read more
Headed up by two Nobu alumni, this cosy Marylebone restaurant unusually pulls off an East/West fusion. Seared wagyu beef nigiri with truffle salsa and ponzu (soy sauce and citrus) jelly is a regular crowd-pleaser, while lobster, turbot and caviar also feature in abundance. Your bank balance might take a hammering after a meal at Dinings, but for special occasions – and to try innovative dishes – it’s worth it. Set lunches (£16.70-£25.50) also make a more affordable option.Read more
After leaving top-rated Mayfair restaurant Umu, chef Takashi Takagi set up Sushi of Shiori – one of our favourite spots – in Euston. Takagi closed his sushi bar in 2012, and returned to his Kyoto roots to open this kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) restaurant in Bayswater specialising in intricate, multi-course meals which all include a sushi course. If you’re not feeling flush (set meals start at £65), then go for lunch when the cheapest set featuring salmon sushi costs £28.50 for four courses.Read more
There’s plenty of space at this mid-priced Soho restaurant’s curved counter to watch the itamae (sushi chefs) crafting their rice-based bites. Though the chefs here mix Eastern and Western flavours, when it comes to sushi, it’s best to order the classics. Check out the specials blackboard for what’s freshest on the day, or go for the always-available, and decent, temaki and chirashi options.Read more
This Willesden Green restaurant has developed a loyal following over the last two decades. The jovial chef-proprietor greets you from behind the sushi bar, before his wife escorts you to one of the tables in the small dining room. Sashimi and nigiri toppings are sliced thickly here, and the quality is always impeccable. Be sure to look for the lesser-spotted items on the menu: this is one of the few places where you’ll find options such as sweet and firm-fleshed surf-clam nigiri, or salmon skin hosomaki.Read more
Size isn’t everything when it comes to sushi restaurants: even the smallest venues can have big reputations. Since opening in July 2012, this seven-seat sushi bar in Clerkenwell has proved so popular that finding a perch is nigh-on impossible. Try your luck, though, as chef Toru Takahashi offers one of the most authentic Japanese sushi experiences in London. Opt for the omakase (chef’s choice) if your budget can stretch to it (£50 to £70 per head), then sit back and let the artfully crafted pieces keep on coming. Other sets start from £15.50, and there are also à la carte options.Read more
It’s not often a restaurant experience blows you away, but the fashionable Yashin in Kensington isn’t your average sushi joint. The sushi here is not just excellent, it’s also innovative. Behind the counter the industrious itamae (chefs) turn out perfectly compressed nigiri topped with precisely sliced fish. Some are finished with the lick of a blowtorch, others a dab of truffle oil. The chefs here ask you to eat your sushi un-dipped as they don’t want the soy sauce to overpower each morsel’s delicate flavour. A second branch is due to open in South Kensington this summer.Read more
Like Atariya (above), Yoshino is a fish supply company as well as a restaurant, which means it has no trouble getting hold of lustrous fresh fish. The bulk of this Mayfair restaurant’s seating is on the first floor, but the chefs are on the ground floor, so this isn’t the place to come for a ringside view. The menu has been expanded lately, but the chirashi is still one of our favourite options. Presented in a lacquered box, it’s scattered with shredded mangetout, glistening orbs of orange salmon roe and obligatory sashimi.Read more
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The perfect leaping-off point for a night out in Soho, Taro’s Old Compton Street branch (the other is on Brewer Street) is regularly packed with a mixed crowd of office workers and students. Though the dining room is at basement level, it’s surprisingly light and spacious with sunshine streaming down from the street-level window above. Curry rice, fried noodles (yakisoba) or donburi all make filling choices, and they won’t break the bank at £7-£10 each. A spicy fried pork dish could have had a bit more pep, but agedashi tofu was crisp-coated and ample in size.