Best Japanese restaurants in London

Londoners have well and truly embraced the food of Japan, with sushi bars and Japanese-themed restaurants popping up throughout the metropolis. But given so much choice, how do you find the best Japanese restaurants in London? We've searched the city to discover London's best Japanese food - whether it be sublimely fresh sashimi, a steaming ramen broth or the latest deep-fried delicacy - so take a look at our pick of the best Japanese restaurants in London. You fancy sashaying into a sushi bar, or nudging your way in to a noodle den? Scroll through this list of London's best Japanese restaurants.

Updated on 13 August 2019

Discover London’s top Japanese restaurants with Squaremeal’s guide to the best Japanese restaurants in London. Japanese cuisine has taken London by storm over recent years and has fast become one of the most fashionable cuisines in the capital. Considered as a delicate, subtle and highly visual cuisine, you’ll often find Japanese food to be beautifully presented and served in small portions. There are many typical dishes within Japanese cuisine, such as sushi, sashimi, tempura, teriyaki and yakitori, each and every one a work of culinary art in its own right.

Japanese dining is on the increase in London and there are now numerous great Japanese restaurants to choose from.  Many of London’s Pan Asian restaurants also serve Japanese food so the choice is wide and varied. Squaremeal’s list of the best Japanese restaurants in London is a handy guide to London’s top spots, ensuring your meal is first class.

Each Squaremeal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from diners, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.

Inko Nito

Inko Nito

55 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9QS

Starchy exclusivity is nowhere to be seen at this light and airy restauant from the team behind Zuma and Roka. Here, the dress code is relaxed, the young staff are chatty and friendly, and there are even high chairs to seat toddlers with a taste for edamame. The menu ranges from small plates to more substantial grill dishes and there’s a decent selection of saké, wine and cocktails on the drinks list. Don’t miss the amusing fortune cookies.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Sushi Tetsu

Sushi Tetsu

12 Jerusalem Passage, London, London, EC1V 4JP

Dining here is a bit of a labour of love, but one we think is more than worth it. In order to secure a coveted table at this diminutive sushi outfit, you’ll need to phone. It operates a weekly booking system (at specific times), and you need to follow the rules laid out on the website to guarantee a slot. Alternatively, watch out for last-minute cancellations on Twitter. Once you’ve done all that, order judiciously from a line-up of briny-fresh fish and traditional sushi.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Titu

Titu

1A Shepherd Street, London, W1J 7HJ

Billed as a gyoza specialist, this tiny restaurant just moments from Green Park tube station is a great little find. Established by Kiwi chef Jeff Tyler (formerly of flashy mega restaurant Novikov), Titu is far from fancy, but what it lacks in terms of décor it more than makes up for in excellent quality modern Japanese food. As well as creative dumplings, you’ll also find a selection of small plates and a variety of desserts. Prices aren’t cheap, but are something of a bargain for Mayfair.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Zuma

Zuma

5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DL

Serious foodies head straight for the sushi counters surrounding the open-plan kitchen at this ultra-trendy celeb favourite, but most people elect to sit in the comfortable, industrial-Zen dining room. A sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya style of informal eating and drinking, Zuma is all about sharing plates from crispy squid to east/west crossover desserts. Given the clientele, it’s unsurprisingly pricey, but spot-on for a bit of indulgence.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Kazu

Kazu

64 Charlotte Street, London, London, W1T 4QD

Kazu blends traditional minimalist looks (bare wood, a sushi counter, and an open kitchen) with a friendly welcome and some contemporary flourishes on a menu that’s both generous and not as expensive as it once was. All-in set lunches offer particularly good value for the likes of chicken teriyaki, prawn tempura and tofu steak – all served with miso soup, rice, salad and oranges for dessert – though expect to pay more for standalone sushi.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Cubé

Cubé

4 Blenheim Street, London, W1S 1LB

Mayfair is an unlikely destination for reasonably-priced top-end Japanese food, but you’ll find it at this tapas and sushi restaurant. The contemporary menu at Cubé (which means to ‘pamper’ or ‘treat’ in Japanese) delivers a mix of traditional Japanese cuisine combined with European flair. In other words, expect inventive Asian tapas married with beautifully-crafted sushi. Takeaway sushi boxes are available at lunchtimes, but we recommend taking a seat at the counter to watch chef Osamu Mizuno (ex-Sake No Hana) perform his culinary magic.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Pham Sushi

Pham Sushi

159 Whitecross Street, London, EC1Y 8JL

Pham Sushi won’t win any awards for décor or plate presentation, which is basic at best, but what this tiny eatery lacks in interior design, it more than makes up for with its extensive and uniformly impressive selection of sushi and sashimi. Most people come for raw stuff, but soups, noodles, rice dishes, bento boxes and some spot-on tempura are solid choices too. Wash it all down with beer, saké or green tea.

£30 - £49
Sushi
Japanese
Nobu London at the COMO Metropolitan London

Nobu London at the COMO Metropolitan London

COMO Metropolitan London, Green Park, London, W1K 1LB

An essential experience for any serious food lover, Nobu prides itself on serving up distinctive, award-winning Japanese-Peruvian cuisine made from the freshest ingredients. The emblematic black cod with miso, served on butter lettuce for that contemporary kick of clean-eating satisfaction, is a must-try, though the extensive menu has plenty more to offer. The drinks list comprising of cocktails, saké and wine is priced for big budgets, but with food this good and views of Hyde Park, it’s worth splashing out on.

Japanese
Dinings

Dinings

22 Harcourt Street, London, W1H 4HH

Both technique and cooking are exemplary at this postage stamp-sized restaurant that occupies two floors of a backstreet townhouse near Edgware Road. Sushi and sashimi, such as open rolls of spicy tuna with sesame sauce and shichimi pepper, come from the ground-floor counter, while set lunches including donburi with toppings of freshwater eel and foie gras or Wagyu beef with garlic butter soy are best enjoyed in the basement dining room. Booking is essential here.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Nobu Berkeley St

Nobu Berkeley St

15 Berkeley Street, London, London, W1J 8DY

More than a decade after opening on Berkeley Street, Nobu remains firmly at the top-end of the Japanese dining scene. There have been countless imitations of the restaurant’s signature dishes, but none compare to the originals, and the fantastical interior design by the late David Collins (all bamboo murals and burnished futuristic tones) is one of a kind. A meal here won’t come cheap, especially with wine involved, but if you want the crème de la crème, you’ll have to cough up.

Over £80
Japanese
Chisou Woodstock Street

Chisou Woodstock Street

22-23 Woodstock Street, London, W1C 2AR

Just a couple of minutes’ walk from Bond Street station, this understated restaurant offers beautifully authentic Japanese food in tranquil surroundings. Whether you go for a selection of super-fresh sushi or sashimi served at the counter or a banquet accompanied by sake or wine, quality is guaranteed. The lunch/pre-theatre menu is a great shout, but you’ll need to arrive early for seats at the sushi counter.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Dinings SW3

Dinings SW3

Walton House, Lennox Garden Mews, London, SW3 2JH

Unlike its plain Marylebone sibling, this glossy street-level sushi bar gives way to a sunken dining room that’s as well-groomed as the resident Chelsea clientele. It’s an arresting setting for excellent modern Japanese cooking that artfully blends tradition with innovation, and oriental technique with European ingredients. Prices are at the very top-end, but for dishes such as melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu tataki, silky double-cooked aubergine with sweet miso, and sweet-fleshed langoustine grilled on the Josper, they’re perfectly justified.

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
Ginza Onodera

Ginza Onodera

15 Bury Street, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6AL

Monochrome furnishings, pale woods, a robata grill and a marble sushi bar give a good indication of what diners can expect at this globe-spanning restaurant group, namely exquisite updates on the Japanese hallmarks of delicacy and refinement, alongside ultra-respectful versions of classic sushi and tempura. The pre-theatre menu for £35 offers an affordable way in, while the £200 ‘Teppan Yaki’ menu highlights how much one could easily spend here.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Afternoon tea
Sumosan Twiga

Sumosan Twiga

165 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9QB

An elegant reincarnation of Sumosan in Mayfair, this four-storey fusion restaurant has a sweeping staircase linking a basement nightclub, first-floor dining room and spacious top-floor bar. On the food front, Sumosan’s Japanese menu has been joined by Italian dishes, so you could follow sushi with sea bass spaghetti, Dover sole or veal Milanese and wash it down with a glass of European wine or a glass of sake. Prices? Yes, they’re high.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Italian
Umu

Umu

14-16 Bruton Place, London, London, W1J 6LX

Expect a heart-stopping mix of finesse and flavour at this luxurious two-Michelin-starred enclave, which also boasts a cool vibe and hints of Zen-like purity. There are bento box lunches or diet-friendly sashimi for those wanting a quick fix, but we recommend the full kaiseki menu, a multi-course seasonal tour de force that takes a couple of hours to consume and is worth every minute of your time. Perfect saké pairings and a spectacular wine list make dining at Umu unashamedly glamorous.

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
Two michelin stars
Roka Canary Wharf

Roka Canary Wharf

4 Park Pavilion, 40 Canada Square, London, E14 5FW

Attentive service and consistently top-notch food make this glamorous yet lively modern restaurant a draw for all types, from office workers to families. The heart of the operation is the robata grill with its line-up of fire-licked specialities such as sweet potato baked in a bamboo husk, but you’ll also find well-made modern-day sushi and sashimi, snacks and specialities. Prices are in keeping with most Japanese restaurants in London (not cheap), but there is a decently-priced pre-theatre menu.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Machiya

Machiya

5 Panton Street , London, SW1Y 4DL

Named after the eponymous townhouses that once defined the Kyoto cityscape, Machiya is an all-day restaurant dedicated to serving up simple home-style cooking alongside authentic patisserie inspired by the food halls of Japan. The short range of carefully rendered dishes is complemented by a long drinks list, which includes sakés, shochu, old world wines and spirits as well as flavour-packed cocktails.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Bars
Flat Three

Flat Three

120-122 Holland Park Avenue, London, W11 4UA

Settle in to elegant surrounds for a complex culinary blend of Japanese, Korean and Scandinavian-inspired dishes designed by American/Korean owner Juliana Kim Moustakis and chef Pavel Kanja (ex-Roka). The pair has created a repertoire of great originality, with raw and plant-based dishes for veggies in addition to the meat and fish-based delicacies, plus a drinks list that embraces small vineyards, unusual grapes and wacky juices. It’s slightly out of the way, but great for special occasions.

£50 - £79
Japanese
International
Kouzu

Kouzu

21 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0BD

Set in a grand Grade-II listed period mansion from the 1850’s, complete with a huge palatial entrance door, this elegant Japanese restaurant exudes a gentle, romantic buzz that makes it perfect for date nights. Sushi is the headline act here, but the kitchen also delivers excellent tempura, Wagyu beef from the robata grill and seasonal specials, so there’s something for everyone. The cocktail bar on the ground floor is the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles before ascending to the dining room on the mezzanine.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Sushisamba City

Sushisamba City

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate (38-39th floor), London, London, EC2N 4AY

From the moment the lightning-quick glass elevator whisks you up to the 38th floor of the Heron Tower to the sexy, show-stopping cocktails, razzmatazz restaurant and thrilling fusion of Japanese and Latino cuisine, you can be sure you’re in for the ultimate spectacle. Sky-high pricing and a feeling of uppity exclusivity (including a strict dress-code policy) might not be everyone’s cup of saké, but Sushisamba remains a high-octane, fun-loving destination for those willing to wait for a reservation.

£50 - £79
South American
Japanese
Roka Charlotte Street

Roka Charlotte Street

37 Charlotte Street, London, London, W1T 1RR

A sexy line-up of elegant sushi, sashimi, tempura and robata grill selections, combined with flawless service from a well-honed team of charming staff makes this Fitzrovia flagship an ever-popular Japanese hotspot. The buzzy vibe is equally suited to date nights and business meets, whether you take a table or pull up a ringside seat at the sleek polished wood counter around the robata grill. Such quality doesn’t come cheap, but since eating here is a joy from start to finish, it’s worth splashing out on.

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
Tokimeite

Tokimeite

23 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2XS

Situated in the heart of Mayfair, this upmarket Japanese restaurant specialises in a ‘kappo’ style menu of small dishes, bespoke for each diner and prepared as you watch. Overseen by chef Yoshihiro Murata (who boasts a whopping seven Michelin stars across his three restaurants in Japan), Tokimeite majors in luxury ingredients including lobster, king crab and Wagyu steak, so it should come as no surprise that prices are high – even by Mayfair standards. Impeccable service and attention to detail help to make dining here worth the cost though.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Chotto Matte

Chotto Matte

11-13 Frith Street, London, London, W1D 4RB

Spread across two floors in a prime location off Soho Square, this neon-splashed nightclub of a restaurant is as trendy as they come. A champion of Nikkei cuisine (a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian), Chotto Matte is flashy and bold in every respect, from brightly coloured sushi platters to the inventive cocktail list. High prices for small portions make this an expensive prospect, so if you’re on a budget, we’d suggest one of the better-value set menus.

£50 - £79
Peruvian
Japanese
Aqua Kyoto

Aqua Kyoto

240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street), Oxford Circus, London, W1B 3BR

As you’d expect from this high-end group, Aqua Kyoto serves pricey Japanese food with more than a bit of razzmatazz. Gorgeous kimono silk-padded booths give way to a dramatic dining room with its showpiece sunken sushi bar where you can watch the chefs hard at work crafting luxurious items for your enjoyment. Dishes such as king crab tempura with crab miso and Wagyu maki rolls will hit your wallet hard, but lunchtime bento boxes and sashimi selections are more affordable.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Koji

Koji

58 New Kings Road, Fulham, London, SW6 4LS

Slightly out of the way in Parsons Green, but none the worse for it, this sleek restaurant is a must-visit for sushi enthusiasts. Centred around a gorgeous sushi bar, the interior suggests serious dining, but there's plenty of fun to be had under the feather chandeliers. The kitchen is now in the hands of Rolando Ongcoy (from the distinguished Nobu stable), and readers are blown away by his sublime food, as well as Koji’s terrific ambience. Be warned though: prices can be eye-watering.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Freak Scene

Freak Scene

54 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SL

Come with a decent appetite and you could make a healthy stab at ordering most of the menu for around £50 a head at this firecracker of a chef’s counter in the heart of Soho. Standout dishes among the selection of reinvented junk food dishes include the salmon sashimi ‘pizza’ and the black cod and sushi rice tacos, though as menu changes weekly, you could get something totally different. It’s worth noting that wine prices will bump up the bill considerably.

£50 - £79
Shoryu Ramen Soho

Shoryu Ramen Soho

3 Denman Street, Soho, London, W1D 7HA

In spite of being one of a large chain, this noodle joint is as authentic as they come. The serene dining room is full of communal tables, making it perfect for groups, while friendly and efficient staff deposit large bowls of steaming ramen and perky sides from the open kitchen to your place setting in true fast-food style. Prices are middle-of-the-road and you’ll find eastern-style cocktails and myriad refreshing teas, plus rare and premium sakés on the drinks list.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Sake No Hana

Sake No Hana

23 St James's Street, St. James's, London, SW1A 1HA

Set within swathes of cypress and bamboo, trendy Sake No Hana possesses a superb atmosphere that keeps it perpetually busy. Enduringly popular, it offers a vast menu that straddles the Japanese canon and beyond, all prepared and presented with enough pizzazz to make it feel special at the price. Saké classes, whisky and chocolate flights and a boozy Saturday lunch all help to maintain interest in this glam Japanese haunt.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Shackfuyu

Shackfuyu

14a Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TJ

Once a pop-up, now a permanent fixture in Soho, this western-inspired Japanese restaurant promises “no-holds-barred food for the soul”. With its succinct, keenly-priced menu offering an addictive pick-and-mix of flavours, from Japanese-style pizza to miso-coated roast aubergine, Shackfayu is equally suited to a quick bite or a leisurely meal. The bar delivers strong cocktails, sakés and mighty sharing goblets of Koshihikari Echigo beer, plus gao bao buns at lunchtime.

Under £30
Japanese
The Araki

The Araki

12 New Burlington Street, London, W1S 3BH

Ten seats, two sittings, no cooked dishes, no choice and no pandering to dietary requirements. This is how it is at sushi master Mitsuhiro Araki’s three-Michelin-starred gaff in Mayfair. It sounds formidable, but such heady gastronomic experiences are extremely rare in London, and we urge you to put this one on your bucket list. Be warned though, diners are required to pay up front when booking (£310 minimum per head), and anyone who arrives late is in danger of forfeiting their dosh as well as their meal.

Over £80
Sushi
Three michelin stars
Hot Stone

Hot Stone

9 Chapel Market, Angel, London, N1 9EZ

As the name suggests, hot stone dishes are the thing to try at this Islington gem. Sizzling, super-heated slabs of granite will arrive at the table with your choice of protein, which you’re then free to cook to your liking. If that doesn’t appeal, there are plenty of other dishes which impress, as well as a short and straightforward list of saké and international wines. Hot Stone is by no means a cheap eat, but prices aren’t outrageous for the quality.

£30 - £49
Sushi
Japanese
Engawa

Engawa

2 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT

With fewer than 30 covers and minimal décor, there isn’t too much to distract from the open kitchen’s theatre at this hidden Soho gem. Watch as the skilful chefs prepare morsels of sashimi, sushi and snacks alongside extravagantly presented salads and the main event here: kobe. Engawa is one of just a handful of Japanese restaurants in London to offer this exclusive beef (which is often referred to as the ‘caviar of meat’) but be warned, whatever the cut, it comes with a lofty price tag.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Defune

Defune

34 George Street, London, W1U 7DT

Whether this oriental veteran is the oldest Japanese restaurant in London (as it claims to be) is by-the-by. What matters is its renown for offering standout traditional dishes in pleasingly approachable surrounds. Take a seat at the unfussy sushi bar or descend to the tunnel-like basement for a quiet meal made up of sushi and sashimi, soba and udon noodles, teriyaki and tempura, green salads anointed with vinegary dressings and other benchmarks of the old cuisine.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
£30 - £49
Kurobuta Chelsea

Kurobuta Chelsea

312 King's Road, London, SW3 5UH

Nothing is taken too seriously at this lively local in SW3, which means stripped-back interiors, a raucous rock soundtrack, racy cocktails and a menu touting everything from jazzed-up sushi and raw salads to robata BBQ dishes. Kurobuta also boasts a strong showing of maki rolls, nigiri and sashimi – all at friendly prices. The bar is a destination in its own right and there are always plenty of food deals to be had, including ‘Bun Day Monday’ and ‘Treat Yo’Self Tuesdays’.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Kurobuta Marble Arch

Kurobuta Marble Arch

17-20 Kendal Street, London, W2 2AW

Taking its cue from Japan’s rock ‘n’ roll izakayas, where small plates and drinks make the evening go with a swing, this branch of Kurobuta is as fun and lively as its Chelsea sibling. Ultra-friendly waiters, extravagant cocktails and occasional live music, coupled with full-frontal flavours in the form of sushi, snacks, robata grills and Japanese junk food make it a favourite among younger crowds, though staff welcome guests from all walks of life.

£50 - £79
Japanese
Yashin Sushi

Yashin Sushi

1a Argyll Road, London, London, W8 7DB

Simple, masterfully-crafted sushi is the order of the day at this bijou space off High Street Kensington. Whether you choose a seat at the handsome, green-tiled bar or head downstairs to the sleeker monochrome dining room, prepare to indulge in a menu crafted by two Nobu-trained chefs. Saké is a big deal here, with regular masterclasses on offer, while the pithy wine list has some interesting options. Like everything here though, prices are on the high side.

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Yashin Ocean House

Yashin Ocean House

117-119 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3RN

One of London’s smarter and more imaginative purveyors of creative Japanese seafood, Yashin Ocean House is committed to head to tail dining. This dedication to using all parts of the fish means that dishes such as pan-fried cod cheeks in a sweet-and-sour chilli amazu sauce seem to get better year on year. Prices are lower than you’d expect for the South Ken location, though still reflective of the skill involved in Japanese cooking. Staff are eager and knowledgeable.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Fish
Ukai

Ukai

240 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LL

An astonishingly good Japanese restaurant tucked away at the rear of a Notting Hill pub, Ukai is a magnet for locals and tourists alike. Chef Alessandro Verros honed his skills at Nobu and Roka and brings a distinctive mix of modern and authentic Japanese cooking overlaid with ultra-fashionable Peruvian touches, so you can expect everything from steamed buns and gyoza to scallops and spicy lamb chops. Fun and lively, Ukai offers counter dining and live music on weekends, as well as cocktails mixed by an expert bar team.

£30 - £49
Sushi
Japanese

After something specific? If you've landed here you might well be a big sushi fan, are we right? Our round-up of the best sushi in London has all kinds of restaurants in it from high-end fine dining restaurants to cheap and cheerful, but top-notch sushi spots.