As much as we all love travelling around Asia, we know that it’s not always possible to do it all year round (although we wish it was!). If you’re like us and absolutely fell in love with Japanese cuisine, you’ll probably want to treat your taste buds while you’re back at home too. Here are our favourite Japanese restaurants in London for when you can’t be travelling in Japan!
47 Museum St, London WC1A 1LY
Located in Bloomsbury, this cosy little restaurant serves up a mean okonomiyaki and much more. With okonomi meaning ‘what you like’, and yaki meaning ‘grilled’, okonomiyaki is essentially a savoury pancake filled with a variety of toppings made how you like it! Okonomiyaki is traditionally from the Kansai region of Japan and is especially popular in Osaka, although it’s now widely found across the entire country with each region putting its own twist on it. If you find yourself travelling in Japan, okonomiyaki is an absolute must-try, especially if you’re stopping by Osaka, where you’ll find street vendors lining the famous Dotonburi.
Each table in Abeno has its own hot plate grill known as a teppan in the centre, so you can watch your meal come to life at the hands of your personal chef. With 20 different okonomiyaki options, including vegetarian choices and the classic Osaka style, you’ll have a hard time picking which one you want! Abeno also has endless starter options, including onigiri, edamame and salmon sashimi. For when you want a change from okonomiyaki, you can choose from their wide selection of Om-Soba, Yako-Soba, and Soba-Rice as mains! Our stomachs are starting to grumble just thinking about it…
64 St Giles High Street, London, WC2H 8LE & more
With locations in Soho, Covent Garden, and Angel, Kanada-Ya has fast become one of the most popular ramen bars in London. Not without a unique backstory, a guy named Kanada-san, a former professional bike racer in Japan suffered a career-ending injuring and chose the life of a ramen bar chef. After success in the flagship restaurant in Yukuhashi, Kanada-san has since opened restaurants in London and Hong Kong! Each of the restaurants are small and simple, and only seat around 15 to 20 people, so expect to have to queue a little. Trust us though, it’s worth it!
With 7 types of ramen to choose from, ranging from creamy Tonkosu to Spicy Yuzu, and the opportunity to choose the firmness of your noodles, you’re guaranteed to find a ramen to suit any mood! They even offer a signature Truffle ramen, made from pork bone broth, porcini truffle paste and white truffle oil. Wow. Aside from the main ramen menu, Kanada-Ya offers some very tasty sides, including Chicken Karaage, Truffle Edamame, Aburi Chashu and a range of Onigiri.
16 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TL & more
If you’re looking for authentic sushi outside of Japan, this is the place for you. With 6 branches in Tokyo, 8 in London and 3 in Dusseldorf, Eat Toyko is slowly taking over the world with it’s fresh, tasty sushi. Each restaurant features an iconic wooden exterior and a traditional Noren curtain covering the entrance. With sashimi, nigiri, chirashi, unagi and bento boxes on offer, you’ll have a hard time not ordering the entire menu! Did we mention they offer sushi boats too?!
You can sit at the counter and watch the chefs prepare the fresh sushi in front of you, or enjoy a table with a group of friends. If you’re in the mood for something warmer than sushi, be sure to order their katsu curry which offers very, very generous portions! Plus, with lunch and dinner menus, you can have Japanese food at any time of day.
The Japanese Canteen
100 Middlesex Street, London, E1 7EZ & more
This Japanese gem currently has 7 locations across London, and you can be sure to find The Dragon Trip team paying a visit very frequently! The Japanese Canteen offers a more fast food style approach to dining compared to the other restaurants we’ve mentioned, so it’s a great spot to grab a quick yet fulfilling lunch. Simply order at the counter, take a number, find a seat and wait for your delicious meal to be brought over to you. If you’re in a rush to get back to work, or would rather have a feast on your sofa at home, you can order everything as a takeaway.
Their menu consists of traditional classics, some tweaked for Western appetite, and some drawing inspiration from neighbouring cuisines like Korean and Chinese. You can choose from donburi, bento boxes, ramens, sushi, wonton soup, yaki noodles, and so much more it would take too long for us to list! Their katsu curry is as authentic as it gets, and it’ll be sure to make you feel warm and cosy as winter approaches.
Have we got your bellies rumbling and ignited a desire to go travelling in Japan? Check out our 13-day Budget Japan Tour and our 7-day Anime Japan Adventure. Thinking of organising a family trip to Japan? We can help! Take a look at our 12-day Family Adventure!