Best Japanese Restaurants in London

From sushi to yakitori, we got chef Angelo Sato to round up his list of the best Japanese restaurants in London.
Best Japanese Restaurants in London
Humble Chicken is one of the best Japanese restaurants in London.

Japanese food is as delicious as it is versatile. It can be simple and understated one minute and then bold, boisterous, and unashamedly in your face the next. Japan has the second most Michelin stars out of any country on the planet and – although what a tyre manufacturer considers to be tasty is hardly an accurate gauge of a nation’s culinary output – it’s definitely a stat that speaks to Japan’s gastronomic dominance on a global scale. There’s a reason, after all, that films like Jiro Dreams Of Sushi have achieved cult-like status and you can now find disappointing petrol station sushi all over the world –– and it’s because Japanese food is something that has become synonymous with quality. The problem nowadays, thanks to an outpouring of imitators and pretenders, isn’t then simply finding Japanese food in your city but finding the places that actually do Japanese cuisine justice. Hint: it’s not the petrol stations selling sushi that are doing it right.

So, where are the best Japanese restaurants in London? Where are the izakayas where you can enter hungry and leave with your life forever altered? We enlisted the help of Angelo Sato, the chef-owner of Humble Chicken in Soho, to find out where he thinks you should be going to get a proper taste of Japanese cuisine in London. He’s written this excellent guide to the best Japanese restaurants in London but he was far too humble (pardon the pun) to include Humble Chicken in his list. Just trust us, however, that if it was us writing this guide, we’d have definitely thrown Sato’s joint onto the list. It’s an excellent restaurant that pushes the limit of what’s possible when it comes to Japanese cooking in the capital. Curating a Japanese-led 8-course tasting menu with European infections, Angelo has taken inspiration from his roots and combined it with what he’s picked up working in some of the greatest kitchens across Europe to create some truly special food. You should go there. And you should also go to this selection of the best Japanese restaurants in London, according to Angelo Sato.


"You can never go wrong with the authentic Japanese comfort food they do at Koya. The team here are famous for their udon but offer so much more. Whenever I'm not feeling staff food, I walk down to Koya and have a kara-age don and a double order of tsukemono as it’s next to my restaurant. It has three locations – Koya City, Hackney and Soho – but each one has its own identity. Koya City is definitely my favourite as there are a lot of options and specials. You can clearly tell it’s owned by native Japanese."

10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR

Endo at the Rotunda

"For the most part, sushi restaurants in London are very commercial but you can still find a few gems, including Ten-sushi, previously known as Araki. Endo-San, however. is on a whole different level. Sushi omakase is all about amazing sushi but it’s also a very intimate performance; art at the highest level, the chef needs to be very charismatic and confident, and Endo-San delivers that in spades. Endo easily serves the best sushi in London and is probably the hardest reservation to get in the city."

8th Floor, The Helios, Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, W12 7FR

Ippudo Ramen

"Even in Japan, Ippudo is considered the father of hakata ramen and is often described as the most famous hakata ramen in Japan. The first shop, “HAKATA IPPUDO”, was opened in 1985 in Fukuoka city. I lived in Fukuoka for 5-6 years and despite all the amazing ramen shops in the area, all roads led to Ippudo. What sets it apart is its perfectly balanced Shitomaru broth, which comes from cooking and emulsifying its bone marrow for over 18 hours, creating a creamy and silky-smooth soup with so much depth. In its original shop (Honten) in Daimyo you see the massive pots of tonkatsu bubbling away. I’ve been to many Ippudos outside of Japan, from Asia to New York and London and they are all very consistent."

Various locations


"A take on a Japanese izakaya located in Nine Elms, Battersea. Beautiful Japanese food, small plates, and an ever-changing menu perfectly executed by extremely skilled and creative chefs. There is a really fun drink menu, too. This isn’t your everyday "izakaya" that seems to be popping up everywhere. Evernight is a serious restaurant cooking amazing food, a restaurant London has been missing. Keep an eye out for their residency chefs, currently Shaulan Steenson from Uosei offering an amazing sushi omakase experience."

Unit 1A, 3 Ravine Way Embassy Gardens, SW11 7BH


"Speaking of Shaulan Steenson, Temaki is a hand-rolled sushi bar located in the heart of Brixton under Shaulan’s watch full eye. An intimate open counter space where you can see all the action, including the chefs making the Temaki and handing them directly to the customers - "hand to hand" doesn’t get any better than that. Excellent value for the quality it provides."

12 Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LB

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