In the vibrant food scene of Edinburgh, where traditional Scottish dishes reign supreme, Japanese cuisine has steadily gained popularity over the years. With its delicate flavours, meticulous presentation, and emphasis on fresh ingredients, Japanese food offers a tantalizing experience of flavours and indulgence. Whether you’re a sushi connoisseur, a ramen aficionado, or simply craving some exquisite tempura, Edinburgh has a myriad of Japanese restaurants to satisfy your culinary desires.
Did someone say vegan Japanese food?! Koyama offers a selection of both meaty and vegan dishes that will transport your taste buds to the Land of the Rising Sun. Guests can expect to see an abundance of sushi options, as well as ramen, bento boxes, soba and sukiyaki. The meticulously crafted, simmered soup base, slow-cooked for 10 hours, pair harmoniously with the char siu, creating an authentic bowl of ramen.
📍20 Forrest Rd, Edinburgh, EH1 2QN
Bentoya in Edinburgh offers an extensive menu of Japanese delights with a fine dining twist, such as sushi, ramen, curries, bento boxes, tempura and more. What is more, the spot is one of the best Japanese restaurants in the UK, ranking fifth on TripAdvisor. The modern and warm ambience creates the perfect setting for an unforgettable meal. Opt for Japanese Wagyu beef or the oyster sashimi for a fancier outing, or go traditional with a Tonkotsu ramen with chicken Katsu.
📍13 Bread St, Edinburgh, EH3 9AL
UMI Japanese Cuisine in Edinburgh is a paradise for Japanese food enthusiasts. The menu showcases an innovative range of options, from the fiery chicken ramen to the succulent wagyu croquette. The sashimi is also worth a try, with the scallop sashimi having received excellent reviews. As a sister restaurant to Bentoya, UMI offers an aesthetically pleasing experience with both modern takes like truffle edamame or Iberico Katsu and traditional options like chicken gyoza or a variety of tempura options.
📍12-14 Chapel St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9AY
4. Kanpai Sushi
Kanpai Sushi offers anything from maki rolls wrapped in hearty buckwheat to Teppan Teriyaki Salmon. The food itself is exceptional, providing a feast we never knew we needed. What is more, guests can also indulge in a selection of ice creams, with flavours such as white sesame, black sesame and green tea. However, visitors should note that ramen is not available at Kanpai Sushi. Plus, the attentive staff provide warm and amiable service, elevating the overall dining experience.
📍8-10 Grindlay St, Edinburgh, EH3 9AS
5. Maki & Ramen
Maki & Ramen has become a well-known name in Edinburgh, with multiple branches around the city. What you see is what you get at Maki & Ramen, with two main options being ramen, such as the Black Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen and sushi, like the Green Dragon Roll. Of course, guests can expect small bites such as gyoza or tempura, but the spot mainly focuses on the two dishes relating to its name, understandably.
📍13 W Richmond St, Edinburgh, EH8 9EF; 75 Nicolson Street, EH8 9BZ; 97-101 Fountainbridge, EH3 9QG; 37 Leith St, EH1 3AT
6. Chizuru Tei
Not to play favourites, but we have a huge soft spot for Chizuru Tei. Not only is the spot a local family business but it also is reasonably priced, offering a BYOB option for a small corkage fee. Savour the delicate crunch of expertly crafted tempura or surrender to the sublime pleasure of Japanese sushi rolls, bursting with the freshest ingredients. Our ultimate favourite was the Terriyaki Chicken Teppanyaki, along with the Banana Fritters. So, step into the cosy ambience and embark on a delightful journey specifically designed for Japanese cuisine lovers. However, the restaurant is cash only, so do stop by a cash point to avoid having to nip out in the middle of dinner.
📍278 Morrison St, Edinburgh, EH3 8DT
Harajuku Kitchen offers an extensive array of dishes, embarking diners on an epicurean journey like no other. The menu showcases a vast selection of sushi, sashimi, donburi, ozokara and hot and cold tanpin, as well as udon noodles. As Harajuku Kitchen is so popular, reservations are always recommended to avoid disappointment.
📍10 Gillespie Pl, Edinburgh, EH10 4HS, United Kingdom
To be honest, Hakataya is the place to go for Tonkotsu ramen in Edinburgh. Owned by a local family, chef Tang-Qun trained in Fukuoka on the ways of ramen, where Tonkotsu ramen originated from. As someone who’s tried more than my body weight while travelling in Japan, I was pleasantly surprised when trying a bowl of warm goodness at the restaurant. What is more, guests can expect hot tanpin like gyoza, Chef’s special dishes, tempura, bento, katsu curry, donburi and more. For those seeking an authentic taste of Japan, Hakataya is an absolute delight.
📍122 Rose St S Ln, Edinburgh, EH2 4BB, United Kingdom
Yamato offers a tantalizing array of dishes that will leave you craving more. From meticulously crafted sushi to A5 wagyu beef, as well as their signature grilled aubergine with a velvety miso sauce and BBQ Eel Rice. With its cosy and immaculate ambience, Yamato provides the perfect setting to indulge in the authentic flavours of Japan.
📍11 Lochrin Terrace, Edinburgh, EH3 9QJ, United Kingdom
So, if you find yourself in Edinburgh and seeking a break from haggis and whisky, immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Japanese cuisine, because Edinburgh’s Japanese restaurants are ready to take you on a journey you won’t forget.