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The 16 best Japanese restaurants in Edinburgh 2024

Edinburgh is home to a diverse food scene, and Japanese cuisine has made a significant impact on the city's culinary landscape. With an array of authentic sushi bars, ramen joints, and izakayas, there is no shortage of fantastic Japanese restaurants to choose from. Whether you're craving fresh sashimi, hearty bowls of ramen, or perfectly crafted sushi rolls, Edinburgh has it all. Here, we'll explore the 16 best Japanese restaurants in the city.

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Table of Contents

1. Harajuku Kitchen

This popular spot is a local favourite and has been awarded an official rosette by the AA. They serve traditional Japanese family recipes that have been passed down for generations, with the usual suspects like gyoza, curry and noodles showing up. Everything is delicious, and you’ve got to try their sushi!

10 Gillespie Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4HS, harajukukitchen.co.uk

2. Yamato

Classic Japanese food gets a contemporary upgrade at Yamato. They use the best quality ingredients to make unfussy dishes, including authentic sushi, tempura and wagyu beef. The menu is split into 5 sections – sushi, tempura, teppan, classics and specials. You’ll also find a lot of dishes that are hard to come by in the UK, including sea urchin and otoro (a belly cut of blue fin tuna). The setting is intimate and relaxed, 

 11 Lochrin Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 9QJ, yamatosushiedinburgh.co.uk/

3. Chizuru Tei

This trendy spot is away from the main tourist area, but handy for those working in the financial district or traveling through Haymarket Station. They do all the classics, including teriyaki, tempura, ramen, teppanyaki, and katsu, but their sushi really shines. If you can’t choose what to get, go for one of their sets which will include some of their best picks. Don’t forget pudding, where you can get yummy apple gyoza with green tea or sesame ice cream

278 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8DT, chizurutei.co.uk

4. Kenji Sushi

Here you’ll find delicious sushi rolls, traditional Japanese dishes and some unique options like their softshell crab tempura and eel futomaki roll. The portions are generous, with beautiful presentation and some unique flavour pairings like the deep fried king prawns with wasabi mayo.

24 Deanhaugh St, Edinburgh EH4 1LY, kenjisushi.com

5. UMI Japanese Cuisine

UMI is a great all rounder for sushi and Japanese food. They do everything from sushi, miso, ramen, tempura and rice dishes. The decor is chic but cosy, with red paper lanterns and murals on the walls. A lot of their dishes have a European twist, like salmon paired with cranberry and passion fruit, or yellow tail with jalapeno. The must try here is the ramen, with their broth cooked for over 20 hours and containing homemade noodles made with love. 

12-14 Chapel St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9AY, umiedinburgh.com

6. Hibiki

You’ll find Hibiki in the basement of 45 North Castle Street. Inspired by the owner’s love of Japanese Izakaya culture, head here for drinks, a snack or a full meal and have a good time. They have a nice range of sushi and small plates, including vegetarian options. If you want a full meal, try their ramen, katsu curry, teriyaki or yakisoba.

45 N Castle St, Edinburgh EH2 3BG, hibiki-japanese.co.uk

7. Kanpai

If you want Japanese food in Edinburgh for a special occasion, Kanpai is a good pick. It’s also close to the theatre district, and has been recommended in the Michelin Guide and won several awards. Choose a table at the sushi bar and tucked away in a booth, and enjoy their exquisitely presented food. Expect huge bowls of sashimi served on crushed ice, and hand rolls in wooden holders. Everything is served in rustic earthenware, adding a stylish touch to your email. 

8-10 Grindlay St, Edinburgh EH3 9AS, kanpaisushiedinburgh.co.uk

8. Maki & Ramen

This is a popular casual food chain that has four locations around Edinburgh. They make comforting homemade ramen, with a huge range of toppings including sashimi and lobster. They have some great side dishes, bento boxes and loads of fresh sushi to have on the side. It’s also one of the best places on the list for vegetarians. Keep an eye on their social media for their sushi making masterclasses!

37 Leith St, Edinburgh EH1 3AT, makiramen.com

9. Hope Izakaya

This family owned Japanese BBQ bar and restaurant has one of the largest offerings of Japanese food that you’ll find in Scotland. The food ranges from traditional Japanese BBQ to udon soup and omurice, with plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians. Don’t miss out on their cocktails, with many using sake or Japanese whisky as a key component.

40-41 Queensferry St, Edinburgh EH2 4RA, hopeomurisu-izakaya.com

10. Satoru

Specialising in crispy tempura, Satoru is in the heart of the old town. The restaurant itself has a beautiful, on-trend, minimalist design. The owner lived in japan and ahs cooked in restaurants in Hong Kong and Edinburgh’s Maki & Ramen, and combines his knowledge of cooking with his grandmother’s best recipes. 

45 St Patrick Square, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9ET, satoru-106577.square.site

11. Ikigai Ramen

This snug noodle house serves homemade ramen and other Japanese staples. They use only the highest quality ingredients, with bouncy, chewy noodles, broth cooked for over 8 hours, and delicious toppings. Meat lovers can pick between chasu pork or fried chicken, whilst veggies will enjoy shiitake mushroom and tofu versions. Get some gyoza & takoyaki on the side, and you’re sorted!

13 W Crosscauseway, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9JW, ikigairamen.co.uk

12. Hakataya

Claiming to be Scotland’s original Tonkotsu ramen spot, this cosy restaurant is a great spot to end a busy day on Princes Street. It’s tucked way off Rose Street, and stepping in feels like you’ve entered Tokyo. Their menu is simple, with dishes like ramen, beautifully presented sushi, noodles, teriyaki and delicious gyoza. Their noodles are made from scratch, and you can customise your ramen depending on richness and spice. 

122 Rose St S Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4BB, hakatayauk.com

13. Sakae Japanese Restaurant

This relatively new spot on Buccleuc street serves okonomiyaki, sushi, and authentic Japanese food. Okonomiyaki is a delicious Japanese pancake, usually topped with white cabbage, batter, nori, mayo, bonito flakes and spring onions. Here you can choose to add beef, pork, squid or prawns too! They also do special seafood, kimchi and cheese versions. For the classics, they have 3 types of ramen, curry udon, udon soup and a yummy range of appetisers. 

117 Buccleuch St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9NG, sakae.co.uk

14. MIRIN

This popular restaurant formerly known as Gulp has been rebranded and named after the Japanese kitchen staple. The menu here is a mix of Japanese, Korean, Thai, Scottish, and Chinese cuisine to create imaginative fusion dishes. For example, they do katsu pork cutlets made using chasu shoulder, American cheese, crispy vinegar wonton, pickled daikon and brioche; a bowl of quirky dirty rice (egg fried sushi rice with vegetables, curry sauce, “dirty” egg, nori mayo, spring onion, chilli sauce and puffed potato)

9 Albert Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, EH75HN, mirin.uk/menu

15. Kaptain Karaage

This street food spot at 5 West Tollcross is part of a trio of shipping containers serving amazing takeaway dishes. Their main focus is on delicate but cripsy fried chicken, served with three soy rich sauces. Veggies can go for the cauliflower version, which adds a fresh touch. 

For a twist, they also do karrage and wagyu hot dogs, topped with slow cooked onions, plenty of sauce and spring onions. 

5 W Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9QN, kaptainkaraage.co.uk

16. Hope Omurisu

Something for those on the Southside who want to try something new, Hope Omurisu does amazing Japanese BBQ. The look of the restaurant is great, with painted lanterns, bamboo decor, and bustling activity. 

Their menu features barbeque meat skewers, like bacon with tomato, ox tongue, and rolled beef with enoki mushrooms. Vegetarians aren’t forgotten, with options like their corn tofu curd or king oyster mushroom skewer.

The dish they are named after, omurisu, is a great pick. It’s a classic homemade omelette – choose whether to add cheese and toppings like chicken, cod and veg.

80 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, hope-omurisu.com

Is sushi good in Edinburgh?

Yes, sushi in Edinburgh is quite good! There are a number of highly rated sushi restaurants throughout the city, offering a variety of fresh and delicious options. From traditional nigiri and sashimi to creative rolls and fusion dishes, there is something for every sushi lover in Edinburgh. Whether you’re craving classic or contemporary sushi, you’ll find a satisfying meal at one of the city’s top sushi spots.

What should I order at an authentic Japanese restaurant?

When dining at an authentic Japanese restaurant, consider ordering classic dishes like sushi, sashimi, tempura, or teriyaki. Try opting for a variety of nigiri and maki rolls to experience different flavors and textures. Don’t forget to pair your meal with some traditional Japanese tea or sake for a complete cultural dining experience. And don’t be afraid to ask the server for recommendations or try something new!

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