The 9 Best Sushi Restaurants in London to Suit Every Budget
Though sushi isn’t — and shouldn’t ever be — an ultra-budget choice of foodstuff (we should at least be confident we’re not going to kill ourselves), it’s true that London has about as much variety as you’d ever want when it comes to sashimi, nigiri and… those ones in the little seaweed cones*. Yes, you can blow about as much as it’s possible to blow at the top end, but there are plenty of more reasonable ways to get your sushi fix, in all parts of town. Here’s our pick of the best.
Asakusa has maintained a deeply loyal following for many years in this unassuming corner of Camden, and produces Nobu-like main courses such as black cod and miso alongside a generous — and incredibly good value — selection of sashimi and nigiri. Despite the price point, the sushi is never anything less than fresh and vibrant, and presented well. Surroundings leave a little to be desired, but who cares when the food is this good?
Asakusa, 265 Eversholt Street, NW1 1BA
A jack-of-all-trades, the mini-chain Eat Tokyo does everything from ramen to udon, via soba and tempura, to bento boxes and yakitori. Normally this would be a recipe for disaster, but actually, the food is very good, and very good value, hence the huge numbers of people who flock to the branches in Fitzrovia, Soho and seven other spots around the capital every day. They offer a decent variety of the usual sushi — yellowtail, salmon, tuna, squid — all of which is served with a brusque efficiency. Booking is possible, but most seem to just chance their luck and turn up; turnover is pretty rapid.
Eat Tokyo, Notting Hill; Soho; Holborn; Hammersmith;
Aimed at the lunchtime work crowd, Sato’s two branches (Bermondsey and Old Street) focus on bento boxes, the little variety trays of bite-size Japanese delicacies usually involving sushi in a number of forms and seaweed/salad. Freshly made and stuffed full of interesting bits and pieces, most boxes are available for £7-9, which is incredible value for a proper, thoughtfully made Japanese lunch. There’s every chance these two branches will be the first of many — a development we wholeheartedly support.
Mission Sato, 6 St. Agnes Well, London EC1Y 1BE; 37 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XT
Residents of South Wimbledon must have been dancing with joy when their unassuming little corner of London was suddenly host to one of the finest sushi joints in town. Takahashi is, unlike so many smart Japanese restaurants, friendly and informal and yet serves a near-enough perfect succession of thoughtful and immaculately-presented tempura, nigiri and tataki, with the occasional rare delicacy of king crab or native oysters as the seasons allow. It’s wildly popular, as you might imagine (where else are you going to eat in South Wimbledon) but you can book, which takes some of the stress out. Highly recommended.
Takahashi, 228 Merton Road, SW19 1EQ
‘Mid-range’ is a relative concept with regards to sushi, but we’re fairly confident you could get away with spending around £50 a head at this friendly Tottenham Court Road restaurant, if you chose wisely from the À La Carte menu and took it easy on the drinks list. The miso soup with clam is well worth trying, and any sashimi/nigiri is lovingly prepared before your eyes by Masayki Kikuchi, who’s been doing his thing since 1998. Of course, you could throw caution to the wind and do the £100 omakase. That’s entirely up to you.
Kikuchi, 14 Hanway Street, W1T 1UD
The best value way of trying Cubé is at lunchtime — a sushi set is £20, and they do a very accomplished bento for the same including salad and a pot of miso soup. But even in the evening, you can choose nine pieces of Nigiri, fluffy body-temperature rice topped with stunning otoro, yellow-tail and tuna, for £25, which seems incredibly good value to us. If you can, grab a seat at the bar, where you can see the nimble-fingered work of head chef Osamu Mizuno (ex- of Nobu and Sake no Hana) up close. Read our full review of Cubé here.
Cubé, 4 Blenheim Street, W1S 1LB
— Michelin (@MichelinTyres) October 2, 2017
There’s high-end, there’s super-high-end, and there’s The Araki. Recently celebrating winning a third Michelin star (only London’s third restaurant to do so), there’s no point pretending this exclusive nine-seater restaurant in Mayfair is anything other than a splurge. The food alone, without service, is £300, and there’s not a bottle of wine (or sake) under £50, so this is firmly in the once-in-a-lifetime category of dinners. But those lucky enough to have experienced it say it’s nothing short of transcendental.
The Araki, Unit 4, 12 New Burlington Street, W1S 3BF
The Restaurant That Doesn’t Exist. Well, technically it does, only it’s so stratospherically impossible to get a table these days it may as well just be a figment of our collective imagination. We have vague memories of eating here, a few years ago, before the hype machine was in full swing, and eating an exciting and delicate procession of lovingly hand-pressed nigiri under the careful eyes of husband and wife team Harumi and Toru Takahashi. But then again, perhaps we dreamed it.
Sushi Tetsu, 12 Jerusalem Passage, EC1V 4JP
When Nobu Matsuhisa first set up shop in the Metropolitan Hotel in Park Lane in the 1990s, introducing the Britpop glitterati to immaculately presented sushi and sashimi, it ushered in a new era of obsession with Japanese food in the capital. Today, it has to be acknowledged, their food doesn’t quite have the cutting edge it once did, but their restaurants are undeniably still cool places to see and be seen, their staff as willowy and sculptured as ever, and there’s still quite a good chance of spotting a celeb ducking past the paparazzi outside into a waiting car. And sometimes, it’s worth paying the extra just for that.
Nobu, 19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB; 15 Berkeley Street, W1J 8DY; 10–50 Willow Street, EC2A 4BH