Japanese food is perfect for all seasons, dining occasions and dietary requirements. Fresh fish on a hot day, sushi for lunch, share plates for a night out with friends, ramen to warm your soul on a winter’s eve? The options are endless. Auckland has so many great spots to pick from, here are some of our favourites:
116-118 Quay Street, Auckland CBD
Ebisu has large and small plates, perfect for sharing or keeping all to yourself. Or you can go for the set menu with a date or friends and try a bit of everything. They pair traditional dishes with flavour packed sauces.
Britomart/ City Works/ New Market/ Smales Farm
Despite the name, &Sushi has a lot of other options like donburi, ramen and udon available. This is a definite dine-in experience as the food is literal art. Impress the #friend who needs to Instagram every meal. The bright edible flowers, brushes of complementing sauces alongside the delicate ribbons of cucumber laced around the plate make for a delightfully distinctive dining experience.
26 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn
Azabu has inspiring menus, filled with mouth-watering fresh and fried combinations you won’t find anywhere else. Which is perfectly balanced with more traditional finds, to satiate that one fussy friend. Heirloom tomatoes, lemon-mayo, jalapeno, mint, basil, almond and coriander? Yes please! King salmon, passionfruit, leche de tigre, coconut crème and crispy spaghetti squash? Sign me up.
Genzui Ramen Bar
Atrium On Elliott 21-25 Elliott Street, Auckland CBD
Nestled deep within Elliot Stables, Genzui Ramen is not to be overlooked. With 23 different ramen options, a dozen donburi bowls, seafood and sides – you’re sure to find something that satiates. Pro tip: if you’re dining in the afternoon, get in before or after the lunch rush!
Tanuki Restaurant/Tanuki’s Cave
319 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
Tanuki’s is an Auckland staple. If you’re going out to a show, are out late with friends or want a special or casual spot for a date – Tanuki’s has you covered. The Cave downstairs is a large Yakitori restaurant that holds an R21 license. It’s best suited for the fun/casual crowd and they have a lot of small plates and sake options. Upstairs is the formal private dining experience with course menus for the chef to guide you through.