Searching for the finest and most authentic Japanese restaurants in Auckland? Wanting something more than just the same old sushi dishes? Then use ViewAuckland.co.nz's list of the best Auckland restaurants serving Japanese cuisine - from freshly made teppanyaki to some of the silkiest sashimi in town, our Japanese restaurant recommendations will introduce you to a whole new world of Japanese dining experiences.
While we all love ourselves some tasty Japanese food, it isn't uncommon for Japanese restaurants in Auckland to be more traditional or old-fashioned in nature. For all those seeking out a different and more urban experience without compromising authenticity here in Auckland, there's Morningside's Sake Bar 601. Chef and owner Hiroshi Miyata lives cooking, as is evident from the way he treats the food that he gives life to, even hand-picking the seafood and produce served in the restaurant at the markets every morning.
Although the traditional Japanese dishes Hiroshi cooks up are impeccable, don't shove aside altogether his Western-influenced menu; we assure you that he does some amazing things with the dishes from that end of the menu, too. Coupled with maitre d' Gen Ogata's polished service and the carefully curated list of Japanese sake and spirits available, the warm, personal East meets West approach of Sake Bar 601 is something you wouldn't find else where in Auckland.
601 New North Road,
While Bian Sushi and Donburi isn't exactly refined or premium quality Japanese cuisine, if you're looking for cheap yet fresh Japanese food around Auckland, Bian Sushi would be your best bet. Despite being what some may consider a run-of-the-mill sushi takeaway joint, Bian Sushi and Donburi has deservedly got a cult following of its own thanks to the classic sushi and donburi produced by this Auckland restaurant's dedicated kitchen staff.
183 Symonds Street,
Cocoro is one of the most celebrated Japanese restaurant newcomers here in Auckland - and it's no surprise, considering the fresh flavours and dynamic twists Cocoro is bringing to the Japanese cuisine dining arena here in Auckland. This little sister to Soto holds its own in the Auckland up-scale eatery scene, with Soto's Makoto Takuyama now heading the Cocoro kitchen team and bringing to this end of central Auckland the same painstaking attention to detail and fusion sensibility he championed back in Soto.
56A Brown Street,
Although the Haru No Yume in Victoria Park had been receiving lots of positive hearsay here in Auckland, we thought we'd send some love to the pioneering Haru No Yume in Mt Eden too. Despite only setting up in 2009, Haru No Yume's heartfelt food had gained so much popularity amongst Auckland locals that it had opened it's second branch in Victoria Park which, thankfully, lives up to the standards of its original in Mt Eden. This Japanese restaurant serves classical Japanese food - there isn't anything overly adventurous about their menu, but what they do they do with absolute gutso.
405 Mt Eden Road,
North Shore Japanese restaurant representative, Hayashi Japanese Restaurant certainly doesn't pale in comparison to the other central Auckland restaurants listed here. This Birkenhead local deserve to be known as more than just a regular Japanese local, really, with glorious exotics such as karai buta shogayaki - a char grilled spicy pork dish - and oyster tempura executed to perfection (we're salivating ourselves, just typing the dishes on their menu out!). Approved and acknowledged by the Metro Magazine, Hayashi Japanese Restaurant cooks up creative, light and very distinctive dishes that will make you look at Japanese cuisine in a different light.
Now, who said that the North Shore was lacking culinary-wise to the rest of Auckland?
261 Hinemoa Street,
Both lavish and comforting at the same time, Kura Japanese Sake Bar is one of the prime upmarket Japanese dining spots in Auckland. The unassuming would walk past Kura Japanese Sake Bar's front door without even giving it so much as a glance, but we seasoned Auckland trawlers know better, don't we? Part of the joy in dining at Kura is the spacious and decorative dining area - complete with elaborate kimonos hung on the walls - that extends beyond its discreet entrance. The refined Japanese foods and collection of sakes are unforgettable too, so when you book yourself in, you're guaranteed for a pampering Japanese experience.
315B Queen Street,
Celebrated chef Nic Watt brings his passion for flavour and dedication to detail to Auckland with MASU, his new Japanese robata bar and restaurant in the Federal Street Dining Precinct.
The role model for the cheap and cheerful boisterous Japanese restaurant category, the love the people of Auckland openly have for Nishiki Robata-Yaki Bar isn't much of a secret today. It is close to impossible to garner yourself a walk-in table at this Japanese Auckland favourite on weekend nights, which only goes to prove what a big hit this restaurant is. We couldn't be more thankful that even after a decade, Nishiki Robata-Yaki Bar continues to delight us with the large selection of old favourites that you wouldn't be able to find elsewhere in Auckland, such as their infamous BBQ mushroom chicken or the unforgettable unagi tempura!
100 Wellington Street,
Soto Japanese Garden Restaurant hardly needs any introduction in the Auckland dining arena, what with the multiple awards it had been collecting over the past few years. Seated on the far end of the Ponsonby strip, this Japanese restaurant will charm you with the delectable fusion Japanese dishes - Soto does call its food New Style Japanese Cuisine, after all. While not traditionally Japanese, Soto Japanese Garden Restaurant deserves a spot in our Auckland Japanese restaurant recommendations because of its seamless blend of Japanese and Western cooking.
13 St Marys Road,
Like most tapas styled restaurants, dining at Taiko Japanese Restaurant & Bar could get pretty pricey, but if you're in for a special night out or celebrating a special occasion, this Kingland restaurant is your place in Auckland. Taiko Japanese Restaurant & Bar is arguably one of the most notable Japanese restaurants in Auckland, especially considering it's ability to withstand the test of time and fickle preferences of Auckland diners over the years. This Auckland based Japanese restaurant is constantly praised for its classic execution in food prep, so drop by this Kingsland institution and taste for yourself why this local had been raved about by its loyal punters, even after all these years.
460A New North Road,