Taste of Tokyo: The Best Japanese Restaurants in Wellington

A plate of sushi.

Fresh, fast, and always filled with flavour, Japanese cuisine is a winner for any occasion.

Words by: John Son

Photo by: Stock

Walk into any office at lunchtime, and chances are, at least one person is tucking into a pack of sushi. A quick, healthy meal that packs a surprising array of flavours, it’s no surprise this Japanese treat is a tried and tested choice.

Best of all, sushi is a mere sampler when it comes to the joys of Japanese cuisine, which ranges from delightfully crispy tempura and umami-rich ramen to sizzling yakitori and everything in between. Here are some of the best places in Wellington for your sushi or sashimi fix. Itadakimasu!

Tatsushi

19 Edward Street, Te Aro

At the end of one of Wellington’s favourite hidden laneways, you’ll find Tatsushi, a revered name in Wellington’s Japanese scene. With a slick black palette that runs through the space inside and out, the menu here is as classy as the fitout. The sashimi selection is one of the finest in town, and don’t skimp on the tempura either - the agedashi tofu is exceptional. 

 

Kazaguruma

272 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Situated in the upper reaches of Cuba Street, Kazaguruma comprises a cosy dining room where you’ll find one of the most special eating experiences in Wellington. While the a la carte selection is on point, Kazaguruma’s set menus are clearly the showpiece, treating you to a delightful cross-section of the signature flavours of Japan. Add on the sake pairing for a truly authentic experience.

 

 

Angry Ramen

44 The Terrace, Wellington Central

One of the more ‘cheap and cheerful’ Japanese offerings in Wellington, Angry Ramen on the Terrace delivers big bowls of goodness that really pack on the flavours. Whether it’s ramen, donburi, or just a few pieces of sushi you’re after, it’s the place to go for simple Japanese fare done well. If you’re having trouble choosing, the daily specials menu will have you sorted.

 

Arashi Kushiyaki Bar

41 Courtenay Place, Te Aro

With a fitout that’s among the most authentically Japanese in town (think tatami seating on the floor), Arashi is a warm and inviting space that serves up no-nonsense yet delicious Japanese classics. The set meals (bento box-style combos) are a specialty here. As an added bonus, it’s a BYO-friendly restaurant, so pack a bottle of vino with you.

Origami

158 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Generous servings of Japanese food with a patisserie selection to finish - could there be a more tempting combination? You can get the best of both worlds at Origami, which has a dessert cabinet that could rival some of the best bakeries in town. The Japanese curry at Origami is a standout pick, as is the tom yum ramen.

Miyabi

3/148 Willis Street, Te Aro

Located in the heart of the Willis Street Village, Miyabi is a quaint little restaurant that not only serves fantastic Japanese dishes but has also been around for well over 20 years. With that sort of longevity comes unparalleled experience, and you can tell the food here is prepared with loving care, whether it’s the extensive list of donburi bowls or the yakiudon range.

Kazu Sushi

173a Cuba Street, Te Aro

Sushi trains are an underrated joy of Japanese cuisine, and Kazu Sushi on Cuba Street is a great place to enjoy this unique dining experience. Just park up by the conveyor belt as small plates of sushi, sashimi, tempura, and other delectable morsels make their way over to you. As far as dining out goes, it doesn’t get much easier than this.

 

Neat Wellington Places

Milk + Ginger

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Place Kāpiti Coast Paraparaumu
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A hub of quality, affordable fashion and lifestyle in the heart of Raumati Beach, Milk + Ginger is a store well worth visiting when in town.

Commonsense Wellington City

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For all things organic, Commonsense Organics is the place to visit – and luckily for Wellingtonians there are four stores to choose from.

The Wilderness

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Place Kāpiti Coast Paraparaumu Editor's Pick
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A Kāpiti Coast provider of stunning florals and indoor plants, The Wilderness is your go-to for any occasion that requires a bunch.

Bottega

New Italian deli food shop Bottega.
Place Wellington
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Authentic Italian delicatessen Bottega is borne from a desire to bring a taste of home to the neighbourly suburb of Berhampore,