“Where can I find good affordable sushi in London?” Japanophiles who want a great sushi experience without breaking the bank, read on!
With a huge diversity of cuisine and the sixth most Michelin restaurants of any city in the world, London’s food scene has a lot to offer. That being said, there has been a perception that decent sushi is hard to find, at least at a lower price point. Aberrations like Yo! Sushi certainly don’t help. Hovering under the radar, however, are some good affordable sushi restaurants and cafes, many of which are run by London’s Japanese community. Here are some of them.
If you’re looking for good affordable sushi in London, Eat Tokyo is a good place to start. This is a Japanese restaurant chain with eight restaurants in London, including Hammersmith, Soho and Holborn, as well as three in Tokyo. The chain emphasises authenticity and if the Japanese are eating it at home, you can probably trust Eat Tokyo’s claims. There’s yummy bento boxes and other Japanese food alongside a good selection of sushi, and you can wash it down with some sake or another Japanese alcohol.
Eat Tokyo Hammersmith
Sushi on Jones
In Japanese food culture, Omakase (loosely translated as “leave it to me”) is when you let the restaurant choose what you’re eating. Perhaps the idea might be a bit much for the type A Cheapos out there, but if you’re up for trying something new, Omakase can be a great way to find new favourite foods you may not have otherwise discovered, under the guidance of an expert hand. Originally from New York, Sushi on Jones is an Omakase restaurant in Kings Cross. With a £48.00 Omakase, it’s slightly more expensive than the other options on this list, but given that it gets you 12 courses, Sushi on Jones earns its place on this list.
Sushi on Jones
Once you have eaten at Kulukulu, you will never go back to Yo! Sushi for conveyor belt sushi. With three locations in central London, Kulukulu is a kaiten sushi restaurant, which means you wait for the sushi plates to come to you via a conveyor belt. The feel is homely, the décor unpretentious, and kaiten sushi restaurants don’t require attentive waiters, which is probably what keeps the prices down at Kulukulu while maintaining quality of the food. Be aware that in busy times you will only be able to stay for 45 minutes, but as you won’t be waiting for service, it’s more than enough time. Cheapo tip: enjoy the unlimited free green tea.
Kulukulu Brewer Street
Those who like to cook Japanese food at home will know Atariya as a great chain of small supermarkets to buy Japanese groceries. But if you want to eat sushi instead of make it yourself, two Atariyas have sushi bars as well as shops, Atariya Café Japan in Golders Green and Atariya Sushi Hendon in north west London. These are both great value little restaurants with basic setups; instead of paying for plush seating you are paying for good quality sushi. And as Atariya is also a wholesaler supplying many of London’s Japanese restaurants, they can make a good claim to the quality of their fish.
Atariya Café Japan
If you had to pick one area for good affordable sushi in London, Islington would probably be it. There’s a lot of decent sushi restaurants within walking distance of Angel and Highbury and Islington stations, but Zen Mondo offers some of the best value for money. This cosy restaurant offers fresh Japanese food with a modern twist, as well as some of the best Kansai style Chirashi in London. You can also view and purchase work by Japanese artist Akemi at Zen Mondo.
Akari is another Islington favourite, serving sushi in an historical Victorian pub! Appropriate to the venue, Akari is an Izakaya, Japan’s answer to British gastropub culture. Be aware that, like Izakaya in Japan, Akari doesn’t serve main courses as such, rather small plates of various types of Japanese food. The sushi plates are great and as you would expect there’s a great variety of Japanese beer and spirits on offer. Prices are reasonable, go for a variation on your standard boozy/foodie night out.
Okko is a chilled out Izakaya in Broadway Market serving both Japanese food and fusion from the Japanese diaspora in Brazil and Hawaii. As well as the Sashimi, Nigiri and Sushi Rolls, be sure to check out the fish tacos and poke. This is also a great destination for vegan Cheapos.
This cash-only Japanese/Korean restaurant is tiny, walk-in only and incredibly popular with the locals, so be prepared to queue, and then get cosy with your fellow diners. Prices are very reasonable, so grab some friends and order a feast.
With an original site in Camden Passage and a later one in Shoreditch, Sushi Show is slowly getting the recognition it deserves. Owned and run by a professional fish supplier, the sushi is as fresh as it is going to get. The shops are part take-away, part Japanese grocery store and part sushi bar, with only a couple of counter seats; they are worth getting though, for the off-menu specials made to order in front of you.
Fusion restaurant with good, affordable sushi – £4 for a soft shell crab temaki, anyone? – and sushi sets. Nothing too fancy but all the basics you want when the need for sushi strikes. Cheapos, take note.