There’s no shortage of Japanese restaurants in Downtown Edmonton, from sushi houses to ramen shops to bbq joints.
Dorinku Osaka, 10328 Jasper Avenue
It’s beautiful inside this upmarket Japanese restaurant, but Dorinku Osaka definitely has a split personality. One half of the restaurant has loads of natural wood elements, bonsai trees and clean minimalism that allows the food and service to take centre stage. The other side takes you to the streets of Osaka where you’ll find lantern decorations, pachinko arcade games and kawara roof tiles. Menu favourites include okonomiyaki, yakitori, katsu sandu and an expansive selection of sushi and sashimi. Don’t forget to head to the back of this restaurant to slurp some of Downtown’s best ramen bowls inside a secret ramen shop.
Tanuki Kyoto Sushi, 10128 109 Street
This bustling restaurant can get quite busy at peak times so securing a table can be tricky, but it’s worth the effort to dine at Tanuki Kyoto Sushi. Go hard on the maki rolls. There are 25 kinds, but the Rainbow, rolled with avocado, salmon, tuna, shrimp, snapper and masago, makes a brilliant all-rounder.
I Love Sushi, 10106 105 Street
I Love Sushi gets busy at lunch with office workers so it’s best to head there after five for a guaranteed seat. Prime your palate with miso soup and then segue into the sushi – it practically melts in your mouth.
Japanese Village, 10238 104 Street
This Canadian chain needs no introduction among fans of Japanese steakhouses. Japanese Village is anchored by a smoking teppanyaki iron griddle and chefs who will do all sorts of knife tricks when grilling up your steak and shrimp.
Let’s Grill Sushi & Izakaya, 10709 Jasper Avenue
The snacks at Let’s Grill Sushi & Izakaya evoke flavours of Japan so brilliantly. As the name suggests, there’s a focus on grilled dishes. It’s well worth your attention to order one of their nine skewers – some you’ve never tried before such as pork belly, butter corn, okra or zucchini.
Yoshi, 10009 107 Street
With its faux marble tiled floor and wood panelling, Yoshi feels decidedly upscale, but you soon learn that this place is very approachable. The friendly staff guide you through an extensive menu that features sashimi, udon noodles, ramen and nigiri like toro, butterfish, salmon belly and barbeque eel.
Misoya Ramen, 10146 104 Street
Michelin-recommended Misoya Ramen offers nearly 20 takes on Ramen, from classic pork to spicy broths to chicken to vegetarian offerings. And, yes, they have Japanese soda with the fancy glass-ball stoppers.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, 10416 Jasper Avenue
Expect an all-around solid yakiniku-style experience at Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ. Select proteins, such as skirt steak, short rib, pork belly, chicken thighs, marinate them in several sauces and then cook the meat yourself over your personal grill. It’s basically a Japanese version of Korean barbecue. The best deal is a two-item lunch with salad, rice and soup sides for under $15.
Mikado Sushi & Robata, 10350 109 Street
Mikado is one of Alberta’s oldest Japanese restaurants founded in 1972. Most customers come here for the best sushi and sashimi in Downtown Edmonton, but other options, such as the chicken yakitori and BBQ squid will have you vowing to return.