Flavours of Toronto: Japanese restaurants that bring the best izakaya, sushi and ramen to Toronto

Among Torontonians, Japanese food is almost always a favourite, if not for the fresh ingredients and awesome prices (sometimes), then for the huge diversity that’s available in Japanese-style cooking.

From izakaya to sushi to ramen, here are 10 of the best Japanese restaurants in Toronto:

Sushi

Sushi Couture

Probably the Annex‘s best sushi restaurant is Sushi Couture, an unassuming eatery on Bloor with ridiculously fresh and high quality fish. The presentation is lovely and the prices, moderate.

JaBistro

The Entertainment District‘s sushi hotspot for suits is JaBistro, an upscale restaurant with artistically prepared sushi, many of which are blowtorched. The aburi is a fan favourite, but be prepared to pay a healthy sum for what you get.

Simon Sushi

A little hole in the wall on Spadina, Simon Sushi’s staff are friendly, and their sushi is fresh and delicious, and sometimes comes with free side dishes. It’s great for lunch or for take out.

Nami Japanese Restaurant

Big portions are one of the best features at Nami in downtown Toronto, as are the kimonos on the servers, the traditionally Japanese decor and the friendly staff here. The prices are on the higher side.

Kotta Japanese

Kotta isn’t anything fancy, but the sushi is great and the prices are good. Located near Liberty Village, it has a huge variety of decently priced rolls, combo plates and sashimi dishes.

 

Izakaya

Kinka Izakaya

The homey wooden walls inside Kinka’s original location on Church add to the great atmosphere in here, which lights up in the evening thanks to its robust selection of sakes, yummy side plates and crazy staff that are always shouting. It’s loud, but it’s well-loved.

Zakkushi

With three locations in Toronto, Zakkushi does a yakitori-style Japanese tapas experience, with great salads, decent prices, a fun atmosphere and traditional decor. Their izakaya spot is on Carlton at Ontario.

 

Ramen

Kinton Ramen

Kinton now has five locations in TO, which kind of speaks to it being an institution for ramen lovers in the city. They have a good variety of ramen, including chicken ramen and gluten-free options.

Sansotei Ramen

Super busy Sansotei Ramen is a mecca among Toronto ramen connoisseurs, especially at lunch time. The prices are very reasonable and they have two TO locations (one on Dundas, one on Yonge) and another in Markham.

Santouka Ramen

Another insanely busy spot for ramen, Santouka’s portions are large and the noodles are fresh – but here’s a pro tip: order your ramen with less salt. Santouka has several locations in Japan, and their Toronto restaurant is in the Garden District.

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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