Melbourne japanese restaurant 1

19 Best Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne

Eating at the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne means indulgence without overindulgence. That’s because unlike say American diner food, Japanese cuisine is an exercise in exploration, presentation, harmony and, quite often, restraint–your meal will commonly be parsed out in small bites, giving you room to pace yourself and digest.

As a result, you leave satisfied, but rarely feeling as though you’ve been stuffed via feeding tube. We like to call it quality through quantity, and the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne can muster have the method down cold. So pull up a chair, order some sake, grab those chopsticks and try a little of everything without resorting to overkill.

Here is a list of the 19 Best Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne.

The Best of Mexican Restaurants in Melbourne

  • Best for Dietary Restrictions / Preferences: Wabi Sabi Salon
  • Best for Ramen: Yoku Ono Ramen + Sake
  • Best for Service: Ocha
  • Best for Sushi: Kenzan

How We Chose This List

This list was compiled through personal experience and online research, as well as through commentary from food critics and expert restaurant reviews.

Wabi sabi 1

Image: Wabi Sabi Salon

1. Wabi Sabi Salon

Best for: Dietary Restrictions / Preferences

Resembling the kind of cosy and unpretentious nook you might find down a back-alley in Tokyo, Wabi Sabi Salon in Collingwood uses fresh, local ingredients to deliver massive flavours at affordable prices. A favourite among vegetarians and carnivores alike, this is one of the best Japanese restaurants Melbourne calls it own. Bring a group and try it all, or stop by for lunch and order one of their legendary bento boxes.

What We Like: Vegan options!
What We Don’t Like: Slower service.

Address: 94 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066
Phone: 03 9417 6119
Trading Hours: Mon-Tue 12pm-3pm & 5:30pm-9:30pm, Wed-Thu 12pm-3pm & 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-3pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm

Wabi Sabi Salon

Little ramen bar 1

Image: Little Ramen Bar

2. Little Ramen Bar

As the latest global food craze, ramen is now so much more than that thing you ate every day in college so you could spend all your money on beer. For proof, look no further than Little Ramen Bar. With great prices, a limited menu and some of the most delicious ramen in town, this bustling joint is as straightforward as it is satisfying. Pop in to see what all the fuss is about.

What We Like: Great Portions.
What We Don’t Like: Small Venue

Address: 5/346 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9670 5558
Trading Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm & 5:30pm-9:30pm

Little Ramen Bar

Ichi ni izakaya 1

Image: Ichi Ni Izakaya

3. Ichi Ni Izakaya

Ichi Ni Izakaya celebrates our two favourite epicurean mainstays–small bites and alcohol–in spectacular fashion. This wildly popular St. Kilda destination covers all the classics while keeping the prices within reason. Order a fresh pint of beer or a glass of cold sake and pair that with some yakitori and resoundingly fresh sashimi. In other words, indulge to your heart’s content at one of Melbourne’s best Japanese restaurants.

What We Like: The cocktails.
What We Don’t Like: Slower service.

Address: 12 The Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182
Phone: 03 9534 1212
Trading Hours: Mon-Wed 12pm-3pm & 5pm-9:30pm, Thu 12pm-3pm & 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-10:30pm, Sun 12pm-9:30pm

Ichi Ni Izakaya

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Image: Kazuki’s

4. Kazuki’s

Founded by husband and wife team, Kazuki Tsuya and Saori, Kazuki’s is an acclaimed dining destination and one of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne. The menu allows you to choose from two, three, five or seven courses of heavily curated Euro-Japanese plates.

What We Like: The bento box.
What We Don’t Like: Can get warm inside in the summer.

Address: 121 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Phone: (03) 9349 2223
Trading Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-3pm & 6pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-3pm

Kazuki’s

Izakaya den 1

Image: Izakaya Den

5. Izakaya Den

The name pretty much says it all. Tucked away inside hidden basement digs is Izakaya Den, an absolute haven for good times, great Japanese drinking and food. Once you’ve actually found the place, you’ll want to come back until you’ve tried everything on the menu. Bring a group of friends or impress a date with your knowledge of the Melbourne underground.

What We Like: The atmosphere.
What We Don’t Like: Slow service.

Address: 114 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9654 2977
Trading Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-2:30pm & 5:30pm-11pm, Fri 12pm-2:30pm & 5:30pm-12am, Sat 5:30pm-12am

Izakaya Den

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Image: Kisume

6. Kisume

Ambitious in concept and brilliant in execution, Kisume is three stories of gastronomic splendour. Brought to us from the veritable tastemakers behind the Lucas Group, Kisume eschews the team’s normal blitzkrieg antics in favour of streamlined sophistication, copious variety and unforgettable taste. Choose between the street-level sushi bar, the omakase upstairs or the hot kitchen in the windowless basement, and leave your worries behind at one of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne.

What We Like: The tasting menu.
What We Don’t Like: Expensive alcohol.

Address: 175 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9671 4888
Trading Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-2:30pm & 5pm-10pm, Thu-Sat Sun-Thu 12pm-2:30pm & 5pm-11pm

Kisume

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Image: Ishizuka

7. Ishizuka

This up-market Japanese restaurant in Melbourne is Haute cuisine at its finest. The restaurant has just 16 seats, all situated around a central counter. Ishizuka is a fine purveyor of Kaiseki, which is a time-honoured culinary tradition, similar to a Japanese degustation menu. The process is seasonal, so the nightly set menu will change regularly.

What We Like: Food and wine pairings.
What We Don’t Like: Portions to price ratio.

Address: Basement B01 139 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 8594 0895
Trading Hours: Tues-Sun 5pm-10pm

Kisume

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Image: Minamishima

8. Minamishima

For all the black belt sushi enthusiasts of Melbourne, Minamishima is more than a destination, it’s a mecca. The discreet, omakase-only restaurant is arguably the best Japanese restaurant in Melbourne, and with good reason. Chef Koichi Minamishima’s technique is second to none and his cuisine is some of the tastiest you’ll find outside of Japan. Prepare to drop serious cash and yet still feel like you walked away with a deal.

What We Like: Seasonal omakase.
What We Don’t Like: Portion to price ratio.

Address: 4 Lord St. Richmond, VIC 3121
Phone: +61 3 9429 5180
Trading Hours: Tue-Sat 6pm-10pm

Minamishima

Kenzan 1

Image: Kenzan

9. Kenzan

Best for: Sushi

Decades before the sushi epidemic took the world by storm, Kenzan was serving up mouthwatering slices of fatty bluefin tuna belly and sweet, tenderly grilled eel. To call this place an institution would be an understatement. To call it one of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne is more or less obligatory. Put simply, Kenzan is old school sushi done right.

What We Like: The sushi!
What We Don’t Like: Portion to price ratio.

Address: Collins Place, 45 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9654 8933
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-2:15pm & 6pm-10pm, Sat 6pm-10pm

Kenzan

Komeyui 1

Image: Komeyui

10. Komeyui

Headed by a former Kenzan chef, Komeyui executes Japanese classics with surgical precision and a touch of creative flair. Indeed, sometimes you just want a satisfying, familiar menu–you’ll find that here and then some.

What We Like: The Omakase.
What We Don’t Like: Portion to price ratio.

Address: 396 Bay St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
Phone: 03 9646 2296
Trading Hours: Mon-Sun 12pm-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm

Komeyui

Tokyo tina 1

Image: Tokyo Tina

11. Tokyo Tina

In the hyper-serious world of food culture, it’s always refreshing to encounter a restaurant that kicks back and has a little fun while nevertheless serving killer eats. In that regard, Tokyo Tina duly abides. Inspired by the street food and visuals of Japan, this wildly popular destination keeps the atmosphere festive and the bites tasty, saving any overwrought intensity for the kitchen.

What We Like: The atmosphere.
What We Don’t Like: Slower service.

Address: 66A Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181
Phone: 03 9525 2774
Trading Hours: Sun-Tue 12pm-10pm, Wed-Thu 12pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-11pm

Tokyo Tina

Shoya 1

Image: Shoya

12. Shoya

Between Shoya’s whopping six levels, you’ll find pretty much everything you can think of, including some the best Japanese Melbourne has to offer. You’ll also cop karaoke, fine dining, casual lunches, omakase dinners, full bars, fresh sushi and expertly grilled meats as well. Needless to say, this award-winning palace of degustation begs to be discovered many times over.

What We Like: The set menu.
What We Don’t Like: Not great for dietary restrictions.

Address: 25 Market Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9650 0848
Trading Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-2:30pm & 6pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm

Shoya

Nobu 1

Image: Nobu

13. Nobu

No restaurant is more synonymous with sexy, upscale Japanese dining than Nobu, and their Melbourne outpost is no exception. Located in the Crown Casino, the renowned hotspot delivers brilliant ambience, gorgeous people and delectable Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. The result is an epicurean experience that’s firing on all cylinders, and naturally one of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne.

What We Like: The tacos!
What We Don’t Like: Reservations highly recommended.

Address: Crown Riverwalk, Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: 03 9292 5777
Trading Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-11pm

Nobu

Sake restaurant and bar 1

Image: Sake Restaurant and Bar

14. Sake Restaurant and Bar

Along with sister locations in cities like Sydney, Melbourne’s perennially popular Sake Restaurants have modern dining down to a science. However, don’t take that global franchise potential to mean the food here isn’t spectacular. Indeed, people flock from near and far to try Sake’s array of Japanese fusion dishes while sucking down delicious cocktails. The Hammer Hall location doubles down on the indulgence by way of stunning glass walls and riverside views.

What We Like: The location.
What We Don’t Like: Portion to price ratio.

Address: 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Phone: 03 8687 0775
Trading Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-3pm & 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-3pm & 5pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-10pm

Address: 121 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 1300 670 910
Trading Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-3pm & 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-3pm & 5pm-11pm, Sun 5pm-10pm

Sake

Best Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne - Tempura Hajime

Image: Tempura Hajime

15. Tempura Hajime

Gaining entry to Tempura Hajime is kind of like getting into a secret society, and the experience once inside is no less sacrosanct. Take a seat and let Shigeo Yoshihara seduce your taste buds one dish at a time. This is foodie heaven.

What We Like: The experience.
What We Don’t Like: Smaller portions.

Address: 60 Park St, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Phone: 03 9696 0051
Trading Hours: Tue-Fri 12pm-2pm & 6pm-10pm, Sat 6pm-10pm

Tempura Hajime

Supernormal 1

Image: Supernormal

16. Supernormal

Supernormal isn’t your average Melbourne Japanese restaurant. Offering a fusion between Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures, the Flinders Lane venue is an eclectic mix of atmosphere and indulgence. Here, you’ll find Szechuan-peppers tickling the tongue as some decidedly more dulcet Japanese flavours flow through.

What We Like: The lobster rolls.
What We Don’t Like: Sometimes overbook.

Address: 180 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9650 8688
Trading Hours: Mon-Sun 12pm-11pm

Supernormal

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Image: Eazy Peazy

17. Eazy Peazy

Expect a thriving yakitori menu with wings and salty yuzu spice, paired with some charred leek and miso barramundi. Eazy Peazy is one of the coolest and best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne. What’s more, this eatery also has a pretty great beverage menu, so why not make a whole night out of it.

What We Like: The Yakitori!
What We Don’t Like: Slower service.

Address: 108 Swan Street Richmond VIC 3121
Phone: (03) 9965 1977
Trading Hours: Mon-Wed 5:30pm-11pm, Thurs-Sun 1pm-11pm

Eazy Peazy

Yoku ono ramen sake 1

Image: Yoku Ono Ramen + Sake

18. Yoku Ono Ramen + Sake

Best for: Ramen

This small, traditional-themed ramen bar, features wooden chairs and tables, maintaining an air of calmness while you chow down. Keep an eye out for the eight-hour slow-cooked chicken broth.

What We Like: The ramen.
What We Don’t Like: Slower service.

Address: 6A Anchor Place Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: (03) 9521 4746
Trading Hours: Tues-Fri 12pm-3pm 5:30pm-11pm, Sat 5:30pm-11pm

Yoku Ono Ramen + Sake

Ocha 1

Image: Ocha

19. Ocha

Best for: Service

Ocha is a great combination of old and new, bringing together the traditional Japanese elements with more contemporary characteristics and flavour profiles. You’ll find gyozas, yakisoba and nabeyaki udon, but you’ll also score some crazy concoctions. Best to make a booking.

What We Like: The service.
What We Don’t Like: Portion to price ratio.

Address: 3 Church Street Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: (03) 9853 6002
Trading Hours: Tues-Fri 12pm-2:30pm 6pm-10:30pm

Ocha

Things to Consider for Melbourne’s Japanese Restaurants

The key decision making factors we had in mind while creating this list were:

  • Price – we’re looking for value for money.
  • Variation – menu variety and ability to make changes when needed.
  • Location – whether that be in the center of all the action or somewhere quaint and quiet.
  • Service – good service makes the experience at a restaurant that much more enjoyable.

Alternatives to These Restaurants in Melbourne

If you’re looking for other things to do in and around Melbourne, we’ve got you covered with some of the options listed below. You can also check out our list of Fun Thing To Do in Melbourne. If you’re looking for a more specific cuisine, check out our list of Best Mexican Restaurants in Melbourne or the Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne. If you’re full, we can also help you with your search for the best vintage clothes with our list of the Best Op Shops in Melbourne for Vintage Clothes or show you the Best Beaches in Melbourne for Surfing and Swimming.

What is the best Japanese restaurant in Melbourne?

While there are a number of great Japanese restaurants in Melbourne, Minamishima is the highest rated on Google.

What suburb is the best for Japanese restaurants?

The Melbourne CBD has the highest concentration of Japanese restaurants, particularly around Flinders Lane.

Where can you get the best ramen in Melbourne?

Fitzroy's Neko Neko is the highest rated ramen bar in Melbourne, but there are many great options, particularly in the Melbourne CBD.

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STAFF WRITER

Jacob Osborn

Jacob Osborn is an accomplished author and journalist with over 10 years of experience in the media industry. Jacob holds a Bachelor's degree in English and Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin--Madison and has previously written for Stacker alongside co-authoring a Young Adult novel through Simon & Schuster. Now based in Portland, Oregon, Jacob specialises in entertainment, technology and alcohol reporting. You might find him crate-digging at the nearest record store or sampling whisky at the nearest bar. He daydreams of travelling around the world, but for now, the world will have to come to him by way of lifestyle products, gear, gadgetry, and entertainment. Let's call it a happy compromise while he saves up for the next big trip.