Best Japanese Restaurants in Paris
It’s no secret that the French and Japanese share a mutual appreciation for each other’s cultures and cuisine. And outside Japan, what better place to discover all that delicious Japanese cuisine has to offer than Paris? If you haven’t explored Japanese food beyond sushi or ramen, now is your chance! Here’s my guide to the best Japanese restaurants in Paris.
A Tokyo-native is at the helm of this Japanese restaurant in Paris’ ritzy 8th arrondissement. As the name implies Udon Kishin specializes in Udon; thick wheat flour noodles that can be served hot or cold. At lunchtime, you can choose from a variety of Udon dishes which are prepared by the chef right before your eyes. During the dinner hour, the menu gets a little but more creative and expands to include traditional Japanese starters and mains, in addition to the Udon.
udon kishin – 9 rue de ponthieu 75008 paris
metro station: Franklin Roosevelt
opening hours: monday – saturday for lunch 11:45AM//2:45PM
open for dinner 7PM//11PM
price range: €€
One of the most famous Japanese dishes abroad, ramen is popular for a reason. It’s hard to go wrong with a comforting bowl of noodle soup, especially when done right. Kodawari is arguably the most authentic ramen spot in the French capital, and certainly one of the best Japanese restaurants in Paris (no small feat considering how many there are).
The menu has a variety of appetizers, but most folks come for the ramen. There are a few varieties available, including a vegan option! Everything here is truly Japanese, from the ingredients right down to the decor. When you enter Kodawari, you’ll feel as if you’ve left Paris and stepped into a true Tokyo ramen joint – wooden counter, red lanterns and all.
kodawari ramen – 29 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris
metro station: odeon
open daily for lunch 12PM//3PM
open daily for dinner 6:30PM//10:30PM
price range: €€
In any big city, locals try to keep the best neighborhood restaurants under wraps, but somehow the news always gets out. This is definitely the case with Shu, a somewhat underground Japanese restaurant in Paris’ 6th district.
This spot is so unexpected, that unless you know where to look, you’d walk right past Shu. Find the tiny street side door, and crouch down a flight of stairs to enter the cozy dining space.
Once you’re inside, you’ll be treated to a true Japanese dining experience. The focus here is on kushiague which are various kinds of meat skewers, breaded and deep fried. There are two set menus available, and both are quite copious so be sure to arrive hungry. A Suzu menu comprises 7 courses including the famous kushiague and other specialties like sashimi. If you’re not up to a feast, the 4 course Kazé menu should suffice.
shu – 8 Rue Suger, 75006 Paris
metro station: saint-michel or odeon
open monday – saturday 6:30PM//11PM
price range: €€€
If you’re looking for some delightfully high end Japanese fare, look no further than Aida. Awarded a coveted Michelin star, it’s no doubt that Aida is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Paris. An intimate setting in the heart of Paris’ 7th district, Aida specializes in Teppanyaki. But what’s special about this place is that the menu changes daily. And keeping on par with a traditional Japanese restaurant, each course is a surprise according to what arrives fresh from the market each day.
There are just nine seats at the famous Teppanyaki counter, where the chef animatedly prepares a variety of Japanese dishes right before your eyes. It’s as much about the flair and preparation of the food as much as it is about the flavor. Though you won’t know the exact composition of the dishes until you arrive, classic Teppanyaki (meats and vegetables), sushi, sashimi, and oysters can all be expected here.
Aida – 1 rue pierre leroux 75007, paris
metro station: vaneau
open tuesday – sunday 7PM//9M
price range: €€€€€
While not a traditional Japanese restaurant per se, Kokoro’s amazing fusion food has rightfully earned it a place on this guide. Kokoro actually means ‘heart’ in Japanese, and once you’ve been it’s hard not to love this cute neo-bistro. Set in the heart of the Latin Quarter, Kokoro is run by a French-Japanese couple who specialize in fusion food.
The menu changes regularly but each time I’ve been it always manages to incorporate distinct Japanese as well as French flavors and savoir-faire. The dishes feature seasonal ingredients, and service is friendly. In the summer months, you can even dine outdoors on their terrace.
kokoro – 36 Rue des Boulangers, 75005 Paris
metro station: cardinal lemoine or juissieu
open for lunch monday – friday 12:15PM//2:30PM
open for dinner monday – friday 7:30PM//10:30PM
price range: €€
Erh-La Maison du Saké
If you want to experience Japanese cuisine and spirits in Paris, the Maison du Saké is just the place. The restaurant is cozy and inviting, yet remains decidedly in the fine dining category. Chef Kitamura hails from Ishikawa prefecture, and shares the best of his native cuisine (and Japan’s famous saké) with guests.
The available set menus change often, with each sub season bringing with it a fresh array of ingredients which are then artfully incorporated. And one of the coolest aspects about this place is that they offer a full saké (Japanese rice wine) pairing menu. So each course comes with a carefully selected a round of saké that compliments the food. Seafood, meat and vegetarian options all exist on the set menu, and dishes are original without trying too hard.
For those interested in saké and Japanese spirits, be sure to check out the adjoining boutique. There’s an absolutely baffling selection.
erh-la maison du saké – 11 rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris
metro station: etienne marcel
open for lunch tuesday – saturday 12:30PM//2PM
open for dinner tuesday – saturday 7:30PM//9PM
price range: €€€
Located on an unassuming street near the Montparnasse Tower, Tonkatsu Tombo is one of the area’s best kept foodie secrets. Unless you have a train to catch, not many people venture to this stretch of Paris, but some excellent food always makes a journey worth it.
And if you haven’t tried Tonkatsu yet, you’re in for a treat. One of the most traditional Japanese dishes, Tonkatsu is generally a breaded pork chop, which is either served over veggies and rice or as part of a sandwich. Tonkatsu Tombo offers both, and each are equally delicious. This place often fills up in the evenings, so either a reservation or takeout are your best bets.
tonkatsu tombo – 14 Rue de l’Arrivée, 75015 Paris
metro station: montparnasse bienvenue
open for lunch monday – saturday 12PM//2:30PM
open for dinner monday – saturday 7PM//10:30PM
price range: €-€€
Now a guide to the best Japanese restaurants in Paris just wouldn’t be complete without at least one sushi joint. And Oi Sushi in the Latin Quarter is a favorite for a few reasons, not least of which the affordability. If you choose to dine in (recommended), you’ll be treated to complimentary cocktail upon arrival, to enjoy while you peruse the menu. hard to say no to that!
And while this place may not look like much from the outside, the food more than makes up for the outdated aesthetics. In my opinion, Oi Sushi has some of the freshest and tastiest sushi and sashimi in all of Paris. And for seriously affordable prices. Of course, you’ll find all the classics here, but they also have a wide selection of California rolls, salads, brochettes, and appetizers to choose from.
oi sushi – 7 rue mouffetard 75005, paris
metro station: place monge or cardinal lemoine
open for lunch monday – saturday 11am//3PM
open for dinner daily 6PM//11:30PM
price range: €
Well, there you have it. My guide to the best Japanese restaurants across Paris. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and hope that you’ll enjoy these restaurants as much as I have.
See you soon in Paris and bon appétit.