15 Best Japanese Restaurants in Cape Town

japanese restaurants in cape town

All of our content is written by humans, not robots.

Let’s admit it – we all crave a delicious and fresh Japanese dish occasionally.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the good news is that the Mother City has some amazing Japanese restaurants to help curb your Japanese food cravings.

Join me as we visit the 15 best Japanese restaurants in Cape Town to help you find the one that ticks all your boxes.

1. Best Japanese-African Restaurant – FYN


FYN in Cape Town is a culinary sanctuary where the essence of Japanese cuisine unfolds in a sophisticated and contemporary setting
  • Location: Speakers Corner, 5th Floor, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Monday to Saturday: 12h00 to 14h00 and 18h00 to 22h00
    • Closed on Sundays
  • Good to know: FYN has been voted under the top 100 of the world’s best restaurants for the past three years!

With food pioneers Peter Tempelhoff, Ashley Moss and Jennifer Hugé at the helm, this popular Cape Town establishment guarantees you the best Japanese dishes.

With a sophisticated lunch and dinner menu, FYN is renowned for its wide variety of delicious Japanese-African-inspired offerings, including:

  • Neoteric nigiri
  • Mozambican sustainable blue crab & seaweed salad
  • Lambert’s Bay farmed abalone.

For those with a sweet tooth, order their delicious fried chocolate, pear & sakura dessert or the uniquely South African Jasmine tea boeber (a refreshing Cape Malay pudding made from milk, rose water, sago and a generous dash of cardamom and cinnamon).

FYN also boasts a well-thought-out pescatarian and plant-based lunch menu and caters for patrons with specialised dietary needs, including vegans and vegetarians.

2. Best Japanese-Peruvian Restaurant – Nobu

Nobu in Cape Town is a culinary haven where the artistry of Japanese cuisine unfolds in an elegant and contemporary setting
  • Location: Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 18h00 to 23h00
  • Good to know: This acclaimed restaurant is located in the One&Only Hotel.

The location should say it all – located in the world-renowned, five-star One&Only Hotel, Nobu is arguably one of the best Japanese restaurants this side of the equator.

Serving a range of classic cold and hot Japanese cuisine, you can choose from the following delicious dishes:

  • Black cod miso
  • Chilean sea bass with Dashi ponzu
  • Wagyu dumplings with Yuzu truffle.

Also, try out their range of delectable desserts – why not order a chocolate bento box, try their selection of Japanese vanilla or green tea ice cream or indulge in a pineapple rum cake?

Nobu caters to those with a pristine pallet and serves a variety of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian cuisine offerings.

3. Best Japanese Bento Box – Obi Restaurant

  • Location: Shop 2, 14 on Long Centre, 14 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Tuesday to Saturday: 12h00 to 14h00 and 18h00 to 21h30
    • Closed on Sundays and Mondays
  • Good to know: If you’re looking for a selection of Japanese flavours in one sitting, try their Bento Box (which contains a delicious selection of nigiri, California rolls, vegetable tempura, and a serving of miso soup).

Obi Restaurant is known for its delicious and fresh Japanese sushi, offering an extensive menu of sashimi, nigiri, and homely noodle dishes.

This no-frills, purely Japanese restaurant offers the following mouthwatering dishes:

  • Tokyo, dynamite, and tempura tuna inside-out rolls
  • Original tempura obi rolls
  • Tuna, salmon, and line fish sashimi

If you crave something sweet at the end of your evening, order mochi truffles or sweet Italian-inspired panna cotta.

Obi Restaurant also offers a range of plant-based, meat-free dishes to help curb any vegan or vegetarian Japanese food cravings.

4. Best For Ramen – Izakaya Matsuri

  • Location: The Rockwell, 32 Prestwich Street, Green Point, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Monday to Saturday: 11h30 to 22h00
    • Closed on Sundays
  • Good to know: Their beef ramen is a favourite among Japanese food lovers in Cape Town (myself included!).

Owned by the world-renowned Japanese chef Arata Koga – previous sushi master at Tank in Cape Town and Genki in Stellenbosch – this Japanese restaurant is a favourite among ramen lovers.

A popular Cape Town sushi and Japanese tapas bar, Izakaya Matsuri served the freshest and most delicious:

  • Crispy bang bang prawn
  • Spicy tuna tempura rolls
  • Udon noodle soups (available in chicken and onion or salmon misu mangetsu and baby corn).

Patrons can also choose from a range of baked rolls, sashimi, and nigiri sushi platters.

5. Best Japanese Izakaya Experience – Three Wise Monkeys

Three Wise Monkeys in Cape Town is a culinary escape where the essence of Japanese cuisine meets urban cool in a vibrant and contemporary setting
  • Location: La Rhone Building, 77 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Monday to Sunday: 12h00 to 22h00
    • Closed on Sundays and Mondays
  • Good to know: Three Wise Monkeys is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat after a walk on the Sea Point promenade – it’s less than a 15-minute walk away!

Known for its traditional izakaya experience – which directly translates to “stay-drink-place” and refers to an informal, casual Japanese bar that serves alcoholic drinks and snacks – Three Wise Monkeys should always be on your to-do list.

The perfect place to relax and feast away at some truly Japanese cuisine offerings, Three Wise Monkeys serves a delicious selection of:

  • Chicken, beef, vegetable, and duck ramen
  • Buttermilk fried chicken, tempura panko prawn, and beef baos
  • Poke bowls (available in tuna and salmon or vegan).

Also, try their mouthwatering desserts – what about their matcha and salted custard bun or mochi waffle (served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream)?

Three Wise Monkeys serves vegan options for most of its menu items, including its ramen, a spicy veg bun and a selection of vegetarian yakimono.

6. Best For Sukiyaki – Fujiyama Japanese Restaurant

Fujiyama Japanese Restaurant in Cape Town is a culinary haven where the art of Japanese cuisine unfolds in a cozy and authentic setting
  • Location: 77 Church Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Monday to Saturday: 11h00 to 22h00
    • Closed on Sundays and public holidays
  • Good to know: Fujiyama serves a delicious homemade plum wine.

Known for serving more than just the usual sushi and sashimi dishes, Fujiyama is the perfect location for an authentic Japanese dining experience.

The Japanese owner and chef Fujiwara uses only the freshest ingredients to craft some of his best creations, including:

  • Salmon, tuna, and prawn Japanese sushi
  • Prawn, crabstick, salmon, and tuna California rolls
  • Toro, salmon, and tuna sashimi.

Fujiyama also boasts an a la carte menu, offering a wide variety of dishes such as sukiyaki (a traditional Japanese beef and vegetable hotpot), seafood and tori nabe, a wide selection of soba and udon, and ramen (offered in miso, soy sauce, chicken, and pork).

7. Best For Japanese Hotpots – Japanese Sushi House

  • Location: 138 Daniell Road, Sanddrift, Century City, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 18h00 to 22h00
  • Good to know: Booking is essential, so make your reservation in advance.

Located on the outskirts of the Cape Town city centre, Japanese Sushi House is a favourite among Cape Town residents. Away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD, this 30-seater Japanese restaurant is the perfect place to go after a long day exploring the city.

Using authentically Japanese and fresh ingredients, this restaurant serves:

  • Fresh sashimi and sushi
  • Fish hotpot
  • Dumplings and ramen

Japanese Sushi House also serves a range of vegan and vegetarian-friendly dishes.

9. Best For Poke Bowls – Minato Sushi Restaurant

Minato Sushi Restaurant in Cape Town is a culinary retreat where the art of sushi takes center stage in a sleek and modern setting
  • Location: 71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Saturday: 12h00 to 21h00
  • Good to know: The restaurant has an R99 lunch special on their sushi platter combos.

Located within walking distance from Cape Town’s vibey Long Street, Minato Sushi Restaurant is another must-visit.

While the restaurant is owned and managed by a Chinese family, it never fails to deliver on Japanese excellence. Priding themselves on only using fresh and hand-picked ingredients for their dishes, visitors can munch away on:

  • Delicious sushi
  • Miso soups and tempura offerings
  • Poke bowls

Minato also caters for vegans and vegetarians and has a wide selection of plant-based menu items.

Also, try out their range of imported Japanese beer.

10. Best Award-Winning Japanese Restaurant – Kyoto Garden


Kyoto Garden in Cape Town is a culinary oasis where the tranquility of a traditional Japanese garden meets the artistry of authentic cuisine
  • Location: 11 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Tuesday to Friday: 12h00 to 23h00
    • Saturdays: 17h30 to 23h00
    • Closed on Sundays and Mondays
  • Good to know: Kyoto Garden was named the Best Seafood Restaurant in Cape Town in 2018 by Eat Out.

This multi-award-winning Japanese restaurant, located in the heart of the city bowl, uses only top-quality and often unheard-of ingredients in its cuisine.

Offering much more than just the usual sushi and sashimi, Kyoto Garden sources its ingredients from around the world, including Mozambique and Alaska.

Their extensive Japanese menu features:

  • Nigiri and sushi (served with their homemade wasabi and ginger)
  • California rolls
  • Miso (clam or tempura scallops)

End your dining experience by ordering a green tea crêpe with green tea ice cream, a glass of plum wine, or a cup of roasted rice or cherry blossom tea.

Kyoto Garden boasts the most extensive collection of Japanese whisky in the country, which is one of my favourite things about this place! Try out their sparkling, unfiltered or Junmaishu house sake for a nightcap.

11. Best Inner-City Japanese Restaurant – Tjing Tjing House

Tjing Tjing House in Cape Town is a culinary sanctuary where the spirit of Japan unfolds in a modern and stylish setting
  • Location: 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Tuesday to Saturday: 12h00 to 01h00
    • Closed on Sunday and Monday.
  • Good to know: Tjing Tjing is known for its unique and vibey electro-indie playlist.

Before heading off to explore the nightlife in neighbouring Long and Bree Street, make sure you visit Tjing Tjing House.

Arranged over four levels, this well-known Cape Town dining hotspot has an in-house Japanese-styled restaurant, a lounge area and a rooftop bar.

Guests can enjoy an extensive Japanese menu, which includes:

  • Ramen
  • Yakitori
  • Rice bowls

For something sweet, try their mochi truffles or Japanese cheesecake.

Offering a seasonally-inspired menu, guests can also try their range of vegan and vegetarian dishes.

12. Best For Onigri – How’s Your Oni


How's Your Oni in Cape Town is a culinary adventure where the playful spirit of Japanese cuisine comes to life in a trendy and vibrant setting
  • Location: 7 Scott Street, Gardens, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 12h00 to 21h00
    • Tuesday: 12h00 to 16h00
    • Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays.
  • Good to know: Japanese foodie fans flock here for their weekly onigiri (Japanese sandwich).

A hit among many Cape Town foodies, How’s Your Oni started as a food truck at a local neighbourhood market.

It has gradually grown to a household favourite for many locals and offers a range of fresh and delicious Japanese dishes, including:

  • Udon bowls
  • Ramen
  • Tempura

They also serve a range of fresh salads and cater for vegans and vegetarians.

This small, homely restaurant – with only 10 seats inside and 10 outside – fills up quickly, so make sure you get there early.

13. Best For Miso Soup – Tomo

  • Location: 86 Loop Street, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 12h00 to 22h00
  • Good to know: Tomo also has a delivery service for takeaways.

This little gem serves a variety of Japanese and other Asian-inspired dishes and is known for its delicious dumplings.

Patrons can also order a few other favourites off their extensive menu, which includes:

  • Miso soup
  • Salmon, tuna, or line fish sashimi
  • Chicken or beef teriyaki

For an authentic Japanese dining experience, give their Japanese braai a go – served with a choice of teriyaki sauce, the robata is served in a choice of chicken, fish, beef or lamb.

If you crave something sweet, order green tea or black sesame ice cream (served with a red bean paste).

14. Best For Mame Broth – Ōku

Oku in Cape Town is a culinary haven where the essence of Japanese cuisine unfolds in a sleek and modern setting
  • Location: Heritahe Square, 9 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 12h00 to 21h00
  • Good to know: Ōku also offers a wine-pairing menu

Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands, this Japanese restaurant serves an eclectic mix of Japanese, Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Led by Ryan Shell, the Ōku team crafts delicious meals using only the highest quality local and seasonal ingredients. If you’re peckish after a day of wine tasting, visit Ōku for some tasty fresh dishes, including:

  • Japanese milk bread
  • Yellowtail nigiri
  • Hot and sour mame broth

For dessert, try their matcha coconut custard (available in strawberry, rose, sesame, pomegranate and green tea).

They cater for a range of dietary requirements, including vegan and vegetarian.

15. Best Handmade Japanese Dumplings – Genki

Genki in Cape Town is a culinary escape where the vibrant spirit of Japan meets contemporary cool in a stylish and inviting setting
  • Location: Shop 2, De Wet Centre Courtyard, Church Street, Stellenbosch
  • Trading hours:
    • Monday to Saturday, 11h30 to 15h00 and 17h30 to 22h00
    • Closed on Sundays.
  • Good to know: Genki is known in Stellenosch for its delicious handmade dumplings and shoyu ramen.

We round off this list of the 15 best Japanese restaurants in Cape Town with a visit to Stellenbosch. If you are on a wine-tasting expedition, pop into Genki for a quick Japanese cuisine treat.

Their extensive menu features:

  • Japanese tapas (including edamame, grilled skewers, and calamari tues)
  • Tempura
  • Dumplings (available in pork, oxtail, chicken, prawn, and salmon).

Genki also serves a wide variety of steamed buns, noodles, ramen and miso soups.

FAQS

Is it safe to eat sushi in Cape Town?

As with any other restaurant, always ensure you only visit and dine at a reputable sushi establishment. Many of Cape Town’s Japanese restaurants only employ trained and experienced chefs who ensure that they buy, store and prepare only fresh fish in their sushi dishes.

Do Japanese restaurants in Cape Town serve traditional Japanese ice cream?

Yes, many Japanese restaurants serve homemade Japanese ice cream.

Many restaurants source their traditional ice cream from Mochi Mochi (known for its mochi – a traditional Japanese rice cake – with flavours including matcha, black sesame, Turkish delight, milk tart, and salted caramel).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For Tourism Companies

Work With Us

For Hospitality Brands

Send Us An Enquiry

For Photographers

Submit Your Work

Our Destinations