City Name
Home » Recent posts » 9 Best Japanese Restaurants in Auckland Unveiled

9 Best Japanese Restaurants in Auckland Unveiled

9 Best Japanese Restaurants in Auckland Unveiled

Even though I grew up here in Auckland, I’ve always had a special affinity for Japanese cuisine. From family celebrations to casual dinners with friends, Japanese restaurants have been a constant source of comfort and joy in my life.

There’s something about the artful presentation, fresh ingredients, and intricate flavors of Japanese dishes that never fails to captivate my taste buds.

So, if you’re anything like me and find yourself constantly craving the umami-rich flavors of Japanese cuisine, you’re in for a treat! 

Join me as I take you on a journey through the 9 best Japanese restaurants in our city, sharing not only my personal favorites but also the stories and memories that make each dining experience truly unforgettable. 

1. Acho’s

Address New Zealand, Auckland, Newton Karangahape Rd, NZ
Phone 64 21 508 207
Operating hours Tuesday to Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday: 5 – 2 am
Thursday to Friday: 1 pm – 2 am
Must order menu items Kushikatsu
Lotus Roots Chips
Ume Chazuke
Price range $ – Cheap

Acho’s is a unique Japanese bar and restaurant located in the suburb of Newton in Auckland.

When it comes to their menu, Kushikatsu stands out. These little skewers of heaven are what dreams are made of! 

Imagine crispy goodness on the outside and juicy meats, seafood, and veggies on the inside, all deep-fried to perfection. As you dip them into their secret tonkatsu sauce, prepare for fireworks on your taste buds!

Beyond their culinary delights, Acho’s also boasts a diverse selection of beverages, including cold beers, to complement your meal. 

2. Cocoro

Address 56a Brown Street, Ponsonby, Auckland 1021, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 360 0927
Operating hours Tuesday to Thursday: 5:30 – 9 pm
Friday to Saturday: 12 – 2 pm, 5:30 – 9 pm
Must order menu items Cocoro Sashimi PlatterKagoshima A5 Wagyu SteakValrhona Chocolate & Nabeshima Sake Ganache
Price range $$ – average

If sashimi is what you’re after, go for Cocoro in Ponsonby. Their Cocoro Sashimi Platter looks like a work of art on a plate!

They’ve got this stunning array of sashimi, with approximately 30 different varieties, depending on availability. Each piece is sliced with such precision that you can practically taste the chef’s expertise. 

And the way they present it? Meticulously arranged on a bed of ice. 

3. Izu

Address 170 Great South Road, Papakura, Auckland 2110, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 296 0499
Operating hours Tuesday to Thursday: 5:30 – 9 pm
Friday to Saturday: 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Sunday: 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Must order menu items Beef Tataki
Prawn Tempur
Cream Brulee
Price range $$ – average

Izu isn’t your run-of-the-mill Japanese joint. From what I gather, it’s like taking a mini culinary trip to Japan without even leaving Auckland!

This eatery is known for its authentic Japanese cuisine and has received positive reviews for its Beef Tataki, which is made from a fillet of beef. 

The process of making this typically starts with a high-quality beef fillet lightly seasoned and quickly seared over high heat, leaving the inside mostly raw or rare. 

Then, after being thinly sliced, it’s served with a soy-based dipping sauce that’s like a secret potion, elevating each bite to a whole new level of deliciousness.

4. Janken

Address 158 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland 1011, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 360 0555
Operating hours Wednesday and Thursday: 8 – 3 pm
Friday to Saturday: 8 – 3 pm, 5 – 8 pm
Sunday: 8 – 3 pm
Must order menu items Teriyaki Organic Tofu 
Nanban-style Karaage Chicken Bowl 
Saikyo Sweet Miso Salmon
Price range $$ – average

I’ve heard so much buzz about Janken, and let me tell you, it’s not your average restaurant. Here, they’re all about serving up healthy breakfast and lunch options that will make your taste buds dance with joy. 

For example, their Teriyaki Organic Tofu features succulent tofu bathed in a traditional Japanese teriyaki sauce, which is typically a sweet and savory glaze made from soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. 

But what makes this dish more commendable is that it’s all gluten-free and dairy-free. Yep, Janken’s aim is to serve meals that not only taste amazing but also align with your dietary preferences. 

Talk about a win-win!

Here’s a little insider tip: Janken isn’t just a spot for your morning pick-me-up or a quick lunch fix. Nope, they’ve got something special up their sleeves for the evenings too, every Friday and Saturday.

5. Masu By Nic Watt

Address 90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 363 6278
Operating hours Sunday and Monday: 5 – 9:30 pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 5 – 10 pm
Must order menu items Kankokufu Kohitsuji
Yakitori Negima
Price range $$ – average

Masu by Nic Watt’s Kankokufu Kohitsuji is really a must-have (I’ve read some reviews, and people are absolutely gushing about it!). This dish features succulent lamb cutlets glazed in a Korean chili paste (gochujang) for a sweet and spicy kick.

And the best part? It’s perfectly balanced with crisp cucumber slices and a sesame seed dressing that adds this nutty, aromatic touch.

6. Taiko Kingsland

Address 460A New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland 1021, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 815 0610
Operating hours Tuesday to Sunday: 12 – 1:45 pm, 5:30 – 8:45 pm
Must order menu items Ebi Fried Prawns
Aburi Wagyu Beef Nigiri
Price range $$ – average

It’s worth coming to Taiko Kingsland just for the Ebi Fried Prawns alone. I mean, who can resist plump, juicy prawns coated in a crispy, golden-brown batter, served with a side of crunchy cabbage slaw and a zesty wedge of lemon?

But wait, it gets better! They serve it with dipping sauce — it can vary but commonly includes tangy tonkatsu sauce or creamy Japanese mayo mixed with Worcestershire sauce.

And to complement your meal perfectly, let’s not forget about the drinks. They’ve got a killer selection of Japanese beers, fine wines, and sake.

7. Yume

Address 3 Vernon Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 309 5446 
Operating hours Monday to Friday: 11 – 3 pm, 5:30 – 10 pm
Saturday: 5:30 – 10 pm
Must order menu items “Fresh is Best” Sashimi
Tokyo Chicken Wings
Super Ramen
Price range $$ – average

People come to Yume because of their famous “Fresh is Best” Sashimi. Just the name alone makes your taste buds tingle with anticipation, doesn’t it? 

Imagine a colorful plate adorned with the freshest catch of the day: succulent oysters, melt-in-your-mouth bluefin fatty tuna, and buttery ora king salmon. It’s literally a paradise for seafood lovers!

And you know what makes it even better? It’s perfect for sharing. 

8. Ebisu 

Address 116 – 118 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 300 5271 
Operating hours Monday to Thursday: 12 – 2 pm, 5 – 10:30 pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 5 – 10:30 pm
Must order menu items Rainbow Roll 
Prawn Tempura
Salmon Avocado Roll 
Price range $$ – average

Britomart is home to many restaurants serving up delicious food, and Ebisu is no exception! This place offers a fusion of Japanese and European culinary techniques served in a sleek and chic setting.

One thing that sets Ebisu apart from other eateries is their seven-course tasting menu. They’ve carefully curated this list to showcase their signature dishes and seasonal favorites. 

They’ve also got a vegan version too, catering to all types of foodies. How thoughtful, isn’t it?

Now, as per the crowd’s favorite, it’s the Rainbow Roll. Just imagine a colorful masterpiece of mixed sashimi, prawns cuddled up with creamy avocado, topped with tobiko and salmon roe, all sprinkled with chives. 

It’s like a party in your mouth!

9. Waku Waku 

Address SHOP 1/D/415 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland 1050, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 520 0243 
Operating hours Monday to Sunday: 12 – 2 pm, 5 – 10 pm 
Must order menu items Moriawase Platter 
Vegetable Tempura & Avocado 
Fresh Matuku Oyster 
Price range $$ – average 

If you’re a true Japanese foodie, then WakuWaku needs to be on your radar!

One dish that steals the spotlight every time is their Moriawase Platter. With six pieces of fresh sashimi and three pieces of perfectly crafted nigiri, each bite leaves a lasting impression, making you want to come back for more every chance you get.

But if you’re not all about that raw fish life, fear not because WakuWaku has this Vegetable Tempura & Avocado. Crispy, golden tempura veggies wrapped with creamy avocado, all snug inside a roll of rice and nori. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, they even throw in a piping hot bowl of miso soup to complete the experience.