If you thought Bangkok was only for shopping and visiting the stunning Grand Palace, you could not be farther from the truth. The city is also a delight for foodies. And it’s not just Thai cuisine that I am speaking of.
Bangkok, in the recent years, has truly graduated to a cosmopolitan city, simply based on its culinary delights. And there is one cuisine that is taking the city by storm – Japanese.
The city is home to a few dozen Japanese restaurants. These range from family-run cosy home-style eateries to swanky fine-dining restaurants and bars. It doesn’t matter if you are a pro in Japanese food or still trying to figure out what Yakitori is – Bangkok surely has something for you.
But wait! With so many Japanese restaurants to choose from – where do you start? Google? Good luck if you are familiar with udon, tempura, sashimi, gyoza… No?
Well, Japanese food is not just sushi and ramen noodles. There is so much more to explore and enjoy. So read on for some of the top affordable Japanese eateries in and around central Bangkok, that even the Japanese expats in Bangkok love!
1. A fine slice of Okinawa Islands in Bangkok – Kinjo Okinawa
Okinawa is a set of islands in Southern Japan… And Kinjo Okinawa is a small and cosy Japanese eatery, that brings some of the most authentic flavours of those islands – right into the heart of Bangkok.
Don’t be disheartened if the ground floor is full. There are two more floors upstairs.
At Kinjo Okinawa, you must try the tofu dishes. Not too fond of tofu? No problem. There are plenty of other vegetarian options to choose from. For the rest, there’s pork belly and squid ink Yakisoba.
Pair it with some Aomori, a sochu-styled Okinawan alcohol, and you’re good to go!
Price: From 200 Baht / approx.USD $6 Address: 24 Sukhumvit 69 Alley, Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 3 min walk from Phra Khanong BTS Station Contact: +66 2 711 0536 Opening hours: Daily from 11.30am to 12midnight
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2. In the mood for some hidden Japanese Yakitori? – Jidori Cuisine Ken
Are you a fan of grilled food? Then Jidori Cuisine Ken is the place for you. There are plenty of Yakitori (grilled) dishes to choose from.
Ask the regulars, and they would vouch that this is the best Yakitori place in Bangkok. Jidori also has a huge menu to prove this point. If it’s all too overwhelming, then just go for a set meal. You will get a variety of skewers and a salad. Don’t forget to add a glass of beer or sake to wash it down.
This small eatery with its log cabin style décor and Izakaya feel, adds to the ambiance.
Jidori is set in a Soi (small road), and may be slightly tricky to find. But it’s worth ‘hunting down’ this hidden gem for the perfect Japanese meal.
Jidori Cuisine Ken
Price: From 450 Baht / approx. USD $13.50 Address: Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 5 min walk from Phrom Phong BTS Station Contact: +66 2 661 3457 Opening hours: Mon-Sat from 5pm to 12 midnight; Sundays from 5pm to 10pm
3. Enjoy happy hours with Izakaya! – Hiyaku Yakitori
Looking for a break while shopping at Central World? Take the elevator to the 2nd floor where you will find Hiyaku Yakitori – a chic izakaya (Japanese resto-bar).
The large glass windows and the brightly lit bar makes the décor look very cheerful. And not to mention the happy hours on food.
Yes! They have discounts on their food almost every day. Post lunch hours, this Izakaya also offers live DJ music.
Although there’s a wide menu to choose from, my pick would be the fish sushi rolls. In fact, every Tuesday and Friday, the Izakaya has a small event to display the fresh fish. The Kushiyaki – vegetarian and non-vegetarian skewers – is also a treat for the Japanese-food-starved soul.
Here’s another tip for you. If you choose a fried fish item, especially one which is salty, try to team it with a beer. The less salty ones will go well with the wines too.
Price: From 80 Baht / approx. USD $2.50 Address: Groove ชั้น 2, G218 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: The building is connected to the Siam BTS Station Contact: +66 2 264 5555 Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 1am
4. Try the freshest Japanese food in Central Bangkok – Nippon Kai Market
The large neon sign outside may make you think it’s just a fish market. And if that prompts you to walk away – you have just missed some of the freshest Japanese food in town.
Nippon Kai is an intimate restaurant/seafood supplier to several restaurants in Bangkok. So the freshness of the food here is beyond doubt, and the prices range from affordable to affordable luxury – depending on what you order.
We were shocked by how extensive the menu was (over 100 items listed), and found it hard to choose something to order! We absolutely loved the Salmon Aburiskin Roll (280 Baht).
If you’re ready to shell out a few extra dollars, then you can try some premium Japanese seafood here. For example, Uni (sea urchin roe), Otoro (tuna belly), and Unagi (freshwater eel).
Yes, Unagi… Which Ross thought was ‘a state of total awareness’, before Rachel told him it’s a sushi! F.R.I.E.N.D.S? Anyone?
At Nippon Kai, you can choose your seafood from the counter and then watch the cook transform it into a supreme delight for your taste buds. Pssst! My pick would include the Saba Misoni Don (rice and fried mackerel) and Manuke Saikyo Zuke (crispy red rockfish).
Nippon Kai Market
Price: From 100 Baht / approx. USD $3 Address: Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 10 min walk from Thong Lo BTS Station Contact: +66 2 662 5683 Opening hours: Daily from 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30pm
No list of Japanese cuisine can be complete without a mention of sake. Named after a popular set of gaming cards in Japan, Hanakaruta is a popular watering hole with plenty of Japanese alcohol to choose from.
When you walk in to Hanakurta, you are welcomed by this huge ceiling-high shelves stacked with numerous sake and spirits. So if you’re wondering what Japanese beer or whiskey tastes like, this is your elementary school! And if you are already a pro, ‘kanpai’ !
Did I mention, the food of this restopub is also a hit. With their small and spicy portions, they are the perfect partner for your drinks. Take your pick from vegetable pizza, pickled cuttlefish, or Sashimi.
Price: Alcohol from 500 Baht / approx.USD $15; Food from 300 Baht / approx. USD $9 Address: Sathon Soi 10, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 10 min walk from Surasak BTS Station Contact: +66 2 635 1239 Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 5.30pm to 2am
6. Wondering what Lavender Beer tastes like? – Kenshin Izakaya
The entrance to this small Japanese Izakaya looks like a carnival of colours. And carnival it is, also for your taste buds. The place is so bright and cheerful that it will lift your spirits, before you sip on one.
The faux cherry-blossom petals, the cosy courtyard, and the huge drinks – no wonder the Japanese expats crowd here after office.
Kenshin has the widest variety of some unique Japanese beers in the whole of Bangkok. The Lavender Beer and Sakura Beer deserve a special mention. And of course, there is the ever popular Asahi beer.
Now the food. Kenshin Izakaya has a long list of grilled food to choose from. But the one that you just cannot miss is the Aburi Shime Saba.
Not just for the taste but also for the visual spectacle that comes with it. The raw mackerel fillet is blowtorched – with its blue and yellow flames – to its sumptuous best right in front of your eyes!
Price: From 200 Baht / approx.USD $6 Address: 155 Asok Montri Rd, เเขวงคลองเตยเหนือ Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 5 min walk from Asok BTS Station Contact: +66 2 661 6202 Opening hours: Daily from 11.30am to 12 midnight
If you are randomly googling the top Japanese restaurants in central Bangkok, Isao will turn up in most of the lists. So what is it that makes this place so droolworthy?
For one, Isao makes some of the most innovative sushi fusions in Bangkok. Take a bite of their sushi sandwich, and you will know exactly what I mean. If you’re not sure which sushi to order, just go for the platter and you will not be disappointed!
But it’s not just the sushi fusion that makes Isao so special. If there’s one place where you can order Japanese food worthy of Instagram, this is it.
Don’t forget to order their famous Jackie Roll – probably the most photographed Japanese dish in Bangkok!
Price: From 300 Baht / approx. USD $9 Address: 5 สุขุมวิท 31 ถนน สุขุมวิท Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 11 min walk from Asok BTS Station Contact: +66 2 258 0645 Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm
8. The thickest Ramen noodle soup in town – Bankara Ramen
If you’re craving the ever popular ramen noodles, then my pick would be Bankara Ramen. This small cosy eatery serves the thickest ramen noodle soup in town.
Add with it the lip-smacking roasted pork slices and seaweed on the side, and you are all set.
The large portions at Bankara can actually give most street food a run for their money! Want more? Add some pickled ginger and fresh crushed garlic for a richer taste. Time to loosen the belt a little bit! 😛
Price: From 300 Baht / approx.USD $9 Address: อาคาร The Manor 32/1 Soi Sukhumvit 39, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 8 min walk from Phrom Phong BTS Station Contact: +66 2 6620 5162 Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 11pm
9. Looking for authentic Japanese cooking? Hop in at – Yokoi Udon
Don’t let the canteen style décor fool you. The Udon and Tempura here is as good as you’ll be able to find. The steady flow of Japanese patrons during lunch hours is proof of its authentic Japanese cooking.
The Udon (Japanese thick pasta) and Tempura (batter-fried fish or veggies) deserve special mention.
Our favourite part of Yokoi Udon though? Due to its canteen-styled assembly line, you can see the cooked food and have fun choosing your favourite Japanese dishes!
Price: From 250 Baht / approx.USD $7.50 Address: G01 อาคาร Boulevard ซอย สุขุมวิท 39 ถนน สุขุมวิท Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 11 min walk from Phrom Phong BTS Station Contact: +66 2 160 0104 Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm
10. Home-cooked Japanese food at its best in your Japanese friend’s home – Ari Recipe
Walking into Ari Recipe is like stepping into the dining room of a cosy Japanese home, complete with wood flooring and Japanese paintings.
And the food is perfectly in sync. No artificial flavours and absolutely organic.
So if your Japanese friend has never invited you home, hop in here for that authentic Japanese homely experience.
My pick would be the fish dumplings and the Peony-infused hot tea. In the mood for something stronger? Why not try some of their Yuzu wine!
Price: From 250 Baht / approx. USD $7.50 Address: 19/2 Ari 4 Fang Nua Alley, Khwaeng Samsen Nai, Khet Phaya Thai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 7 min walk from Ari BTS Station Contact: 065 385 5565 Opening hours: Sun-Thu, 11am to 11pm; Fri-Sun 11am to 12 midnight
11. Most pocket-friendly Japanese buffet in Bangkok – Kuroda
So you want to indulge in Japanese food, and lots of it. But on a budget. Step out of Ekkamai BTS and walk north for just about 2 minutes. What greets you is a spacious yet cosy Japanese buffet restaurant – Kuroda.
What’s ridiculous about this place? Its 22-page menu buffet priced at just 550 Baht! And that with a free flow of salmon! How nice…
The all-you-can-eat buffet also has a 500 Baht offer which does not include salmon. With so much on offer at such low prices, it’s hard to beat the pocket-friendly buffet of Kuroda. (Unfortunately, there are no desserts in the buffet line, probably because no one has any space left for it.)
Also, if you’re coming to eat in a big group, there are enough tables at Kuroda making it an ideal place for group gatherings/celebrations!
Price: 550 Baht / approx.USD 17 (for the buffet including free-flow salmon); A la carte also available! Address: 5 Soi Sukhumvit 63, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 2 min walk from Ekkamai BTS Station Contact: +66 2 381 2844 Opening hours: Daily from 11.30am to 11pm
Special Mention #1: Visit the oldest Japanese restaurant in Thailand – Hanaya Restaurant
Technically this restaurant is not exactly in Central Bangkok. But it still makes it to our list for the hallowed claim by many – it is the oldest authentic Japanese restaurant in the whole of Thailand.
Now that I have justified its inclusion, let’s get to the most important part – food. Hanaya lives up to its reputation of being an authentic Japanese restaurant.
Many of the ingredients are still sourced directly from Japan. The portions are quite filling. And that too, at reasonable prices. This no-frills restaurant remains a hidden gem in the Thai capital.
Price: From 400 Baht / approx.USD $12 Address: 6683 ถนน สี่พระยา Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10500, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 15 min walk from Hua Lamphong Station; 6 min walk from Si Pha Ya Pier Contact: +66 2 233 3080 Opening hours: Daily from 11.30am to 2pm, 5.30pm to 10pm (Closed 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month)
Special Mention #2: The best rooftop Japanese restobar in Thailand – Above Eleven
If you are looking to splurge on Japanese food in Bangkok, I personally love Above Eleven for special occasions.
With a décor inspired by Central Park of New York City, this stunning rooftop bar is perched on the 33rd floor of Fraser Suites. You can soak in the glittering Bangkok skyline through its large glass walls.
The long bar, uninterrupted views, and mood music is ideal for a romantic date, or maybe a late birthday make-up gift for your spouse. Whatever the occasion, the stunning ambiance contributes to an incredible experience to remember.
The food here is a unique fusion – Japanese and Peruvian. So are the drinks. Inspired by Peru and Japan (and some from Chile as well), the list is quite unique in the Bangkok culinary scene. Don’t forget to check their website for the dress code!
Price: 1000 Baht / approx.USD 30 (with alcohol) Address: 32nd Floor, Fraser Suites 38/8 ซอย สุขุมวิท แขวง คลองตันเหนือ Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: 8 min walk from Nana BTS Station Contact: +66 2 038 5111 Opening hours: Daily from 6pm to 2am
Special Mention #3: Japanese cuisine at its luxurious best – Zuma
Zuma is my second pick if you’re looking for a luxury Japanese dining experience in Bangkok. This Michelin Guide restaurant is part of the St Regis Bangkok luxury hotel.
By now, you must have figured out one thing. It’s not cheap. Well, it’s not supposed to be. Stunning ambiance, super delicious food, and impeccable service – that’s what makes Zuma so special.
If you are confused what to order, go for their set menu at 880 Baht. Drinks will cost you extra.
Price: From 880 Baht / approx. USD $26.30 (for the set menu) Address: Ground Floor, St Regis Bangkok, 159 Ratchadamri Rd, Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand (Coordinates here) Nearest BTS Station: Right next to Ratchadamri BTS Station Contact: +66 2 252 4707 Opening hours: Daily from 11.30am to 3pm; 6pm to 12 midnight
So that’s a list of our favorite affordable authentic Japanese restaurants in central Bangkok – and by central, we mean around the Pratunam area within a few BTS stops!
Have you been to any of these? If you have a favourite which is not listed here, do let us know about it in the comments section below. Otherwise, enjoy!
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PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! Tell us
Sanjay Paul is a travel writer and filmmaker. In his ongoing interest in traveling, he has visited 18 countries in 3 continents, and lived in 2. His travels have taken him from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the paddy fields of Bali. When he is not traveling or trying a new recipe, Sanjay loves to immerse himself in the world of movies, which he is also a part of, as an actor and director. Sanjay loves to share his myriad experiences through his blogs and travel journals.