10 Great Japanese Restaurants You Can Only Find in Quezon City

The city is full of hidden gems!

PHOTO BY Marikit Singson/Vince Bascos

(SPOT.ph) When it comes to the best and most authentic Japanese food, many might argue that they can only be found in Little Tokyo, a compound in Makati that’s home to all kinds of restaurants, mostly owned by Japanese chefs. But for those in the North who can’t—or frankly won’t—make the trek through traffic-choked EDSA, there are also a number of Japanese restaurants you can only find on this side of the Metro. They may not all be traditional, but they’ll satisfy those hankerings and more.

PHOTO BY Vince Bascos

Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar

This hidden gem may be tight and cozy, but what Ohayo lacks in size, it more than makes up for it with its impressively extensive menu. The sushi joint in Tomas Morato now offers almost everything at their New Manila branch, from ramen to gyoza to all kinds of maki. Their ramen is the star of the show, with the broth being made in-house and stewed for almost an entire day, resulting in a soup that’s rich and flavorful. Their Tantanmen, in particular, stands out: It’s spicy, nutty, and topped with generous amounts of tender pork belly. Pair it with their crunchy Ebi Black Maki, which features tempura, fresh cucumber, and fried squid-ink crumbs.

Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar is at 30 Granada Avenue, Villa Ortigas II, Barangay Valencia, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

Nomiya Izakaya

Although Nomiya Izakaya is fashioned after traditional izakayas or small Japanese gastropubs, its menu is far from traditional. The owners like to experiment with lesser-known Japanese dishes, like the Ika Nuta, a whole raw squid that comes with an umami-rich miso sauce and wakame or seaweed. There’s also the Magic Mushrooms or deep-fried Shimeji mushrooms paired with a savory-nutty sesame dressing. Nomiya Izakaya also offers a Sushi of the Week, ensuring that each visit is a unique experience.

Nomiya Izakaya is at 36 Scout Tobias Street, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason


Quezon City is home to the Philippines’ first branch of a long-time Shibuya favorite. Although Toritake doesn’t quite resemble the flagship in Japan, they channel the izakaya vibe with a lot of traditional Japanese wood fixtures and sake wall displays. Their yakitori, though not cooked on traditional charcoal grills, also retains its original smoky flavor with electric grills that still feature charcoal without filling up the resto with smoke. Toritake offers two kinds of sauces for their yakitori: Shio, or just simple salt and pepper that highlights the chicken’s natural mild flavor, or its special yakitori sauce, which gives the yakitori a sweeter, more barbecue-like flavor.

Toritake is at 2/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

81 Seihai

Stepping inside 81 Seihai feels like entering a Japanese art gallery: The walls are adorned with all kinds of art, ranging from waves to dragons made in the traditional Japanese style. But the real stars at 81 Seihai are the sushi. You won’t find your typical sushi rolls here; instead diners can feast on unique rolls like the Flaming Maki, an indulgent salmon, deep-fried crab, cream cheese and cucumber maki that’s topped with lots of gooey cheese. If you fear umay, feel free to pair it with the palate-cleansing House Cucumber Roll, a kani maki rolled with cucumber and skewered on a stick.

81 Seihai is at G/F President Tower, 81 Timog Avenue, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Marikit Singson


With a name that means "crazy" in Japanese, Kureji unsurprisingly offers more eclectic choices. The restaurant specializes in sizzling ramen, with noodles and broth served in stone bowls. Traditional flavors like Shoyu or Shio are available but if you're feeling adventurous, try out the Sizzling Tomato Seafood Ramen, which comes out tasting like spaghetti in ramen form.

Kureji is at 4/F Ayala Malls Vertis North, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Yutaka Izakaya Facebook page

Yutaka Izakaya

Helmed by a Japanese chef (whom the restaurant is actually named after), Yutaka Izakaya offers top-grade sushi at affordable prices. The place is casual and budget-friendly as it mostly caters students from a nearby med school. Although you can’t go wrong with the classics like California Maki and Ebi Tempura, their Wagyu Sushi, with juicy pieces of Wagyu beef laid on top of freshly made sushi rice, is worth a try.

Yutaka Izakaya is at Unit A, Aurora Arcade, 41 Aurora Boulevard, Santa Mesa, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Vincent Coscolluela

Mitasu Yakiniku

Though sometimes overlooked by its Korean counterpart, Japanese barbecue also deserves a place in people’s hearts. For a luxe yakiniku experience, head to Mitasu Yakiniku, where they only use high-quality pork and beef. Their Premium Assorted BBQ Set features more than five cuts of meat, and while we have to admit they become quite hard to distinguish once they hit the charcoal grill, they all come out tender and juicy. Pair your beef or pork with unagi or grilled eel, for a Japanese twist on the classic surf and turf.

Mitasu Yakiniku is at 785 Banawe Street, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Roku Facebook page

Roku Sushi + Ramen

A regular haunt for Katipunan students, Roku is rightfully best known for their sushi. Make sure to check out their specialty rolls, like the Firecracker Roll, a spicy salmon maki with crunch and a fiery punch; the Mexican-inspired Jalapeño Popper, a deep-fried jalapeño-cream-cheese-and-salmon maki; the Dojo Roll, or panko-coated ebi and tamago sushi with katsu sauce; and the best-selling Roku Roll, with kani fresh tuna, salmon and a special spicy sauce. Watch as well for their Sushi All You Can promo, which they bring back regularly.

Roku Sushi + Ramen is at 5/F Oracle Hotel & Residences, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Oedo Japanese Restaurant Facebook page

Oedo Japanese Restaurant

For a wide range of Japanese staples at affordable prices, you can count on Oedo Japanese Restaurant. The resto is Japanese through and through, with murals of samurai and geisha, and little trinkets that evoke the East-Asian country. They have pretty much any Japanese food you might want to have, from sushi to yakitori, an excellent okonomiyaki, and even Saba Shioyaki or salt-grilled mackerel, the smoky flavor from the grill mingling with the natural sweetness of the fish.

Oedo Japanese Restaurant is at 105 Santo Domingo corner Seargant Alcaraz Avenue, Santo Domingo, Banawe, Quezon City.

PHOTO BY Ikigai Kakigori Facebook page

Ikigai Kakigori Café

If Koreans have bingsu, the Japanese have kakigori as their traditional shaved-ice dessert. Get your fix at Ikigai Kakigori Café, where all of their ingredients are made in-house and from scratch. The café also prides itself in its simple flavors, a major characteristic of Japanese cuisine. Try the traditional Korimitsu Kakigori, shaved ice with brown sugar syrup and creamy houjicha or roasted green-tea ice cream, topped with generous amounts of adzuki beans and shiratama, or mochi—the result is not as saccharine as what you might expect but pleasantly light and a little earthy. For more familiar flavors, order the Mango Kakigori, or mango-flavored milk ice with mango ice cream, nata de coco, and fresh mango, plus cashews for a crunchy surprise. There’s also the Chocolate Kakigori, which is chocolate milk ice, vanilla ice cream, fudge brownies and Oreo bits, for those with more of a sweet tooth.


Ikigai Kakigori Café is at POS Building, Scout Madriñan corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City.

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