While Mexico City does have a Korean neighbourhood, it doesn’t have a Japanese one just yet. However, that hasn’t stopped the Japanese culinary scene flourishing across the city; from restaurants to sushi joints, bakeries and imported food stuff stores, you can satisfy all your Japanese cravings in the heart of Mexico. Here’s your guide to the greatest Japanese food in the city.
A sister concept of the famed Japanese restaurant Rokai (which is incidentally also worth a visit), Sushi Kyo is a sushi bar which only hosts 13 people per evening with a prior booking. If you like your dining experiences to be special, this is undoubtedly one of the best places to be. Each and every dish comes expertly prepared by the chefs who will help tailor the experience to you, and the menu is always dictated by the fresh produce available that day. They also sell Japanese beers.
If you’re not keen on sushi, but love a bit of ramen then this Yamasan Ramen House is (obviously) the place for you. Browsing the bilingual menu, you’ll find a ton of dishes that will satiate your hunger and perhaps even leave you wanting more. One of the most highly recommended options is undoubtedly the pork belly kakuni but, really, all of chef Shinichiro Nagata’s dishes are exquisite.
Stunning architecture | Courtesy of Tori Tori Temistocles
This is one of Mexico City’s top restaurants, never mind top Japanese restaurants. With a few branches across the city, Tori Tori Temistocles is definitely the one you want to try and visit if you enjoy architecture as much as you enjoy food. While there, dig in to freshly rolled and exquisitely prepared sushi (the eel naguiri comes highly recommended) or even head up to the terrace where Tori Tori have a specifically designated sake bar.
Tucked away in the deceptively fantastic Nápoles district of the city, El Samurai may have a slightly cliché name, but it offers some out of this world Japanese cuisine – and it even has a zen garden! Once inside it’s decorated in a sumptuous Japanese style, and has tables with built in grills for all your teppanyaki needs. Give everything a go – they offer classic sushi bar options, as well as an insane range of weird and wonderful yakitoris.
With two branches in Mexico City, Nagaoka is an authentic Japanese dining experience like no other. We recommend the Nápoles branch, which serves up a wide variety of dishes from the typical – sushi and tempura – to some slightly more out there dishes, such as shabu shabu. The house specialty is wateishoku though, so don’t go without trying out this all-encompassing set menu.
They have three branches in the city, although the Sante Fe one is regularly considered one of the top options. Boku cover the full gamut of Japanese cuisine, including sushi, nigiris, sashimis and even some excellent sake, the famed Japanese rice wine. To round off your dinner, we highly suggest you order the tempura ice cream or the so-called bomba boku.
An unassuming name in an unassuming location, Café King can be found in the well-worth a visit neighbourhood of Santa María La Ribera. Run by a Japanese gentleman, this place is still practically run single-handedly by him even after growing in popularity in recent years. We highly recommend you try out some of the Japanese classics, such as ramen and udon noodles.
A reliable option with a strong fan base, Kazuma combines all the elements necessary for a fantastic dining experience; a wide-open terrace, great service, an excellent sushi bar and a truly Japanese atmosphere. However, what makes Kazuma stand out from the swathe of Japanese restaurants across Mexico City is their fusion of Mexican flavour with Japanese dishes in each and every offering.
One of the city’s quirkiest bakeries, Marukoshi is also one of the best options if you’re craving Japanese baked goods in almost too-good-to-eat shapes. All manner of baked goods can be found in Marukoshi, including a selection of Mexican sweet breads; however, the stand-out product is definitely the Totoro bread, which is as delicious as it is cute. Filled with cream and chocolatey in taste, you can’t not try it.
Not only one of the best Japanese bakery options, Bimmy (which incidentally means ‘tasty’ or ‘delicious’ in Japanese) is also one of the best bakeries in the entire city. A combination of French and more widely European techniques, with the taste of the founders Kanako Mikami and Akiko Shonozaki’s homeland Japan, the sweet breads, pastries and savoury baguettes are all to die for. Try and grab something with azuki (sweet beans) in the centre or any of their matcha products.
If you’d rather buy your Japanese treats and eat them at home than go to a restaurant, then the Asian supermarket Mikasa is the place you need to check out. Having said that, you can still dine here because it doubles as a restaurant! Although there are three locations in the capital, we think the Roma Norte is the most convenient and central. Here, you can buy anything from the ingredients needed to make sushi, to Japanese snacks.