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The Best Japanese Restaurants in Glasgow

Glasgow is the foodie capital of Scotland; that goes without saying. But this isn’t just down to the city’s gimmicky, fun, and oftentimes ridiculous snack inventions. It’s also down to how multicultural Glasgow is, and how imaginative and innovative its people are.

japanese restaurants glasgow

This can be seen most evidently in its selection of fantastic Japanese restaurants. So, if you’re looking for the best ramen, sushi, and Japanese curries in Scotland, you’ll find them in Glasgow. Here they are.


Mikaku can be found on Queen Street, a two-minute walk from St. Enoch subway station and Argyle Street Station, and it is without a doubt the best Japanese restaurant in Glasgow—perhaps in the whole of Scotland.

mikaku ramen

The first thing about Mikaku that will take your breath away is the restaurant’s design. Lit up by neon signs, and featuring cherry trees in bloom, Mikaku is designed after a Japanese yokocho (in Japan, yokocho are alleyways lined with small bars and restaurants). Lanterns hang from the ceiling; old posters advertising beer are plastered on the walls; booths and corners look like traditional shop fronts. This design is incredible.

mikaku glasgow

Then there are the cocktails, with names referencing aspects of Japanese tradition and pop culture (like A Kaiju Rises, which comes with a rubber tentacle sticking out of it). These cocktails were designed by an award-winning mixologist and every one is wonderfully unique.

mikaku cocktails

As for the menu, it features many essential izakaya staples—edamame beans, chicken karaage, furikake fries—but it’s the ramen that steals the show. You have a short list of ramen options, and every single one will blow your mind. The miso black is a work of art, and the best bowl of ramen Glasgow has to offer.

Ramen Dayo

Literally translated as “it’s ramen!” Ramen Dayo can be found off Byres Road in Glasgow’s West End, down the iconic Ashton Lane, opposite the Grosvenor Picture Theatre. It was opened by a Glaswegian who spent more than a decade living in Japan and missed the bowls of ramen that were at his fingertips.

ramen dayo

If you’ve ever been to a traditional Japanese izakaya, you’ll know how precise one would need to be in order to replicate its aesthetic details, but Ramen Dayo nails it—even down to the daruma dolls, scarred thick wooden tables, and walls plastered with posters on top of posters on top of posters.

ramen dayo glasgow

Given its name, it’s no surprise that Ramen Dayo specialises in ramen, and you’ll find a very broad and exciting selection. This means you’ll want to go back a few times to sample them all. Some are intensely garlicky, others hit that umami taste just right, and one is satisfyingly spicy. There’s something for everyone. Including bottles of Ramune!


That’s it; that’s the name, and that’s what you get! You’ll find Katsu on West Nile Street, around the corner from Buchanan Street. I actually discovered Katsu on a weekend of flat-viewings as I planned my move to Glasgow, and it was probably this restaurant that convinced me how moving to Glasgow would be a very good idea (it was)!

katsu glasgow

Unsurprisingly, Katsu specialises in katsu in various forms. The lunch menu offers a variety of katsu sando (sandwiches) and the main menu has several different katsu curry options for you to choose from, including both meat and vegetarian options.

This restaurant in the heart of Glasgow also has a real izakaya feel; you’ll likely be eating at the bar, in sight of the chefs, and the space is cramped (though perhaps intimate might be a better choice of words). Katsu curry aficionados will feel very at-home here, enjoying the best katsu in Scotland.

Maki & Ramen

Much like Katsu, Maki & Ramen offers exactly what’s in its name. And while this is a chain with a few different branches in Edinburgh, this is the only one in Glasgow and it is a delight. Spacious, beautifully decorated, and covered with illustrated post-it notes which customers can add to as they please (a lovely touch).

maki and ramen

The Glasgow branch of Maki & Ramen is found on Bath Street, and it offers a wonderful sushi selection, as well as some hearty bowls of ramen. If you’re not afraid of tasting (and smelling like) garlic for at least the next twenty-four hours, definitely go for the black garlic tonkotsu; it’s phenomenal.


You’ll find esushi on Byres Road, in the heart of Glasgow’s West End, and despite its name it actually offers an enormous range of Japanese food options—soba, ramen, udon, donburi, takoyaki, sukiyaki, okonomiyaki—but of course it’s the sushi and sashimi that really shine, and the selection of sushi is truly mouth-watering.

There is a wide range of maki and nigiri options for you to browse, and each is made to perfection. You can even order a traditional bento box! To top all of this off is the drinks menu: sake, shochu, and umeshu are all available in various forms. This is the finest Japanese dining experience you’ll find in Glasgow.

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