Amongst the riches of international cuisines in Columbus, you can find a variety of Japanese restaurants serving traditional and modern dishes. Here are 10 worth exploring!
Often considered one of the city’s best sushi restaurants, Akai Hana is located in the Japanese Marketplace, a small complex that also includes Belle’s Bread, Tensuke Market, and Tensuke Express. Their sushi and sashimi are the biggest sellers. If you’re going with a group, order a party boat!
This family-owned Dublin Japanese outpost is known for an extensive menu that covers everything from yakitori and okonomiyaki to sushi rolls, soba and udon noodle bowls, ramen, teriyaki dishes and more.
Recently named one of the country’s best Japanese bakeries by Food & Wine, Belle’s Bread is an unassuming cafe and bakery located in the same complex as Akai Hana and Tensuke Express. They craft a stunning collection of French and Japanese breads, cakes and pastries, including many items you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Don’t leave, though, without trying the matcha soft serve ice cream!
Bonsai is casual and welcoming bistro focused on both Japanese and Korean dishes. The restaurant was created by the crew behind campus’ Japanese Oriental Restaurant while it was temporarily closed due to construction. Fortunately, Bonsai continues on, serving miso soups, tonkatsu and an extensive sushi menu.
Fukuryu is a colorful, modern take on the traditional Japanese ramen stall. It blends Japanese standards with an American service style to present creative small plates, steamed buns and both modern and traditional types of ramen. The restaurant was created by Jeff Tsao, whose family owned the famous Kahiki restaurant of Columbus’ yesteryear. Find Fukuryu in Upper Arlington and Dublin.
Japanese Oriental Restaurant
Making its home in a century-old house in the Old North neighborhood, Japanese Oriental Restaurant has long been a popular spot with Ohio State students. They specialize in both Japanese and Korean dishes. On the Japanese menu, you’ll find tonkotsu, miso ramen, zaru soda noodles and a large selection of sushi.
Tucked into a strip mall on Bethel Road, Meshikou has claimed a solid stake in Columbus’ ramen scene. Work your way through the appetizers like edamame, karaage (fried chicken) and barbecue chashu buns, then order from the ramen menu. Try the shio chintan with chicken broth and the shoyu tonkotsu with pork belly and fish cake, for starters.
Rishi is a bright and modern eatery in downtown Columbus. Both sushi and ramen bowls are the house specialties. Choose from their extensive sushi and sashimi menu, order a bento box if you’re visiting for lunch, enjoy a bowl of shoyu or miso ramen, or try the chef’s specials like Japanese curry or chicken katzudon. Pair your meal with their fine collection of sake and Japanese whiskeys.
A city-wide favorite for ramen, Tensuke Express was renovated in recent years into a brightly colored fast casual eatery attached to the Tensuke Market. Now you can choose from pre-made ramen or rice bowls, plates of teriyaki or karaage chicken, or you can customize your own bowl, choosing from broth, noodles and toppings.
From their glass-walled bistro on Gay Street downtown, Tiger + Lily serves a modern fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai dishes. Japanese flavors include miso soup, karaage chicken, a variety of ramen bowls and even a Japanese-style fried rice topped with eggs for Sunday brunch.