Where to eat Japanese faves like ramen, udon, bento, and gyoza in Newcastle
Japanese cuisine has long been a favourite of Newcastle diners. Our director Alissa fondly remembers going on Japanese excursions to Kitami on Darby Street in the 90s, and spots like Nagisa and Fukusui have been open for decades. Today, the city is home to plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars that are sustaining our love of Japanese food.
Here's our guide to Japanese restaurants, cafes, and bars in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. Let this be your reminder to revisit an old favourite or branch out and try somewhere new.
Newcastle's first yakitori bar is brought to you by the experienced team behind Nagisa and Susuru. Owner Taiyo Namba wanted to create a restaurant that showcased only the best Hunter produce, cooked over – and that's exactly what you get when you dine at Âpé. Try the $75 per person Feed Me menu to enjoy a selection of menu highlights.
Where: 16 The Boardwalk, 1 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle
Drop into Cafe Inu for Japanese-inspired breakfast and lunch eats in a huge warehouse space in Carrington. Expect hot dogs with a side of lotus chips, a miso katsu sandwich special, and a vegan teriyaki tofu wrap. This chilled spot is dog-friendly too, so you can bring your furry friend along when you're grabbing a feed.
Where: 43 Denison St, Carrington
Fukusui Japanese Restaurant has resided in The Esplanade Hotel for more than 20 years, bringing locals a fun (and sometimes messy) teppanyaki experience. With three different teppanyaki options ranging from $42 to $54 per person, you'll get a range of seafood and meat fresh off the grill. Up for a challenge? Try catching some fried rice in your mouth to really test your coordination.
Where: 588 The Esplanade, Warners Bay
Hokkaiya serves up ramen, udon, donburi, and more traditional Japanese dishes in its intimate Beaumont Street space. Owners Cassie and Evan are committed to using the best ingredients and culinary techniques to deliver authentic ramen, slow cooking their pork for six hours to make a richly-flavoured broth.
Where: 2/22 Beaumont Street, Hamilton
While you might think of karaoke as the star of the show at Jams, next time you head in, make sure you order some Osaka-style street food to fuel your singing exploits. Think snacks like takoyaki, gyoza, and karaage chicken. The drinks offering also features Japanese beer, whisky, and sake, plus cocktails featuring ingredients like yuzu.
Where: 8 Union St, Newcastle West
A staple of Japanese cuisine in Newcastle for more than 30 years, Kitami is a hole in the wall spot in Carrington. Try its extensive range of ramen, udon, gyoza, donburi, curries, tempura, and more at its Carrington location, takeaway, or delivered to your house. Stock up on a range of Japanese groceries like soy sauce, miso, and traditional sweets and snacks while you're there!
Where: 53 Young St, Carrington
After working in Japanese restaurants for years, Yuki Doi finally decided to open her own in 2022. The result is Menya Makoto, an authentic Japanese joint full of family recipes that will have you coming back time and time again. Try the Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen for an extra kick of chilli.
Where: Ground Floor, 301 Hunter St, Newcastle
Mitamiya Sushi Cafe
Don't let the name mislead you – Mitamiya Sushi Cafe does serve up fresh sushi, but this unassuming Mayfield spot also offers bento and udon. If you don't feel like eating in, grab one of the cafe's takeaway specials to eat for lunch. Chances are, you'll want to keep coming back to try the rest of the menu.
Where: 77 Maitland Rd, Mayfield
Mizumi is bringing traditional Japanese to Lake Macquarie, and the locals are lapping it up. From ramen to udon, and sashimi to bento boxes, there's something to suit every mood and taste. Wash it all down with Mizumi’s selection of Japanese beers.
Where: 2/58 The Boulevarde, Toronto
Since opening in 2004, Nagisa has been earned a reputation for consistently delivering the freshest and most innovative Japanese cuisine in Newcastle. Located in the Honeysuckle precinct overlooking Newcastle Harbour, Nagisa effortlessly fuses the elegance and tradition of Japanese cuisine with modern flavours.
Where: 1 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle
Sushi Castle is a bit of a hidden gem in Honeysuckle, serving up an extensive menu of Japanese and Korean favourites. There's bento boxes, sushi, udon, ramen, and more, plus plenty of side dishes to complement your main meal, like okonomiyaki, inari, miso soup, and gyoza.
Where: 6/12-17 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle
Sushi for You is something of a local secret in New Lambton. Don’t be fooled by the name – this restaurant serves up an array of Japanese cuisine, including ramen. Whether you're a newbie to Japanese cuisine or a connoisseur, you're bound to become a regular at Sushi for You.
Where: 1 Alma Rd, New Lambton
For a more casual Japanese dining experience in Newcastle, Sushi Revolution has you covered. There’s something about eating directly from a sushi train that transports you straight to Japan. Sushi Revolution also offers Japanese dishes other than sushi like donburi, udon, and tempura vegetables.
Where: 97 Darby St, Cooks Hill | 93 Beaumont St, Hamilton
Need a Japanese food pick-me-up in the heart of the city? Sushinet may be known for its sushi, but the Hunter Street restaurant offers stacks of other Japanese staples like bento boxes, ramen, and udon, plus other non-Japanese items like bibimbap and rice paper rolls.
Where: 65 Hunter St, Newcastle
Brought to you by the team behind much-loved Japanese restaurant Nagisa and Ape Yakitori Bar, Susuru is all about traditional ramen and gyoza with a modern twist. Think dishes like wagyu cheese gyoza and truffle shoyu ramen. Susuru has plenty of vegan options too, which can be hard to find for ramen-lovers.
Where: 140 King Street, Newcastle
If we've missed one of your favourite Japanese restaurants in Newcastle, email us at [email protected]