While most tourists come to Paris to try French food, others hope to find the best in Japanese cuisine, hearing of the city's reputation for excellent "Nippon" eateries.. For those hunting for the latter, the most coveted spot is without competition the area around Rue Sainte-Anne, often referred to as “Little Tokyo.” The choice in the neighborhood, in close reach of the opulent Opera Garnier and the prestigious Louvre-Tuileries district, can be overwhelming: while most places offer good, authentic "Nippon" cuisine, these restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries are some of the best in the neighborhood.
If you’re in a rush but still craving Japanese food, Juji-ya ia perfect. You can either take your Bento box to go, or sit in its cafeteria-style eating area. Powdered green tea is on offer: a delicious but hard to find item in Paris – and the salmon-stuffed rice and seaweed triangles are divine (and oh so much healthier than a BigMac). Juji-ya also has a fabulous grocery store in the back, featuring tons of Japanese snacks and cooking basics.
Address: 48 rue Sainte-Anne
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 86 02 22
The true test of a good restaurant in Paris is often the length of the line of hungry patrons lining up outside the door. And the line here at Kintaro is almost always out the door. But never fear: your meal will be worth the wait. Choose between scrumptious meat and rice dishes, soba noodle soups, shrimp tempura or grilled fish. The only problem with Kintaro is trying to decide what to order from its enormous, complex menu. The open seating area feels much like a New York City diner, with a fast-paced, Western waitstaff that keeps the line outside from going around the block.
Address: 24 rue Saint Augustin
Tel: +33 (0)1 47 42 13 14
Happa Tei stands out as having a menu comprised almost entirely of okonomiyaki. These giant Japanese omelets are stuffed with meat, vegetables and onions, and are surprisingly light despite their size. Happa Tei also features takoyaki, a fried ball-shaped snack filled with octopus. If you’re looking for a unique Japanese dining experience, hit up this address.
Address: 64 rue Sainte-Anne
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 96 60 40
Kunitoraya specializes in udon noodles dishes, adding tofu, duck or tempura to the soup. Served up cold or hot in more than 10 different varieties, this is a top spot for slurping down those delectably squiggly udon. The waitstaff is especially friendly here and the line snaking outside the door is testament to its success in the neighborhood. Prices are very reasonable.
Address: 39 rue Sainte-Anne
Tel: +33(0)1 47 03 33 65
ACE Gourmet Bento
If you can’t decide between Japanese and Korean food, try this casual restaurant spot. The two main options here are Japanese Bento boxes and Korean Bim bim bop. Bento boxes feature a choice of meat, five vegetables, rice, miso soup and fruit in healthy portions (between 8-10 euros). Bim bim bop dishes mix vegetables and meat, rice and spicy cabbage and is eaten with a large spoon. Gourmet Bento might not look like much from the outside but after a meal here, you might just become a regular.
Address: 18 Rue Thérèse
Tel: +33(0)1 47 03 94 38
If you’re looking for a fun, energetic atmosphere in the neighborhood, Higuma is the place. Dishes are cooked wok-style in an open kitchen for all the clients to see. Smoke, smells and deafening sizzling ricochets through the restaurant, making this a slightly intense but enjoyable dining experience. Expect to wait 10-20 minutes in line, as the popular spot is always packed.
Address: 32 rue Sainte-Anne
Tel: +33(0)1 47 03 38 59
Takara markets itself as the oldest Japanese restaurant in Paris. But this isn’t the only reason why you should give it a whirl. Takara gets top marks for quality, service and, of course, taste. Prices are a bit steep, but the meals don’t disappoint. Here, you’ll find sublime cuts of sashimi and their specialty, piping hot sukiyaki – soy sauce-based noodle soups with finely sliced beef, vegetables and egg.
Address: 14 rue Molière
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 96 08 38
Who says you need to go out for great Japanese food? If you’re feeling daring, you might try visiting this Asian grocery store and creating your own Japanese culinary masterpiece
Address: 43 rue Saint Augustin
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 07 93 57
Here is where French and Japanese food really fuse to produce some interesting delights. Aki Boulanger takes the traditional French pastry and adds a particularly Japanese twist – filling everything from croissants and pain au raisin with green tea. Here, you’ll find éclairs, tiramisu, Danish rolls, and more – all filled with the green stuff. The “matcha au lait” (green tea with milk) is not to be missed, and the green tea ice cream is some of the best in the city. The warm, friendly staff speaks English.
Address: 16 rue Sainte-Anne
Tel: +33 (0)9 51 84 17 04
Check out our guide to American-style shops and grocers in Paris for more tips on scoring those hard-to-find products in the city of light. Also check out our list of the best gourmet foodshops that Paris has to offer.