Kanada-Ya makes the best bowl of tonkotsu ramen anywhere in London. There’s always a line of students from Hong Kong and Japan outside any of their shops (even in the cold – usually a good sign), but it’s absolutely worth the wait. With the totally reasonable prices (just over a tenner for the basic bowl of noodles), it’s a good deal. There’s not a whole lot for vegetarians, so don’t bring them with the hope that there’ll be a veg stock or tofu option. Do go for a casual, no-reservations spot where the atmosphere is full of the sounds of conversation and people slurping noodles. Expect not to linger, but to leave happy.
More spots in Covent GardenSee more
When you eat at The Barbary in Covent Garden, everyone sits at the bar and everyone has a great time, while eating brilliant Middle Eastern food.
Hubbard & Bell
Located in the Hoxton hotel next to Holborn station, British restaurant Hubbard & Bell is a convenient spot for meeting friends, or late night eats.
Homeslice Pizza Covent Garden
A casual restaurant in Covent Garden, Homeslice makes great thin crust pizzas with adventurous toppings.
More Japanese spotsSee more
Yen is a large, upmarket Japanese restaurant on the Strand that specialises in soba. It’s a calm, spacious place to spend some time.
In addition to nice Japanese comfort food and good beers, Brixton’s Nanban is a solid place for a hang with mates.
Need .a quick lunch in central? Machiya serves tasty Japanese comfort food close to Piccadilly and Leicester Square. Get the beef curry.
Suggested by our writers
Lanzhou Noodle House
It doesn’t look promising from the outside, but Lanzhou Noodle House near Leicester Square makes excellent Chinese hand-pulled noodles.
Yamagoya is a Japanese fast-casual restaurant in Southwark which is great for a quick snack or an excellent bowl of ramen.
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