Founded in 1755, Lexington is a rustic Kentucky city that has certainly made a name for itself on the map. Better known as the “Horse Capital of the World”, the city is home to farms that produce champion horses and thoroughbred racetracks, such as Keeneland. It’s no wonder that horse enthusiasts flock to Lexington. The second-largest city in Kentucky also produces rich bourbon, artisanal goods and world-class restaurants. Interestingly, Lexington has a plethora of high-quality Japanese restaurants that have long been serving authentic Japanese cuisine to the area and its visitors. Here’s a list of some of the best Japanese restaurants in Lexington, Kentucky.
1. Zen Sushi & Sake
Zen Sushi & Sake is a hidden jewel in horse country. This authentic Japanese establishment serves only the freshest ingredients and has fish flown in from Tsukiji and Fukuoka markets in Japan thrice a week. Be prepared to experience a culinary journey like no other, where dishes are perfectly balanced and crafted beautifully.
Let your taste buds take flight with their take on Salmon Carpaccio, a bowl of their signature Miso Soup and your choice of sushi rolls. You won’t be disappointed the slightest bit! Reserve your table at Zen Sushi & Sake and don’t miss out on one of the best Japanese restaurants in Lexington.
Zen Sushi & Sake
Address: 3070 Lakecrest Circle, Lexington, Kentucky, 40513
Website: Zen Sushi & Sake
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 5pm - 10pm; Sun: 5pm - 9pm (closed on Mon)
2. Tachibana Japanese Restaurant
It’s hard to forget that you’re not in Japan when you dine at Tachibana Japanese Restaurant. This quintessentially Japanese establishment includes a sushi bar and tatami rooms. Tachibana has been serving delicious Japanese cuisine for over 25 years. You can’t go wrong ordering anything from their expansive menu, but be sure not to miss their Ahi Rolls and to try your hand at their selection of sakes. If you’re having a serious Japanese food craving, head over to Tachibana Japanese Restaurant!
Tachibana Japanese Restaurant
Address: 785 Newtown Court, Lexington, KY 40511
Website: Tachibana Japanese Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2pm; Mon - Fri: 5:30pm - 10pm (closed on Sun)
3. Sushi Blue
Nestled in the Plaza Pasadena is a chic, modern Japanese restaurant called Sushi Blue. Although this establishment is slightly smaller compared to the other restaurants on this list, it makes for a perfect venue for intimate dinners with your partner or friends. Don’t miss out on trying their Monkey Avocado Roll and Roll on Fire. To top off your gastronomical experience, try their Tozai Blossom or Peace Plum Sake. For a late-night hangout session involving some quality sushi and sake, head over to Sushi Blue.
Address: 185 Pasadena Dr, 40503 Lexington, Kentucky
Website: Sushi Blue
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 6pm - 2am (closed on Sun)
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4. Osaka Japanese Restaurant
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Osaka Japanese Restaurant has a reputation for its innovative take on classic Japanese dishes. This quaint restaurant has an expansive menu that will have something delicious for everyone in your dinner party. Give their Angry Dragon Roll a try, together with their Tuna Tataki. To enjoy your meal and soak in the ambience of Osaka Japanese Restaurant, be sure to arrive early and ask for the best seat in the house.
Osaka Japanese Restaurant
Address: 3805 Dylan Pl #130, Lexington, KY 40514, United States
Website: Osaka Japanese Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri & Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 10pm
5. Miyako Sushi & Grill
From the exposed brick wall exterior, it’s hard to believe that Miyako Sushi & Grill is a Japanese joint that serves amazing sushi rolls and hibachi entrees. Miyako has great sushi chefs that create innovative Japanese dishes. Don’t leave without trying their Kiss of Fire, Dancing Tuna and the Red Blossom Roll.
If you’re a fan of katsu don, or fried pork cutlet on rice, Miyako serves the best katsu don in the area. It is the perfect place for family or celebratory dinners, or just a really quick but equally delicious sushi stop.
Miyako Sushi & Grill
Address: 2547 Richmond Rd, Lexington, KY 40509
Website: Miyako Sushi & Grill
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 2pm & 5pm - 10pm; Fri: 11:30am - 2pm & 5pm - 11pm; Sat: 12pm - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 10pm
6. Hibachi Express
Hibachi Express is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves delicious Japanese food in the shortest amount of time. Located across the street from the Gatton College of Business, you’ll find that Hibachi Express is a popular go-to dining option for University of Kentucky students. For some good quality food, try their steak and shrimp hibachi. Otherwise, their chicken teriyaki is worth braving the peak hour crowds for, too. Well-proportioned food and speedy service make Hibachi Express an excellent choice.
Address: 563 S Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508
Website: Hibachi Express
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 9pm; Sat: 11am - 4pm; Sun: 11am - 9pm
7. Happy Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Happy Sushi Japanese Restaurant is the only Japanese restaurant in Lexington that offers an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. For a chance to try an assortment of sushi without breaking the bank or to simply to stuff yourself silly with delicious sushi rolls, you gotta come here! To complete your meal, have a taste of their green tea ice cream or their red bean sesame balls. They will surely put a smile on your face!
Happy Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Address: 130 W Tiverton Way #175, Lexington, KY 40503
Website: Happy Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Opening hours: (Lunch) Tue - Fri: 11am - 2:30pm; Sat: 11:30am - 3pm; (Dinner) Tue - Thu: 4:30pm - 10pm, Fri: 4:30pm - 11pm; Sat: 3pm - 11pm; Sun: 11:30am - 10pm (closed on Mon)
Tomo is an elegant Japanese restaurant in downtown Lexington. They have an excellent Tuna Tuna Roll and Wild Ride Roll. If you love Tempura, don’t miss their Godzilla Roll. Don’t pass on their warm pineapple sake, too. Tomo also has a nice selection of wine that pairs nicely with sushi. If you are driving, take note that parking spaces are limited. If you live nearby, walking would be a better option. Nevertheless, Tomo is still a wonderful Japanese restaurant to swing by.
Address: 848 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40502
Opening hours: (Lunch) Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm; (Dinner) Mon - Thu: 5pm - 9:30pm; Fri & Sat: 5pm - 10pm (closed on Sun)
9. Tekka Japanese Grill & Sushi
Tekka Japanese Grill & Sushi started serving authentic Japanese food in Lexington in 2016. With the freshest ingredients flown in from Japan, patrons savour their favourite Japanese dishes here. For an entertaining dinner, try your hand at a hibachi dinner. You’ll find yourself in awe of the skilled Japanese chefs performing tricks while whipping up some delicious food. Head over to Tekka today!
Tekka Japanese Grill & Sushi
Address: 2300 Sir Barton Way,#110, Lexington, KY 40509
Website: Tekka Japanese Grill & Sushi
Opening hours: (Lunch) Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2pm; (Dinner) Mon - Thu: 5pm - 10pm; Fri: 5pm - 11pm; Sat: 12pm - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 9pm
10. Asuka Japanese Steak House & Sushi
At Asuka Japanese Steak House & Sushi, you get a choice of how you want to dine – hibachi style, at the sushi bar or simply eating in the restaurant. Whatever your preference may be, you’ll be sure to have an entertaining and delicious meal. Asuka has the largest sushi bar in town, with an impressive variety of sushi that promises a burst of flavour in your mouth!
For a fun night of live cooking and being surrounded by your friends, opt for the party room for an intimate dining session. If the sushi bar is more to your liking, give their Red Bull Sushi Roll a taste. If you’ve never tried Japanese cuisine, this would be a good place to start. Just be sure to make reservations, as they get packed very quickly.
Asuka Japanese Steak House & Sushi
Address: 360 East Brannon Road, Nicholasville, KY 40356
Website: Asuka Japanese Steak House & Sushi
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 2pm & 5pm - 10pm; Fri: 11:30am - 2pm & 5pm - 11pm; Sat: 12pm - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 9pm
Lexington, Kentucky, draws people in with its thoroughbred horses and infectious Southern charm that is hard to resist. Yet, Lexington is also home to some of the best Japanese restaurants in Kentucky. Some might even claim they are the best in the country! For a gastronomical experience, head over to any of these Japanese restaurants on this list. Itadakimasu!
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