Over the years, London has seen a rise in demand and appreciation for udon noodles resulting in more restaurants and chains popping up. Served hot or cold, udon noodles vary depending on the region in Japan. These noodles are delectable and versatile, making them a great base for a variety of other added ingredients. There are several Japanese restaurants in London that serve udon, but eateries specialising in udon alone are few.
Here’s our list of where to find the best Udon in London
Koya has become a prominent name in London’s food scene known for its udon that is handmade every day at Koya’s noodle workshop. It was co-founded by John Devitt and Shuko Oda with their first site on Soho’s Frith Street in 2010, bringing a traditional Japanese udon bar to the West End. Now, there are three restaurants – Koya Soho, Koya City and Koya Ko, Hackney – the latter of which launched in Broadway Market in September 2021.
Their menu boasts the most comprehensive menu on hot and cold udon with a wide array of toppings and authentic versions such as kake, kamatama and kitsune. There is also an English Breakfast udon with egg bacon and shiitake in Soho but purists needn’t worry as there’s plenty of traditional udon dishes to choose from.
Another great spot for a quick bite or a healthy breakfast. Nestled in the busy St Pancras station is Kineya, an establishment that started in Osaka in the late 1960’s and has successfully spread its wings in cities like Hong Kong and London.
The traditional cold noodle dish – Zaru Udon served with ginger, spring onions and sesame seeds is certainly one to try. But if you’re feeling adventurous, there are also innovative udon specialities at Kineya such as the Panko Fried Chicken Curry Udon or the Takoyaki Udon with nori, spring onions, pickled ginger, topped with a crunchy prawn and two octopus tempura balls.
Occupying the former site of Kano, Donburi may not be the first place you’d consider when you think of udon, owing to its title, but along with their rice dishes, their udon is sensational too. There are basic udon dishes such as the Niku Beef Udon Soup Noodles but if you’re in Ludgate and really want a hearty bowl of clean tasting udon, look out for the seasonal specials chalked on the black board of Donburi.
Japanese udon noodle chain Marugame Udon opened its doors in Liverpool Street in 2021 and now has over five branches across the city. The restaurant is all about Sanuki udon, famous from the Kagawa prefecture in Japan. The noodles are made in house and the flour and machine are imported from Japan.
This is canteen style dining with an open plan kitchen, where you can see our noodles being made with the three humble ingredients – salt, flour and water. Once you’ve chosen your noodles, there’s a selection of tempura and sides as well. There are some dishes that are exclusive to London such as the pork tonkotsu and a new vegan section which is a first for the Marugame group.
On the pricey side, you may wonder why you’d splash the cash on udon at Chisou, especially when their sushi takes centre stage.
The sushi and sashimi are no doubt the stars of the menu along with an omakase experience but their Gomoku udon deserves a special mention as this noodle dish served with wakame, daikon oroshi, tempura prawn, tofu, nameko mushroom, spring onion is one for those who prefer their noodles over sushi.
It’s also the place you’d like to treat yourself to a special occasion and know that there’s something for everyone here.
A west London spot that has earned a decent reputation for its yakitori however, they have a genuine menu that serves udon noodles if yakitori isn’t quite your thing.
If sake is something that appeals to you, then Tosa is a great spot for some udon and sake indulgence.
Try the Kizami udon – beautiful thick white udon noodles served with cooked tofu in hot bonito based broth.
A humble eatery with very limited options for vegetarians and vegans, but their udon menu is worth having on your radar as along with the traditional options, Misato includes a wonderful variety of curry udon if you’re a fan.
Along with chicken and pork katsu curry udon, there’s egg curry udon, ebi tempura curry udon and beef curry udon, all under £8. So now you know that this is a great place to get your fill of udon without breaking the bank.