Food & Drink

Grab Your Chopsticks For 16 Of The Best Japanese Restaurants On The Sunshine Coast

By Urban List Writers

There’s a whole lot more to Japanese cuisine than just sushi. And lucky for us, there’s plenty of places on the Sunshine Coast, serving up everything from salty ramen and black sesame ice cream to traditional teppanyaki, and yes, even those delectable little rolls stuffed with all sorts. 

Whether you’re looking to spend some loose change or your whole fortnightly pay check, we’ve uncovered 16 of the best Japanese restaurants on the Sunshine Coast in 2023. Get those chopsticks ready.  

Ikko Japanese Kitchen

Maroochydore 

From the homemade miso soup to the crispy chicken karaage, Ikko Japanese is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether you’re on a lunch break and need a quick Japanese fix (hot tip: order the chicken katsu bento box) or you’re trying to figure out how many pork gyozas it’s humanly possible to eat, this authentic little eatery is one of the best Japanese restaurants on the Sunshine Coast.

Moon Bear Sushi and Charcoal Grill

Currimundi

The wall of kitsune masks at the back of the intimate Moon Bear Grill are the first thing you see when you enter. Then you see a giant, LED bear head sign behind the bar and chochin lanterns lining the wall. It’s a visual delight, but wait until you try their food. Using locally-sourced, Mooloolaba salmon and fresh vegetables from local grocers, Moon Bear’s menu has been created with taste and sustainability in mind. Their crispy beef with plum sauce and homemade watermelon and lychee slushies are a combo made in heaven and if you ask me, their location on the Nicklin Way adds to the bustling vibe of the place. A hidden gem.

Sumi Open Kitchen 

Noosa 

With an expansive open kitchen, a night at  Sumi Open Kitchen will be as tasty as it is entertaining. The winner of multiple AGFG awards, this highly-lauded restaurant is one of the best Sunshine Coast restaurants, regardless of cuisine. On offer is the ‘Trust the Chef’ menu, which is a six course omakase menu of delicious Japanese-inspired cuisine with a sake pairing. So, all you have to do is sit back, relax and watch the chefs do what they do best while you wait for your culinary surprise. Due to the set menu style, this restaurant is not vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free friendly. 

Kinnho Teppanyaki

Mooloolaba

There's something about various vegetables, meats and rice balls flying through the air that makes teppanyaki so appealing. Bring out your inner child (and practice your catching skills) at this highly entertainly teppanyaki joint in Mooloolaba. Kinnho Teppanyaki is, hands down, one of the best teppanyaki spots on the Sunshine Coast and boasts an array of set tappeanyaki courses, in addition to appetizers and banquet menus.

Soka

Maroochydore

Maroochydore's well-loved Soka (originally Chako) will elevate your evening with casual fine dining, which is an intriguing blend of Japanese and charcoal-prepared cuisine. They've recently extended their menu from 30 to 45 dishes and do a cheeky $8 skewer deal for every Wednesday and Thursday evening. Take your pick from Soka's extensive charcoal char-grilled menu, with nine meat and five vegetarian options or chow into  delights like smoked lamb with pickled cabbage and cauliflower purée, burnt garlic chicken teriyaki with chickpea, and eggplant tempura with sweet miso. Up the ante and go all out with the chef's four-course banquet for just $75 per person.

Bamboo House

Maroochydore

If you’re one of those people who like being spoilt for choice when looking at a menu, then you’ll find your happy place at Bamboo House. This BYO restaurant offers almost every type of Japanese dish you can think of and it won’t break the bank. With most donburi bowls and giant sushi rolls coming in at under $15, your pocket change will go a long way here.  

Sakana Sushi Bar

Mooloolaba

The most highly rated sushi restaurant in Mooloolaba, we couldn't possibly write about the best Japanese on the Sunshine Coast without including Sakana Sushi Bar. Unassuming and tucked discreetly into the side of its sister restaurant Fish on Parkyn, Sakana is a Mooloolaba institution for a reason. Dive into the fresh sashimi, nigiri sushi, futomaki and assortment of other traditional Japanese dishes, which use high quality seafood from the docks straight behind Sakana and are designed to be shared with great company.

Sokuri Japanese and Korean

Caloundra

Located in the heart of Caloundra on Bulcock Street, Sokuri launched in 2022 and has already won over most of Caloundra. Their curry bowls and udon are divine and they even have local beer on tap. The whole restaurant is covered in murals of sakura petals and temples which make for a great background while you slurp up some noodles or chow down on some fresh nigiri. 

Sushi Yah Man

Noosa 

Giving us the cultural combination we never knew we needed, Sushi Yah Man is the perfect mix of Jamaican and Japanese. Pumping out rasta tunes while serving up delicious Japanese, this laidback sushi joint is known for its chunky inside-out rolls, Japanese Tapas, and authentic curries and noodles. After one visit here, you’ll never want to eat Japanese without reggae again.

Sushi Wave 

Peregian Beach

This BYO dine-in and takeaway sushi joint is almost too good to be true. With an endless menu of Japanese delights, including sushi, noodles, hot dishes and mains, Sushi Wave literally has something for everyone. Whether you’re a sucker for pork gyoza, prawn katsu or yakisoba noodles, you’ll taste why this joint made its way into our list of the best Japanese restaurants on the Sunshine Coast.

Umami Ramen

Maroochydore 

As you can probably guess from their name, Umami Ramen specialise in all things ramen and is easily one of the best Japanese restaurants on the Sunshine Coast. From Tonkotsu and Tan-Tan Men to Spicy Black and Spicy Red, all of their ramen dishes are packed with flavour. They also offer rice bowls and Japanese snacks (try the tofu nuggets) plus everything is available to take away, so whether you’re dining in or gobbling your ramen on the run, you won’t be disappointed. 

Ginger Japanese Restaurant 

Maroochydore

Since its opening, Ginger Japanese has fast become one of the best Japanese restaurants on the Sunshine Coast and it’s not hard to see why. Located in Maroochydore, their extensive menu is full of sushi, sashimi and traditional Japanese curries. Be sure to pop in on a Tuesday and take advantage of their $5 dumpling special.  

Nobuzo Japan Diner

Mooloolaba 

A favourite for both locals and visitors, Nobuzo has built quite the reputation on the Sunshine Coast for its fresh, delicious and authentic Japanese fare and for being one of the best teppanyaki restaurants around. Open for lunch and dinner, don’t leave without tasting the prawn tempura or the barbecued eel don.

NikoNiko Japanese Table

Alexandra Headland

There’s not many better ways to start your night than an entree and two beers or wines for $20 from NikoNiko in Alex Heads. The Japanese restaurant’s menu has all your traditional favourites and a decent range of sake to choose from. Oh, and it’s right across from the beach. Kanpai!

Izakaya Ate

Noosa Heads

Izakaya. It translates to: eat-drink-place. It’s basically meant to be a Japanese pub, so what’s not to love? Their dishes are all made in house. Octopus karaage with deep fried noodles is one that stands out and their huge sake, shochu and beer lineup will have you wanting to settle in and stay a while, so why not?

Kakuya Teppanyaki

Mudjimba

If you’ve ever been to a teppanyaki restaurant you know what it’s about: flips, flames and fabulous food. Kakuya is no exception and with their five set meals to choose from there’s something for everyone. We also think Yamazaki whiskey is the perfect accompaniment for any of their meals. You heard it here.

So you've filled up on gyoza and ramen, now what's next? Twirl your fork into the best Italian restaurants on the Sunshine Coast right now.

Image credit: Amy Higg and Hayley Williamson for Urban List, SAKO and Supplied

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