So, as you have guessed by now, I am a big fan of Japan and Japanese food. When I’ve had a hard day, there are a few dishes that will surely cheer me up. Naturally sushi almost always does the trick. Since most of my friends know how much I like sushi, I often get asked which is my favorite sushi restaurant in Leuven. The answer to this question is not straight forward. It depends. If you want your sushi delivered at home, I would recommend Saki Sushi or New Sushi Palace, but if you’re looking for a nice sushi meal with friends or the love of your life, I have a totally different top 3 for you.
Number 1: Wabi Sabi Sushi Bar
Perhaps not the best sushi in Leuven, but close enough. I like this restaurant, because the interior is very beautiful and stylish. The building which now hosts Wabi Sabi, belonged to an antiquarian before and it shows. Moreover Wabi Sabi is the biggest sushi restaurant in town: you’ll almost always guaranteed to find an empty table due to its sheer number of seating places. Even on a Saturday evening it is possible to find a table for two. In summer you can enjoy your sushi outside on the terrace in the Muntstraat and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Service at times can be a little slow, but the sushi makes up for it.
Muntstraat 10, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
+32 16 74 77 54
Number 2: Inari
Inari sushi was the first sushi restaurant that opened its doors in Leuven and it remains one of the best (but sadly also one of the most expensive). After all these years it still exists, which in itself proves that Inari has a loyal audience that loves coming back for more. The sushi is really great, although due to its popularity, the restaurant can get rather busy and loud. Tables are put a little too close to each other to my taste, so make sure not to share a big secret over your sushi boat. (Yes, I know, no Japanese sushi chef in his right mind will even serve sushi on a boat.)
Parijsstraat 18, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
+32 16 43 38 43
Number 3: Sakura
Sakura is a more spartan restaurant: simple tables in a mostly white, rather narrow restaurant. It is possible to sit outside on the terrace in the Muntstraat, but there are only a few tables available. The sushi is very good though, although waiting times can vary. Due to the simplicity of this restaurant and the fact that upon entering the first thing you’ll see are the sushi chefs at the counter working their magic, this restaurant has the most authentic Japanese vibe to me.
Muntstraat 21, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
+32 16 22 26 28
The three restaurants mentioned all offer take-away. Sadly none of them has a delivery service. Be warned though: in Leuven you won’t find any sushi restaurant run by Japanese people. If you prefer your sushi prepared by a Japanese chef, you’ll have to travel to Brussels or Antwerp.
If you have other recommendations, please let me know in the comments.