Arizona is not only home to authentic Japanese restaurants but is also a great place to sample various types of Japanese fusion. The creators of the restaurants detailed below have taken creative approaches to pairing Japanese flavors with Chinese, Mexican, and even Italian cuisine.
Have we overlooked any tasty restaurants in town? Feel free to add to the comment section below!
Aishiteru Asian Bistro
Aishiteru is a small casual spot in North Phoenix offering tasty and affordable lunch and dinner options. The menu includes both Japanese and Chinese options from sushi to Yakisoba to fried rice. It’s a great choice when in the mood for a quick sushi fix. If you work in the area, I recommend trying the lunch specials! (Mon-Fri 11:00am-3:00pm)
2017 E Cactus Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85022
Japanese and Mexican fusion may seem like a strange combination, but Adobo Dragon manages to offer delicious and creative menu items that successfully highlight the flavors of both cuisines. The chef describes his upbringing as including “chaos in the kitchen,” which may explain some of the more surprising (yet tasty) choices. You’ll also find various types of Asian style dishes apart from Japanese, such as the carnitas wontons and Thai noodles.
The entire menu is fun, but you can’t go wrong with any of the Bao or Bento menu items! As Adobo is located in Downtown Phoenix’s Desoto Market, you have plenty of other cafe options for dessert and coffee after your meal.
915 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (Inside Desoto Market)
I should note right off the bat that Shabu Fondue does not serve cheese fondue. Rather, this is a “hot pot” style restaurant featuring Japanese, Chinese, and Thai menu items. Guests have the option to order a variety of meats and veggies to cook at their table, making for a fun and interactive experience. The ingredients are fresh, and the staff is very helpful for guests new to hot pot dining.
7822 N. 12th St. Phoenix, AZ 85020
Clever Koi is trendy Japanese and Chinese fusion restaurant with locations in Phoenix and Gilbert. The expansive menu includes a variety of small plates so that guests can try multiple items in a single visit. There are also great happy hour deals (11am-6pm daily) as well as noodle and rice noodle pairings for couples on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Be sure to try any of the steamed buns during your visit!
Phoenix Location: 4236 N. Central Ave. #100 Phoenix, AZ 85012
Gilbert Location: 384 N. Gilbert Rd #101 Gilbert, AZ 85234
Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe
We already highlighted Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe in our list of favorite Japanese restaurants in Phoenix, but it would be wrong not to mention it here. Cherry Blossom offers both Japanese and Italian dishes. While of course noodles are featured on the menu, the restaurant also includes delicious sushi items as well as pastries for dessert. Try the happy hour (3-6pm weekdays) if you are in the mood to sample a variety of menu items!
914 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85014