If you’re the type of person who can afford to walk in Nobu with no shoes, then London is a great place to eat Japanese food. We’ve got Yashin, we’ve got Roka we’ve got Zuma and Dinings and Chisou. But if you’re not on that kind of budget, and not willing to resort to a Tesco Variety Sushi Pack, then you might struggle to find a bento box that bridges the gap.

But all is not lost. Since I first sampled the salty, fatty delights of a salmon and avocado maki roll dunked in soy sauce, I’ve been on self-imposed mission to find the best sushi, katsu and udon that I can afford in my part of the city and there’s definitely some good stuff out there. Here are a few of the places that I like best.

Pham
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Located in the labyrinthine streets around the Barbican, Pham’s slightly inconvenient location and non-glam interior means the prices are relatively low and the focus stays on the food. And the food is very good, especially at these prices - fresh, perfectly made dragon rolls, spicy tuna rolls and plenty of Nobu-style dishes if you’re feeling ‘black cod’ fancy. Well worth a trip to EC1 (or home delivery if you live within a mile radius. In which case, lucky you.)

Delicatessen Yoshino
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Delicatessen Yoshino is the sister shop to the very good, rather expensive, and slightly soulless Yoshino restaurant in Piccadilly Circus. In this takeaway emporium, the standards remain the same but the prices drop drastically - £3 will buy you eight pieces of organic salmon and avocado maki, and most packs are even cheaper. It’s not somewhere to linger over a long lunch, but Yoshino is perfect for picking up a quick snack when you’re in central London and don’t want to give in to the lure of plasticky Pret.

Hare & Tortoise
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I’ve spent many hungover mornings in the clean and clinical environs of Hare & Tortoise’s Bloomsbury location, easing my headache with a cavernous bowl of Chicken Katsu curry, which comes in at just £6.50 for an obscenely large and rich serving. On days when I’m seeking food to cleanse rather than comfort, the sushi set is sublime and the green salad is one of the best I’ve ever had. Consisting of nothing more than some leaves, some cherry tomatoes, and some slivers of avocado and cucumber in a light sesame dressing, it’s understated but perfectly executed – much like the restaurant itself.

Yoobi
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Recently-opened Yoobi is a welcome addition to Soho’s excellent offering of affordable lunch options. The blonde wood space is fresh and modern and the food is much the same. Offering temaki (the conical hand rolls) instead of the traditional maki (although you can order those if you like) everything is made to order, fairly priced, and delicious.

Atari Ya
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Atari-Ya supplies fish to some of the most expensive Japanese restaurants in London, which tells you all you need to know about this tiny shop-slash-cafe just behind Selfridges. On a recent shopping trip to the area, I sought refuge at one of the pavement-side tables and had the freshest sashimi salad (two slices each of melting tuna, salmon and prawns) plus perfectly-crafted salmon maki and spicy tuna maki (fatty, delicious salmon in the former; a pleasing lack of gloopy mayonnaise in the latter). Atari-Ya’s a good place to seek refuge if you’re shopping in the burning pit of hell that is Oxford Street, or to get a great meal if you happen to find yourself near one of its several locations in north-West London.