Food & Drink

Sushi-lover’s guide to the top 12 Japanese gems in NYC

New York City is a culinary capital of the world, offering a diverse range of restaurants spanning different cuisines and cultures. Among the most popular and beloved cuisines in the city is Japanese cuisine, which has become a staple among locals and tourists alike.

From sushi to ramen to izakaya-style dining, New York City has no shortage of Japanese restaurants that offer authentic and high-quality dishes.

But with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go for the best Japanese food. That's why we've put together a list of the best Japanese restaurants in the city, based on reviews and recommendations from locals and experts.

Whether you're looking for a casual spot to grab a quick bite or a fancy restaurant for a special occasion, we've got you covered.

In this blog post, we'll be highlighting some of the best Japanese restaurants in New York City, providing an overview of their menus and what sets them apart from the rest.

We'll also be sharing some tips on what to order and what to expect, so you can make the most out of your dining experience. So sit back, grab a cup of green tea, and get ready to discover the best Japanese restaurants in the city that never sleeps.

1. Izakaya MEW

Izakaya Mew
53 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001 (Google Maps)

Izakaya MEW is a fantastic Japanese restaurant that offers an authentic izakaya taste experience. The restaurant is full of young and energetic vibes, making it a great place for quality lunch or dinner.

The food is of great quality, with a wide selection of fresh sushi and ingredients that are cooked to perfection. The prices are very reasonable, making it a great value for money.

The restaurant has a unique atmosphere that is both welcoming and cozy, making it a great place to unwind after a long day.

The staff is friendly and provides fast service, ensuring that you have a great dining experience. If you're looking for a great Japanese restaurant, then Izakaya MEW is definitely worth a visit.

2. Sushi Nakazawa

Sushi Nakazawa
23 Commerce St, New York, NY 10014 (Google Maps)

Sushi Nakazawa is a high-end Japanese restaurant that offers a sophisticated dining experience. The restaurant is known for its omakase, a multi-course meal where the chef chooses the dishes.

The sushi is made with fish and ingredients sourced from around the world, resulting in a unique and diverse flavor profile.

The Uni box is a must-have for uni fans. The decor is elegant, and the atmosphere is calm and relaxing.

The service is attentive and professional, ensuring a memorable dining experience. Sushi Nakazawa is a destination sushi spot for those seeking a high-end dining experience.

3. Sushiva

615 9th Ave floor 1, New York, NY 10036 (Google Maps)

Sushiva is a Japanese restaurant that serves fresh and delicious food.

The customer service is great and the ambiance is good. They have a variety of lunch specials available every day.

The sushi is fresh and reasonably priced. The staff is friendly and welcoming.

Sushiva is a great place to go if you want good quality sushi without breaking the bank.

4. Tempura Matsui

Tempura Matsui
222 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016 (Google Maps)

Tempura Matsui is an intimate and high-end Japanese restaurant that specializes in seasonal omakase menus with a focus on tempura. The restaurant offers an authentic and fantastic tempura course menu that equals the quality and ingredients served in Japan.

The service is top-notch and meets Michelin Star standards. The lunch set is perfection, and the sashimi of the day is surprisingly good with the fish jelly.

The okra, eggplant, and squid are very memorable. The chef table gives a great view of the craftsmanship. However, the most expensive dinner set is not worth the price point and does not have an "it factor" that would make one want to go back.

The tempura is good but not special. The recommendation would be to get the cheapest dinner set and add on the extra a la carte items on the menu. Lunch may be a better option for the price point to try.

5. DOMODOMO New York

Domodomo New York
140 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012 (Google Maps)

DOMODOMO New York is a must-visit for sushi lovers. With a sleek and modern interior, the restaurant offers a variety of hand rolls and sushi, as well as small plates and sake.

The service is attentive and efficient, and the food is fresh and flavorful.

Although the nigiri sushi may not be as creative as other dishes, the miso black cod and blue crab hand rolls are a must-try.

The restaurant offers good value for money, making it one of the best sushi places in the city.

6. SakaMai

157 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

SakaMai is a must-visit for lovers of Japanese cuisine. The menu offers creative and elegant dishes that are well presented and delicious.

The signature Egg on Egg on Egg and Wagyu Sandwich are highly recommended. The restaurant also has its own sake bar, making it the perfect place to enjoy high-quality Japanese fish and meat dishes with a drink.

The team is extremely polite and attentive, ensuring a great dining experience. The intimate setting and relaxed jazz background add to the overall ambiance of the restaurant.

Though on the pricier side, the quality of the food and service make it worth the cost.

7. Juku

32 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Juku is an authentic Japanese restaurant that offers a unique dining experience.

The interior design is outstanding, and the ambiance is cozy and intimate. The staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the menu.

The food is exceptional, and the sushi is fresh and delicious. The cocktails are unique and perfectly crafted.

Juku is a great spot for a date or a night out with friends. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a high-end Japanese dining experience.

8. Omakase Room by Mitsu

Omakase Room By Mitsu
| Ground Floor, 14 Christopher St Ground Floor, New York, NY 10014 (Google Maps)

Omakase Room by Mitsu is an upscale Japanese and sushi restaurant that offers an 18-course omakase menu.

The menu features fresh fish sourced from the U.S. and Japan, and each piece is carefully crafted by the skilled chef, Mitsu.

While the restaurant lacks ambiance, the attentive waiters make up for it with their excellent service.

The tasting menu is reasonably priced and offers a traditional omakase experience that will leave you wanting more. Highly recommended for sushi lovers looking for a unique culinary experience.

9. Kimura

31 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Kimura is a must-visit Japanese restaurant for anyone in search of a cozy and authentic dining experience.

The restaurant offers a variety of hot pot dishes that are flavorful and light. The sushi is also highly recommended.

The atmosphere is traditional and comfortable, and the service is top-notch. It is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance, as the restaurant can get quite busy.

The prices are also reasonable, making it a great option for those on a budget.

10. ISE Noodle Shop

Ise Noodle Shop
63 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

ISE Noodle Shop is an authentic Japanese restaurant that specializes in soba noodles and sushi.

The restaurant has a refined yet relaxed vibe that makes it a great spot for a casual dinner or a special occasion. The fish in the chirashi is always fresh, and the uni is phenomenal.

The sushi chefs make every dish in front of the customers, and they explain each one with enthusiasm. The homemade noodles are wonderful, and the serving sizes are reasonable.

The early bird special and the hexagon menu are great value, and the lunch combo is highly recommended. The price is very reasonable, and the service is professional and friendly.

11. Marumi

546 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012 (Google Maps)

Marumi is a Japanese restaurant that offers authentic and fresh Japanese dishes.

Their sushi and sashimi are of the highest quality and reasonably priced. The staff is attentive and efficient, providing excellent service.

The restaurant has a cozy and intimate setting, perfect for a date night or small group outings.

Marumi also serves bento boxes, udon noodles, and other cooked dishes that are worth trying. It is a true NYC gem that should not be missed.

12. Hana

111 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

Hana is a top-notch Japanese restaurant that offers high-quality sushi at a great value.

The fish is fresh, flavorful, and perfectly prepared, making it a must-visit for sushi lovers. The menu also includes katsu noodles and chicken, which are equally delicious.

The service is excellent, making the dining experience even more enjoyable.

Whether you're in the mood for sushi or other Japanese dishes, Hana is the perfect spot for a satisfying meal.