New York City Food & Drink

Rolling in the Sushi: 20 Must-Try Japanese Restaurants in NYC

New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and Japanese cuisine has established a strong presence in the culinary scene. From sushi to ramen, and everything in between, there are plenty of Japanese restaurants to choose from in the city.

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide where to dine. That's why we've compiled a list of the best Japanese restaurants in the city, so you can indulge in the finest cuisine that Japan has to offer.

Whether you're in the mood for a casual lunch or a fancy dinner, there's a Japanese restaurant in New York City for every occasion.

Some restaurants specialize in traditional dishes, while others offer a modern twist on Japanese cuisine. With the abundance of options, you'll be able to find a restaurant that caters to your preferences.

One of the great things about Japanese cuisine is the emphasis on fresh and high-quality ingredients. Many Japanese restaurants in New York City import their ingredients directly from Japan to ensure the authenticity of their dishes.

This commitment to quality is reflected in the taste of the food, making for a truly exceptional dining experience. So, whether you're a sushi aficionado or a ramen enthusiast, you're sure to find a Japanese restaurant in New York City that will satisfy your cravings.

1. Izakaya MEW

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

If you're looking for an authentic Japanese dining experience, Izakaya MEW is a must-visit. This underground restaurant is full of energy and vibes, making it a great spot for lunch or dinner.

The menu features a wide variety of options, including fresh sushi, inventive ramen dishes, and tasty rice bowls.

The restaurant is always busy, so be sure to make a reservation in advance. Prices are reasonable for the quality of the food, and the service is fast and friendly.

Don't miss out on the yellowtail carpaccio and the croquette – they're both must-try dishes.

2. Sushi Nakazawa

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

Sushi Nakazawa is an exceptional Japanese restaurant that offers high-end omakase meals.

The quality of the sushi is unmatched, with each piece perfectly seasoned and attentively prepared.

The restaurant's elegant decor and sophisticated atmosphere create a memorable dining experience.

While the cost is substantial, the flavors and service make it well worth the price. Reservations are required, so plan ahead for a truly unforgettable meal.

3. Tempura Matsui

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

Tempura Matsui is a high-end Japanese restaurant that specializes in tempura. The restaurant offers an intimate dining experience with seasonal omakase menus.

The service is top-notch, and the presentation of the dishes is stunning. The tempura is simple but authentic and of high quality.

The lunch set is a great value, and the sashimi of the day is surprisingly good with the fish jelly. The chef's table gives a great view of the craftsmanship.

While the most expensive dinner set may not be worth the price, adding on a la carte items is a good option. In short, Tempura Matsui is an excellent upscale choice for fried Japanese fare.

4. DokoDemo

89 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

DokoDemo is a Japanese restaurant that offers quality food at a reasonable price. The menu is small, but the dishes taste completely different from one another.

The staff is friendly and helps customers decide what to get. The atmosphere is amazing and there's usually not too many people.

It's a great alternative to fast food and is quite fulfilling. They serve authentic Japanese food, including handmade noodles, and the flavor is spot on.

It's a counter-serve outpost of a Japanese chain that makes yakisoba noodles and okonomiyaki pancakes. If you're looking for a quick stop for some Japanese street food, DokoDemo is a great choice.

5. DOMODOMO New York

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

DOMODOMO New York is a sleek and modern Japanese restaurant that features clever hand rolls, sushi, small plates, and sake.

The restaurant is known for its fresh and delicious sashimi, hot dishes, and risotto. The Domokase is an excellent value and worth trying.

The staff are polite and provide great service. The ambiance is relaxing and adds to the overall experience.

The presentation of each dish is impressive and adds to the quality and experience. The restaurant is a top-tier culinary experiment that is worth the price.

6. Yakiniku Futago

Yakiniku Futago
37 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011 (Google Maps)

Yakiniku Futago is an upscale Japanese restaurant that offers a unique dining experience.

The quality of the meat is exceptional and the staff is knowledgeable and attentive. The modern decor creates a relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a night out.

While the prices are a bit high, it's worth trying for the delicious meats and upscale ambiance.

Highly recommended for meat lovers and those looking for a special occasion dining experience.

7. SakaMai

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

SakaMai is a charming Japanese restaurant that offers an excellent culinary experience.

The menu features creative and flavorful options that will satisfy any lover of Japanese cuisine. The cozy atmosphere and friendly service make for an enjoyable dining experience.

A must-try dish is the wagyu katsusando. The mochi gelato is also a standout dessert that should not be missed.

SakaMai is a great choice for a night out with friends or a special occasion.

8. Juku

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

Juku is a Japanese restaurant that offers an authentic experience for sushi lovers. The sushi chefs are not only skilled, but also engaging and hilarious.

The Omakase is a must-try, as the quality of fish is outstanding. The drink selection is also impressive, with a variety of unique cocktails and Japanese whiskey.

The staff and owner are welcoming, making the atmosphere lively and fun. Juku also offers a basement speakeasy for a relaxed and intimate setting after dinner.

Prices are fair for the quality of food and service. Juku is a great spot for a date or before a night out.

9. Zutto Japanese Ramen Sushi Bar

Zutto Japanese Ramen Sushi Bar
384 Broome St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Zutto Japanese Ramen Sushi Bar offers an extensive menu of delicious Japanese cuisine, including sushi, ramen, and seafood.

The restaurant has a cozy and warm atmosphere, making it an ideal place for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner. The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that customers have a comfortable dining experience.

The cocktails are top-notch, and the customizable ramen is a must-try. The restaurant also offers great deals on drinks and starters, making it a great value for money.

If you're looking for a new Japanese restaurant to try, Zutto Japanese Ramen Sushi Bar is definitely worth a visit.

10. Kimura

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

Kimura is a must-visit Japanese restaurant for anyone who loves authentic Japanese cuisine. The menu offers a wide range of options, including hot pot, sushi, and ramen.

The atmosphere is traditional Japanese and comfortable, creating a relaxing dining experience.

The service is excellent, with friendly and attentive staff. Kimura's dishes are prepared with high-quality ingredients, and the set dinners are shareable between two people, making it an excellent value for money.

Don't forget to make a reservation to secure a seat, as this place fills up quickly!

11. 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 sushi restaurant that offers an 18-course omakase menu.

The fish used in the dishes are sourced from both the U.S. and Japan, ensuring freshness and quality.

The chef, Chef Tatsu, is known for his attention to detail and uses carefully selected seasonal ingredients in each dish.

The service is attentive and faultless, adding to the overall dining experience. If you're looking for a traditional omakase experience, Omakase Room by Mitsu is a must-visit restaurant.

12. ISE Noodle Shop

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

ISE Noodle Shop is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic Japanese cuisine. This cozy and intimate restaurant offers a refined yet relaxed atmosphere that transports diners straight to Tokyo.

The sushi chefs prepare each dish with precision and enthusiasm, making every bite a delight.

The menu includes a variety of options, from classic soba noodles to grilled fish and sushi. The bluefin tuna assortment over rice is a must-try, with the rice perfectly sweet and the fish of the highest quality.

The service is attentive and kind, adding to the overall enjoyable experience. Don't miss out on this gem of a restaurant.

13. Sakagura

211 E 43rd St B1, New York, NY 10017 (Google Maps)

Sakagura is a hidden gem of a Japanese restaurant, tucked away in an office building. The elegant space offers an authentic Japanese dining experience, with a great selection of sake to complement the delicious food.

The lunch menu is reasonably priced, but reservations are recommended as it can get busy.

The small plates allow for sampling a variety of dishes, all bursting with flavor. The attentive staff are knowledgeable about sake pairings and make great recommendations.

The Wagyu Beef Tataki is a must-try. Perfect for business dinners, date night, or a friends' get-together, Sakagura is a great choice for anyone looking for a memorable Japanese dining experience.

14. Marumi

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

Marumi is a Japanese restaurant that offers a wide variety of dishes, including sushi and bento boxes.

The restaurant has a nice outdoor seating arrangement, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

Customers rave about the fresh and delicious food, with many recommending the wagyu tataki, salmon rolls, and miso salmon.

Marumi is a reliable and affordable option for those looking for authentic Japanese cuisine.

15. Hana

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

Hana is a Japanese restaurant that serves top-notch sushi and other Japanese cuisine.

Their sushi is fresh and of high quality, and their prices are reasonable. The katsu noodles and chicken are also recommended.

The fish slices are thick, fatty, and flavorful, and the sushi rice is perfectly seasoned.

This restaurant is a great choice for those who want high-quality sushi without breaking the bank. Hana is definitely worth a visit for those who love Japanese cuisine.

16. Azabu New York

Azabu New York
428 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Azabu New York is a must-visit for sushi and seafood lovers. This Japanese restaurant offers incredible quality with every delicacy ingredient used.

The staff is amazing and the sake list is great. The Omakase menu is a party in your mouth, with perfectly fresh nigiri and rice.

The bar manager, Andrew, is phenomenal and recommended some of the best sake. The restaurant is tucked under street level, offering an intimate and cozy atmosphere.

While it may not be the best sushi in NYC, it is definitely worth a visit for the quality and experience.

17. Kaikagetsu NYC

Kaikagetsu Nyc
162 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

Kaikagetsu NYC is a must-visit for those who crave authentic Japanese cuisine. The restaurant offers a set menu that includes a variety of dishes, such as appetizers, sashimi, grilled dishes, shokuji, and desserts.

The food is beautifully presented and delicious. The restaurant also boasts a comfortable bar that serves high-end Japanese whiskeys, spirits, and draft beer.

The atmosphere is calm and chill, and the service is impeccably attentive. The intimate setting is perfect for a date or a close group of friends.

The menu changes every month and is seasonal, ensuring that every visit is a unique and memorable experience. Kaikagetsu NYC is a gem that is not to be missed.

18. Gosuke-Akimitsu

235 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001 (Google Maps)

Gosuke-Akimitsu is a hidden gem of a Japanese restaurant with a real Japanese chef. The sushi is especially great, with everything extremely fresh and affordable.

The gyoza is a perfect blend of crisp and soft, and the rice is amazing with top-notch sauce. The wait staff is friendly, quick, and knowledgeable about everything on the menu.

The menu options are somewhat limited, but the 9-course sushi omakase is delightful and well worth the price, showcasing the chef's decades of experience. The seating area is small and intimate, with a strong aroma of the sea on the grill.

The specials are expensive but tasty, and the after-work happy hour offers $5 drinks till 7. All in all, Gosuke-Akimitsu is a decent restaurant that offers expensive but great food.

19. Satsuki

114 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036 (Google Maps)

Satsuki is a high-end Japanese restaurant that offers an authentic omakase experience. The atmosphere is peaceful and the presentation of the dishes is beautiful.

The staff is attentive and respectful, providing excellent service. The food is flown fresh from Japan and the sushi is prepared by a skilled chef.

The flavors are exquisite and the textures are varied, making for a unique dining experience.

The prices are high, but the quality of the food and service make it worth it. Satsuki is a great choice for those looking for a world-class omakase meal.

20. Torien

292 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 (Google Maps)

Torien is a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant that specializes in chicken skewers cooked over a charcoal grill.

The minimalist decor and ambiance add to the unique experience of enjoying different parts of the chicken that one may not have thought were edible. The staff is attentive and knowledgeable, providing suggestions and explanations of each dish.

The omakase course is priced at $180 per person and takes about two hours to experience.

While the menu changes from time to time, the bento box and the yakitori omakase are highly recommended. Torien is a rare gem that offers an authentic yakitori experience using local ingredients.