Best Sake in NYC

April 1, 2015
by Zagat Staff

Sake is meant to be sipped and savored at a leisurely pace. These NYC spots allow the Japanese rice wine to shine.

Bar · East 40s · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.0

A “portal to Tokyo” “hidden away” beneath an “anonymous” office building near Grand Central, this Japanese izakaya couples “sophisticated” small plates with an “amazing array” of “superb” sakes in a “calm” , bamboo-rich setting; given “dainty” -by-design portions, be prepared to “spend more than you expect.”
EN Japanese Brasserie
Brunch · West Village · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

“Sexy” , “serene” surroundings provide the backdrop for “innovative” Japanese fare at this “consistently excellent” West Village “date spot” , where highlights include “killer” housemade tofu and “work-of-art” kaiseki meals; a “superb” sake list and “gracious” service are more reasons it’s “worth what it costs.”
Japanese · Williamsburg · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

“Zen is the appropriate word” for this “special” Williamsburg Japanese featuring “peaceful” private cubicles where “mindful” staffers can be summoned with the “press of a button” ; adding to the “romantic” mood is an “excellent” , izakaya-style small-plates menu paired with “top-notch” sakes.
Japanese · East Village · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

The sushi is “always fresh” and “wonderful” at this no-frills East Village Japanese, where “unusual” specials and “excellent oysters” are other reasons to go; though not cheap, it’s considered a “pretty good value” given the “quality” – no wonder it’s “frequently full.”
Soba Totto
Japanese · East 40s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

“Stunning” housemade soba and “authentic” yakitori (but no sushi) beckon Grand Central commuters to this “dimly lit” Midtown Japanese where it's a pleasure to “sit at the bar and watch the charcoal pros work their magic” ; “popular lunch specials” seal the deal.
Sake Bar Decibel
Bar · East Village · $$$
Food - · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.5

Step down a "nondescript flight of stairs" and "into Tokyo" at this East Village sake bar, where "elbow-to-elbow" customers choose from a "vast selection" of labels supplemented by "unique" small plates; regulars feel it's "like something out of Blade Runner" , with its "dark lighting" and "graffiti'd walls.
15 East
Japanese · Union Square · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.4

“Inventive” preparations and “top-quality” fish result in “sublime” sushi at this “classy” Union Square Japanese also known for its wide sake selection; “personable” service and a “serene” , “minimalist” setting up its appeal for “adult dinners” , though the tabs have some saving it for “big occasions.”
Japanese · Greenwich Village · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

This “tiny” , “special-occasion” Village Japanese limits itself to “phenomenal omakase” , providing either “top-tier” sushi or traditional kaiseki spreads at a “transporting” bar that takes diners “straight to Tokyo” ; options starting at $155 mean “it ain’t cheap” , but the payoff is a real “wow experience.”
o ya
Japanese · Murray Hill · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.5

“Flavors like you’d never believe” are found in the “beautifully presented” omakase meals at this modern Japanese in Murray Hill’s Park South Hotel; the “highly original” fare is available à la carte too, but either way expect a “huge price tag.”