Best Japanese/Sushi Restaurants in NYC

October 25, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

Slip into one of this city’s sushi restaurants, izakayas, or soba shops, and you’ll see that New York has done a fantastic job at channeling the island nation in the Far East. Presenting our list of the best Japanese and sushi restaurants in the city.

Sushi Yasuda
Japanese · East 40s · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

“Sushi of your dreams” awaits at this “hidden jewel” near Grand Central, where disciples of the namesake master chef craft “heavenly” traditional cuts in a “spare, Zen” setting run by an “efficiently courteous” crew; “the price matches the quality” , so “be ready to spend a bundle” – especially if you “go for omakase” at the bar.
Kyo Ya
Japanese · East Village · $$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

At this East Village Japanese in a below-ground space, the Kyoto-style seasonal specialties are “as good as the finest in Tokyo” and the reservations-only kaiseki dinners are a “meal to remember” ; “wonderful” servers and calm surroundings are more reasons its admirers spend big and “leave satisfied.”
Sushi Nakazawa
Sushi · West Village · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.7

The “ultimate showstopper” from “sushi master” Daisuke Nakazawa, this “extraordinary” West Village Japanese specializes in “breathtaking” omakase meals served like “a well-oiled machine” at the bar and in a “serene” dining room; scoring reservations remains a “difficult task” and the cost is “off the charts” , but an attached lounge should help on both fronts.
Nobu Fifty Seven
Japanese · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

This “over-the-top” Midtown branch of Nobu Matsuhisa’s Japanese-Peruvian powerhouse continues to draw a “happening” crowd with “knowledgeable” servers providing “standout” specialties in an “expansive” upstairs dining space; the scene is “loud” but “alluring” , especially “if you can find someone to treat you.”
Sasabune
Japanese · East 70s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.2 · Service 4.2

Sushi “masters” craft “absurdly delicious” “works of art” at this UES Japanese from Kenji Takahashi, a “tiny” hideaway known for both à la carte options and an “incredible” omakase experience; though the “decor’s very basic” , sampling the “first-class fish” requires “really deep pockets.”
Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar
Sushi · East 70s · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.0 · Service 4.2

Known for “fantastic” omakase-only meals at “bang-for-the-buck” prices, this “hole-in-the-wall” Yorkville Japanese racks up the “wows” with an “excellent assortment of fish and preparations” ; yes, the “no-frills” seating is “tight” , but the BYO policy is a “nice bonus.”
Brushstroke
Japanese · TriBeCa · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

David Bouley and Osaka’s Tsuji Culinary Institute present “sublime” kaiseki menus in an atmosphere of “serene” “elegance” at this “splurge-worthy” TriBeCa Japanese, where the “picturesque plates” (including “melt-in-your-mouth” sushi) are also offered à la carte; if you’re really “prepared to shell out” , try chef Eiji Ichimura’s “world-class” omakase at his “intimate” 12-seat bar.
Sushi of Gari
Sushi · East 70s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.2

The “out-of-body” omakase experience “never fails to amaze” at these Japanese “standard-bearers” from Gari Sugio, long known for their “sublime bites” of “imaginative sushi” ; the “cramped” quarters and “plain decor” are less impressive, but regulars advise “just open your wallet” and “eat at the bar.”
Bohemian
Japanese · NoHo
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

“You'll need a reservation” and a referral (there's “no listed phone number” ) to access this “exclusive” NoHo Japanese hidden “behind a butcher shop” , where the “exceptional” food and cocktails are presented by “truly wonderful people” ; an “intimate” , denlike room is perfect for conversation, and while prices run “steep” , it will leave a “lasting memory.”
Morimoto
Sushi · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

“Sushi master” Masaharu Morimoto’s “Iron Chef–quality” omakase and other “unbelievably good” Japanese dishes are served in a “striking” , ultramodern setting at this West Chelsea destination; it’s true, you’ll “pay handsomely” , but when you need “to impress” , this is “as good as it gets.”
Sushi Seki Chelsea
Japanese · Chelsea · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.6 · Service 4.1

Renowned for its “extraordinary” omakase showcasing “beyond-fresh” fish, this “spendy” Japanese mini-chain slices “spot-on” sushi that’s “lovely to behold” ; though the settings can feel “somewhat lacking in charm” , the bi-level Hell’s Kitchen flagship has “significantly better” decor plus a “fancy” whiskey bar (Chelsea also boasts a whiskey bar).
Sushi Seki
Japanese · East 60s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.6 · Service 4.1

Renowned for its “extraordinary” omakase showcasing “beyond-fresh” fish, this “spendy” Japanese mini-chain slices “spot-on” sushi that’s “lovely to behold” ; though the settings can feel “somewhat lacking in charm” , the bi-level Hell’s Kitchen flagship has “significantly better” decor plus a “fancy” whiskey bar (Chelsea also boasts a whiskey bar).
Sushi Seki Times Square
Sushi · West 40s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.6 · Service 4.1

Renowned for its “extraordinary” omakase showcasing “beyond-fresh” fish, this “spendy” Japanese mini-chain slices “spot-on” sushi that’s “lovely to behold” ; though the settings can feel “somewhat lacking in charm” , the bi-level Hell’s Kitchen flagship has “significantly better” decor plus a “fancy” whiskey bar (Chelsea also boasts a whiskey bar).