The 9 Best Sushi Restaurants in New York
As New York continues to attract chefs from across the globe, including highly skilled sushi masters from Japan, some of the best sushi can be found right here in the city. But as with anything in this city of extremes, you can either spend a fortune on omakase style sushi (chef’s choice) or dive into a hole-in-the-wall place where crowds experience a similar satisfaction without the painful check. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the endless options, but don’t worry – we’ve found the very best sushi restaurants in New York, from expensive sought-after spots to the more affordable hidden gems.
It seems that as soon as something becomes a success in LA, chefs can’t wait to conquer New York. In 2015, the well-known West Coast restaurant Sushi Zo – ranked one of the best sushi restaurants in LA – arrived in Greenwich Village, serving omakase-only in an intimate setting. At $200 per dinner, you’ll get nothing less than perfection. Chef Masashi Ito makes every single piece with such care and precision, using generous cuts of the freshest fish and a unique blend of vinegars in the rice. Seriously, we’re running out of reasons to travel to the West Coast (besides beautiful beaches, warm weather, lower living costs… ok, never mind).
Sushi Zo, 88 West 3rd Street, NY 10012
Image credit: James Beard Foundation
After working together at the three Michelin-starred restaurant Masa, Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau opened their very own restaurant Shuko. If you’re a bit like us (and most other normal people in the world), you’re not entirely comfortable with paying over $1300 for date night at Masa, but sushi omakase for $135 at Shuko is a lot easier to justify. Especially when each bite bursts with flavor and the whole ambiance is a lot less intimidating and stuffy (there’s even hip hop music is playing in the background). We could totally get used to this, although our wallet would rather we didn’t.
Shuko, 47 East 12th Street, NY 10003
As you walk down the stairs towards the basement and find yourself in an unassuming restaurant, you will probably wonder if you’ve made a mistake. But as soon as the sushi melts on your tongue, you will be transported from Tribeca to Tokyo in a split second, and you’ll realize the only mistake you have made is not coming here sooner. The menu offers an omakase for $120, but tuna lovers might want to go the extra mile for the toro tasting at $180. If these prices hurt a little, just remind yourself that all the fish is imported from Japan, which is way cheaper than booking a flight.
Sushi Azabu, 428 Greenwich Street, NY 10013
Sushi of Gari
After the Japanese chef Masatoshi “Gari” Sugio moved to the US and saw how everyone was dipping precious sushi in way too much soy sauce, he decided to take a different approach to the preparation stage. At his restaurant Sushi of Gari, the soy sauce is already infused into the sushi, ensuring to bring out the flavors of the fish and rice. His innovation continues to shine through in his signature pieces, such as scallop with prosciutto and sundried tomato sauce, or fatty tuna with garlic chips. You can either order the omakase for $120, or spend a little less by paying per piece (but it’s addictive, so good luck with that).
Sushi of Gari, various locations
Sushi by Bou
On the other end of the sushi spectrum, there is Sushi by Bou, offering 30-minute omakase sushi for an affordable price (12 signature pieces for $50). But that isn’t to say the sushi lacks quality: chef David Bouhadana spent twenty years in Japan to perfect his sushi skills, before making a name for himself at several sushi spots in New York (Sushi Dojo, Sushi on Jones) and being awarded top chef in the country under 30 by Zagat. He has a lot of experience under his belt, which is why you will only get uni that tastes creamy and sweet, scallops that melt in your mouth and rice that is seasoned just right.
Sushi by Bou, 49 West 20th Street, NY 10011
Life’s hard when you’re hungry at midnight and everyone expects you to be satisfied with pizza, while all you really want is fancy sushi, preferably selected by a chef so you don’t have to do any more thinking. Well, there’s no need to settle for less, because Sushi Seki is open until 2:30 am in the Upper East Side, Chelsea and Times Square. Chef Seki – who acquired his skills at Sushi of Gari – is known for his inventive creations, including salmon with poached tomato, hamachi with jalapeño and a spicy scallop hand roll that will blow your mind. It’s also relatively affordable, with the option to order à la carte or omakase style for $75. Oh, and if it’s good enough for Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, it’s most definitely good enough for you.
Sushi Seki, various locations
No, we haven’t forgotten about you Brooklynites. In fact, if you’re a sushi-lover living in Park Slope, you’re actually in the best possible place for omakase that’s both affordable and amazing. Sushi Katsuei offers sushi omakase for $45 (nine pieces of sushi and a toro hand roll), which is a great deal considering the quality of the fish. Expect all the classics, including fatty tuna, beautiful yellow tail and king salmon, all skillfully seasoned to enhance the flavors. The spot has become so successful that they opened a second location in the West Village, but as with anything in Manhattan, it is more expensive ($57).
Sushi Katsuei, 210 7th Avenue, NY 11215; 357 6th Avenue, NY 10014
While this tiny hole in the wall might not look like much from the outside, the long line of regulars speaks for itself. You definitely don’t go to Tomoe Sushi for a romantic dinner, but you will definitely experience a different kind of romance with your sushi-sashimi combination ($35). Generous cuts of fish will blow you out of the water (jokes aside, it’s true), but just like any relationship, you will have to deal with some annoyances too: cash or AMEX-only, no reservations and a wait. Make sure to save room for dessert, too, because the banana tempura cannot be missed.
Tomoe Sushi, 172 Thompson Street, NY 10012
While the sushi omakase at Sushi Dojo isn’t super cheap ($90 for 15 pieces + a handroll), the inventive sushi creations are worth every penny. Think seared tuna sprinkled with gold flakes, scallops under a coat of truffle foam and fluke drizzled in chili oil. Make sure to call ahead for a reservation at the bar, because you will want to see the chefs in action.
Sushi Dojo, 110 1st Avenue, NY 10009