When you think of the best New York food, what might come to mind is perfectly thin, foldable pizza, or pillowy bagels, or a highly craveable pastrami sandwich. But sushi? We’re here to tell you that, yes, you should also think of the Big Apple as a sushi capital. Whether it’s a high-end excellent omakase or a quick grab-and-go, New York is filled with some of the country’s most luscious sushi. Here are some of our most popular spots.
DOMODOMO has been such a success since opening their first Houston Street restaurant that they’ve since expanded to Brooklyn and Jersey City. CIA grad Brian Kim runs a seasonally inspired kitchen. Think apps like roasted cauliflower with green pea miso spread and green garlic bacon-fried rice. You can sample the freshest fish of the day with a Sushi Domokase — a combination of sushi, hand rolls and sashimi.
Bondi’s menu might be simple, but that’s by design: They start with high-quality ingredients and transform them into uncomplicated dishes that truly let the fish shine. This philosophy can be tasted in dishes like the yellowtail crispy rice sashimi with ponzu sauce, red tobiko and scallions atop air-fried crispy rice. Simple, but far from boring.
Blue Ribbon has been in the sushi game since 1995; that’s pretty much a century in New York restaurant years! It’s a collaboration between prolific NYC restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg and the sushi master Toshi Ueki. The focus here is quality fish and attention to every detail. They take familiar dishes like sunomono, the classic cucumber salad, and execute them perfectly. Their more inventive dishes include the cucumber-wrapped Kyuri Special roll with eel, crab, cucumber, and avocado.
It’s a good thing there are three locations of this Michelin-starred sushi bar — the easier to order their craveable rolls from many corners of the city. Popular orders include classics like spicy tuna sushi rolls and more unique creations, such as maguro avocado, a salad of diced tuna and avocado with fresh wasabi soy, and beef negimaki, a roll of thinly sliced ribeye and scallions.
This Park Slope restaurant is the platonic ideal of a neighborhood Japanese joint. They will deliver most any sushi restaurant item you are craving — gyoza, seaweed salad, chicken katsu — all with the freshest ingredients and fair prices. Sushi skews classic American style, but the quality shines through. The spicy scallop roll is plump and tasty; the California roll uses fresh crab instead of imitation.
Nobu is the luxury stand-bearer for good reason: It’s that perfect mix of traditional and inventive, and elegant in every way. It’s an ideal celebratory splurge meal. Their most popular dish remains the black cod miso that launched a thousand imitations, still made with Alaskan black cod that’s marinated in sweet white miso. The yellowtail jalapeño is an artful crudo of yellowtail made with yuzu juice, soy, and cilantro.
On the other end of the spectrum is Raku, a true unpretentious and affordable neighborhood gem. This Park Slope restaurant has a large menu for sushi and non-sushi lovers alike. If you’re in the mood for something raw, have a look at their Fusion section and try something like the Sweet Shrimp Fusion Sushi topped with black tobiko. The beef negimaki is a soy sauce-marinated steak hot pot served with vegetables and glass noodles — perfect comfort food for a chilly night.
Yo!, as those in the know call it, burst onto the London scene in 1997, introducing conveyor-belt sushi to the world. The food is just as playful as the experience, with items that never take themselves seriously: The Sweetheart Roll is a heart-shaped salmon, avocado, cucumber, and tempura roll, while the Spicy Happy Roll has tuna on the outside, shrimp tempura on the inside. Eating the food is so fun, you won’t miss the conveyor belt.
When you think of Lure, sushi might not be the first thing that comes to mind. This seafood and raw bar Soho restaurant kills it with the freshest fish selection. Turns out, that freshness extends to the sushi rolls, including the namesake Lure House Roll with shrimp tempura, cucumber, and spicy tuna, and the Kenai Roll, which is filled with spicy wild king salmon, cucumber, scallions and fried shallot. It might be the only sushi place in town where you can also order a burger. Let’s call it a very New York surf and turf.
Who knew you could get omakase delivered? You can go big and get the Omakase Juuni with 12 pieces of chef's choice nigiri and your choice of five pieces of futomaki, or go smaller with the Omakase Yon — four pieces of nigiri and five pieces of futomaki. (Both include miso soup and edamame to round out the meal.) Kissaki has its own fishery and wildlife license that allows them to source directly from places like Japan, California, and Montauk, so you’re in for a treat, regardless of the size of your order.
Zest is about more than just sushi. With a Japanese-Thai menu that includes sushi, noodles, and snacks, you can order familiar dishes like salmon or yellowtail sashimi, load up on unique apps (the purple fries are made of Japanese sweet potato and served with honey and mayo), or go for a heartier dish like Thai curry. It might not be for the sushi purist, but we’re not complaining about a side of pad thai to go with our rolls.
Tenzan is an UWS staple, beloved for its casual, unpretentious vibe and generous portions. The menu is full of gimmick-free favorites like pan-fried pork gyoza, inside-out spicy tempura rolls, and seaweed salad. They have plenty of vegetarian options, including a tempura sweet potato roll with pineapple sauce, and a marinated mushroom and cucumber roll. Refreshingly inexpensive, it’s easy to keep this restaurant in regular rotation.
Aburi îs a reliable favorite. This no-frills spot is a Williamsburg staple. It has all the expected sushi bar comfort classics — spicy tuna, avocado — plus bigger rolls like the creamy tempura-filled Dynamite and the crab, cucumber and avocado Rainbow Roll. Unexpected appetizers include Tokyo fried chicken and tako yaki ball, aka deep-fried octopus dumplings.
Nothing too fancy or off the beaten path here, but if you’re looking for something tasty and reasonably priced on the Lower East Side, this is a great bet. The best deals are their combinations: Sushi for 2 includes the chef's choice of whatever’s freshest that day, plus two rolls, and miso soup or salad. Imminently customizable, all rolls can be made with white or brown rice, and normal or inside out.
This Murray Hill restaurant recently changed locations, but it’s back in action, reliably serving the neighborhood and beyond. Hamachi does things a little differently: You can get all the usual suspects (California and shrimp tempura rolls), plus a selection of deliciously deep-fried appetizers like popcorn shrimp and fried oysters.
In Midtown, the land of fancy omakase, it’s nice to have a down-to-earth option like Yama. Their lunch specials are a steal: The All About Salmon, Tuna, or Yellowtail each includes five pieces of sushi, a roll, and soup or salad. Non-sushi options include the Yama Set, which comes with an appetizer and a bowl of fresh-made ramen.
At this sushi/ramen hybrid, the bowls are packed with ultra-savory broth, fresh vegetables, and whatever protein your heart desires (pork belly, Chashu beef, seafood). Go with a little heat and get the spicy vegetable ramen, 100% vegan and topped with green cabbage, bok choy, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, and glazed tofu. The crispy fried rock shrimp appetizer and pork belly steam bun are must-orders.
This casual Chinatown spot has the usuals, like tuna avocado and shrimp tempura, but they also have carb-free “Naruto” rolls. They’re made without rice, using cucumber as a wrapper. Try a spicy salmon or yellowtail, and add seaweed salad and edamame for extra veggies and nutrients.