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Restaurants, Japanese Noho
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Photograph: Teddy Wolff

Time Out says

If Bessou only offered its chicken karaage and nothing else, we'd still sing its praises to no end. But this exceptional Japanese restaurant offers stellar pancakes, pickle-accented bowls and, yes, one stand-out fried poultry dish. So, naturally, we invited it to hold court at Time Out Market New York. Learn how our market curation works here, but basically we tasted its food, reviewed the eatery and had no hesitation in recommending Bessou for a spot at the market. Here’s why:

Bessou’s clever take on Japanese comfort food has us craving dishes beyond sushi and ramen. Owner Maiko Kyogoku, who worked for hip contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, opened a stylish space in Noho that serves as an inviting stage for chef Emily Yuen’s innovative plates, many of which draw from Kyogoku’s family recipes. Yuen adds a modern touch to the classics with her bento bowl teeming with soy beef brisket and the chicken karaage dusted with Moroccan spices—trust us, you won’t be able to resist dipping each forkful into the spicy mayo. We quickly learned that Bessou lives up to its name, which loosely translates from Japanese as second home.

By: Time Out editors



Address: 5 Bleecker St between Elizabeth St. and Bowery
New York, NY
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Users say (3)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

The sheer number of restaurants in NYC make it hard to want to go back to a place (since there is always something new to try), but Bessou is that place I keep coming back to. They change the menu just frequently enough, and the food delivers every single time (but thankfully they always keep my favorite around - the Chicken Karaage is BOMB).  Bessou hits every mark for me; inventive and flavorful, and an awesome vibe.  It's super cozy for a date night, but accommodating for fun group dinners as well (the coworkers I took to this place still talk about our meal a year later - and the magnum bottle of sake we took down - lol).  The staff is super friendly, and I love how the open kitchen let's you see the chefs back there - they always look like they're genuinely having a blast preparing the delicious dishes they're pumping out. I love everything about Bessou and will continue to go back.

Bessou is among my top go-to restaurants in New York City. Whenever I have friends visit NYC, I make sure that they make a stop here! I love their take on Japanese food--it tastes like an amazing home cooked meal combined with unique twists and lovely surprises. The food is reasonably priced and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Overall, it is a serene place to take a date or to catch up with a friend over a nice meal. (They have a great selection of drinks!) They are even great about accommodating larger groups--I  had my post-wedding day brunch at Bessou, and all my family and friends raved about the food for weeks! Definitely recommend. 

This is a terrible restaurant. I wouldn't go back here, ever. The food was okay, but not excellent, and it was most certainly overpriced. I thought the staff was really inattentive-- would ask a question and then turn away before receiving an answer. Very little grace or hospitality, but worst of all there was so little hygiene! My waitress sat at the back bar in the restaurant to eat a snack, which wasn't a big deal until she licked her hands and then later delivered our food without washing her hands. The hostess was terrible, too, and she didn't 'seat' us as much as she did gesture to a table and mumble a sentence about sitting down. I won't ever go back here willingly-- there are far better Japanese restaurants in the neighborhood.

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