You know the ramen is special when it garners a Michelin star in the city that specializes in bowls of toothsome noodles. Takatoshi Nagara, the head chef behind the lauded Bigiya Ramen in Tokyo, and his friend Takayuki Watanabe brought their acclaimed Japanese noodle soup to the Lower East Side with the opening of Mr. Taka in 2015. You can still see lines stretching out the door today, and with good reason. Now this Dumbo incarnation at Time Out Market is where we’ll be happily slurping up the miso ramen or the equally flavorful Taka vegan bowl.
The Japanese restaurant scene in New York City is one that is both continuously expanding and ever-evolving, with the best Japanese restaurants in NYC offering everything from steaming bowls of ramen and izakaya pub fare to street-style yakitori and Michelin-starred sushi.
Some Japanese restaurants are boisterous, like a ramen joint with the sounds of satisfied slurping filling the air. Others are more refined, featuring only a dozen or so seats and a calm vibe that allows you to focus on the expert craftsmanship of the chef. (For a truly thoughtful and thorough experience, look for the Japanese restaurants that offer omakase, a tasting that showcases Japanese delicacies chosen at the whim of the chef.)
Many Japanese restaurants specialize in one thing, whether it’s sushi, udon, yakitori or tempura. Whatever your preference, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
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