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Photograph: Courtesy Chikarashi

The best poke bowls in NYC

See what the fuss over the best poke bowls in NYC is by diving right into the Hawaiian-inspired trend

By Christina Izzo and Time Out contributors
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New York is no stranger to imported foods, from Detroit square pizza to Mission-style burritos, but Hawaiian poke (raw-tuna salad) was a deliciously out-of-left-field addition to the scene. A fresh change from your regular sushi order, the best poke bowls NYC has to offer comes courtesy top-rate seafood restaurants, modern Hawaiian restaurants and forward-thinking food halls.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best sushi in NYC

Best poke bowls in NYC

big-eye tuna poke, macadamia nuts, pickled jalapeño, seawead
Photograph: Liz Clayman

1. Noreetuh

Restaurants American East Village

Successful in its aim to refine classic Hawaiian cuisine, chef Chung Chow’s poke salad features quivering cubes of sesame-oil–slick big-eye tuna texture-bombed with chunky macadamia nuts, pickled jalapeños and delicately briny seaweed tendrils.

Photograph: Courtesy Chikarashi

2. Chikarashi

Restaurants Hawaiian Little Italy

Two food-world buzzwords—poké and bowls—collide at this fast-casual Chinatown concept from Neta alum Michael Jong Lim. Hawaiian poké (raw-fish salad) is zapped with Japanese, Chinese and Korean influences at the six-stool restaurant: The six sea-to-table bowls on offer include a goma-shoyu tuna with garlic chips, a chojang-fired fluke and a sushi-grade Scottish salmon variety with Szechuan-spiced mayonnaise and daikon, and the stock Japanese-rice base can be swapped out for Asian greens.

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sushi burrito nyc
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amy C.

3. Pokéworks

Restaurants Midtown West

Using only high-quality, sustainably sourced fish, Pokéworks puts a Hawaiian spin on this sushi trend, tossing the cubes of raw fish with chopped green onion, shredded sweet onion and a touch of Hawaiian salt before serving it up as bowls, burritos or salads with uniquely Japanese flavors like hijiki seaweed and shiso leaves.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amy C.

Sons of Thunder
Photograph: David Williams

4. Sons of Thunder

Restaurants Seafood Murray Hill

Although it seems the poke wave is cresting, there’s nothing fishy or flash-in-the-pan about bowls of seafood, rice and light vegetables done right. This Murray Hill iteration combines the Hawaiian dish with some distinctly West Coast sensibilities, serving fresh, super-filling dishes of ahi tuna drizzled with shoyu and sesame oil over white rice, as well as an avocado-heavy, chili-dusted salmon tostada boasting a warm, freshly made tortilla that tastes oh-so–Left Coast.

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/2nd City

5. Flip Sigi

Restaurants Filipino West Village

At this Filipino-fusion taqueria, chef-owner Flip Sigi pads out his poke bowl with sushi-grade tuna, sweet miso, coconut-scented steamed rice, chopped scallions, crispy wontons and carrots, and pickled red onions.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/2nd City

Photograph: Masahiro Noguchi

6. Union Fare

Restaurants Food court Union Square

Draft lattes, balsamic cocktails and Santa Barbara sea urchin—you can get all of it under one roof at this 25,000-square-foot restaurant-and-market concept taking over the former Barnes & Noble flagship space. The sprawling complex is broken down into various grab-and-go stalls stocked with Hawaiian poké, Peruvian rotisserie chicken and New York street food.

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The PokéSpot
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/The PokéSpot

7. The PokéSpot

Restaurants Hawaiian Nolita

This counter-style operation offers eight signature bowls, including a classic ahi tuna variety with roasted seaweed and sweet onions, as well as more versions made with citrus salmon, spicy ponzu tuna and even a vegetarian-friendly shiitake-tofu combination.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/The PokéSpot

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

8. Seamore’s

Restaurants Seafood Nolita

This white-washed, pastel-trimmed Nolita remake of old Montauk fish shacks spotlights underutilized species (monkfish, tilefish) from east-end outfits Dock to Dish and Sea to Table. On the menu, you can find fish tacos, crispy squid and poke bowls fitted with crunchy peanuts, cubed avocado and ponzu sauce.

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Sweetcatch Poke Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Sweetcatch Poke Bar

9. Sweetcatch Poke Bar

Restaurants Hawaiian Midtown East

Even your bodega might be serving poke these days, but for an authentic taste of the Hawaiian favorite, head to Midtown East. Unlike many other poke joints, which skip marinating the fish in favor of a quick toss in seasonings before serving, Sweetcatch offers up to a dozen different marinades. Try the classic Hawaiian shoyu, made with onions, seaweed and sesame seed.

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