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Sushi Sasabune
Photograph: Filip Wolak

The 14 best sushi restaurants in NYC

NYC's best sushi includes old-school tasting menus and more affordable newcomers.

Written by
Bao Ong
,
Time Out contributors
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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New York City has all manner of marvelous Japanese food options, including tip-top ramen spots, izakaya, and a fabulous food court at Industry City. We also have an abundance of sushi options, and narrowing them down can be a happy challenge. Here, we’ve collected our favorite special occasion destinations and more casual spots, all amounting to the best sushi NYC has to offer. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best sushi in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • West Village
  • price 3 of 4

We were first introduced to Daisuke Nakazawa when he was toiling over tamago as the apprentice to Jiro Ono, the world’s most distinguished sushi chef, in the lovely film Jiro Dreams of Sushi. When we first visited Nakazawa’s eponymous spot in the West Village, we weren’t sure we’d ever really had salmon, snapper and fatty tuna before, not like this, not with flavors, textures and temperatures that have been perfected and then, unbelievably, improved upon. Omakase at the counter is $150, it’s $120 in the chic dining room, and a sake pairing is $90. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • West Village

Although its founders came from fine dining destinations, Nami Nori offers a more affordable menu than you’d expect if you tasted it before spying the prices. Its signature set includes five temaki hand rolls like scallop, sea bass and coconut shrimp for $28. Beer, wine, sake and cocktails are also available in the sleek space. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 3 of 4

At press time, Shuku was only serving outdoors, but it planned to reopen its dining room in July. The omakase at the 20-seat sushi counter from Masa alum Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau has been known to include some of the best bits of marbled toro and sweet Spanish mackerel in town. It’s presently priced at $190 for sunomono, robata, nine pieces of sushi, a hand roll and dessert, with an optional $100 beverage pairing. Smaller sets are $71-82, and à la carte items are available as well. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Upper East Side
  • price 4 of 4

The two tastings here are both luxury experiences with the price tags to match. The counter menu includes five (or so) small plates and a selection of nigiri for $395. The slightly less wallet-inhaling experience in the Ash Room (which is also served at an intimate counter) is just the sushi for $225. Accompanying sake, champagne and white wine pairings start at $185, or there’s a $100 corkage fee to BYO. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Midtown East
  • price 2 of 4

The counter at this lovely, bamboo-lined space is a little longer than some, but still a personal experience with a line of expert chefs slicing and plating your nigiri on the other side. Sushi Yasuda’s omakase, which might include amberjack, yellowtail and unagi, is market price, and the restaurant advises that that will typically run about $150-250 before drinks, add-ons, or tip. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Midtown East
  • price 4 of 4

If you wish to spend $400 on the dinner omakase here, congrats on the cash! For a taste of the sweet life at a more palatable price, try the $100 lunch menu, which includes an app, miso soup, 10 pieces of nigiri (think exquisitely sliced and presented barracuda, goldeneye snapper and cuttlefish) and dessert. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tribeca
  • price 4 of 4

There’s a particular type of summer heat unique to NYC that makes us seek not only the icy grasp of air conditioning, but the embrace of a basement, and Azabu’s among the best in town. Here, you’ll find a $150 omakase at dinner, and à la carte bluefin tuna ($8), tamago ($5), and sea bream ($9), as well as a $45 sashimi set at lunch. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 4 of 4

This efficient space with a counter and a smattering of tables was one of many similarly small spots that increased its capacity thanks to the addition of outdoor seating over the past year. In or out, get a 10-piece omakase for $57, or order fluke ($5.50), salmon roe ($6) and red snapper ($6) by the bite. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 4 of 4

Major-league toques like Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud have been known to hold court over Seki’s sake and novel flavor combinations late into the night since 2002. Though it presently closes at 10:30pm, those in-the-know still swing by for the convivial atmosphere and sushi and sashimi sets priced around $50. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

The East Village has plenty of reliable, fuss-free sushi joints, and Hasaki is one of the originals. Its dine-in menu presently includes a nine-piece sushi omakase for $65, and you can order sushi regular (eight pieces and one roll) for $32, or a 13-piece sashimi regular for $35 outside. Hasaki presently advises reservations due to staffing shortages. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Upper East Side
  • price 4 of 4

Masatoshi “Gari” Sugio made waves on the UES in 1997 when he first opened with unique pairings like jalapeño-topped yellowtail and Japanese red snapper with wilted greens, pine nuts and crispy lotus root. Sugio’s fanciful creations continue to draw crowds for sashimi dinners (14 pieces for $39), sushi specials (nine pieces and one roll for $55) and individual items. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 3 of 4

The late chef Toshio Oguma’s particularly flavor/texture balance conscious “loosey-sushi” is served at three seatings every night. Each of the charming spot’s chefs serves just four people at a time, preparing omakase priced around $110. Tanoshi is also one of a relative few NYC restaurants where you can BYOB. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • East Village
  • price 3 of 4

Following a 17-year stint at Nobu, chef Toshio Tomita went solo with a tasting-menu-only restaurant on 9th Street. A $200 omakase option has eighteen pieces that may include mackerel, scallop and salmon from Japan. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • East Village
  • price 4 of 4

Don’t let the relatively more manageable prices fool you: this is real deal sushi. The corner East Village eatery turns out top-notch nigiri that stands toe-to-toe with some of its pricier counterparts. Nab a seat at the well-lit walnut bar in the quieter back room and start with the sushi regular, which includes ten pieces of five types of fish for $25. 

See the best sushi restaurants in America

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