NYCGuide

The Best Sushi In NYC

From our favorite places to eat omakase sushi to some top-tier neighborhood spots, here's where to have a big night out.

When you’re looking for the top sushi in NYC, here’s where to go. These are the omakase spots where you’ll feel like you’re at a day spa, the neighborhood staples that go above and beyond, and the restaurants where you can and should be celebrating birthdays. Are some of these places wildly expensive? Absolutely. But there are also a few options on this list where you can get out for under $50. No matter what you’re paying, you can be confident that it’s worth it.

Are you just looking to spend $30 and call it a night? We have you covered there as well. Read our guide to NYC’s Best Casual Neighborhood Sushi Spots.

The cheapest meal at Sushi Noz costs $250—and it’s worth the price. This $250, nigiri-dominated meal happens in the so-called Ash Room and comes with three appetizers, 15 pieces, and miso soup. There’s also a more deluxe $400 version that can only be administered by Chef Noz himself. Generally, the selection of sushi at Noz runs traditional, which means a night here is all about the careful preparation and multi-sensory experience of sitting in a smoky cypress room. We've especially loved baby bluefin tuna that’s only caught in the winter, salmon roe served in a 200-year-old bowl, and eel that's smoked over bamboo leaves then dabbed with a mixture of braising liquid made with eel, sugar, and apples.

This East Village restaurant almost exclusively uses ingredients found within the United States. They dole out bigeye tuna from North Carolina, striper raised in Bushwick, and incredible fluke sashimi that was caught so close to Rosella it could have taken the afternoon train from Montauk while enjoying a tallboy in a brown paper bag. If you’ve been carrying around the misconception that American fish is only for guys on Hinge to pose with in their profile pictures, come to this luxurious-but-lowkey restaurant, eat some Washington State Arctic Char over a bed of California-grown rice, and be proven wrong. An à la carte meal at Rosella will be the highlight of your week (and run you around $50), but the $150 omakase is particularly impressive.

At $420 a pop, Shion 69 Leonard Street is one of the most expensive omakases in the city. The restaurant delivers on everything it absolutely must for the price: skillfully prepared fish, impeccable service, and enough food to not have to get a secret second dinner at McDonald’s. But what makes the two-hour meal truly outstanding is the seven-plate otsumami course in the first half, with signature dishes like butterfish in hot ponzu, a cold horsehair crab salad, and tilefish with deep-fried scales. Nigiri follows—sometimes featuring rare fish from the chef’s hometown of Amakusa—and the dreamy piece of tomago at the end is particularly memorable. Come to this restaurant for a special occasion, but know that throwing back sake and singing "Happy Birthday" here would be akin to doing TikTok dances in a museum. This meal demands your presence like it’s the cult leader of a silent meditation retreat.

This party spot in Jackson Heights runs four nightly sushi omakase seatings, each with 15 pieces of nigiri, a couple of appetizers, and unlimited sake for $89 in cold hard cash. A meal here doesn’t so much feel like a typical omakase experience as it does a reckless basement party with songs like “Sweet Home Alabama” blasting from the speakers. Whenever a diner’s cup empties, the owner tips a magnum of sake into their glass, and tops off his own cup for good measure. After about two pours, the people sitting next to you at the sushi bar will begin to loosen up. Then you can all sing along to “Mambo No. 5” together while you eat what the chef claims is weed-infused salmon smoking underneath one of those Beauty and the Beast glass covers. Jury is still out on whether he was fibbing.

We always recommend Sushi Katsuei to anyone looking for a terrific, creative omakase that they can eat without feeling like Mr. Monopoly. This Park Slope restaurant opened in 2014, and then subsequently expanded to the West Village in 2017. Omakases at both locations start around $60 for nine pieces and a handroll, often highlighting unusual pieces like firefly squid or barracuda (plus more typical fan favorites like toro or uni). You could always order à la carte or level up and try the 15-ish course omakase for around $120, but the $60 deal feels sweetest to us.

The chef at Sushi Jin is the sushi godfather of the Upper East Side. And for the hour you’re sitting at his omakase counter, you’re officially part of his crew. After 40 years of working at NYC sushi restaurants, he knows which chefs are leaving their restaurants, which places have slipped from greatness, who doesn’t serve their fish at the right temperatures, and where you should go next. The selection at Sushi Jin changes based on whatever is seasonal, but some atypical pieces might include a subtly sweet cherry sea bream, giant squid that tastes as creamy as a milkshake, and our favorite, a delicate and buttery Japanese tilefish. Tuna always makes at least one cameo, and if you go on Wednesdays, you’ll experience what the chef calls “Tuna Day” (when the sushi godfather gets his sweetest otoro). An omakase starts around $120, and you can call 646-609-6770 for a reservation. 

We sometimes get tired of sushi costumes. You know the ones: unidentifiable crunchy bits, truffle uni painted with edible gold, and hills of roe that shimmer like sequins on a prom dress. Accessories like these are the sushi equivalents of sparkly eyeliner, statement hats, or (worst-case scenario) vanity license plates. Douska on the LES doesn’t bother with costumes. Instead, this casual spot specializes in to-the-point handrolls that bring together fresh yellowtail, a few rogue scallions, and warm vinegary rice in a little hug of crispy nori. Eating at Douska is a laidback experience, especially when compared to Nami Nori, where you may have to wait the length of The Irishman to eat five handrolls in 20 minutes, or Kazunori, where you’ll feel like a sardine with high blood pressure.

Sushi Seki is similar to Sushi Of Gari in terms of fish quality and a commitment to unexpected flair (broiled tomatoes on salmon, tofu on tuna, etc). That’s because Chef Seki actually started working at Gari before opening this place. The main difference between the two is that here you can always expect a late-night scene of people who have lived in the neighborhood for 20 years sitting at the sushi bar, as well as sleepy chefs eating after their shifts. We usually order the $42 special, which comes with nine pieces and a handroll and will give you a sense of Seki's all-time greatest pieces.

On East 12th Street just below Union Square, there’s a big unmarked black door with a bouquet of dried flowers instead of a sign. Open the door and get past the velvet curtain, and you’ll find a party. A party where you have your own personal sushi chef, where your sake or cocktail glass is never empty, and where the music moves from Lauryn Hill to Wu Tang Clan to Biggie. But nothing can distract the sushi—18 of the best bites of fish we’ve ever eaten. Yes, this place is pricey ($228 for the seasonal omakase), but if you’re looking to have an incredible special occasion meal, you should absolutely come here.

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Domodomo

$$$$646-707-0301
Hours:FRIDAY5:00PM to 11:00PM
Perfect For:Date Night

You can usually fit sushi places into one of a few categories. They range from “it’s a Tuesday and this place on Seamless seemed fine last time” to “this might impact my ability to pay rent, but I want to eat like Jeff Bezos for just one day.” Domodomo is unique in that it’s hard to place neatly into a tier. Aesthetically, the restaurant feels very upscale, but the $97 signature Domokase comes with more than most would expect (10 pieces of sushi, miso Chilean sea bass, a tuna cone with truffle oil, and more). Ultimately, “it’s not my birthday or anniversary, but I still want high quality sushi tonight” is the category that best suits this casual-but-great place.

You can’t debate the best sushi on the Upper East Side without mentioning Sushi Of Gari, a small spot on 78th Street that has been around since 1997. The omakase here includes what is by now a legendary combination of sauteed tomato over perfectly chilled, buttery salmon. Even if you don’t personally understand what “umami” is supposed to taste like, you will after this bite. All of Sushi Of Gari’s pieces are brushed with sauces, and most are topped with additional garments. If you live in the area or you want to better understand the sushi scene in NYC, spend your money here.

There are always new omakase options in NYC, but it’s hard to find spots that focus on high-quality, relatively affordable stuff (read: under $50 per person). Gouie falls into this bucket, and it’s a place anybody should try if they like raw fish. Their sweeping counter in The Market Line on the LES not only fills a large, sushi-related hole in said market, but they also have a $30 seven-piece-and-half-roll special that’s just that: special (and not only because of the price point). All the fish you’ll try here is buttery, the rice is seasoned with just a kiss of vinegar, and the roll that accompanies the special comes filled with a crunchy braised gourd that tastes kind of funky and sweet. The service here is excellent as well—you might even get an impromptu sake tasting while you wait for a seat.

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8.3

Tanoshi Sushi

$$$$646-727-9056
Hours:FRIDAY6:00PM to 10:30PM
Perfect For:BYOB

Tanoshi used to be a far walk from any train, but now this sushi restaurant on the Upper East Side is one of the best excuses to take advantage of the newish 72nd Street Q station. As soon as you sit down, you’ll be asked if you need glassware—this place is BYOB, and that’s a big part of why we like it. The space here is tight, but as you get into your $108 omakase, you’ll quickly forget about your surroundings. We encourage you to order at least one of the add-ons, which are displayed via large placards on the wall. You might see shad or crab brain, but if the slightly torched and fatty black throat is available, that should be the first extra piece you try.

There are sushi spots in the city that seem more like a party, but Kosaka in the West Village lives at the opposite end of the spectrum. The tranquil dining room here makes you feel like somebody is about to place cucumber slices over your eyes and give you a massage. Only one omakase is offered ($225 or $200 depending on where you sit), and it consists of an amuse, sashimi, 12 sushi courses (including one toro scallion hand roll with pickled radish), soup, and a dessert with tea. Service here is faultless—if a drop of soy sauce somehow lands anywhere other than your plate, someone will be there to wipe it up within seconds (and they even wipe your plate clean between courses too). Instead of booking a spa day, come here for your next big night out, and feel just as pampered as you would getting a cryotherapy facial and a vitamin drip.

The number of high-end omakase sushi restaurants in NYC seems to proliferate week by week. But Nakaji has a few distinctions in the fancy sushi landscape. First, there’s the setting. This place is located in a little alley running between Bowery and Elizabeth in Chinatown, so you’re probably going to walk around confused for a few minutes before you find the doorway. The menu ($225 before tax and tip) also stands out from its peers, mainly through its dedication to seasonality. On any given night, the three starter dishes and the dozen-ish nigiri that follow might vary pretty widely. You can definitely expect different seasonal fish—like uni from Russia, Japanese cuttlefish, or even herring. If you’re more likely to be impressed by the chance to try shirako (a.k.a. cod sperm) during its short season than by a torched piece of wagyu, get Nakaji on your list.

When the apocalypse eventually comes for New York City, you’re going to have to find a good basement to bunker down. We’re partial to Sushi Azabu. The chef’s omakase is an impressive selection of incredible food that involves small appetizers, soup, sashimi pieces, a “toro tasting,” nigiri pieces, dessert, and a little dish in the middle called “grilled king crab with miso,” which is one of the best single pieces of food we’ve eaten. The sushi pieces here are good enough that you’ll find yourself wanting to write down the names of the fish in your Notes app, just to remember. At dinner, this costs $180 (more if you add on an uni tasting), or it costs $150 at lunch, when you’ll also likely get even more of the chef’s attention.

If you want to spend an upsetting amount of money on dinner, an omakase is generally a good bet. The one at Uotora in Crown Heights, however, is only $75. That may still be more than what you want to spend on a weeknight—but for 10 pieces of high-quality fish (plus a hand roll and appetizers), it’s a great deal. You can also order à la carte here (if you don’t sit at the bar), and there are a few different sushi/sashimi plates that are around $40. And, while this place is nicer than your average neighborhood sushi spot, it’s still casual and friendly.

Before you enter Sasabune, you'll be scolded a little bit. Not by the chefs themselves, but by the sign outside that reads: “No spicy tuna roll. No California roll. Trust me.” Once you’re inside, however, the atmosphere is all warm hospitality—which is nice, since the space is cramped, and any negative energy might unbalance the whole room. A meal here starts with a couple small plates followed by 14 pieces of nigiri served two at a time, and it ends with a hand roll. The chefs will keep a watchful eye on how you treat their work, providing specific instructions on which pieces to dip in soy sauce and which to enjoy in their purest forms. Trust them, an extra stroke of soy sauce can sweep away distinct flavors. Come here for an attentive omakase experience, where the chefs will open you up to the potential of each fish. You won't mind a little helicopter parenting. They only want what's best for you.

Kaito on West 72nd Street stands out from most other places on this guide because they serve a 15-course omakase for less than $100. Every two or three nigiri rounds will be broken up by a cooked dish like tempura fried hake in a mushroom broth and maybe a smoked goldeneye snapper collar if you’re lucky. The sushi tends to lean traditional here, usually with some alley oops from yuzu, dark soy, or scallions. But the sushi chefs behind the 10-seat counter slice the fish notably thicker than what you may have seen elsewhere. When you’re eating hefty pieces of king salmon, Japanese mackerel with ginger on top, or sweet shrimp with yuzu zest, you’ll really feel like you’re getting your money’s worth (and also like your mouth has an entire fish in it, with no fishy-funky taste whatsoever). Thanks to the larger prepared dishes, the 15-course tasting feels like a substantial amount of food. If you want to try even more pieces, there’s an 18-course option for $135.

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