Where To Eat Sushi On The Upper East Side

Our favorite options for nigiri and sashimi east of Central Park.
Where To Eat Sushi On The Upper East Side image

photo credit: Henry Hargreaves

The Upper East Side is huge, which means all kinds of people live there. Five strangers sharing a two-bedroom apartment on the DL because that’s not allowed on the lease? Yes. Someone with an entire wing overlooking the park who won’t go out in public unless they’re wearing Lanvin? Also yes. No matter what you’re checking account balance is, there’s a spot on this list for you. From casual places to under-the-radar gems to well-known mainstays, these are all our favorite sushi restaurants in the neighborhood.


photo credit: Henry Hargreaves


Upper East Side

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDining SoloEating At The BarLate Night EatsPrivate Dining
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The most luxurious of sushiyas tend to be very minimalist, serving nigiri with little to no toppings and strict one-stroke soy sauce policies. We’ve spent many dollars at these spots thinking very deeply about the brine on our uni. But when we want to have fun, we come here. Seki doesn’t shy away from interesting toppings—but their pieces don't go into truffle overload. Must-orders include the fatty tuna with pickled radish and longtime fan favorite salmon with butter-seared tomato. This place is packed every night of the week, so you can throw back sake in a lively scene and talk as loud as you want.


photo credit: Sushi of Gari



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Any list of best sushi restaurants on the Upper East Side is incomplete without Sushi of Gari. This small spot has a variety of appetizers and à la carte nigiri and rolls, but the $150 sushi omakase is the best option. It includes what is by now a legendary combination of sautéed tomato over buttery salmon. (This perfect representation of “umami” inspired the similar offering at Sushi Seki.) All the pieces here are brushed with sauces, and most are topped with additional garments. This location is takeout/delivery-only for now. Check their Instagram for updates regarding the return of indoor dining.

photo credit: Chris Stang

$$$$Perfect For:BYOB

As soon as you sit down at Tanoshi, you’ll be asked if you need glassware. This place is BYOB, and that’s a big part of why we like it. The barebones space here is tight, but as you get into your omakase ($120-125), you’ll quickly forget about your surroundings. You’ll get a small starter and 10 pieces of flawless nigiri, tuna maki, and a spicy salmon handroll. 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.

Zawa offers high-quality fish that you'd pay a lot more for at fancier sushi restaurants. For $51, you get nine generously-portioned pieces and a roll made with some especially vinegary rice. We particularly like the king salmon, snapper, and ocean trout. Even non-sushi items like shiitake tempura and a yuzu citrus cheesecake are above-average. In addition to top-notch Japanese food, this place has an inviting, tranquil dining room with an omakase counter and a few tables that are arranged in a way that makes each one feel semi-private. The setting is perfect for enjoying their super fresh and silky fish.

Ishikawa is where you want to go if your preferred style of sushi is more along the lines of a 10-ingredient cocktail than a bourbon on the rocks. The unique creations at this omakase spot involve high-quality fish topped with everything from truffles and caviar to gold leaf, sometimes all at once. Head here with your favorite non-sushi purist in your life, and enjoy the ride of unexpected flavor combinations in a room that features one big sushi counter and exposed brick walls.

Having worked at NYC sushi restaurants for more than four decades, Satoshi Tachikawa is the sushi godfather of the Upper East Side. And for the time you’re sitting at his dark wood counter in a long narrow room, you’re officially part of his crew. The selection at Sushi Jin changes based on whatever’s in season, but some atypical pieces might include giant squid that tastes as creamy as a milkshake and our favorite, a delicate and buttery Japanese tilefish. Your only option is a $145 omakase, and you actually have to dial a number on your phone app and talk to a human to make a reservation.

Before you enter Sasabune, an outpost of a popular spot in LA, 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 the relatively cramped space, however, the atmosphere is all warm hospitality. The attentive omakase experience involves chefs providing specific instructions on which pieces to dip in soy sauce and which to enjoy in their purest forms as you make your way through impressive pieces of nigiri. You won't mind a little helicopter parenting. They only want what's best for you.

The heart-shaped neon sign displayed in the window of Roy’s sums up how we feel about their sushi. This market looks like just another old-school neighborhood fishmonger, but there's a small sushi bar in the corner past the refrigerated display of fish heads, salmon fillets, and crabs. The quality of the rolls, nigiri, and sashimi is impressive—especially considering the majority of the combos cost under $25. Since Roy’s is primarily a market, your seating options are limited to a small bench with no table, but you can always take your fluke, yellowtail, and spicy tuna roll to go.

This spot is right next door to Sushi Noz, a high-end omakase spot that’ll cost you $495 just to walk in the door. Noz Market has a lower-priced omakase ($145), as well as a standing-room-only handroll bar up front. You’ll get the same high-quality fish no matter where you are, but we’re partial to the handroll bar. Casually dropping in for some temaki feels like adding a scoop of caviar on top of your day. For a full dinner, go for the omakase. You get 10 pieces of sushi in a peaceful wooden room where we’d do our morning meditations with or without toro in the vicinity.

Think of Amura as the Cheesecake Factory of sushi restaurants. This casual neighborhood spot in a generic space has an overwhelmingly large menu, and there’s zero chance you’ll flip through it and say: “Nothing sounds good.” All the usual suspects like tempura, good-quality nigiri and sashimi, and house special rolls are available, but they also have unique items like a scallion pancake topped with spicy tuna. It sounds blasphemous, but it works quite well. They sell beer, wine, and sake, but you can also BYOB, with a $10 corkage fee on Fridays and Saturdays.

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