We’ve frequently discussed the tiers of sushi available in New York City on this website. At the top, there are the extremely expensive and extremely delicious spots reserved for special occasions. At the bottom, there are the places you’ve routinely considered ordering from on Seamless, until you passed by in person and got scared.
And then there’s that elusive middle ground: the good, fairly reasonable neighborhood spot. Are these places you should travel across town for? Absolutely not. But if they’re a short walk away from your apartment and it’s a Tuesday and one of you is possibly in gym clothes? Perfect.
With locations in both the East Village and Tribeca, Takahachi is the neighborhood solution in two areas with no shortage of expensive sushi places. Order a sushi deluxe platter.
Another East Village OG with very fresh fish. It does get slammed, so the move is to grab a bar seat. Order the tuna tartare and any of the chef’s specials.
The sushi headquarters for all residents of Chelsea high rises. What do they come for? Spicy tuna on crispy rice. The goma-ae spinach with sesame sauce is incredible too. The space is one of the nicest on this list, and it works for nicely for a date or girls’ night out or even a work lunch if your office is in Flatiron or Chelsea. There’s an Upper West Side location too, which is pretty much the same.
Home of the massive piece of nigiri, you either love Yama’s huge pieces of sushi or hate them. But it’s hard to argue with the fact that this is the go-to spot for the Gramercy neighborhood.
Another temple of massive pieces of fish. This one may have slipped a bit over the years, and the wait outside can be maddening, but it’s a solid bet if you’re in Greenwich Village or Soho.
A large portion of Murray Hill sushi places serve rolls filled with three kinds of flavored mayonaise and rice krispies inside. Not Mishima. This is a thoughtful, serious sushi place on 30th and Lex – and its devotees are probably going to be mad at us for telling you about it.
Ah, the Upper East Side – land of 1000 terrible sushi places and a few really excellent ones. Matsu is the rare middle ground, where you won’t spend $100 a person, but also won’t get food poisoning.
Sushi Katsuei’s excellent $45 omakase is one of the best sushi deals in the city, and we’ve called it the best sushi in Brooklyn. They also have an extensive a la carte menu, where you can get in and out with a quality meal for much less.
Upper West Siders swear by Yasaka – when we polled friends for this list, the Yasaka fans were easily the most fervent in their passion. The specials are great: go for the $24 mini omakase with 6 pieces of sushi topped with interesting sauces and a roll, or the $26 Miyabi with six pieces of traditional sushi, eight pieces of sashimi, and a roll.
The sushi here actually comes in the form of “sushi bombs,” which are basically nigiri pieces, but in a circular shape. And the restaurant is actually a “Japanese tapas” place. But in sushi-deprived Williamsburg, this is your best bet for reasonably priced quality raw fish.
Hasaki’s been open since the early 80s, and they still serve some of the freshest sushi in the East Village. We like to sit at the long bar.
This place is pretty much silent save for the constantly playing Bon Iver soundtrack, and the sushi is surprisingly good. A great one to know about in the West Village, which doesn’t have much outside of the very high end.
An old school, classic spot with graffiti covering the brick walls. It’s a lively vibe in a category mostly characterized by quiet, non-descript spaces.