The Absolute Best Omakase Sushi Menus in NYC
From splurge-worthy counter experiences to lower-priced, affordable options, the Big Apple is a mecca for top-notch, tasting menu-style sushi.
Over the last decade, New Yorkers have readily embraced omakase sushi—the Japanese-rooted tasting menu typically dedicated to seasonal nigiri and other small seafood-focused dishes known as otsumami. While the city indeed counts budget-friendly chef’s choice options, with recent inflation, finding high-quality sushi under $200 is becoming more of a challenge. In the last few months, many counters have raised prices anywhere from a few bucks to $20 or more, with most top spots still hovering around $400 for a meal. The reason for the high cost is that these counters, along with others on this list, source high-quality seafood from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market (formerly Tsukiji Market), and other luxury ingredients like fresh wasabi root, and Japanese citrus such as yuzu and sudachi.
In Japan, just like NYC, high-end omakase meals are often reserved for special occasions due to their price point. And today, the city’s abundance of authentic menus (many of which are Michelin-starred) is also thanks in part to the affinity that the Japanese have for the five boroughs, making our city one of the most desired destinations when a popular sushiya wants to expand outside of its home country.
While the pandemic certainly took a toll on many of the city’s omakase counters, most have reopened. While we’ve official bid farewell to Ichimura at Uchū(a new concept is coming in), we’ve also welcomed in fantastic new additions like SHION 69 Leonard, Yoshino, Icca, Noz 17, and the most recent player, Ito, from former Sushi Zo commander, Masa Ito.
Noz 17 is New York’s first referral-only sushi counter, a style of dining that’s popular in Japan where a chef offers seats only to regular diners and their friends. And while most of Noz 17’s seven bar seats are referral-only, the team recently began to offer a few seats via Tock. As its name suggests, Noz 17 is the downtown offshoot of uptown’s lauded Sushi Noz, though this newer location—which debuted last December—is helmed by Sushi Noz Ash Room alum, head chef Junichi Matsuzaki who was, in fact, part of the original sushi den’s opening team. And while each location is built on the highest quality, pristine seafood, Noz 17 offers a longer, 30-course, seasonal omakase ($400) that follows atypical progression: chef intersperses otsumami and nigiri throughout most of the menu. Further, dishes here highlight extended fermentation practices, bites high in salt that pair with sake, and chinmi: rare delicacies uncommon elsewhere in the city, like a three-month-aged uni bite. This is a spot for sushi enthusiasts that are looking for new, sometimes intense, flavors. Just like the uptown location, the team flies most fish directly in from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market twice a week.
How to book: Limited reservations are available via Tock.
Perhaps the most important sushi opening of last year, Tadashi Yoshida of Nagaoya’s impossible-to-reserve Sushi No Yoshino, decamped from Japan to open a 10-seat sushi counter in NYC last fall. And Yoshino’s opening marks the very first time a true master from Japan (as opposed to a protégé) has relocated to open in New York. On the Bowery, chef is serving a 21-course, $400 omakase (including tax and tip) and the fish he’s offering is sourced via the same mongers from Tokyo’s Toyosu, Kanazawa’s Omicho, and other markets that supplied his counter in Japan, with fish coming in two to three times per week. With a uniquely Japanese-French-inspired omakase (chef spent some time working at a French restaurant in his youth), patrons experience a series of appetizers accented western and luxury ingredients like cream, olive oil, caviar, before moving into a more classically Edomae 10-course nigiri series.
How to book: Reservations are available via Tock.
One of New York’s newer omakase sushi additions, former Ginza Onodera chef Kazushige Suzuki presides over this six-seat engagement that puts seafood flown in daily from fish markets in Tokyo and Fukuoka to excellent use. Throughout the $400 omakase, chef incorporates subtle Italian influences. Take, for example, his signature starter: finely pulled Hokkaido hairy crab arranged into a delicate mountain atop capellini pasta with a vibrant green sauce made from chrysanthemum. After the appetizer block, guests embark on a 10-bite nigiri series that begins with another signature: nigiri made from rice and abalone liver. While when Icca opened last fall the restaurant also debuted a separate Italian counter offering a different menu, that dining option is presently closed.
How to book: Reservations are available via Tock.
Chef Masa Ito made a name for himself with umami-rich wagyu and caviar-laced nigiri at the Los Angeles export of Sushi Zo (also on this list). However, after eight years there (between LA and NY) he decamped and recently debuted his long-awaited project with Kevin Kim and VCR Group (of the upcoming world's first NFT restaurant), after more than a year of COVID delays. But the 14-seat counter (there’s also an eight-seat private dining room) is finally up and running in a modern, yet minimalist space with an exposed ceiling, all designed by architect Richard Bloch (Masa, Shuko). Sushi Ito is offering one of New York’s more high-end, but relatively affordably priced omakases, running $285 for a welcome cocktail plus series of four otsumami, miso soup, 12 nigiri bites, one hand roll, and dessert. Ito flies fish in four days per week from fish markets in Tokyo and Fukuoka, with around 90% of his ingredients sourced from Japan. Look out for seasonal bites like bluefin sashimi with garlic tataki, wagyu nigiri with truffle, and the option to add on a snow crab hand-roll with golden osetra caviar.
Shion @ 69 Leonard
Chef Shion Uino came to New York in 2017 after spending a decade working at one of the world’s most prestigious—and impossible to book—sushi counters, Tokyo’s Sushi Saito. While he initially landed at Sushi Amane (also on this list), he has since decamped and teamed up with 69 Leonard owner Idan Elkon to take over the lauded eight-seat omakase counter previously helmed by Derek Wilcox. The $350 Edomae style omakase has morphed from one paying tribute to kaiseki, to a menu based around rare seafood and, unquestionably, the city’s most excellent interpretation of ethereally custardy tamago. Uino receives six fish deliveries per week and, in terms of menu progression, patrons can expect to commence with sashimi, then move into a series of tsumami (small appetizers), followed by nine nigiri bites, a hand roll, soup and that tamago. Guests also have the option to add on à la carte chinmi(rare bites) at the end of the meal.
Tucked away in Chinatown’s Canal Arcade, chef Kunihide Nakajima debuted his covert, eight-seat sushi counter in March 2020. Those familiar with Manhattan’s sushi scene will know Nakajima earned his own devout following over the years during his tenures at venerated omakase haunts Sushiden, Sushi Inoue, and Uogashi, and opening his own place has been long anticipated by many. At Nakaji, the omakase runs $265 (or $295 for an uni tasting), and spans from otsumami to a hot plated dish before sliding to 12 pieces of nigiri, followed by soup and dessert. Nakajima sources his ocean animals from Tokyo’s Toyosu three times a week. Also, within Nakaji is a nine-seat cocktail bar, Bar Nakaji, that’s dedicated to Japanese cocktails and rare Japanese whisky (with nearly 90 bottles on the menu).
Year-and-a-half-old Sushi Ikumi is the omakase addition from the same teambehind kaiseki star Hirohisa located just next door. Chef Jongin Jeong cut his teeth at Hirohisa, but here—at the 10-seat counter—the focus is on a pressed and more vinegared style of sushi popular in Kyoto (bo sushi, oshizushi), which follows otsumami (small appetizers). The $180 omakase concludes with a plated kaiseki-style dish, a rice option, and then a piece of seasonal Japanese fruit. The team receives fish deliveries from Japan four times per week.
Beloved for its nigiri and house-made soba, Cagen offers two omakase options. In the backroom, chef and owner Toshio Tomita is offering a $250 menu with 17 nigiri bites, a hand roll, and soup or soba. And at the restaurant’s front counter, he’s serving a more accessible $150 menu that includes 12 pieces of nigiri and a hand roll. Practically all ingredients are sourced from Japan, with fish coming in twice a week. And as a former Nobu chef, expect an experience rooted in Edomae-practices with his own twists.
How to book: Reservations are available via phone at 212-358-8800.
As Manhattan’s bastion of luxury sushi and one of the city’s longest running omakase counters, Masa is often considered an NYC bucket list restaurant. The eatery orchestrates Manhattan’s most expensive omakase option, which starts at $650, but in order to guarantee a seat at the hinoki sushi counter one must fork over $800. Expect a menu laced with seasonal Japanese seafood and luxury ingredients, including mounds of otoro tartare crowned with caviar, and what could be Masa’s most signature bites: rice rolled into a ball with truffle and Parmesan cheese.
How to book: Reservations are available via email at email@example.com or Tock.
Former Ginza Iwa (of Tokyo) chef Shigeyuki Tsunoda commands the show at Noda, the exclusive, counter-only omakase engagement that can be considered somewhat of a Tokyo-NYC hybrid (but with a more upbeat feel). While earlier this year Noda relocated from its home on West 28th Street a bit south to West 20th Street, the team has rebuilt the theatrical Ken Fulk-designed space—accented with plush textiles like velvet and brilliant gem stone hues—to a near identical replica as the original. Guests sidle up to an illuminated, semi-circular 10-seat counter for a single omakase that runs $315 for around 20 bites, and pending seasonal availability, ranges from otsumami like ankimo (monkfish liver) to shiro ebi (baby shrimp) nigiri. The majority of the seafood served is imported from Toyosu Market through four weekly shipments.
How to book: Reservations are available via Tock.
Omakase Room by Mitsu
Former Jewel Bako chef Mitsunori Isoda oversees this diminutive, counter-only sushiya. At the eight-seat omakase haunt,
Omakase Room by Mitsu offers a $180, 14-course omakase based on seasonal fish from Japan while embracing Edomae style (almost all of his fish is aged, cured, or marinated). And rather than seasoning his rice with vinegar and sugar, he also adds kombu dashi to amplify the umami in each bite. And while there isn’t a set beverage pairing, an in-house sommelier can offer a bespoke pairing, and make sure to ask for a glass of the daiginjo nigori umeshu for dessert.
Shuko has been going strong for the last seven years under the watch of co-owners/chefs (and Masa alumni) Nick Kim and Jim Lau. The mostly counter-style omakase runs $228 for two appetizers followed by 10 pieces of nigiri, a hand roll, and dessert. The team sources fish mostly from Kyushu, with deliveries around three times per week.
Order takeout and delivery via website.
Los Angeles’ wildly popular, wallet-friendly omakase chainlet, Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa, landed in NYC back in 2016 with cute cafes proffering high-quality fish and “traditional” sushi (that means no California rolls, teriyaki, or spicy tuna rolls). With current locations in Flatiron, Midtown East, Midtown West, and SoHo, the eatery’s set menus run $30, $43, $55, or $67 for a varying number of bites, and guests have the option to add à la carte nigiri and hand rolls.
How to book: Indoor and outdoor seating is first come, first served. Order takeout and delivery via website.
Sushi Ginza Onodera
When sitting at the eight-seat counter within five-year-old Tokyo export, Sushi Ginza Onodera, one might note the deep brownish-red hue coloring of its rice. And that’s because head chef Takuya Kubo (who previously helmed Ginza Onodera’s Honolulu branch) seasons his shari (rice) with two types of red vinegar, which amplify the rice’s umami and further work to complement supporting bites of seafood. Of course, with its home base in Tokyo, the team is sourcing fish five days a week from Toyosu Market, and diners can often find hyper-seasonal (and luxury) seafood items not found elsewhere in the city. Pending the season, that could include black abalone, tuna head, and shirako (cold milt). While many NYC omakase counters only offer dinner, with its Midtown base, Ginza Onodera offers three lunch menus suited to quicker dining, priced at $100, $150, and $200. Dinner entails just one option priced at $450, and includes a longer series of otsumami before moving into a shorter nigiri block of around eight or so bites, followed by soup and dessert.
How to book: Reservations are available via phone at 212-390-0925 or Tock
Sushi on Jones
Quick and casual (with prices to match), NYC’s three cozy Sushi on Jones locations excel in affordably priced omakases for dine-in and to-go. The team sources fish mostly from Japan and receives shipments twice a week. Menus run 12 courses for $58, or 20-courses for $105, and guests have the option to upgrade with caviar or truffles (when in season). And starting later in March, guests will be able to order wagyu and wagyu katsu sandos via the group's Japanese steak concept, Don Wagyu. At the West 10th location, sommelier Leo Le (of the group’s lauded, though now-shuttered Uchu) offers top-grade sake.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy (Bowery), Resy (West Village), and Resy (Hell’s Kitchen). Order takeout and delivery via website.
By now, most know the story: Daisuke Nakazawa was an apprentice at Ginza’s micro sushiya Jiro, the subject of the cult status Netflix film on the beauty of sushi. In 2013, Nakazawa set up shop in NYC, and has since gone on to open counters in Washington D.C. and Aspen. Here in Greenwich Village, Sushi Nakazawa is serving both lunch and dinner. Patrons can pick from two counter experiences: the meal at the 10-seat main bar runs $180, while the six-seat lounge bar runs $150.
Since its debut in 2018, Sushi Noz—helmed by chef Nozomu Abe—has earned street cred among sushi enthusiasts as one of the city’s premier, and more authentically Japanese, omakase experiences. With a blonde wood bedecked aesthetic inspired by Edo period teahouses, this counter-only engagement offers two dining experiences: the eight-seat Hinoki Counter ($400), presided over by chef Abe; and the adjacent seven-seat Ash Room ($230), often helmed by sous chef Joji Miwa. Menus at each bar each consist of around 95% Japanese ingredients, many of which the team imports twice a week directly from Toyosu Market. While each menu spans roughly the same length, the progression changes. Diners at the Hinoki Counter begin with around six appetizers, but those at the Ash Room begin their meal with three starters before moving into anywhere from 13 to 18 nigiri bites. Overall, expect traditional Edomae-style nigiri, with occasional global influences.
How to book: Reservations are available via Tock. Order takeout and delivery via website or Noz Market
Before landing in New York in 2015, Sushi Zo made its mark on Los Angeles (a city rife with amazing omakase options) as one of the best sushi joints in town. And when founder Keizo Seki hit NYC, the city took notice with its $250, 15-piece omakase laced with caviar and truffles. This is not quite a traditional Edomae experience, but rather one rooted in similar technique (salt and kelp-cured fish) that’s rife with luxury ingredients, alongside those more commonly found in Japan, such as umeboshi(pickled plum) and yuzu kosho. Seafood for the 10-seat counter is flown in daily from Toyosu Market.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy (Greenwich Village), Resy (Midtown).
Patrons can choose to sit at tables or at Uotora’s eight-seat counter, where head chefs/owners Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Atsuomi Hotta offer their $75 omakase, which includes a salad, 10 pieces of nigiri, a hand roll, and miso soup. Think Edomae-style nigiri with most seafood flown in daily from Japan. However, here omakase is not required, and guests also have the option to order a la carte dishes like chicken teriyaki.
How to book: Reservations are available by phone at 718-513-0724. Order takeout and delivery via website.