The Absolute Best Omakase Sushi Menus in NYC
The Japanese-rooted tasting experience is available across all price points.
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, most omakases run upward of $150+ per person and incorporate seafood imported 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 costly price tag. And today, the city’s abundance of authentic menus 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 omakases, most have reopened or plan to do so. Ichimura at Uchū is looking to relaunch its lauded counter later this month, while fans of Shion Uino’s omakase, Amane, should note that the chef is no longer associated with the restaurant. Instead, he’s planning to take over 69 Leonard’s Tribeca counter for a new sushi bar slated to debut in the early summer with an updated interior and more high-end menu priced between $400-$500.
In the meantime, below are 18 of NYC’s best Japanese omakase experiences for all types of budgets.
Tucked away in Chinatown’s Canal Arcade, chef Kunihide Nakajima debuted his covert, eight-seat sushi counter with a stunning interior (typically he can serve 10 in non-COVID times) two weeks before indoor dining was shuttered for the first time 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 single omakase runs $225, 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 (sadly not in operation because of COVID, but the team plans to relaunch as soon as it’s safe), Bar Nakaji, that’s dedicated to Japanese cocktails and rare Japanese whisky (with nearly 90 bottles on the menu).
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy.
Debuting five months ago, Sushi Ikumi is one of the city’s newest omakase additions from the same team behind 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 $160 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.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy
During the pandemic, for very obvious reasons, small sushi omakase counters were hit especially hard, and pretty much all the high-end spots had to pivot to takeout and delivery. Unfortunately, sushi meant for counter-style dining doesn’t travel so well. So this past January, chef Tomotsugu Kubo of ramen joint TabeTomo launched Tomokase, an at-home omakase experience in which a sushi chef plus one other employee brings the experience to one’s residence. Currently, two well-qualified chefs (previously of respected sushi counter Uogashi) are running the show: Takeshita Fumitaka and Kazuma Shimizu. Guests can choose from one of three omakase options: 10 courses for $145, 15 courses for $195, or the 20-course omakase for $235—each comes with small appetizers followed by nigiri then dessert. A sake pairing runs an additional $50 per person, and the team can accommodate parties of two to eight guests, with seatings Tuesday through Sunday at 1 pm, 7 pm, and 8 pm.
How to order: Home delivery via Tock.
Beloved for its nigiri and house-made soba, Cagen offers two omakase options. In the backroom, chef and owner Toshio Tomita is offering a $200 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 $110 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.
During the pandemic, SoHo’s Takeshi Sushi rebranded into Kintsugi. The idea here is quality-minded, affordable omakases; for those who dine indoors at the eight-seat counter (typically 12 during non-covid times), the price runs from $65 to $175, while the outdoor omakase spans from $65 to $85. The majority of the eatery’s seafood is flown in daily from Japan, and the team focuses on in-house aging to coax out extra umami from its fish.
How to book: Reservations are available via Tock. Order takeout and delivery via ChowNow.
As Manhattan’s bastion of luxury sushi and one of the city’s longest running omakase counters, Masa is often considered a NYC bucket list restaurant. The eatery orchestrates Manhattan’s most expensive omakase option at $595, and its menu is laced with seasonal Japanese seafood and luxury ingredients. Expect 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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). Though its aesthetic may be less traditionally Japanese than other sushiya around the city–– Noda’s theatrical getup was conceived by interior designer Ken Fulk and highlights plush textiles like velvet and brilliant gem stone hues––every bite is transportive. Guests sidle up to an illuminated, semi-circular six-seat counter (typically Noda can seat eight during non-COVID times) for a single omakase that runs $285, 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
Previously known as Omakase Room by Tatsu, former Jewel Bako chef, Mitsunori Isoda, has picked up where chef Tatsuya Sekiguchi left off, and the diminutive, counter-only sushiya has operated under his name since last November. At the eight-seat omakase haunt, Omakase Room by Mitsu offers a $160, 14-course omakase hinged 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.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy.
Chefs Jeff Miller and Yoni Lang (formerly of Uchiko in Austin, TX) debuted Rosella last fall, with a counter-style tasting menu for four (pre-COVID they could accommodate six) priced at $150. Here, the focus is on sustainable seafood sourced mostly within the US and as locally as possible. On any given day, that could include trout farmed in Upstate New York, fluke from Long Island, and Louisiana-caught shrimp. The spot’s menu progression commences with high-acid, crudo-style plates laced with an abundance of fresh herbs before moving into pickled seasonal vegetables (in place of the usual pickled ginger), a nigiri block, a hand roll, soup, and then dessert. Think of this as a thoughtful American ode to a traditional Japanese sushi omakase. For those looking for a shorter meal, the team offers an à la carte menu on their patio. And don’t overlook the humble avocado roll. Rosella’s version is spiked with house-made kimchi and has quickly become the restaurant’s sleeper hit.
How to book: Reservations are available via Tock. Order takeout and delivery via Caviar.
Shuko has been going strong for the last six years under the watch of co-owners/chefs (and Masa alumni) Nick Kim and Jim Lau. During the pandemic, the team launched to-go sushi, and then this past fall they brought back their omakase (but this time around it’s without a counter and there’s now 30 outdoors seats in an alley next door). The current menu is $190 for two appetizers followed by 10 pieces of nigiri, a handroll, and dessert. The team sources fish mostly from Kyushu, with deliveries around three times per week. Those who would rather order out, the to-go sushi menu runs from $11 to $163.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy. Order takeout and delivery via website.
Los Angeles’ wildly popular, wallet-friendly omakase server, Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa, landed in NYC back in 2016 with cute cafes pushing high-quality fish and “traditional” sushi (that means no California rolls, teriyaki, or spicy tuna rolls). With current locations in Flatiron, Midtown, and SoHo, the eatery’s set menus run $28, $40, $52, or $68 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
Cost: $100 for lunch, $300 for dinner
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 new head chef Takuya Kubo (who previously helmed Ginza Onodera’s Honolulu branch) seasons his shari 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 $300, 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 OpenTable.
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). Fun fact: At the West 10th location, Leo Le––sommelier from the group’s highly acclaimed (though currently shuttered) sushi counter Ichimura at Uchu––offers a top-grade sake pairing.
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 eight seat main bar runs $150, while the six seat lounge bar runs $120.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy.
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 premiere, 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 ($395), presided over by chef Abe; and the adjacent seven-seat Ash Room ($225), helmed by co-head chefs Derrick Choi and Junichi Matsuzaki. Menus at each bar each consist of around 95 percent Japanese ingredients, many of which the team imports up to five days 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 five appetizers, but those at the Ash Room commence their meal with two starters before moving into anywhere from 13 to 18 nigiri bites. Overall, expect traditional Edomae-style nigiri, with occasional global influences. During the pandemic, the team launched adjacent Noz Market, where customers can purchase pristine Japanese fish to take home and cook, in addition to an abundance of pre-made dishes.
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 $220, 15-piece omakase laced with caviar and truffles. With the menu currently guided by former Kosaka and Kyo Ya chef Hiroyuki Kurosawa, one will not find a traditional Edomae experience, but rather one rooted in similar technique (salt and kelp-cured fish), yet 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).
Lauded for its quality-minded, wallet-friendly omakase menus, in 2018, East Village sushi fixture Uogashi was devastated by a fire, forcing the eatery to relocate to its current West 51st Street home. Sourcing its fish entirely from Japan, head chef Fumitaka Takeshita offers a range of omakases priced from $58 for eight pieces of nigiri, one roll, and soup and chawanmushi (egg custard); to $175 for 15 pieces of nigiri, three otsumami, one roll, and soup and chawanmushi. Uogashi also offers an abundance of takeout bento boxes with nigiri, maki, sashimi, and chirashi sets priced from $35 to $40.
How to book: Reservations are available via Yelp. Order takeout by calling 646-678-3008.
Although Uotora’s eight-seat counter is currently closed because of COVID, head chefs/owners Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Atsuomi Hotta are offering their $65 omakase (salad, 10-piece chef’s choice nigiri, hand roll, miso soup) at tables, with the option for take-out (there’s also a $55 option). Think Edomae-style nigiri with most seafood flown in daily from Japan. Patrons can choose to dine at one of the three indoor tables, or choose from any of the five outdoor tables. And note, the team does plan to re-open their eight-seat counter, but has yet to decide when.
How to book: Reservations are available by phone at 718-513-0724. Order takeout and delivery via website.