Enter some variation of the phrase “Best sushi in New York City” on Google and chances are that you’ll find yourself with more questions than answers. The simple truth is that there’s just no way to crown a single place as having the city’s “best” sushi – too much variation and personal preferences exist to make such a bold declaration. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorite sushi restaurants in New York City. Separated into high-end (over $100 per person) and modestly priced categories, these 10 picks are a mix of old and new, traditional and contemporary, full menu and omakase-only. We’ll stop short of calling them the best sushi spots in the city – and implore any potential commenters to first scan our Honorable Mentions section before unleashing fury. Well, say what you will. But we promise that a meal at any one of these establishments would be money well spent. Also see: The Food Republic 12 Sushi Commandments

 

High-End | $100/person or more

Kurumazushi
Located on the second floor of a nondescript Midtown office building, Kurumazushi is a sedate oasis for its mostly Japanese clientele and others in the know about these matters. Joyful chef Toshihiro Uezu shuffles around a large L-shaped sushi bar, plating some of the city’s freshest cuts as part of his sublime omakase offerings, which start at $300. Less extravagant sets of sushi can be ordered at the few tables in the back of the restaurant, and there’s a killer $25 sushi plate for lunch. 7 East 47th Street, 212-317-2802, kurumazushi.com

Sushi purists vie nightly for one of Ichimura at Brushstroke’s eight sushi bar seats.

Ichimura at Brushstroke
Consisting of an eight-seat sushi counter tucked into a corner of a TriBeCa Japanese restaurant owned by a world-famous chef, Ichimura at Brushstroke certainly possesses quite the intriguing resume. David Bouley’s smallest project – it is nestled within Brushstroke, which is found across the street from the chef’s namesake French restaurant – may be making the most noise. There are two nightly seatings for Ichimura, which features a mix of edo-mae style sushi and cooked items as part of its outstanding omakase, beginning at $180. 30 Hudson Street, 212-791-3771, davidbouley.com

Sushi Nakazawa
There’s no buzzier restaurant than Sushi Nakazawa, which approaches its one-year anniversary of opening on a quiet side street in the West Village. Accolades for Jiro alum Daisuke Nakazawa’s spot have been almost uniformly positive, with Pete Wells of The New York Times awarding it the highest possible distinction of four stars. Reservations to sample the omakase-only menu ($120-150) were recently made available via OpenTable. Grab a seat at the interactive sushi bar – complete with live shrimp and pick-your-own uni ­– and be sure to request the sake pairing, an absolute bargain at $40 for eight glasses. 23 Commerce Street, 212-924-2212, sushinakazawa.com

Jewel Bako
You’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant in this category that is suitable for an intimate date night. It typically isn’t that kind of affair. But tack on a Michelin star for nine consecutive years and that’s exactly what you have at Jewel Bako, located in the East Village. A cozy bamboo-filled room is home to a variety of innovative pieces of nigiri and rolls, which manage to maintain authenticity despite often utilizing exotic ingredients. 239 East 5th Street, 212-979-1012, jewelbakosushi.com

Honorable Mentions: Kura, Neta, Sushi Yasuda, Sushi Seki, 15 East, Sushi Zen, 1 or 8

 

Modest | $70/person or less

Sushi Dojo
There’s no better bang-for-your-buck sushi in New York City than Dojo, the year-old East Village venture helmed by twenty-something, French-Moroccan (yes, you read that right) chef David Bouhadana. His superb omakase selections – starting at a mere $45 for 10 pieces – are on par with the city’s best, and a sake sommelier assists with an impressive list. With its engaging chefs known to enjoy a drink or two from this list with their young and hip crowd, the lively Sushi Dojo is proof that you can eat your top quality sushi and have fun with it too. 110 1st Avenue, 646-692-9398, sushidojonyc.com

Modest tabs and a casual setting complement a terrific omakase at neighborhood favorite Sushi Yasaka.

Sushi Yasaka
The Upper West Side has seen an influx of promising restaurants lately, but it has been largely devoid of stellar sushi (with the exception of the pricey Sushi of Gari on Columbus Avenue). Until now. Neighborhood gem Sushi Yasaka doles out reputable slivers of fish and rolls in a casual setting to complement its exceedingly well-priced omakase ($40 for 12 pieces and a hand roll). 251 West 72nd Street, 212-496-8460, sushiyasaka.com

Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar
Possibly the very definition of a “hole in the wall,” this 10-seat sushi bar on York Avenue is guided by the steady hand of chef Toshio Oguma, whose stated goal is to “bring back classical sushi.” Having initially opened in relative obscurity in late 2012, the omakase-only joint (around $70 for 10 pieces, one roll and one hand roll) was soon flooded with reservation requests, thanks to a number of glowing reviews. Today, Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar – don’t let the name fool you, it’s BYOB – is bookable on its website through SeatMe. 1372 York Avenue, 646-727-9056, tanoshisushinyc.com

Tomoe Sushi
No reservations. No frills. No…tables available? The easiest way to identify this Greenwich Village vet is by the lines that form each night outside its somewhat (charmingly) dingy confines. Those who brave the wait are rewarded with generously sized portions of nigiri and sashimi and one of the city’s finest renditions of negitoro (fatty tuna scallion roll). Best of all, lunch specials are a steal and tabs remain modest for dinner. 172 Thompson Street, 212-777-9346, tomoesushi.com

Hatsuhana
With so many flashy Japanese restaurants popping up these days, it’s easy to overlook some of city’s most classic spots. Since opening its doors in 1976, Hatsuhana has served uncomplicated takes on sushi and sashimi to traditionalists. Its location on a busy stretch in Midtown ensures that it’s consistently packed with businessmen looking for a simple, top-notch meal. It’s also a Seamless favorite for the corporate folk who don’t want to leave the office. 17 East 48th Street, 212-355-3345, hatsuhana.com

Poke
No reservation, cash only and BYOB policies are not typically the key to sushi enthusiasts’ hearts, but this Upper East Sider somehow manages to make out just fine with all three. Named after the eponymous Hawaiian raw salad, Poke combines the feel of a homey spot with stellar fish and creative, albeit Americanized – good luck finding a California roll anywhere else on this list – rolls to present a more affordable alternative to nearby stars Sushi Seki, Sushi of Gari and Sasabune. 343 East 85th Street, 212-249-0569, pokesushinyc.com

Wondering why we haven’t included any “low-budget” options? We all enjoy grabbing sushi from neighborhood joints and even (sometimes) grocery stores. And, really, oftentimes nothing beats a well-priced sushi lunch special. But the fact is that there’s little variation in quality between the majority of these places in New York City. We think it’s worth ponying up a bit extra to elevate the taste experience.

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