New York City is blessed with an incredible variety and abundance of restaurants specializing in Japanese omakase dining. And while we tend to associate omakase with splurge-worthy, multi-course meals — and that can definitely be the case here — it doesn’t always have to break the bank, nor does it always mean a multi-course meal, either.
Omakase means “I will leave it to you.” It’s about putting your trust in the chef, and it’s based on the concept of omotenashi — the kind of hospitality where your host reads your mind and anticipates your every need. It’s not just about the food, but about having service that’s practically too perfect to even notice. Every little detail counts, from the carefully selected serving vessels for every course to the chef’s meticulous pacing of your meal. And then, of course, there’s the emphasis on seasonality. You should be able to taste the change in seasons with every dish. In traditional Japanese cuisine, there are actually 24 seasons instead of just four — which is all the more reason to have omakase any time of the year.
Here are some restaurants where you can relish the full omakase experience, from sushi and yakitori to kaiseki, and at every price point.
Newly added to the list: Shion 69 Leonard Street, Kono, Ushiwakamaru, Koyo, Kappo Sono, and Momoya Soho. Please note that all prices are subject to change.