Omakase Under $200 in New York City Recommendations for 2024
Editor’s Note: This blog is part of the “2024 New York City Sushi Guide‘, presented by Dassai Sake. The digital guide features a number of articles, collections, “best ofs” and “What to dos” for the Big Apple, and can accessed directly at NYCSushiGuide.com. As always, we appreciate your support of the blog and Dassai Blue, the first American-brewed Nihonshu line from Dassai, a world famous Sake company.
The rising cost of sushi in New York has forced me to expand this year’s Sushi Guide to include a $200 and under category.
12 years ago, there was one sushiya in New York over $150. Now, there are enough I can put together a reasonable list.
And for what it’s worth – this is the category I get asked the most about.
Full details on my recommendations are below.
Thanks for reading.
Omakase Sushi Dairo is the brainchild of Takashi Meguro, the Itamae and owner (as it should be). It’s been a long road for Meguro: Ten years at Sushi Iwa in Tsukiji and New York, 18 years on Long Island, 5 years as the Itamae at the legendary Hatsuhana (I dined with him and loved it) and 3 years at Blue Ribbon. That time has seasoned and refined the mostly-traditional style of his omakase, though the blowtorch and salmon do still take make their appearances (this is NYC, after all). $150.
It takes a lot to drag a Manhattanite out to Queens, never mind to one of its many neighborhoods not directly on top of a subway station, never mind to the same spot twice. But two weeks ago, I found myself back in Astoria, home to newly minted Koyo, previously home to an experimental sushiya called Gaijin. I’ve visited Koyo twice – once in 2019 when it opened, and then again recently in 2022. It’s menu changes seasonally but the commitment to quality and an inventive but still mostly traditional approach to nigiri make it a winner. Sake aficionados will enjoy the drinks menu as well. $155.
Hatsuhana is one of those restaurants. Full disclosure: I was taken there for my birthday, so as long as the word “omakase” was involved without my credit card making an appearance, my mood wasn’t going to be dampened. Likely due to its age and changing customer base, the restaurant has recently undergone a transformation. Formerly famous for having a sushi bar both upstairs and downstairs, Hatsuhana now only has one sushi bar on the second level. That change only serves to make reservations even more important if you want to eat at the sushi bar – the night I went, every spot was occupied. $112/130.
Sushi Ann is another popular midtown sushiya in a neighborhood full of decades-old spots popular among tourists and office workers alike. I visited for lunch, but didn’t see the typical midday letdown (though in fairness, I have a “always smile when served Kisu and Namadako” rule). Fair warning – sit at the counter, all the way to the right. Thank me later. $125.