Izakaya Reviews

Our izakaya reviews focus on expat izakayas – izakayas outside of Japan. These reviews are curated by our staff. They are not solicited by the izakayas themselves. Many of them do not even realize we’ve profiled them.  If an izakaya in your area has not been reviewed, one of three things is going on. It’s not yet been discovered by our team (shoot us an email), we’ve not yet had a chance to review, or it is not recommended by our staff.

If we’ve reviewed an izakaya, we classify it as one of 4 categories: Worth Trying, Recommended, Highly Recommended, Exceptional. Those should be self-explanatory. We don’t think you can go wrong with any of them, but if it reaches Exceptional status, expect to be amazed. We were.

We’re slowly building these reviews.

 

NEW YORK CITY

 

Exceptional

Tori Shin (Hell’s Kitchen; 53rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenue, Manhattan) Simply the finest yakitori outside Japan. And the only with a Michelin star. A singular dining experience. A must try.

 

Highly Recommended

Izakaya Ten (now Juban) (Chelsea; 10th Ave between 22nd & 23rd Streets in Manhattan) The place where this whole izakaya obsession started. Still one of our favorites. Ownership has changed and renamed the place Juban (Number 10 in Japanese), but the vibe remains.

Shigure (Tribeca; Church Street between White Street and Franklin Street in Manhattan). A criminally underrated izakaya in an unexpected area.

Uminoie (East Village; 3rd Street between 1st & 2nd Avenues in Manhattan) A cozy, hidden place. Feels like you’re  in someone’s apartment rather than a restaurant.

 

Recommended

Fukurou (Greenwich Village; MacDougal Street between Bleeker and Houston). A small, intimate, delicious beer-wine-sake only izakaya that is a welcome respite from the energy of the neighborhood.

Sake Bar Decibel (East Village; 9th Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues in Manhattan) A Japanese speakeasy where sake is the star, but shochu makes an appearance. Worth a visit for the vibe alone. Stay for the drinks.

Village Yokocho (East Village; 8 Stuyvesant Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues in Manhattan) A large, affordable, energetic izakaya with a seemingly endless menu.

Yakitori Sun-Chan (Upper West Side; Broadway between 103rd & 104th Streets in Manhattan) A family run izakaya with the homey feel of someone’s kitchen.

 

Worth Trying

Katsu Hama (Midtown; 55th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues in Manhattan) A simple, affordable izakaya in an area without many Japanese options.

 

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Highly Recommended

Otakfuku A soba house in a working-class neighborhood with a legit shochu list!

 

Recommended

Izakaya Honda Ya An enormous izakaya with a menu nearly as large.

 

 

ELSEWHERE

 

Highly Recommended (but closed)

East Side King in Hole in the Wall, Austin, Texas. An izakaya? In Texas? Well, sorta … and worth checking out.

Izakaya Yuki New Orleans izakaya with live music nightly and an eclectic menu fitting the neighborhood.

 

Kampai!

 

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