The most notable thing about the original Sakagura is its location - a big room in the basement of a normal-looking office building in Midtown. The new East Village outpost of this izakaya doesn’t have a particularly memorable space, but there are other reasons you should care about it. If you like sake (or are at least interested in finding out whether you like sake), they have a menu that looks like an over-achieving middle schooler’s social studies binder. And the Japanese small plates here, which range from sashimi to deep-fried chicken thigh to wagyu beef that you cook yourself on a hot stone, are very good. Order the $75 omakase if you want to try a bunch of different things, or share some sake and small plates at the bar as a low-commitment date move.
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John’s Of 12th Street is a classic Italian American restaurant in the East Village, and they have a full menu of vegan options as well.
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East Village Social is probably the name of a new meetup app, but it’s also a low-key bar in the East Village to go for a casual drink.
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Hibino is a casual neighborhood sushi spot in LIC that makes their own tofu and has a second location in Cobble Hill.
Uotora is a sushi place in Crown Heights that’s a bit more casual and inexpensive than most other omakase spots.
Suggested by our writers
Toriko is a yakitori spot in the West Village that serves omakase menus focused on excellent grilled chicken skewers.
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