The most tangible representation of America's melting pot status can be found in New York City – the most culturally diverse city on Earth. Here, over 800 languages are spoken, and no single country of origin dominates. No matter where you're from, you're right at home in the Big Apple. It comes as no surprise that where there is a vast representation of cultures, there are also multifarious food options that range from every corner of the globe. In New York City, you can travel the world in a single day, experiencing some of the best dining the nation offers. You'll indulge in dishes crafted authentically, infused with the fervor and passion found in every New Yorker, driven by the dynamic energy of the world's most distinctive city.
That being said, Japanese cuisine isn't in short supply in this marvelous multicultural metropolis. From sushi to udon to yakitori — you'll find the best of the best in New York, especially when it comes to steak. Japanese cuisine, most famous for sushi, is also recognizable by its delectable steak choices — most notably Wagyu. We've compiled a list of the best options in New York City for Japanese steak using a combination of the personal experience of a New York food fanatic, online articles, and customer reviews. With this information, we've considered not only the palatability of the food but also the presentation, price, reputation, and atmosphere to sum up the overall dining experience.
At 212 Steakhouse, Kobe beef is the main attraction. This delectable brand of Wagyu meat is a delicacy worldwide for its unparalleled flavor and for the fact that it quite literally melts in your mouth. While categorized as an American steakhouse, 212 proudly asserts its distinction as the sole East Coast establishment offering authentic Japanese Wagyu beef, specifically Kobe. This unique feature makes the restaurant a steakhouse with Japanese flair.
212 Steakhouse, located in Midtown Manhattan, exudes class with just the right amount of rustic wabi-sabi charm to not feel too stuffy. Enter the vast dining room, and you'll be amazed by the gorgeous, lengthy bar and massive Art Deco pillars that separate the room. The restaurant prides itself on serving not only Kobe beef but a wide selection of artisanal meats, including Canadian Prime Halal meat and Prime Galat Kosher meat. Including these choices better serve the diverse religious and ethnic groups of New York City by offering something for everyone. We suggest trying the Kobe-tasting platter for a luxurious experience, allowing you to savor the exceptional quality of Japanese beef. 212 Steakhouse is open daily from noon to 10 p.m.
316 E 53rd St, New York, New York 10022
With multiple locations throughout the country, including spots across Manhattan and in Queens, Gyu-Kaku is always there when you need a cozy spot for prime Japanese BBQ. The restaurant features an interactive grill-it-yourself aspect, making it the perfect option for a fun get-together with old friends where you can relax and enjoy quality Japanese meats while sipping on warm sake or a crisp, smooth glass of shōchū. Each table features a smokeless grill so patrons can grill their selections of meat to their liking. At Gyu-Kaku, the distinction of every dish doesn't rest in its preparation — something the restaurant entrusts to its patrons — but rather in the premium cuts of meat it provides.
Try the Prime Kalbi short rib in a sweet soy tare marinade for a soft, marble cut with the perfect touch of Japanese flavor. Or, for a tender barbeque bite, indulge in the pork belly in white soy sauce. If you prefer seafood, the barbeque shrimp in garlic sauce is a must-try. All of these options and more come with the restaurant's meal packages based on how many guests are in your party. Gyu-Kaku also offers starters to pique your appetite before you fire up the grill, like miso wings and the spicy tuna volcano roll. Gyu-Kaku in New York is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fushimi — a New York chain with locations on Staten Island and in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including a grandiose Times Square location — can only be described as jaw-droppingly epic. Upon entering the restaurant, you're greeted by a massive hallway doused in warm orange light and lined with thick columns. The hallway empties out into the high-ceilinged lounge housing an immense bar and 230 seats, decorated in minimalist fashion with simple pieces of Japanese art. Yet, it's not merely a display; the ambiance mirrors the excellence of the cuisine and the overall dining journey that patrons delight in at this uniquely New York-Japanese establishment.
The menu showcases Japanese staple dishes with just a hint of French influence, offering an Instagram-worthy three-course lunch or dinner prix fixe option. The prix fixe menu features entreés such as rib-eye steak with seasonal vegetables and top-tier sushi. At a mere $38.99 for dinner, Fushimi is elegant, delicious, and affordable — a rarity in Times Square.
Prime Meat Rokko
In the neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen lies Prime Meat Rokko, a meat lover's paradise and a haven for those who love Japanese flavors. Prime Meat Rokko opened as recently as post-pandemic but has already gained a shining reputation among Manhattanites, acting as the perfect spot for a delicious lunch and quiet refuge for the many people who work in the busy Midtown area. Although the restaurant isn't a traditional Japanese steakhouse, its designation as a tonkatsu (Japanese breaded cutlets) establishment makes it a worthwhile stop on our tour of exquisite Japanese meat in New York City.
The tonkatsu restaurant specializes in slow-cooking meats for 10 to 12 hours to ensure that they retain a soft, smooth texture and melty mouthfeel. As a starter, ask for the restaurant's famous roast beef sushi, made with soft and satiny Japanese roast beef. Or try the duck loin sushi for an unconventional experience you'll remember forever. Once your appetite is geared up and ready for action, try one of the most iconic items at Prime Meat Rokko — its varieties of breaded cutlets, from pork loin to Wagyu sirloin and stewed pork belly, all slow-cooked to juicy, savory perfection. Prime Meat Rokko is open every day for lunch and dinner, closing from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to prep in between.
783 9th Ave, New York, New York 10019
EN Japanese Brassiere
Nestled in Manhattan's cozy West Village, you'll find EN. This charming eatery pays homage to the simplistic and elegant flair of Japanese cuisine, showcasing the country's bold yet minimalist style in everything from its menu to its decor. With dim, warm lighting and stylish florals throughout the dining room, you'll feel like you're snug in a living room while your relative prepares a hot, home-cooked meal for you.
The menu at EN famously uses local ingredients from New York's Hudson Valley in nearly every dish. Menu items rotate on a seasonal basis, keeping the choices lively and exciting. Try the mochi croquette filled with local duck and served with bright and delicious seasonal vegetables. The Wagyu Sukiyaki — an EN specialty — served with watercress, seasonal mushrooms, and konnyaku noodles shouldn't be missed. The restaurant's menu blends Japanese cuisine with a hint of Western influence for an incomparable and unforgettable experience. EN is open Tuesday-Thursday for lunch and dinner, closing from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The restaurant is open only for dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
435 Hudson St, New York, New York 10014
On the small, humble borough of Staten Island, Wasabi dominates the steak and sushi scene. The restaurant opened its doors in July of 2021 and immediately cemented itself as a must-have on the island, filling the Japanese cuisine gap long felt by Staten Island residents. During the day, the colossal 7,500-square-foot restaurant offers a remarkable view of the bay. But at night, the eatery's interior really comes to life, with exquisite lighting along the walls to mimic the tides and ripples of the ocean beneath. The size and stature of the restaurant may seem daunting to some, but the overall experience promises to be more casual and comfortable than you might initially think.
At Wasabi, beef and seafood are the name of the game, so you'll be missing out if you don't order a surf-and-turf Imperial dinner. Order the Wasabi special for a taste of everything. This meal features the restaurant's best filet mignon, a lobster tail, shrimp, and scallops. Wasabi also carries uni and toro for sushi fanatics who are looking for some of the most delectable options. Wasabi Staten Island is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.
55 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, New York 10301
Salt And Charcoal
It's rare (no pun intended) to find a steak lover in Brooklyn who hasn't indulged in the sophisticated offerings at Salt and Charcoal. Located in the famously young and hip neighborhood of Williamsburg, this eatery's steak choices rival those of Michelin-rated restaurants in the city. The restaurant's open kitchen adds excitement to the environment by letting patrons witness the magic unfold before their eyes.
Start with Wagyu sushi for a two-in-one example of Salt and Charcoal's sushi and steak choices. The restaurant offers various cuts of steak on its menu, including perfectly marbled, melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu, but we recommend the 30-day aged Jyukusei porterhouse steak dinner for two as the perfect option for dinner. For those who love their meat drenched in delicious homemade sauce, this meal comes with lemon butter sauce, soy lemon onion sauce, and wasabi cream sauce. Add an extra side of truffle oil to make the aged beef the perfect canvas for sauce sampling. Salt and Charcoal is open for dinner every day until midnight.
171 Grand St, Brooklyn, New York 11249
J-Spec, where Wagyu is the star of the show, has impressive selections of top-quality cuts of the beloved, buttery beef and prides itself on keeping the price low* without compromising quality. At J-Spec, New Yorkers of all income levels can enjoy a perfect steak cooked by classically trained chefs. J-Spec provides top-quality meats at an affordable price by acting as the prime distributor of Wagyu beef on the East Coast, so you know a meal from J-Spec will be as authentic as it is delicious.
Located in the buzzing, charming East Village neighborhood in Manhattan, J-Spec is as popular with tourists as it is with locals and is never without mention on any list of top Japanese establishments in the city. The menu offers an impressive selection of five different cuts of meat, Wagyu sushi, and Wagyu-centric meals featuring A5 Kobe beef with a 10-plus BMS rating. J-Spec is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
239 E 5th St, New York, New York 10003
Arrive with a blazing appetite because Yakinuku West serves up delicious Japanese meat as it was meant to be eaten — in vast quantities. This restaurant, located in New York's picturesque East Village, features Yakinuku-style Japanese BBQ, complete with a classic grill-it-yourself aspect. Each luscious cut of meat can be cooked to your liking on the restaurant's tabletop grills while you sit in cozy cushions Japanese-style. For larger parties, Yakinuku West offers walled-off sections for diners who want a more intimate experience.
As a more laid-back spot than many others on this list, Yakinuku West is the perfect spot for a friendly gathering or casual date night. The restaurant offers a variety of all-you-can-eat options where you pay one price, depending on the selection of meat you'd like, and then heat and eat to your heart's content. Start with a selection of fish and vegetable-based appetizers before you dive into the main attraction. The restaurant offers five different cuts of Kobe beef as well as other delectable meat options like duck and chicken thigh. Yakinuku West is open for dinner every weeknight and for lunch and dinner on weekends.
218 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003
Chic and modern Yakinuku Futago, nestled in Manhattan's Flatiron district, is as sleek and sophisticated as it is classically charming. The eatery boasts an outstanding reputation in the city since its inception in 2015 by providing New Yorkers with a top Japanese barbeque destination. This Asian-fusion restaurant caters to those looking for an Instagram-worthy meal as well as old-timers who just want to savor a simplistic, traditional dish the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
Yakinuku, the Japanese term for meat grilled on a simple charcoal grill, is a popular style that many restaurants in the city model their cuisine after, but few can compare to Yakinuku Futago. The restaurant's upscale elegance is mirrored in its delectable meat choices. Try one of nearly a dozen traditional yakinuku cuts of meat, from beef tongue to Berkshire pork sausage, or try a more unconventional option, like hormon (large intestine) and mino (stomach). Add thin-sliced Wagyu to a soup cooked with house-made bone broth that gives the dish a deep umami essence, making it one of the best soups in the city. The simplicity of the broth is the quintessential example of authentic Japanese taste and topped with Wagyu; it acts as the perfect sampling of flavors. Yakinuku Futago is open every day for lunch and dinner, closing to prep between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
37 W 17th St, New York, New York 10011
Karasu is a hip and trendy spot on Dekalb Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn catering to New York's younger crowd. The restaurant features a lively bar with an extensive list of drinks that infuse Japanese spirits into unique artisanal cocktails developed by and for Karasu. The dimly lit bar and dining room exude an element of risqué fun, making a meal at Karasu feel more like an exhilarating night on the town rather than just a regular old steak dinner.
The limited menu at Karasu makes ordering simple while still offering an array of choices to please a variety of palettes. We recommend the fried Berkshire pork loin, accompanied by cabbage and a delicious mustard dressing with the perfect kick of heat. Try the Wagyu Don, topped with yolk fudge and nori, for an umami-rich dish. Additionally, the prime rib-eye for two is the perfect meal for a romantic evening spent soaking in the vivacity of New York. Karasu also offers unique fish options, such as a scallop, green apple, and red shisho Sunomono, full of bright and crisp flavors that all meld together for a fresh and delicious meal that will leave you satisfied but not too stuffed. Karasu is open every night for dinner.
166 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11217
Momo Hibachi Steakhouse
Overlooking the waters of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, you'll find Momo Hibachi Steakhouse, a quirky Japanese eatery with classic, interactive hibachi pizzaz. Momo prides itself on employing world-class hibachi chefs who expertly entertain guests with a dazzling show, displaying skill with effortless knifework and showcasing their ability to master their grill. Momo is the perfect spot for celebrating a milestone or just catching up with friends while enjoying a show of culinary expertise.
Like other hibachi establishments, patrons at Momo are invited to select their preferred protein, ranging from salmon to rib-eye steak to scallops and beyond. Opting for a combo meal at Momo allows you to elevate your dining experience with surf-and-turf delights, such as shrimp and strip loin or lobster and filet mignon, making it an ideal choice for a celebratory feast. For scallop enthusiasts, we recommend ordering a double portion, as Momo excels in preparing them to perfection — ensuring they remain plump and juicy without drying out on the grill. Momo is open every day for dinner or a late lunch.
1901 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11235
Blue Ribbon Sushi And Steak
With restaurants all around the city, Blue Ribbon excels at providing New Yorkers with quality Japanese fare in a casual environment at an affordable price. Blue Ribbon restaurants are stylish and classy while still remaining comfortable enough to bring children or stop in for a quick impromptu bite.
Blue Ribbon's menu caters to a variety of tastes. Try one of the Wagyu options for a meal full of complex Japanese flavors, or savor one of the restaurant's famous steaks. We recommend the 14-ounce New York strip — affectionately dubbed the "king of steak house steaks" on Blue Ribbon's menu. Or try an 8-ounce Australian Wagyu skirt steak for a well-marbled option complete with robust flavor. Outside of these beef delicacies, the restaurant offers a wide selection of dinners, including some delectable seafood choices. For fish fans, the swordfish steak — prepared family-style and served with a fresh chimichurri sauce — makes for a memorable, sharable meal. Or try the Maine lobster – with extra yaki miso butter, of course. Blue Ribbon Steak and Sushi in Penn 1 is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Fittingly situated in the flamboyant Soho district of Lower Manhattan is Nikutei Futago, a luxury establishment made to honor the finest choices of Japanese cuisine available in New York. The restaurant is famous for its upscale omakase but doesn't shy away from fine meat choices, including beautifully marbled A5 Wagyu. Having only been around since the spring of 2022, Nikutei Futago's phenomenal reputation in the New York dining scene speaks for itself, making it a top destination in New York for those looking for an extraordinary dining opportunity.
The food at Nikutei Futago is plated with exquisite care and expertise. Each item is as appealing to the eyes as it is to the palate, a sometimes underrated element to consider when choosing where to enjoy a meal. The restaurant implores its guests to surrender their senses, and you'll immediately understand what that means upon walking through its doors. After sampling an array of starters, try the famed Wagyu tasting course. At a whopping $360 per person, this won't be a meal to quickly devour on a lunch break. Rather, this will be a culinary experience to savor and one that you're sure to look back on fondly for a lifetime. Nikutei Futago is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday and both lunch and dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
341 W Broadway, New York, New York 10013
Read the original article on Tasting Table.