It’s the city that never sleeps, which means you'll need some sustenance beyond the bewitching hour. For chefs, after midnight is prime time for dinner. Here are five chef-recommended Japanese restaurants that keep the lights on late.
This sushi restaurant has long been a late night destination for chefs eating post-shift. They now have two locations. Sit at the sushi bar if you can and order the omakase.
"I really like Seki. The fish is really good, it’s open late at night after work, which is when I find I do most of my dining."
FED Pro > Chef Dave Pasternack (Esca, Barchetta)
"This is one of my favorites for sushi."
FED Pro > Chef Anita Lo (annisa)
Open until 2:30am
Upper East Side | 1143 1st Avenue, New York, NY | T: 212.371.0238
Open until 1am
Chelsea | 208 West 23rd Street, New York, NY | T: 212.255.5988
Head up a narrow flight of stairs to get to this bustling yakitori bar. Be prepared to wait for a table, no matter how late you arrive. The menu reads like a tour of the inside of a chicken - heart, liver, gizzard, knee bone, neck, skin, and tail. Drink your grilled nibbles with a cold Ebisu beer or glass of shochu.
"I love the fact that as soon as you open the door and climb the staircase, you end up in Tokyo. You’re totally in another world, like another planet. I eat everything and I really love the chicken cartilage. I like to sit at the counter and watch the guys."
FED Pro > Chef Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin)
"I love Yakitori Totto for beef tongue, chicken cartilage and a view of the super hip Japanese cooks. Come for the food, leave with a T-shirt."
FED Pro > Chef Alex Raij (El Quinto Pino, Txikito, La Vara)
"My late night cravings lead me straight to Yakitori Totto."
FED Pro > Chef Michael Anthony (Gramercy Tavern)
Open until 12pm, 1am on weekends
251 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 | T: 212.245.4555 | tottonyc.com
Located on the second floor, this is a busy and brightly-lit Japanese homestyle restaurant. It’s also the entrance to the speakeasy Angel’s Share.
"Because pork kimchee with a cold Asahi is heavenly."
FED Pro > Chef Joe Dobias (Joe & Misses Dobias)
Open until 2am, 4am on weekends
8 Stuyvesant Street, New York, NY 10003
T: 212.598.3041 | www.villageyokocho.com
"It’s bar food, an izakaya, and it’s open until 4 am. I started coming here after work when I was a sous chef at Morimoto. I would bring all the line cooks here and and we would just order the entire f-ing menu and pitchers of beer. Whole bill for about seven people would be $200 and we’d been eating our faces off. I like to get the skewered yakitori chicken skin, chicken meatballs, these weird little Berkshire sausages and I always get the Ika Yaki (grilled squid)."
FED Pro > Chef Dale Talde (Talde)
"I like coming here for their great barbecue Japanese-style yakitori. All of the dishes are small appetizers, which the Japanese call otsumami. They have Japanese beers on tap and sochu. For sochu, I like drinking the Kome (rice), mugi (barley), or Imo (sweet potato)."
FED Pro > Chef Jack Hlaing (Takahachi)
Open until 2am, 4am on weekends
5 Saint Marks Place, New York, NY 10003 | T: 212.228.5086 | yakitoritaisho.net
You have to look hard to find this stylish izakaya. They have an unlisted phone number, no sign out front and it's hidden behind a Japanese butcher shop on a side street in Noho.
"This is a beautiful space to drink sake and shochu."
FED Pro > Chikaro Sono (Kyo Ya)
Open until 2am
57 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012 | www.playearth.jp
Executive chef and partner at Esca and Barchetta in New York.
Executive chef and owner of annisa in New York.
Executive and co-owner of Le Bernardin in New York.
Executive chef and co-owner of El Quinto Pino, Txikito, La Vara in New York.
Executive chef and partner of Gramercy Tavern in New York.
Executive chef and co-owner of Joe & Misses Doe in New York.
Executive chef and partner of Talde, Pork Slope in New York.
Executive chef of Takahachi in New York.
Executive chef of Kyo Ya in New York.
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