20 for 2020: Japanese Restaurants in NYC Earn Michelin Stars

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games just nine months away, it seems only fitting that 20 New York-based Japanese restaurants would earn Michelin stars. The world’s oldest restaurant guide announced the New York City restaurants elected to receive the coveted accolades. Seventy-six restaurants in New York City earned stars, and 20 of them are establishments specializing in Japanese cuisine.

Not much has changed from last year’s list. Sushi Ginza Onodera was demoted from two stars to one. Two restaurants from 2019 didn’t make the cut: Tetsu and, surprisingly, Kyo Ya. Taking their places are Odo, which opened this spring under the former chef at Kajitsu, and Ukiyo, affiliated with Jewel Bako but is “currently on pause,” as stated on its website.

Here are the 20 for 2020:

From masanyc.com

Three Stars
“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”

10 Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center
Type of Cuisine: Sushi
The only three-star sushi restaurant in the U.S., Masa continues to earn high honors.
Website: http://www.masanyc.com/#masa-takayama


Two Stars
“Excellent cuisine, worth a detour”

Ichimura at Uchū
Type of cuisine: Sushi
217 Eldridge Street
Take a detour into the Lower East Side to experience a thrilling sushi dinner at the hands of master sushi chef Eiji Ichimura. He offers only two seatings a night, so nabbing a seat at his counter is highly desirable.
Website: http://uchu.nyc/sushi/


Sushi counter at Satsuki

One Star
“A very good restaurant in its category”

Bar Uchū (Currently closed)
217 Eldridge Street
Type of cuisine: Kaiseki
Chef Samuel Clonts, an alumnus of Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, runs this intimate space in the Lower East Side. He uses the finest ingredients in his Japanese-influenced, kaiseki-style meals.
Website: http://uchu.nyc/

73 Thompson Street
Type of cuisine: Seasonal Japanese
New York Magazine says, “Hirohisa Hayashi specializes in the kind of quirky, traditionalist dishes beloved by Japanese omakase purists.”
Website: https://www.hirohisa.nyc/

Jewel Bako
239 E. 5th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Michelin Guide inspectors site the ambiance and excellent customer service to be just as important as the consistently exquisite dishes created by Jewel Bako’s talented chef.
Website: http://www.jewelbakosushi.com

125 E. 39th Street
Type of cuisine: Shojin Ryori (Buddhist vegetarian)
“Kajitsu is such a special place that it deserves to be part of the conversation when it comes to essential New York restaurants,” The Infatuation says in its review of this classic kaiseki restaurant.
Website: http://www.kajitsunyc.com/

175 2nd Avenue
Type of cuisine: Sushi
This is Kanoyama’s third consecutive year with a Michelin star.
Website: http://www.kanoyama.com/

220 W. 13th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Reasonably priced (relatively speaking) omakase in the West Village.
Website: http://kosakanyc.com/

6 W. 28th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Traditional Edomae-style sushi in a non-traditional setting.
Website: https://www.noda.nyc/

Odo (New)
17 W. 20th Street
Type of Cuisine: Kaiseki Speakeasy
Chef Hiroki Odo’s personal take on Japanese kaiseki located in the Flatiron District.
Website: https://www.odo.nyc/

458 W. 17th Street
Type of cuisine: Kaiseki
Owner/Chef Toru Okuda’s restaurants have earned Michelin stars in three cities: Tokyo, Paris, and New York.
Website: https://www.okuda.nyc/

114 W. 47th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
As the sushi bar at Suzuki, Satsuki is Chef Toshio Suzuki’s “utterly tranquil shrine dedicated to upscale Japanese cuisine,” says Michelin.
Website: https://www.suzukinyc.com/

Sushi Amane
245 E. 44th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Chef Shion Uino oversees this eight-seat omakase counter that shares space with MIFUNE.
Website: https://www.sushi-amane.com/

Sushi Ginza Onodera
461 5th Avenue
Type of cuisine: Sushi
This popular omakase restaurant serves Edomae sushi that features fish flown in from Tokyo’s famed Toyosu Market (formerly Tsukiji) and Niigata rice seasoned with red vinegar.
Website: https://www.sushiginzaonoderanewyork.com/

Sushi Inoue
481 Lenox Avenue
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Chef Shinichi Inoue, a third generation sushi master, opened the first restaurant in Harlem to receive a Michelin star.
Website: http://www.sushiinoueharlem.com/

Sushi Nakazawa
23 Commerce Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Chef Daisuke Nakazawa is the former tamagoyaki-making apprentice to the venerable Chef Jiro of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame. Says Michelin: “Chef Nakazawa’s signature style combines supremely tender fish with perfectly seasoned rice, a spark of wasabi and judicious brush of nikiri for consistently excellent results.”
Website: https://www.sushinakazawa.com/new-york

Sushi Noz
181 E. 78th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
From Sushi Noz’s website: “Conceived like an ancient Kyoto temple, it seeks to transport you to another world, where refinements of time and space are transformative and every moment can be treasured.”
Website: https://www.sushinoz.com/

Sushi Yasuda
204 E. 43rd Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Since 1999 Sushi Yasuda has been serving classic, no-frills sushi (i.e., no rolls with cream cheese or jalapeños) in Midtown East. The minimalist approach to the food and the interior prompted The New York Times to call it a “standout shrine to sushi.”
Website: http://www.sushiyasuda.com/

Tempura Matsui
222 E. 39th Street
Type of cuisine: Tempura
This is not the same style of over-breaded fried food that some people think of when they hear “tempura.” This is high-end, fine dining with a set tasting menu at $200. Revered chef Masao Matsui, who opened the restaurant in 2015, died of cancer in February 2016, but Chef Shin Kato continues to prepare tempura in the same delicate fashion.
Website: https://www.tempuramatsui.com/

259 E. 5th Street
Type of cuisine: French and Japanese
Affiliated with Jewel Bako, which is located next door, is actually closed.
Website: http://ukiyo-nyc.com/


Mazemen at Tonchin

Bib Gourmands
“Inspectors’ favorites for good value”

Michelin defines “good value” as spending $40 or less—excluding tax and gratuity—for two courses and a glass of wine or dessert.

138 W. Houston Street
Type of Cuisine: Sushi
Website: https://www.domodomonyc.com/

Jin Ramen
3183 Broadway
Type of Cuisine: Ramen
Website: http://www.jinramen.com

Maison Yaki (New)
626 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn
Type of Cuisine: Yakitori
Maison Yaki isn’t technically Japanese; it’s actually French. But it serves yakitori and uses Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques in practically every dish.
Website: http://www.maisonyaki.com/

Mu Ramen
12-09 Jackson Avenue, Queens
Type of Cuisine: Ramen
Website: https://www.muramennyc.com/

Shalom Japan
310 S. 4th Street, Brooklyn
Type of Cuisine: “Authentically inauthentic Jewish and Japanese food”
Website: http://shalomjapannyc.com/

229 E. 9th Street
Type of Cuisine: Japanese Soba Noodles
Website: https://www.sobaya-nyc.com/

13 W. 36th Street
Type of Cuisine: Ramen
Website: http://www.tonchinnewyork.com/

For a complete list of all New York and Westchester County restaurants that earned stars—not just the Japanese ones—please visit Michelin’s website.

Featured photo from Michelin Guide New York City and Westchester County’s website


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