Where to Find Osechi Ryori in NYC

The holidays are fully upon us, and everyone is running around the city to finish Christmas shopping or attend holiday parties. If you’re Japanese – or a huge fan of Japanese culture and cuisine – one of the many items on your end-of-year to-do list is to prepare for Oshogatsu, or New Year’s Day, the most important holiday in Japan.

Oshogatsu means a fresh start for the Japanese, so the days leading up to New Year’s Eve are busy in preparation of getting rid of things associated with the old year and welcoming new opportunities. Of course, food is a huge part of the holiday tradition, so in addition to cleaning their homes thoroughly and settling unfinished business, the Japanese prepare a New Year’s feast known as osechi ryori.

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Osechi ryori. Photo from RocketNews24

Osechi ryori consists of boxes called jubako filled with seasonal delicacies brimming with symbolism:

  • Kamaboko (processed fish paste) – The alternating red and white pattern is similar to the sun, making kamaboko festive
  • Kohaku-Namasu (marinated daikon (radish) and carrots and kamaboko (fish cakes)  – Good omen embodied in their red and white colors
  • Kuromame (simmered black beans) and gobo kinpira (burdock root) – Good health
  • Kazunoko (marinated herring roe) – Fertility
  • Tazukuri (candied sardines) – Abundant harvest
  • Kurikinton (mashed sweet potatoes and sweet chestnuts) – Wealth
  • Datemaki (rolled sweet omelet with fish paste or mashed shrimp) – The wish for many auspicious days
  • Konbumaki (kelp rolls) – Joy and happiness
  • Ebi (shrimp) – Longevity
  • Tai no shioyaki (sea bream grilled with salt) – Felicitous fish based on the play on words with tai, which sounds like medetai, meaning an auspicious event

Other New Year’s Day foods include nimono, a simmered dish with renkon (lotus root), konyaku (yam cake), bamboo shoots, taro, shiitake mushrooms, and fish cake;  zoni, a soup made of clear broth and mochi (rice cakes); and toshikoshi soba, noodles that symbolize “crossing the year.”

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Renkon (lotus root, right), Konbu, bamboo shoots

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Futomaki

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The red and white colors of Kamaboko (processed fish paste) symbolize an auspicious occasion

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Ozoni contains mochi, glutenous rice

Typically, these special meals are prepared and stored by New Year’s Eve so that no one needs to cook during the three days of the New Year’s celebration, until January 3.

Keeping the Japanese tradition alive here in New York, these boxes are for sale throughout the city. Welcome the New Year with auspicious Japanese cuisine and celebrate new opportunities in Japanese style.

Pre-Order Sets

  • Mitsuwa
    595 River Road in Edgewater, NJ
    The Japanese mega-market has four remaining types of jubako for sale ranging in price from $314 to $482. You have until end of business on Wednesday, December 14 to receive a 10% discount, but there is no deadline to order. The catch: You must order and pick up your osechi in person at Mitsuwa’s customer service desk.
  • Nijiya Market
    18 N. Central Avenue, Hartsdale, NY
    914.929.2178
    Hours: 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. every day
    There are six choices of osechi jubako ranging in price from $25 to $150. The online order deadline is Sunday, December 25, and the orders will be available for pickup on Saturday, December 31.
  • Katagiri
    224 E. 59th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
    212.755.3566
    Hours: 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. every day
    You can order Katagiri’s osechi ryori set ($275) by phone or in person, and the store can deliver if you live in Manhattan. But hurry – there are only 12 sets available!
  • The Nippon Club
    145 W. 57th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
    Pick up: Friday, December 30 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 30 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
    The Nippon Club has three choices of osechi ryori jubako available in limited quantities ranging in size and price from $217.75 to $435.50. Click here to print the order form (in Japanese). Deadline to place your order is Tuesday, December 27.
  • Restaurant Nippon
    155 E. 52nd Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues
    212.688.5941
    Restaurant Nippon has been providing housemade jubako for more than 50 years. Each box is $380, and individual ingredients are also available for sale. Supplies are limited, so order soon.
  • Wasan
    108 E. 4th Street (between First and Second Avenues)
    212.777.1978
    440 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
    347.725.3550
    Wasan is taking orders for osechi at $215 each if you need a box. If you have your own box, the charge is $200. Supplies are limited, so call now!
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Osechi ryori foods: Kurikinton (sweet potatoes and chestnuts), Kuromame (black beans), Tazukuri (candied sardines), and Konbumaki (kelp)

Purchase Small Sets or Packaged Ingredients In-Store

  • Sunrise Mart
    4 Stuyvesant Street at 3rd Avenue (2nd Floor)
    Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until midnight
    Starting Friday, December 23 Sunrise Mart will have packaged osechi ingredients such as konbumaki, datemaki, kurikinton, shrimp, and more available for purchase. They will have a limited number of osechi sets during the week of Christmas, but they do not take reservations. The sets are first come, first served while supplies last.
  • Dainobu
    129 E. 47th Street (between 3rd and Lexington Avenues)
    36 W. 56th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
    498 Avenue of the Americas (between 11th and 12th Streets)
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. every day
    Like Sunrise Mart the Dainobu locations will have packaged ingredients that you can use to create your own osechi jubako without having to cook everything from scratch. Estimated date of availability is the week of December 19. Dainobu will not have pre-packaged jubako.

 

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Restaurant Nippon


Dine In

  • Hakubai
    The Kitano Hotel at 66 Park Avenue and 38th Street
    212.885.7000
    Once again Hakubai is serving osechi ryori on January 1 and 2 featuring a special menu by Executive Chef Yukihiro Sato. There are three seatings on January 1: 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. There is no dinner on January 2; the seating times are 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The cost is $200 per person plus tax and tip. Reservations required.
  • Restaurant Nippon
    155 E. 52nd Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues
    212.688.5941
    In addition to the osechi ryori sets available for order, Restaurant Nippon will also serve osechi meals in the restaurant on January 1. On New Year’s Eve, Restaurant Nippon will serve toshikoshi soba. Reservations are encouraged.


Toshikoshi Soba

  • Sakagura
    211 E. 43rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
    953.7253
    Sakagura is accepting pre-orders for its housemade toshikoshi soba for two for $25 (tax included) through 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28. The soba will be available for pickup on Saturday, December 31 between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.