How to Support Your Favorite Japanese Restaurant During the COVID-19 Crisis

We are living in uncertain times with COVID-19 reaching pandemic proportions. I hope that you are all staying healthy and safe during this crisis. As the coronavirus started to spread in our area, New Yorkers began to see cancellations of events and closures of bars and restaurants at an alarming rate.

In accordance with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandate, we should all stay at home and practice social distancing. At the same time, we can support our favorite Japanese restaurants by ordering take out or delivery where available. This is extremely important, as the National Restaurant Association estimated that the restaurant industry has already lost a staggering $225 billion in revenue and more than three million jobs were eliminated as a result of the crisis.

I’ve compiled a list of Japanese restaurants in New York City that are operating on a takeout and/or delivery basis. I used restaurant websites, social media announcements, and Resy as my sources, but please note: This is by no means a complete list. This situation is fluid, and things are changing on a daily basis. I will update this list as often as I can to give readers an accurate depiction of what’s going on with the Japanese restaurant scene. Please feel free to contact me at susan@japanculture-nyc.com if you know of restaurants that I should add.

Another note: This article addresses restaurants only. I will discuss alcohol in a future post.

So how can you help Japanese restaurants during this crisis? Let’s start with the restaurants that are open.

Order Takeout or Delivery

Basta Pasta

BentOn – Bento boxes, sozai deli foods, and bags of rice(!) for delivery. The FiDi location is closed.

Bohemian

Brooklyn Ball Factory – Bozu, Samurai Mama, and Samurai Papa

Go! Go! Curry! – Get the Go! Go! Pack of curry sauce, four to five servings that will last in the fridge for one or two weeks or in the freezer for six months. They have desserts, too!

Gyu-Kaku – Takeout and UberEats for Midtown and Times Square locations only

Hibino LIC – Brooklyn location is closed until mid-April

Hinoki – Forest Hills, Queens

Ichiran Ramen – They don’t have takeout or delivery in the traditional sense, but their Ichiran Home Ramen Kits are available for purchase through their online store.

Inase Sushi

Ivan Ramen – The Slup Shop at Gotham West Market is closed, but Ivan Ramen in LES is open.

Izakaya

Izakaya Mew – The Manhattan location is offering delivery, but the Flushing location is closed.

Japan Village – Order from restaurants in the food court through UberEats with the short code rb.gy/5qtqjc.

Jin Ramen – West Harlem location is delivering; UWS to begin this month.

Jukai

Juku

Kajitsu Kokage – Bento boxes for pickup

Karazishi Botan – Open from noon until 8:00 p.m. They offer a 10% discount for pickup orders using the promo code Botan10.

Kobeyaki – Upper East Side location only

Kondo Japanese Restaurant

Kuu Ramen – Two locations: FiDi and UES. Use promo code STAYSAFENYC for a 10% discount.

Meijin Ramen

Mountain Bird – Chicken-based, French-inspired cuisine by a Japanese couple. Accepting orders by phone only: 607-358-6125.

Nakamura

Odo/Hall – Michelin Star dishes available through Grubhub from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Okonomi/Yuji Ramen – Call the restaurant for pickup or Grubhub for delivery.

Omakase Room by Tatsu – Offering a mixed chirashi with red miso soup for $60 per person.

Omen Azen – This SoHo outpost of a 1,200-year-old Kyoto-based restaurant is not preparing meals, but you can support them with purchases from their gift shop.

Omomo

Ootoya – Delivery and pickup from only their Greenwich Village location (from 11:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.) and bento pickup in Times Square (11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.)

Panya Bakery

Rabbit House – Offering their full menu for pickup and delivery. Even sake, wine, beer, and cider are available (pickup only).

Raku

Ronin Stones

SakaMai

Secchu Yokota – To-go menu available for pickup Wednesday through Sunday. You can place your order from noon until 8:00 p.m. (or until items are sold out), with pickup available from 1:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. (or until items are sold out). Follow their Instagram for daily updates.

Shoji at 69 Leonard Street

Sugarfish by Nozawa – Pickup and delivery through Postmates or the Sugarfish App.

Sushi Dojo

Sushi Ginza Onodera – Order between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for pickup from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday.

Sushi Ishikawa – Mini-omakase ($59) or maki set ($39) for pickup in the Upper East Side between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Sushi Lab

Sushi Nonaka

Sushi Noz

Sushi on Jones x Don Waguy – Gotham West Market

Sushi Ryusei

Sushi Yasuda

Tabetomo

Takesushi Sunnyside

Takumen LIC

Tampopo Ramen

Tokyo Record Bar

Torien

Tsurutontan

UMINOIE – Serving Okinawan cuisine in the East Village from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. To order, email uminoienyc@gmail.com or visit nynojofresh.

Yakitori Torishin

Wasan Brooklyn

If you don’t see your favorite Japanese restaurant listed, check the restaurant’s website or social media. Or visit a delivery app such as Resy, Caviar, Seamless, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, UberEats, etc. Keep in mind that you might be out of delivery range.

Do not take the subway to a restaurant just to pick up an order. Save the subways for the essential workers who need the rides and the six feet of required social distancing between passengers. There are other ways to help.

©TIC Restaurant Group

Fundraising Campaigns

Some restaurants have had to furlough staff or close altogether. Many have started crowdfunding campaigns to pay their employees and their rents. Here are a few that are significant.

TIC Restaurant Group
Founded by Bon Yagi, who was recently awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by the Japanese government, TIC Restaurant Group operates 16 Japanese restaurants throughout the city, most of them concentrated in the East Village. Chances are you’ve had tea and a sweet at Cha-An, a bowl of ramen at Rai Rai Ken, and late-night drink at Decibel. All of the restaurants have been closed for a couple of weeks, and they set up a GoFundMe to raise money for their employees.

Suzuki | Satsuki
Suzuki Hospitality Group owns and operates the modern French-inspired Suzuki dining room, the Michelin Star sushi counter Satsuki, and the bar/lounge Three Pillars. Toshio Suzuki, the legendary former chef/owner of Sushi Zen who spent 40 years behind a sushi counter, retired in February. Through their GoFundMe campaign, they hope to pay outstanding food bills.

Brooklyn Ball Factory
The Brooklyn Ball Factory group consists of Bozu, Samurai Mama, two locations of Samurai Papa, Momo Sushi Shack, and Brooklyn Ball Factory (cafe and catering/bento division). While they are offering takeout and delivery (as mentioned above), they had to furlough the majority of their employees. 100% of the money they raise on GoFundMe will go directly to their staff.

EN Japanese Brasserie
Elegant kaiseki West Village eatery EN Japanese Brasserie is seeking funds through GoFundMe to provide support to staff here and from sister restaurant Chateau Hanare in LA.

Bessou
Maiko Kyogoku’s cozy homage to her family’s food traditions manifests itself in Bessou, where her dishes are a modern take on everyday Japanese comfort food. Please help the Bessou family by donating to @bessou-donations on Venmo or to maiko@bessou.nyc on PayPal. 100% of the donations will be going to the staff.

Rabbit House
This Lower East Side omakase and Japanese bar is run by owner/chef Yoshiko Sakuma. She is providing takeout and delivery but is in need of a little extra support on GoFundMe. She also hopes to provide meals to medical staff as well.

Basta Pasta
This Japanese expression of Italian cuisine has been a Chelsea stalwart since 1990. COVID-19 has forced the restaurant to lay off most of its staff and cut the salaries of those who remain employed. Please consider donating to their GoFundMe campaign.

Ramen Shack
Keizo Shimamoto revolutionized the Ramen Burger and brought the yatai culture to New York. He’s raising funds through GoFundMe to support his employees.

Secchu Yokota
This tempura-based, modern omakase restaurant is raising money for staff members through GoFundMe.

Nakamura
Owner Shigetoshi Nakamura created a Ramen Relief Fund on GoFundMe.

Shalom Japan
Aaron Israel, co-owner/co-chef of the “authentically inauthentic” Jewish/Japanese restaurant in South Williamsburg, is also a skilled ceramist. He’s selling his handmade plates and cups through the Shalom Japan website.

 

Other Ways to Help

Gift Cards
Please consider purchasing a gift cards to use when we all get back to normal. Simply visit your favorite restaurant’s website to make your purchase.

Petitions
Sign the ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants) on Change.org, seeking more provisions in the COVID-19 stimulus package for the restaurant industry.

 

If You’d Rather Cook…

Grocery stores remain open and provide delivery. Depending on where you live in relation to the particular store from which you are ordering, delivery may take several days.

Dainobu
129 East 47th Street
36 West 56th Street
498 Avenue of the Americas
300 7th Street (inside J+B Design), Brooklyn
Dainobu also offers online shopping.

Japan Premium Beef
59 Great Jones Street
934 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn (in Japan Village)
Add Wagyu to your home-cooked meals.

Katagiri
224 E. 59th Street
370 Lexington Avenue
Both stores are offering delivery through Mercato.

NY Nojo Fresh
Online orders for Japanese groceries, vegetables, and prepackaged foods. Delivery areas: Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. (They are looking to expand to Westchester and towns in New Jersey in the coming weeks.)
Visit their website to place your order.

Osakana
290 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn
This Japanese-style fish market is selling trays of uni and other seafood. Check Instagram for daily specials.

Sunrise Mart
4 Stuyvesant Street
494 Broome Street
12 E. 41st Street
934 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn (in Japan Village)
All Sunrise Mart locations offer local delivery, or you can use Mercato for Midtown and SoHo.

Wokuni
The restaurant is closed, but the fish market is open daily from 11:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Stay safe and hope to see everyone at a Japanese restaurant very soon!

Links to information on coronavirus:

https://www.who.int/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

https://www1.nyc.gov/