If you don’t have the funds to travel all the way to Tokyo, you’ll be glad to find a vibrant Japanese dining scene right in the heart of New York City. East 9th Street is sometimes known as Little Japan, and it features many different types of Japanese cuisine. At Robata-Ya (231 East 9th St.), you can eat imported Japanese fish fresh off the grill.
Make sure to try the grilled satsuma-imo, or Japanese sweet potatoes; they’re incredibly sweet and delicate, and are served with butter or lemon. Next door, Soba-Ya (231 East 9th St.) features housemade buckwheat noodles with various toppings in cold or hot broth. One of the oldest Japanese restaurants in New York City, Hasaki (210 East 9th St.) is known for Tokyo-style sushi. And for those trying to dine cheaply as well as authentically, the tiny take-out Otafuku (236 East 9th St.) sells fried octopus snacks and okonomiyaki, or savory Japanese pancakes.