SAKE NIGHTS: A MIX OF OLD AND NEW NYC SPOTS

Grandlife guide

SAKE NIGHTS: A MIX OF OLD AND NEW NYC SPOTS

back to list

For those nights you want to sip sake—either neatly or in a bespoke drink (and preferably chilled), check out this list of Far East institutions starring the hip Japanese rice-based wine.  From unassuming, subterranean spots to moody, members-only dens, and a surprising Brooklyn newcomer, it’s easy to transport yourself to Tokyo sans the plane ticket.

Sake Bar Decibel

For your Lost in Translation moment, head downstairs to this slightly punk rock, red-hued East Village bar (est. 1993) for a well-curated, 100-bottle sake list including a floral-forward Junmai Ginjo Takumi, and cloudy, unfiltered varietals like Crazy Milk. Also on tap: a smattering of Lucky Cats among aged Japanese whiskey bottles and the adventurous spirit Shochu. Hungry? Nibble on Wasabi Shumai, a plate of wasabi dumplings with pork.

240 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003; T. (212) 979-2733

Hi-Collar

In the East Village, find an intimate East-meets-West experience at this composed dimly-lit venue—whose name comes from a fashionable term from the Japanese Jazz Age. Serving hot coffee by day (alongside omurice and katsu sandwiches) and discerning sake pours by night, try the crisp-meets-dry Kubota Koju or graduate to highly-touted bottles a la the elegant, sharp Taiten Shiragiku.
214 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003; T. (212) 777-7018

Bohemian

Housed in a building once belonging to Andy Warhol, this members-only Japanese bar (and the sibling to a small, Tokyo-based empire) is reached by a phone number or referral (don’t ask us how to get that, we’re merely the messengers but you can plead your case here). Inside, a swanky Zen palate of white walls and chic lounges afford the perfect setting for those lucky enough to sip Asian-flared cocktails and sake glasses.

57 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

Brooklyn Kura

Looking for a destination spot? Venture out to Industry City for this exciting newcomer. Dubbed as an American sake brewery and taproom, thanks to its use of native ingredients, this cheery, graphic-focused room with minimalist paper orb lighting serves up refreshing, floral and light-bodied sips such as its Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu. “Sake is a perfect summer drink,” says Co-Founder and President Brian Polen. “The best sakes in the world are meant to be served chilled and enjoyed like a crisp white wine. On hot summer days, we recommend our signature #14 Junmai Ginjo. A tap room favorite, it is light-bodied and floral. It pairs well with a broad range of summer foods, from lobster rolls to charcuterie, and is a perfect sipping sake.” If you’re inclined, take a bottle home.   

68 34th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232; T. (347) 766-1601

Sake Bar Satsko

Since 1994, this tiny East Village neighborhood bar, outfitted with Polaroids, rotating art pieces and red fringed lighting, has been delivering chilled glasses of sake in lacquer boxes (go ahead, try the well-balanced Tedorigawa Arabishiri Kinka “Gold Blossom”) while hungry patrons nosh on small, elevated bar snacks like the house-made Squid Jerky and veggie buns.

202 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009; T. (212) 614-0933

One more for good measure: Inside the relaxed Ludlow Street lounge, SakaMai you’ll find shareable plates and specialty sake including a plum-forward, 17-year-old aged Junmai Ginjo, and bespoke cocktails created by the venerable spirit master Shingo Gokan.

Words Kate Donnelly

You May Also Like

A Rundown of the Run-Down

A Rundown of the Run-Down

bars & nightlife
music
stories
True New York dives worth knowing about, according to Bass Drum of Death frontman and dive enthusiast John Barrett.  
A Sopranos Tour of NYC

A Sopranos Tour of NYC

art & design
bars & nightlife
entertainment
film
restaurants
travel
stories
For the 20th anniversary of the iconic series, we visit the NYC locations featured prominently on the show.  
A GUIDE TO THE BEST ICE CREAM IN DOWNTOWN NYC

A GUIDE TO THE BEST ICE CREAM IN DOWNTOWN NYC

food & drink
stories
The Al Fresco Way: A Guide to Outdoor Dining

The Al Fresco Way: A Guide to Outdoor Dining

stories
New Classics: Gran Tivoli & Peppi's Cellar Open in Nolita

New Classics: Gran Tivoli & Peppi's Cellar Open in Nolita

bars & nightlife
food & drink
music
restaurants
stories
Celebrated Australian restaurateur Jason Scott brings his take on Americana to America with an elevated version of a classic New York bistro and basement bar with live music.
MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH AT THE ROXY

MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH AT THE ROXY

entertainment
food & drink
music
stories
MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF ABEL FERRARA

MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF ABEL FERRARA

bars & nightlife
entertainment
music
stories
Playing It Loud At The Met

Playing It Loud At The Met

art & design
music
stories
Rock and roll’s most iconic instruments go on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads give us the lowdown.
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600