Sake lovers from around the country make a pilgrimage to New York’s famed Sakagura, often cited as one of the top sake bars. This Japanese restaurant boasts over 200 different bottles, but only two Japanese beers.
For the dedicated diners that manage to find Sakagura’s hidden location in the basement of a non-descript building, the experience is rewarding. In addition to sake, it’s known for offering unique small plates. Try the signature dish, Buta Kakuni, pork belly in a savory broth. Other favorites include the fluke carpaccio with plum paste and salmon roe and the eggplant three ways. Don’t overlook dessert, as Sakagura has several subtly sweet endings. The black sesame creme brulee is a customer favorite.
The Japanese menu may be intimidating, but knowledgeable staff are happy to help and make a recommendation. Traditional Japanese decor of bamboo and rice paper walls makes you forget you are in a basement. It may sound silly, but be sure to check out the restroom during your visit.