Restaurant Nippon

Restaurant Nippon

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://restaurantnippon.com/
  • Phone: (212) 688-5941
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Sushi, Japanese
  • Executive Chef: Haruo Shibata
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Traditional Japanese menus, including a sushi bar, can be catered in your home, office, club, or hotel, with waitstaff in traditional Japanese kimono.
  • Private Party Facilities: Japanese style Tatami private rooms accommodate 2 - 25 guests and can offer pre-fixe menus including traditional Japanese Kaiseki.
  • Private Party Contact: Yasuhiro Makoshi 2126885941

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between Lexington and 3rd Avenues
  • Public Transit: 6 train to 51st Street and E & V trains Lexington Ave-53rd Street.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Restaurant Nippon
Restaurant Nippon opened in August 1963, becoming the first Japanese Restaurant in the U.S.A. with an authentic sushi bar.
In 1988, we introduced nihachi soba (with ratio of 80% of buckwheat flour to 20% of wheat flour) made from buckwheat seeds cultivated at our own farm in CANADA.
In 1989, after five years of negotiations with the F.D.A., we received an exclusive license to import Japanese " Tiger Blow Fish " ( Tora Fugu).
In November 2006, we became the only importers of natural wasabi from the Gifu prefecture, Japan.
In 2007, we started producing and serving tofu, home-made daily with soy beans cultivated at the Canadian farm.
On November 11, 2009, for the above contributions in the promotion of Japanese culture through Japanese food, owner and president of Restaurant Nippon, Nobuyoshi Kuraoka, was awarded by the Japanese Government " The Order of The Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette ", (Tantamount to British Knighthood )
Continued
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Restaurant Nippon reviews from OpenTable diners
42 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (20)neighborhood gem (15)great for lunch (12)special occasion (11)good for groups (10)romantic (4)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • TomasVIP
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    very good sushi....old fashion but great Japanese service....definitely go back....very convenient to subway line.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic and delicious
    Sproghaver
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Nippon was the very first sushi bar in the States when it opened back in 1963, which is reason enough for retro-foodies to make the trek. But even if you don't care about the restaurant's provenance, you should go for the food, which is absolutely delicious. And not just the sushi, either. The house-made tofu and soba (which I had together in the tofu soba salad, along with some agedashi tofu) are so fresh and vibrant that they come close to upstaging the sushi. Which is not to say that the sushi isn't stunning, because it is! Incredibly fresh, and the rice - the crucial ingredient in sushi - is beyond first-rate. A bit pricey, but a great special occasion restaurant (or regular haunt for those with deep pockets).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Japanese Food in NYC
    TommyYonkers
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I am always looking for good Japanese restaurants in New York City. This place was recommended by someone from an old job, so I went with some other Japanese people. We all had the sukiyaki, it was surprisingly good. A little pricey, but better than cheap but not good Japanese food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not your typical tourist sushi
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    I have been to many of the"local"establishments and this place really takes the classic sushi cake. No crazy rolls to draw you in. High quality sushi along with attentive service makes the higher prices worth it. A must for those who want a great sushi experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic
    RibsRUs
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    I lived in Japan for over 6 years and this place made me feel as if I never left. The quality and authenticity of the dishes is fantastic. Its pricey but I was so satisfied and happy with my choices. The ambiance it very traditional, service is attentive although I wish the kimono clad waitresses would bring their conversation level a notch down. I will absolutely recommend this place and go back myself. Ogochisosama desta!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BNDeats
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    We loved everything, especially the sushi was fresh and delicate. We also enjoyed the sukiyaki dry much.b&d
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nippon
    hatetocook
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Very nice spot to grab lunch. Res was easy to make with open table and the fish was very fresh. Everyone enjoyed their food
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, horrible service
    Nxxj
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    I've been here twice and the food is authentic (I've lived several years in Japan) and of good quality. But both times the service was unprofessional. We had to wait 15 minutes for a second bottle of sake, and our shabu shabu had only 5 slices instead of 6 as per menu (the chef apologized and offered a 7th on the house, but in such a pricey restaurant this shouldn't happen). Ambiance is a bit stuffy. I'd say the restaurant's prime time ended quite a while ago.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice
    JMazVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Went for an early dinner, place was empty but we were seated in an awkward/tight spot. Service was overly attentive as the place was empty and bordered on annoying. Food was fantastic, portion small for the price It was good, but for the price and other considerations there are many better choices
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Historic sushi!
    Sproghaver
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    When Nippon opened in 1963, it was the first authentic sushi bar in the United States. It's worth checking out for that reason alone, but you'll also get a fantastic (if somewhat pricey) meal there. The sushi is tremendous, and the house-made soba and tofu are even better. The service is very attentive, and you get the feeling that the whole staff has been there almost as long as the restaurant. Well worth a visit for anyone who's serious about Japanese food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great soba and sushi
    seba
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    amazing soba and sushi, as good as in tokyo. a restaurant for lovers of authentic japanese food in nyc. low key atmosphere and bit dated surrounding but the real tokyo style restaurant in NYC. when we ere there, Japanese TV NHK was shooting a documentary on the restaurant, so real authentic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Stead fast and true
    Boogie310
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Traditional dishes done right. Great soba salads for light fare. Amazing tofu dishes, the difference shows.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth the money
    ChuckVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I was attracted to this place by the reviews that I had read. I should have figured from the ease of getting a reservation with short notice that this was not going to be a great experience. 3 of us had 3 rolls, 9 pieces of sushi, a vegetable tempura (6 pieces of various veggies for $18) an 3 beers. Total price with tip was $217! The food was quite average other than the Hamachi from Japan. I would rate the experience as very average and certainly not worth the premium price that we paid. We would not plan to return to Restaurant Nippon. There is much better food and the same or lower price in Midtown.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pricy, but good
    paizhaowan
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    it's pricy, but the service, the ambiance is good. i would recommend it.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced
    vmed17
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I have had better sushi and bigger quantity for much less, even in the city. After spending $225 for two adults and two kids, we were still hungry. Would not recommend it to anyone
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceptional!
    ReikiHelpsVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We have been to Nippon many times and the food is always excellent. Last time, it was exceptional!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Went for a Restaurant Week
    LoveNYCVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Went for lunch during the restaurant week. The overall service was okay, but the food was great although they did not have any sushi or sashimi on the menu.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Everything was fine
    luv2eat
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Went there with two of my girl friends for restaurant week. The service was good, but the food there was just fair and about the average.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food
    ReservedFoodie
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I took a friend that was visiting from California to Nippon for dinner, he was pleasantly surprised. This was my second visit and was not disappointed. It's like a neighborhood gem, hidden between a bunch of franchises. The wait service are traditionally dressed, the food and decor are traditional with simple elegance. Keep your eyes open or you'll miss it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding food and service
    Thirstypenguin
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We arrived later than expected and were the last customers in the restaurant. However, the food and service were both impeccable and never felt as though the staff wanted us to leave.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Get the Beef Sukiyaki!
    JenniferVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The beef sukiyaki is amazing. The food portions weren't big for the Restaurant Week menu, but we were full enough and enjoyed the beef sukiyaki very much. The starters and the dessert for the Restaurant Week menu were unremarkable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 21 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 173 reviews are from the Restaurant Nippon reviews archive.
  • Poor Service
    TheRawConsultantVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    The food was good, but not great. and the portion sizes were limited considering the price and quality. I would have overlooked both these, but the service was really lacking. My water glass probably sat empty for the entirety of my dinner. I will not be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very convincing
    Javajava
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    I've had the pleasure of traveling to Japan a number of times, and Nippon is very reflective of the quality and tastes available in Japan. The decor is pleasant and the service was warm, but the food is the real winner. Very fresh and also different to what's available in most NYC Japanese restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Midtown Standby
    DavidMVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This place is tired but in a great location for a quick business lunch. Quality is good, presentation is great but there is no style and outside the lunch special, prices would suggest more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Yes, I will come back!
    yummy
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Went here for a business lunch a few days ago and wanted to make sure that the sashimi would be fresh. It is pricier than other establishments but you pay for what you get. The sashimi was super fresh with a smooth buttery texture. Everyone was courteous and my tea was constantly filled. Great experience!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unreal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Truly authentic, consistently delicous Japanese food. I've been coming here for over 20 years.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Classic
    ReikiHelpsVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Restaurant Nippon never disappoints. It is authentic Japanese, pricy, but you get what you pay for. The food is excellent - the service is wonderful. It is one of our favorites and we go there often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Gave two star because
    Ergen
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Friendly place very attentive service down to the bus boy, the reason for two star is their lack of interesting sushi menu. If you can fly in fish from Japan, then you should be able to fly in snow crab from somewhere where it is in season! You don't tell us it is not the season in NYC when we ask about spider maki. Their sashimi cuts are razor thin, the spicy tuna maki is regular tuna maki roll with a drop of spicy sauce on top, no inspiration at all!! Another undesirable experience was with multiple waitresses asking us about similar things, poor communication goes against the image they dress to provide.
    • Food
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    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Just excellent authentic Japanese
    RadoVIP
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    Just excellent authentic Japanese food. The sashi and sushi could not be more delicious and always so fresh, with wonderful uni and eel. The best dishes to have are the real Japanese ones, like sukiyaki or shabu-shabu. The aroma of these is intoxicating!.But there are plenty of smaller dishes and of course, the soba, being fresh made, is outstanding. We love the soba salad with a unique dressing that you want the recipe for!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Soba and sushi
    NYCMarine
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    My wife and daughter wanted sushi and I am not a big raw fish fan, so I was glad to see soba on the menu, Great taste and the service was very attentive without being annoying. We will be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Meh
    Soylent
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    Very friendly staff and very attentive. Extremely long wait for sushi (appx 45 min after we ordered). Sushi quality was good, but the quantity was tiny! I've had a larger volume of tuna in California rolls made at grocery stores. Menu lacked creativity.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • REAL Japanese in NYC
    WallStreetLawyerVIP
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    Far more than just superior sushi/sashimi, they have an outstanding menu. Stand outs are the home-made silky tofu and buckwheat soba noodles. But, prices are high so if you're on a budget watch what you order.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love soba!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/5/2014
    I have soba in China all the time and I've been thinking about it since the moment I came to New York. The soba here is great. I enjoy it very much. Matcha-greentea mochi ice cream is fantastic too. But it's very crowded during lunch time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • True Gem
    DiannaVIP
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    The soba salad is unique and a must try. The sushi is some of the best I've ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • FUGU!!!
    YOYO
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    We tried their fugu, love it!!! Will try next year!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Traditional
    TimmyVIP
    Dined on 2/24/2014
    Japanese servers, again, yes you would be in the right place if you want to have some authentic Japanese food. You're gonna be here for their sukiyaki, basically their signature dish. Portions are slightly smaller than the usual American portions so ordering slightly more might be a good idea.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just so-so
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/24/2014
    I went to this restaurant during restaurant week period for lunch with my friends. The foods are just so so. The main dish looks like beef soup with rice, but the soup is toooooooo salty, and the dessert is only a matcha ice cream which you can buy in supermarket. Most customers are those working close to this location. I won't come again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food and Service
    FuManchuVIP
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Came in for lunch on a Friday. Great atmosphere, great service, prompt sitting. Friendly staff. Knowledable waiter. Sushi well prepared, very fresh and melted on the palate. Highly recommend this Manhattan gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nothing special but good
    Awawawaw
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    If you are looking for a typical NYC "scene" you won't find it here. A little outdated but all in all a good place for sushi. They only have the "basics" (no fancy rolls, no masago, etc, and looked at me weird when I asked for a handroll with no rice). Great miso soup options (3) and shrimp tempura was good but the sauce was served cold and smelled awful. Maybe that is the "traditional" way but we just weren't used to it. The sushi we had was fresh and good. Service was good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surprisingly disappointing
    dancingfoodieVIP
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    Since Japanese food is a favorite of mine, I had high hopes for Nippon. First problem: during Restaurant Week, almost every other Japanese restaurant features some sushi or raw fish in their menu. None @ Nippon. After absolutely superb meals at Nobu and En, as well as others, Nippon's Restaurant Week food was boring and absolutely not worth the price: a mesclun salad featured lots of noodles; the fairly tasty fried fish was greasy; the dessert -- 1 piece of supermarket quality moshi. Their owner and chef should visit the competition to see real quality. I won't return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet