Yopparai
Yopparai

Yopparai

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.yopparainyc.com/
  • Phone: 2127777253
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Executive Chef: Junya Miura
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Counter Seating, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant

Getting there

  • Cross Street: between Clinton and Suffolk St
  • Public Transit: F train to Delancey St, J/M/Z trains to Essex St,
    B/D trains to Grand St.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Yopparai
Yopparai is an intimate Japanese sake bar and restaurant featuring a wide variety of sake along with traditional foods and snacks that pair well with sake. With high-quality ingredients selected daily by our chefs, Yopparai offers fresh sashimi, seasonal vegetables, and an assortment of fish and meats prepared on our open grill.



With only 30 seats, we aim to bring a personal sake tasting experience to each of our guests. Allow one of our sommeliers to help you select a special sake, served at the ideal temperature, in our house collection of traditional Japanese glassware. Relax in our unique and inviting space, and enjoy the warmth and tradition of Japanese sake and dining.
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Yopparai reviews from OpenTable diners
32 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (26)neighborhood gem (19)special occasion (8)notable wine list (7)romantic (6)late-night find (5)vibrant bar scene (2)hot spot (2)good for groups (1)Show More
  • Great Spot
    Brian
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    First time there and I was overly satisfied all the way through. Each dish was full of flavor balance and just the right size to have a variety of dishes. Saki list is amazing and service was very accommodating. Small and quiet with a true Japanese feel. Enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sake for two
    Catt
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Excellent sake list, and delicious small plates. Relaxed, subdued atmosphere and pleasant staff. It's a small place and reservations are necessary. Seating is for couples only from what I could see. Very easy to spend a lot of money on sake here, but then, that's what one would expect! Dishes are very reasonable for the quality.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • alexei
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This place was a good find. I've always had good intuition when it comes to Japanese food. Very Authentic. A reminder of an izakaya in a unique area of Tokyo.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolute gem!
    ltdd26
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Yopparai has the best Japanese food I've had (including trips to Japan!). Strongly suggest you let the very capable staff guide your choices of meal, so you don't get stuck in the same rut you may be used to -- there are all kinds of delicious options on this menu, and the staff are super skilled at pairing them with sake. We took along one sake neophyte -- who started declaring he "did not like sake", and after one sip of the staff recommendation was taking notes to go and buy the same bottle. Highly, highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fabulous
    mpnyVIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    tried several dishes. every one was consistently outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • exotic experience!
    Tree
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Very innovative and contemporary japanese food with a classic underpinning. Perfect with their sake selection!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Great Service
    MoJafar
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The menu is contemporary Japanese. The quality of the food, the execution, taste and service were all outstanding. The waitstaff were helpful, polite and on point. The teppanyaki dishes and super premium sushi really stood out. The ice cold Sapporo and stellar selection of sake were also a big selling point. The only downside - your bill can get quite large quickly! Great experience will definitely return again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mixed emotions
    Bubbafoodie
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Took 6 others here for a bachelor party, expecting something authentic, unusual, etc. due to the microscopic size of this place, the noise level challenged conversation. Portions were small but exquisitely executed. Waitress's English did not facilitate choices. Biggest disappointment...and so un-authentic...was being told to vacate the table after 2.5 hrs. Total bill for 7: $850.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Still Hungry
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    While the food here is very good, it is a bit pricey and the portions are miniscule. Service was haphazard, with dishes coming out in random order and at different times. After $200 worth for three people, we called it quits and went to Katz's Deli for pastrami sandwiches (no joke.)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sake bar w/ hight quality food.
    MrsJVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    This is a quiet, small but sophisticated Sake bar with quality food and service that reminds you of some hidden places in Tokyo. Is a sake bar, so they have only sake, 1 sake cocktail, and 1 beer. But food menu is extensive. Most of the dish portion is good for 2 people to share. Their attention to detail shows in all aspects, especially on the food - they even make their own ponzu, natto, shiokara, etc. Loved: wagyu tataki, gyu tongue, any of the robata, natto, duck, and hojicha creme brulee (the best I've had). On the pricey side but is worth for an intimate evening over great sake and fantastic food. Not stuffy, not a scene, and not loud (some jazz in the background), just quality. The staff is welcoming and courteous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow, sake selection was awesome!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    What a huge selection of sake..and with so many to try that I ended up loving the one I was given that I couldn't move on to try more! (Crescendo was the one I loved). It was our first experience here, and we likened it to tapas experience..and we are such foodies we tried at least one item from each section of the menu! Oooh how we ate. We had favorites like the rock shrimp and balc code meat balls in a broth, the fresh tofu was excellent, as was the washu beef appetizer....great evening, in an an intimate place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Feels Like Being in Japan
    sweetooth
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    My husband and I really enjoyed our dinner at Yopparai. We sampled a variety of dishes, including chilled tofu, seafood salad, pickles, mentaiko (roasted cod roe), squid crackers, rice cakes, and a pork hot pot. Everything was delicious. We also had draft Sapporo and a nice sake, served in cups of our choice. The place feels like a secret find - a tiny gem of a bar with great jazz and a quiet feel. I wish we lived closer, but I'm sure we'll find an excuse to travel back there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • You don't drink? don't drive (here)
    RDLR
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The word yopparai... is used to described a drunken condition; ergo, one knows going here that food is not the main speciality; sake is the main speciality! I don't drink, and knew perfectly well what I was doing; visiting a place about which I'd heard nothing but raves for the FOOD! Having been to countless izikayawas (specialists in Food & Sake) in Japan, I was really ready for a great meal consisting of many small dishes, each one scrumptious and memorable. That never happened at Yopparai... though I'm sure if one were drinking, one would not be so aware of the food. Preparation seemed to yield heavy, dark, dishes... lacking in character or élan. However, the roasted fish I ordered was excellently prepared and delicious.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 19 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 106 reviews are from the Yopparai reviews archive.
  • Delicious & Authentic
    woj32
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Reminds me of my favorite places in Tokyo! Incredible service, brilliant Sake selection. Love it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Authentic japanese experience
    BluefishVIP
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    My first visit to this great restaurant will remain memorable. Fantastic food and perfect service( well coordinated) offers very authentic Japanese experience. Food is from lesser ( no Tokyo) known Japanese regions which by itself is journey/ culinary trip without ticket price tag. Time/ money very well spend.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this sake bar
    kobe
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    This little place is an eye-opener for those whose experience Japanese food in New York derives from ramen shops, sushi bars, and izakaya-type spots. Yopparai offers an array of beautifully prepared dishes, relying on seasonal ingredients whenever possible. To obtain full value from a meal there, you must be sure to wander outside your safety zone and try some of the traditional but less familiar dishes. The service is terrific - the staff is helpful and will guide you through the long list of sakes - and each dish is presented on a different type of pottery or other dishware. Although table seating is available, it is as much if not more fun to sit at the bar and watch the kitchen staff work.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    Like2eat
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We had a wonderful time. Food and sake were magnificent. The flavors brought back memories of when I lived in Japan many years ago.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, Late-Night Find, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Authentic Japanese Food
    ReddevilsVIP
    Dined on 3/17/2014
    Best authentic Japanese food with a wonderful selection of sake. The owner/chef, Mr. Shibata and his wife, Christy are great host and hostess at this beautiful restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food Excellent
    bennycVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Excellent food, portions are small. Quality of product used however is excellent for the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic dining experience
    Susan
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    This was my second visit to Yopparai, and everything was outstanding, again. In fact, I would eat there once a week if I lived nearby. This place is a rare pearl in a sea of mediocre restaurants, so do yourself a favor and make a reservation. Traditional and delicious Japanese food, a wonderful selection of sakes, knowledgable staff, and terrific service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love This Place
    IndustryDiner
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    I've been to Yopparai at least 5 or 6 times and the food here never disappoints. My favorites are the shoyu rice cakes, the lamb breast and the chawanmushi. Everything is made delicately and perfectly to order. My only complaint about Yopparai is that they won't prepare anything on their menu in a different way. They used to grill the prawns and they were delicious but now they will only serve them raw or tempura style. Also, I really wish they would bring back the salmon collar. That was one of the specials that hooked us on our very first visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty good food in a Izakaya vibe
    MrsJVIP
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    This DOES remind me of nicer izakayas in Japan that serve more sophisticated dishes instead of comfort food and beer. They have a very nice sake list, but they barely have anything else to drink if you do not drink sake. (sake cocktail was divine, though) Many great small dishes in several categories. Most were excellent, but I thought some could improve with more flavors. But overall, we were very content. I was especially happy to see some dishes under 珍味. I love the intimate vibe that you can sit and relax. This is a small place and not for groups. Bring good conversations to go with the nice sake and food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Night out
    ikurachan
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    I needed to find a last minute place for my husband's birthday dinner for two, and came across Yopparai while browsing the internet for NYC sake bars. Booked on Open Table online for 8pm, wrote in comments that we preferred a table and that's exactly what we got. Service was kind, attentive, genuine. The server was courteous, explained things on the menu for us and although the place was full & busy he came back frequently and took more orders right away. Food was outstanding. My husband kept saying "wow" to everything. Would go back again, thought it was a great place for date nights, friends or taking out parents for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find.
    HARCVIP
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    Felt like I was in one of those secret little neighborhood restaurants on a Tokyo backstreet. Tiny place with exquisite sashimi and incredibly tender Japanese beef, grilled on a hot stone at your table. Drank way too much sake and ate everything. Would never have even seen this place but for Open Table and we've been talking about it ever since. Will definitely return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful.
    TechnogamyVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Just a really amazing place. May've already mentioned this, but a welcome respite after living in Tokyo for 3 years. Awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • From the sea
    edgeVIP
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    The fish is extremely fresh here. The restaurant is extremely small, with maybe 2 tops on the side wall, and the rest being at the bar. The bar seats have shelves/cupboards to store your shopping bags/handbags should you have any so you can enjoy sitting at the bar. I think it's good to order little by little as the tables are small. The staff are friendly and attentive. I would come back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 1/8/2014
    I loved everything about it, it was quiet enough to talk and mingle and the service was the BEST I had in New York. It was like being in Japan again, with the hospitality and quality of the food!! worth every penny. will definitely come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very authentic impeccable Japanese
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    Great food which is modestly priced. You can enjoy variety of food just like in Japan, well prepared. From home made pickles to home made tofu to grilled stuff to desert, everything was so tasty. I don't drink Sake but Sake list was also impressive. Would love to come back with my family though place is not fit for a big group. Not for very small kid though school aged kids should be fine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was second time going to
    FullmoonVIP
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    It was second time going to Yopparai, but I was not so satisfied.... Mushiyasai, was too soggy and too soft(color was dull and did'nt look fresh at all), the udon, I did not like the soup (curry flavored and too sweet??). Last time I was there everything was perfect, Mushiyasai was fresh and tasty, udon came with Chicken broth soup which was really tasty, so that's why I chose this restaurant again, but this time the food was not great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • gem tucked away
    dougVIP
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    this gem on the LES is tucked away one flight up on Rivington. Unique presentation, great variety of menu choices, simple and tasty portions. cozy space and great service make this a true gem for a tasty meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Real Thing!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    So many Japanese restaurants in the USA are poor imitations of the real thing. Not Yopparai....it was the real deal. Trust me....I lived in Japan for 25 years and I know what I'm talking about. Excellent food, presentation, ambience, and sake list is top notch. Great experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • True Japanese experience
    Romi
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    We experienced a real japanese experience at this place. The dishes are very traditional and very carefully prepared at the bar. It is a pleasure to see the chief cook to prepare your dish with accuracy and fastidious. The food is delicious and the restaurant beautiful. On the other hand, the dishes are very small and therefore expensive on a price/ value scale. Further you are not allowed to decide in which order you receive the selected dishes, as this seems to be decided by the cook. The waiters are very hectic and are constantly clearing your table. This becomes annoying after a time and you feel in a rush ... which should not be the case at an rather expensive dinner
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Small Restaurant with authentic
    DiscerningNYDinersVIP
    Dined on 11/19/2013
    Small Restaurant with authentic Japanese food. Not your typical sushi place. Instead they offer a variety of Japanese dishes. Most tables are for two people and there is only one table for a larger group. Service was friendly and helpful. Some dishes are a bit pricey, for example $16 for basically steamed tofu (although it was served in a lovely wooden box).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible food, average service
    nickd
    Dined on 11/15/2013
    Food was on point. Service made me feel less than as when I asked for a recommendation i was met with " well most american's enjoy..". I came to Yopparai to eat like the Japanese if i wanted a california roll I'd go to an all you can eat sushi place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • They were perfect, now is average
    xmanx
    Dined on 11/15/2013
    Came here like 6 times in the past 9 months even this place is a little pricey but you pay for what you get. The first couple visits the food was perfect. From Sashimi to cooked food and even their soft serve was amazing. Used to love their crispy and juicy grilled gyu tongue, love their good quality of fishes...etc. I went there again last week, but things has changed...sashimi was totally different story, from the presentation to the quality, the grill ed food was so different. It was not bad, but compare to almost perfect from my previous visits, it was disappointed. They forgot one of our plates. The soft serve was different, it used to be not very sweet and the sake taste was perfect, but it just like any soft ice-cream.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Staff was nice and friendly.
    Soobak
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    Staff was nice and friendly. Food was disappointing. Not worth the money...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wowed over
    Sushipsycho
    Dined on 10/14/2013
    Discovered this place searching online. Everything was great. The menu was very different not your typical place at all. I ordered hamachi tataki, beef tongue, uni squid, uni grilled rice and ikura don. Everything was really good .The beef tongue was a bit on the tough side cause they slice it thicker than how I usually get it. The server took it of my bill and purposely made me another one to see if it's better. It was still a bit tough cause in use to paper thin, but the fact that they tried blow me away. The chef also bOught over some special sake. It's been a while to see that trying to please service. Great place! There was other stuff I wanted to try but they were out. I wil go back for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mind blowing uni
    WallStreeetsushisnobVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    It's so authentic Japanese that half the food on the menu I never heard of before. (And I am not talking about chicken teriyaki or udon). Super authentic with unbelievable flavors. I had the rice cake with sea urchin. And the large sushi I platter. The sushimi prices were small but so exotic and supper fresh
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a treat!
    LAFNYCVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2013
    I love this concept. Food was interesting and good. Sake selection excellent. We'll be back. Loved the intimate setting. LAF UTAH
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    alisVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2013
    it was my second time there and loved it again! the service is great and it is intimate and enjoyable. sake is wonderful and food is tasty. all a success! they took care of my friend for her bday which was also appreciated!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate