This Has Been Named the Largest Sake Bar in New York City

WALK INTO THE LOBBY OF A HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING IN Midtown Manhattan AND ASK THE CONCIERGE FOR Sakagura. They’ll send you down a flight of stairs deep inside the building, where you’ll make a few designated turns to get to your destination. It is neither a broom closet nor a freight elevator. It is one of the city’s largest sake bars.

The space, chosen for its affordable rent, opened in 1996 and quickly became one of Manhattanites’ first introductions to Japanese nightlife. While izakaya, sake, and hibachi have become popular, Sakagura remains almost unknown.

The softly lighted subterranean environment, complete with ikebana, paper lanterns, bamboo accents, and a wall lined with sake taru barrels, transports you to Tokyo at midnight. The menu includes all of the traditional izakaya dishes, like Japanese chawanmushi and chicken karaage. Sakagura’s outstanding sashimi choices and an array of grilled foods served on hot stones are other fan favorites, but its crown gem is its sake menu, which has over 260 options.

The sake menu categorizes its products by technique and locale. If there is something for everyone, there is also a lot that no one at the table is familiar with. Have you ever tasted a fruit sake prepared from yuzu citrus, peach, and strawberry? Cedar-aged sake? How about sparkling sake?

With all the money you’ll save by not having to go to Tokyo, you could certainly afford to do some touring.


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