Looking to explore Little Tokyo in NYC? Then keep reading for all the info you might need!
Little Tokyo in NYC is a hidden gem, and even as a seasoned New Yorker, I hadn’t visited this place until recently.
If you’re looking to learn more about this amazing (but tiny) part of NYC, then you’ve come to the right place!
If you’re in NYC and want a slice of Tokyo’s atmosphere and food scene, then visiting Little Tokyo is ideal. Sure it’s tiny, but it packs a punch.
Who doesn’t love sushi, Japanese bakeries, Bubble Tea, Hello Kitty, and all things Kawaii?
Checking out Little Tokyo in NYC is an amazing way to experience the culture of Japan without leaving New York City, and there are plenty of things to do and see there, even though this little neighborhood is super small.
Tip! Little Tokyo is only a couple of blocks in size, so it won’t take you long to walk around and get a feel for it.
Where is Little Tokyo in NYC?
Whilst there’s no ‘official’ address for Little Tokyo, you’ll find most of the stores and cafes of Little Tokyo, located around two locations.
- The first is the corner of Stuyvesant and East 9th.
- Click here for a Google Maps link, that’ll take you to the exact location.
- The second is St Marks Place, between 3rd and 2nd ave.
- Click here for a Google Maps link, that’ll take you to the exact location.
Little Tokyo neighbors Noho and Bowery, on the southeast of Manhattan, and it’s only a short walk from Union Square.
Nearest Subway stations (in order of distance):
- Astor Pl
- 8 Street Station
- Bleecker St
- Union Square
Here’s a map of everywhere mentioned in my Little Tokyo guide!
I want this guide to be as helpful and as easy to use as possible, so I’ve included a Google Map below, with all the locations that I discuss in this guide to Little Tokyo.
Hopefully you can use this to navigate your way around this gorgeous part fo the city, and make sure you don’t miss any of the good stuff!
What’s the vibe like in Little Tokyo?
Little Tokyo in NYC is an awesome neighborhood that dates to the early 80s and you’ll see that reflected in the buildings and architecture.
From sushi and noodles to old-fashioned tea houses, Little Tokyo in NYC is genuinely one of the quaintest areas in NYC. And it’s a hidden gem too.
Alongside the food places, Little Tokyo is full of quirky Tokyo-style stores, toy stores, bakeries, karaoke bars, and much more. This might be one of New York’s smallest neighborhoods, but there’s so much personality here.
I felt really safe the times when I visited, the shop owners were super friendly and helpful, and the streets were busy, but not chaotic.
Tip: Little Tokyo comes alive mid-afternoon and evening, so that’s when I recommend visiting. The first time I visited, it was the morning and lots of places were still closed. I didn’t make that mistake again!
My favorite spot in Little Tokyo, NYC…
First up, I wanted to start with my favorite spot in Little Tokyo, NYC. If you only decide to visit one place in Little Tokyo, this would be my pick.
If you’ve never been to a Japanese-themed bakery before, prepare to fall in love. Bake Culture has all the Japanese classics here, and they’re so delicious.
I recommend trying their plain sponge cake to start you off… it’s so light and fluffy, and heaven to eat. But don’t forget to try their cute bunny bread, the amazing Japanese cheesecake, taro mochi balls, and the multi-colored bread loaves too!
With the cheesecakes coming in under $15, and the little baked good mostly under $5, it’s really affordable too.
So much to choose from, hey! Enjoy these photos from my most recent visit to this spot in Little Tokyo!
Bubble Tea in Little Tokyo, NYC
Another thing you won’t want to miss in Little Tokyo, is Bubble Tea!
Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, captivates people with its vast array of flavor options and the ability to customize their drinks to suit their preferences. And it’s particularly important in Japanese culture – which is why so many bubble tea places live in this part of town.
Whether it’s classic flavors like black milk tea or more exotic options like passion fruit or taro, there’s something for everyone.
There’s a few locations in and around Little Tokyo where you can grab some Bubble Tea, but the two places we recommend are:
Xing Fu Tang
Probably one of the biggest bubble tea places in Little Tokyo. Customers love the ability to choose different toppings, such as chewy tapioca pearls or fruity popping boba!
ViVi Bubble tea
Another fun bubble tea place to try in Little Tokyo. The variety on here keeps bubble tea enthusiasts (there are so many in NYC, trust me!) excited to try new combinations and find their perfect blend of flavors.
- Website: gongchausa.com/new-york-manhattan-3
- Address: 27 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003, United States
WHo can resist a bubble tea at Gong Cha? This Instagram-worthy location, has an amazing selection, making it popular among those seeking both a treat for the taste buds and a photo for their insta feed.
Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/gongchatea/
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Where to grab dinner in Little Tokyo, NYC
Food is one of the top reasons that people visit Little Tokyo in NYC, and it’s easy to see why.
Let’s look at some of the most popular eateries in the area that will have you salivating at the very sight of their menus!
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First on my list of places to eat at Little Tokyo in NYC, it’s Hasaki. If you’re looking for some top sushi, then you’ll want to head down to Hasaki on 210 East 9th Street.
As one of the first places to serve up sushi in the East Village, it’s a historical spot that’s well worth a visit.
Whilst it’s not located on the ‘main street’ in Little Tokyo NYC, where most places on this list are found, it’s only just one street up, so not far!
Serving unique sushi dishes all day (as well as some eye-wateringly expensive chef’s platters), Hasaki is one of our top picks for hungry travelers visiting Little Tokyo in NYC.
Tip: These guys are closed on Sunday and Monday, so keep that in mind when organizing your trip to Little Tokyo.
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Raku is another amazing place to eat in Little Tokyo in NYC. If it’s udon that you’re after, then Raku is the place for you.
Known for their no-nonsense approach to food, you’re sure to find the perfect udon soups here.
Now, this place isn’t exactly for the calorie-conscious as the noodles here are hefty in both portion and ingredients, but you will find yourself snapping an Instagram pic or two of their perfectly delicious noodles.
So, enjoy people – you only live once, be sure to check out this place in Little Tokyo in NYC.
This cute little restaurant is Taiwanese-inspired cuisine, but as it’s located right in the heart of Little Tokyo, we wanted to mention it.
This place serves up New York-influenced Taiwanese food, put together with delicious and locally sourced ingredients.
Sounds pretty great right?
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Kimura is another wonderful restaurant to visit in Little Tokyo. Kimura specialize in authentic Japanese Hot Pot & Sushi, and it’s a wonderful place to visit for lunch.
Actually, i think this might be my favorite lunch place in Little Tokyo!
This place has been open since 1985 – so you know you’re in good hands.
What would I order? Well, their Kimura Bento Box is an absolute winner. And a perfect choice for lunch time refuelling! But I can’t resist their sushi too, so lovingly handmade!
Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/kimura_nyc/
Next on my list of places to eat in Little Tokyo in NYC, it’s Sakaya. Ok, so sake is an acquired taste and isn’t for everyone.
However, if you’re looking to try an authentic Japanese rice wine, then head on down to Sakaya on 324 East 9th Street for a sip.
It’s actually ana amazing place to visit if you’re completely new to sake, because the lovely staff will be more than willing to help you find the perfect taste match.
Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/sakayanyc
Oh! Yakitori Taisho
Next on my list of restaurants to try in Little Tokyo, it’s Oh! Yakitori Taisho. They do the traditional home-style Japanese cooking so well.
This place is pretty hip and you’ll find quite a cool crowd inside, especially as the night goes on.
I’d recommend their Yakatori, Salmon Cream Yakisoba, and their Chikuwu cheese (a dish which is actually fried fishcake with cheese inside).
Image credit: https://yakitoritaishony.com/
Udon St Marks
- Website: No official website, but here’s their Instagram!
- Address: 11 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003, United States
Udon St Marks is a place for the udon noodle enthusiasts! Their delicous and authentic Japanese flavors makes them super popular with locals and visitors.
This is the place to come for hearty, comforting food. The kind of food that makes the whole world slow down. You know what I mean?
Can you tell this is one of my favorite places to eat in NYC?
Tip: These guys only accept payments in cash, so make sure you’ve got some with you.
Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/UdonStMarks
Tea Houses in Little Tokyo, NYC
Cha-An Tea House
- Website: www.chaanteahouse.com
- Address: Cha-An Tea HouseNew York, NY 10003
If you’re looking for a more leisurely afternoon activity in Little Tokyo in NYC, then head down to Cha-An Tea House on 230 East 9th Street.
Not only does this place offer a ridiculously vast selection of teas from around the world, but it’s great for giving Japanese nationals (or Japan-obsessed tourists) a taste of Tokyo.
And the food is some of the best in Little Tokyo in NYC.
If you’re looking for the best matcha tea in town or are bored of Starbucks’s latest offering, then Little Tokyo in NYC is the perfect place to visit to cleanse that palette.
Offering possibly the best matcha latte in all of New York, Physical GraffiTea is a must-visit if you’re spending the day in Little Tokyo.
The lattes do take a little time to brew, but we promise that it’s worth it! Oh, and the cafe is open everyday from 12PM – 7PM.
Image credit: https://physicalgraffitea.com/
Stores in Little Tokyo, NYC
If you’re looking for some classic Japanese snacks, then you’ll want to head to a Japanese grocery store.
In case you hadn’t guessed, some of the best Japanese grocery stores in NYC are in Little Tokyo in NYC! What’s more, Little Tokyo is also home to some of the best books and stationery around.
Looking for some awesome manga or super cute pens? Well, Little Tokyo is here to supply you with all you could ever need! This is a great place to visit when stopping by Little Tokyo in NYC.
If you want to feel like you’ve transported yourself to Tokyo, then this amazing store will give you that exact feeling.
It’s like stepping into Downtown Tokyo, and they have so many great lifestyle products, beauty and skincare products.
This isn’t necessarily a ‘grocery store’, more of a lifestyle store. But it’s still great fun to look around and they sell some really unique items you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
One of the biggest and leading Asian supermarkets in the city is actually located just on the outskirts of Little Tokyo, NYC at 39 3rd Ave.
It’s only a short walk from the main street of Little Tokyo, so well worth checking out.
If you want to grab yourself some ingredients to cook the perfect Ramen at home… then this is the place you need to visit!
Read more: The top 5 Japanese grocery stores in NYC
Search & Destroy
- Website: No official website, but here’s their Yelp page.
- Address: 25 St Marks Pl # A, New York, NY 10003, United States
If punk Japanese fashion is your jam, then look no further than Search & Destroy on 25 St Marks Place in Little Tokyo in NYC.
With such awesome finds as Day-Glo boots, fishnets, and punk shirts, you’re sure to walk out of here with some staple wardrobe pieces.
What we love about this place, is that though the stuff is really unique, it’s not going to break the bank! Looking for some awesome sunglasses or accessories? Well, you’re sure to find them here too!
Talk about a one-stop shop! You’ll love this store in Little Tokyo in NYC.
Another beautiful store we wanted to mention in our guide to Little Tokyo, NYC, is the magical Makari.
Makari is a Japanese antique and art store, located a few blocks north from Little Tokyo.
If you’re in any way interested or curious about Japanese culture and art, then we know you’ll absolutely adore looking around the collection at Makari.
Hair Salons in Little Tokyo
Hair salons are another awesome thing we love about Little Tokyo in NYC.
Japanese hairstyles are becoming increasingly popular in the western world, so if you’re in the NY area and looking to switch up your ‘do, you might want to head down to one of the many fantastic hair salons in Little Tokyo in NYC!
Located on 408 East 9th Street, Tsumiki Salon is one of the best Japanese salons around.
What sets this salon apart from the rest is its expert stylists and use of organic ingredients.
So, if your hair is looking on the drab side, then the magicians at Tsumiki are sure to give your hair a much-needed boost.
If you’re after the pin straight look that’s seen in so many Asian countries around the world, then Sei Tomoko should be your first port of call.
Specializing in Japanese hair straightening, these guys will have your hair glossy and straight in no time at all!
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Videos about Little Tokyo in NYC
If you’re looking for even more content about Little Tokyo in NYC… Then the following videos are definitely worth a watch!
There are so many amazing tips and tricks in these videos and you’ll be sure to find some great recommendations too.
We hope that this short guide to Little Tokyo in NYC has been helpful!
As there’s so much to do in Little Tokyo in NYC, it can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to slot it into your trip to NYC.
But Little Tokyo in NYC is a small neighborhood and well worth dedicating some of your time to exploring!
It’s well worth a visit whether you’re a frequent visitor to Japan or a complete newbie to Japanese culture!
Little Tokyo in NYC is an amazing addition to NYC’s most popular neighborhoods!
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