Wednesday, April 4, 2012


A few months ago, I wrote about my second favorite izakaya spot in Midtown, Donburiya.  Today I'll finally share with you which restaurant takes the #1 place!

Sandwiched among other small restaurants and bars on East 52nd Street, it's really easy to miss Ariyoshi.  You've got to go up a few steps to enter through a wooden side door.  Inside, it's a tiny little place with wood tables, chairs and benches. It looks very unassuming, but the food is amazing and traditional Japanese, and the prices are reasonable.

There is a very loyal lunch following, so on some weekdays you can find yourself waiting 10+ minutes for a table during lunch hour.  In addition to their regular menu, they have a lunch set menu which is pretty popular - you get a lot of food!

It's not as busy at dinner time, but I've noticed that the service is significantly slower and the food takes a lot longer to come out.  There is usually a steady light stream of people throughout the night though, as they are open until very late at night.  You'll probably notice more mugs of beer and sake carafes as the hours tick on.  Try out some of the Japanese snacks and join the fun!

These are a few of my favorite dishes at Ariyoshi:

Tori-Kara Ponzu (Fried chicken with grated radish in ponzu sauce)

Chicken thigh over rice

Nebayaki Udon (comes with Shrimp tempura, I always ask for mine on the side so it doesn't get soggy!)

Chicken-katsu Curry

In addition to a full menu of small plates, sushi, noodle soup and rice dishes, they also have a menu of sake and beer.  It's pretty easy to eat and drink a few hours away there!

They are open Monday-Friday for lunch, and open for dinner until very late most nights (I'm unsure about Sundays?).  This is one of my favorite casual go-to spots for food and beer/sake.  Note: Ariyoshi is best with a small group (because it's so small!).  They don't have a website, but trust me when I say it's good! Go visit them here:

226 E 53rd St (between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10022

Let me know how you like it!

Piggy says yes!

Piggy KL

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