The best Japanese spots, and more, in New York

Sayuri Oyamada, actress based in both Tokyo and New York – Roomorama blog

City Guide: New York

Sayuri Oyamada is an actress, who has appeared in more than 20 Japanese films and a growing number of video and print commercials in the U.S. Most recently, she starred in the Japanese movie, While The Women Are Sleeping. Sayuri is based both in Tokyo and New York, but has been living primarily in New York for the past 3 years. We ask her about her favourite places in New York!

You are from Japan but now live in New York - was there a culture shock when you first moved? How is New York different from where you came?

I was really surprised by the noise, especially in the subway, and the number of rats and vermin! But I also love the diversity here. It is such a dynamic, multi-faceted city.

What are your favourite neighbourhoods in New York? Tell us where you eat, drink and shop!


My favourite place to eat at in Nolita is EMPORIO

This is a great Italian restaurant. Appetizer, Pizza, Pasta and Desserts…everything is delicious!! Their dessert is exceptional, I had never eaten mascarpone ice cream with espresso in my life...This place has become my favorite restaurant recently!! My fiance and I discovered it and go often.


Pictured above: Emporio (credit: EatEmporioNYC)

East Village

In the East Village, I eat at Miss Lily's 7A Cafe.

My favourite bar in the East Village is Angel’s Share. I can’t drink alcohol but they make great non-alcohol cocktails or easy to drink original cocktails for me. The bar has style, elegance and a wonderful atmosphere.

To party, I go to Sing Sing for karaoke! They have some private rooms in the basement. I also had my birthday party here last year!

Miss Lily's 7A Cafe

Pictured above: Miss Lily's 7A Cafe (credit: Rssfood) , Muji (credit: Huffington Post)

Meatpacking district

In the Meatpacking Disrtict, I like to eat at Soho House.

For partying, the Meatpacking is the best. Le Bain is my favorite place in here. I don’t see it as a party place, but the rooftop is fun. We once jumped into the pool with a brass band. Shh, don’t tell management.

For dancing, Cielo - I like to dance, dance, dance!!

Shopping in the meatpacking is also great - many lovely boutiques here. My favourite is Jeffrey (when and if I can afford it!)

Le Bain Jeffrey Cielo

Pictured above: Le Bain (credit: 10best), Jeffrey (credit: ShopIkon New York) , Cielo (credit: Resident Advisor)

There are so many ramen restaurants all over the city. As a true Japanese in New York, where are your favourite spots for ramen?

I love Shinobi ramen in Brooklyn. The owner is a nice Japanese guy.

My favorites are TanTan Men and Mabo ramen which are a little bit spicy but so yummy!! Oh and also Shinobi ramen! It’s not actually traditional Japanese ramen, but it is wonderful.

Shinobi Ramen

Pictured above: Shinobi Ramen (credit: MichaelT)

What do you love and hate about New York City?

The diversity of people, cultures, businesses, lifestyle and activities in NY… I can see and touch them and meet so many different colors of people.

And also I can eat so many different type of food!!

I don’t like to hate cities. Or aspects of cities. If I had to hate something, I’d be unoriginal and say the insane rents!

In your opinion, where are your favourite Japanese restaurants and shops in New York? What are some places that remind you of home?

Izakaya MEW

I can feel a real young generation Japanese here at Izakaya. Food is delicious and not expensive.

What do you enjoy doing on the weekends in New York?

I enjoy being with my fiancé … We got engaged this year on my birthday, May 1!

We often go to Central Park to take walks and have picnics.

Bring some food, nice sweets… eat on the grass, in the sunshine...

Central Park

Pictured above: Central Park (credit: MichaelMinn)

Where do you go for relaxation in the city?

I sometimes go to a Korean SPA in New Jersey, called King Spa. This place is not Manhattan, but many New Yorkers go there!

What are your favourite brunch spots in the city?

Soho House!!!

What are some bars you would recommend for a girl's night out?

Actually...I can’t drink alcohol...but I really like the lobby bar at the Ace hotel, and also the restaurant at the Ace, the Breslin… I have some great memories in this hotel......

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