Sakaya: First Sake Shop in NYC

Irwin tipped us onto a new sake shop in the East Village called Sakaya— the very first sake shop in NYC! Husband-and-wife team Rick and Hiroko opened it in early December, and it is quite a jem of a spot.

Sakaya is located in a small intimate space on East 9th Street- track lighting, wood paneling, with the map of Japan in red ink on one side of the shop (which I’m sure comes in handy when they need to show customers which region a particular sake is from). Rick told us that the folks who designed Jewel Bako and Chickalicious designed it– so you know, clean lines, minimal, sparse.

The sake display is uncluttered neatly edited– more than you would find at Astor Wine, say, but not overwhelming with too many options. They have sakes that New Yorkers never knew existed! Cheap, moderate, expensive, tres expensive; nigori, junmai, ginjo, daiginjo– it’s all here.

They host sake tastings about once a week- which is how we ended up there- they highlight a specific sake each week, bringing in someone from the brewery or a retailer, it’s neat.

Urban Sake‘s Timothy Sullivan was there– he’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sake, which is helpful for us sake ignorant folk. My dad is a super sake connoisseur, and through the years, I have acquired a taste for good sake. But like wine, it has it’s tricks, and it’s wonderful that Sakaya has opened to share the secret of sake to NYC (they even blog!).

324 East 9th Street (btwn. 1st & 2nd Aves.)
New York, NY 10003

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