Even weekday lunch involves a waiting list at Daikaya’s shoebox-size Sapporo-ramen shop, a testament to the springy noodles and complex broths. Deeply satisfying soups make for a quick feast—we particularly love the nutty mugi-miso or roasted-vegetable shio brimming with Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. The lantern-lit izakaya above is built for a more leisurely meal or a night of drinking. Chef Katsuya Fukushima creates small yet flavor-packed plates that pair perfectly with the many sakes, whiskeys, and innovative cocktails (try a seasonal draft mule such as shiso-watermelon). Many of the tasty new snacks riff on comfort fare—we’re addicted to the sausage-stuffed shishito poppers with hot mustard and to morsels of fried Maryland catfish dunked in pickled-ginger tartar sauce. Inexpensive to moderate.
Also great: Yakitori-style chicken skins; grilled oysters; tuna poke; udon cacio e pepe; dai-drop cocktails (spherical sake bombs).