Best Japanese Izakaya in NJ

What’s NJ’s best Japanese Izakaya? An Izakaya is a Japanese pub that serve a wide variety of Japanese tapas style food (most likely part of the Portuguese influence on the culture). Any that reminds some folks of Japan?

Yakitori 39 in Teaneck

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But honestly, as I’m sure you’ve heard before, there’s not really a big Japanese population in Jersey so sadly the sushi/Izakaya front is lacking…

Your best bet is to head to the Fort Lee/Palisades Park area, where you’ll find
Raku Izakaya and Izakaya Hontei (which is more Jap-Korean fusion).

Make sure to check out Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater for a wide range of authentic Japanese cuisine options.

Yeah the places in Fort Lee have too much Korean influence for me - if I want Korean I’ll go to a real Korean place. Yakitori 39 is the only full jap experience Izakaya that I’m even aware that exists. It’s good times but can get pricy real quick.

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Thanks everyone. So we have one legitimate sushi (shumi) and one legitimate yakitori place in NJ. surprised they’re not more popular like they are in the city (especially izakaya considering how pubs are popular).

I guess it’s very difficult to do authentic spots without the native population to back them up. We simply don’t have the Japanese presence in NJ to support any significant amount of authentic places. Most of the population that goes to sushi places only order rolls anyway, and I think most of the things offered at an authentic Izakaya is simply too foreign for a populace that only knows rolls, hibachi and teriyaki. It’s just not a worthwhile effort tracking down Japanese stuff here, but on the flipside we have tons of other options in the other enclaves.

Izakaya date tends to be tame and American palate friendly as sakagura and aburiya kinousuke in the city shows. But you’re right, we need the Japanese population for it to start somewhere. I was hoping there were some left over from when the Japanese used to live in fort Lee. Problem here seems to be timing. If they were still here they’d probably stick around now that regular Japanese food has become popular.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold