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Home > Restaurants > Bessou


5 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012 40.72551 -73.994858
nr. Bowery  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-228-8502 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi
  • Price Range: $$$

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Photo by Sophie Fabbri

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Official Website


Mon-Thurs, 5pm-11pm; Fri, 5pm-11:30pm; Sat, noon-3pm and 5pm-11:30pm; Sun, noon-3pm and 5pm-11pm

Nearby Subway Stops

B, D, F, M at Broadway-Lafayette St.; F, G at 15th St.-Prospect Park



Payment Methods

MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Dine at the Bar
  • Good for Groups
  • Great Desserts
  • Hot Spot
  • Notable Chef
  • Open Kitchens / Watch the Chef
  • Romantic
  • Design Standout
  • Reservations Not Required
  • Online Reservation




Bessou, which means something like “second home” in Japanese, is the rare restaurant that’s as stylish as it is warm and welcoming. The music is contemporary and hip but played softly; there’s never a risk that conversations will turn to din. The dining room is mostly blond wood and white paint, with a single brick wall, stocked shelves that look like they could be at a mountain inn, and some subdued art on the wall. Which isn’t to say that the space is starkly modernist so much as it calls your attention to the colorful plates of regularly changing, contemporary Japanese home cooking that rolls out of the kitchen: shiso leaves wrapped around miso accented with peanut; scallion pancake with tofu aïoli; crunchy bamboo in flirtatiously spicy chile oil; Japanese-style beef carpaccio spruced up with daikon, carrots, and ponzu vinaigrette. The food is not strictly Japanese but influenced by the owner’s childhood in New York, evident in dishes like a fried cauliflower and chicken karaage seasoned with Moroccan spices and served with shisho tzatziki. More traditional is the Inaniwa udon, a regional variation (served hot or cold) of thin, silky noodles, a sweet but subtle broth, and a heap of tempura. Desserts, though limited, are a highlight. There could be a seasonal special of satsuma gêlée and fennel granita served in a fragrant, hollowed-out orange, and there will always be ice cream like miso-caramel and a great green-tea variation offered as a hojicha tea “affogato.”

Recommended Dishes

Shishomaki, $8; bamboo in chili oil, $8; beef tataki salad, $16; scallion pancake, $15; Inaniwa udon, $24; chicken karaage, $23; housemade ice cream, $7