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Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

414 E. 9th St., New York, NY 10009 40.727627 -73.983796
nr. First Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-358-8800 Send to Phone

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

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Photo by Liz Clayman

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Official Website


Tue-Sun, 5:30pm-11pm

Nearby Subway Stops

L at First Ave.

Payment Methods

American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Open Kitchens / Watch the Chef


  • Beer and Wine Only
  • Sake and Soju




Chef Toshio Tomita spent nearly two decades with the Nobu empire before branching out on his own in summer 2013, but you won’t find miso-glazed black cod or a scene-y vibe at this unassuming spot situated a few steps below street level. You’re coming to Cagen instead for a serious, nearly meditative experience with traditional kappo ryori–style dining, which means the best seats in the house are at the blond-wood chef’s counter, where you can get a front-row look at chef Tomita presiding over every course. The selection is almost exclusively tasting menu; choose from five or 15 courses of raw, fried, and gently cooked fish flown in from Japan each day, plus housemade soba noodles. Flash-fried soft-shell crab atop a delicate tangle of yuzu-pickled red onions was a recent standout—the meltingly tender texture makes for a nice contrast to the firmer grilled sea bream that came next. There’s an abridged wine list and plans to offer wine pairings, but don’t miss the bracing nama genshu sake frozen into slushy form; it sounds a bit gimmicky, but it’s actually quite refined and memorable, much like a meal here.

Recommended Dishes

Five course tasting menu, $45; 15-piece tasting menu, $150