4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, Q, R at Lexington Ave.-59th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Katagiri has been tucked away on this quiet street on the boundary between Midtown and the Upper East Side since 1907, when immigrant brothers Tomohiro and Yoshio Katagiri founded the small grocery. Still small and unassuming, today the crowded space holds a surprising quantity of imported Japanese packaged foods, such as udon, miso, nori and rice seasonings, as well as canned and bottled staples. Long refrigerated cases hold a selection of small but exquisite pieces of fish, a variety of soy products and edamame, and frozen noodles and dumpling skins. There are a few fresh vegetables--Japanese cucumbers, daikon radish, snowpeas—in a waist-high case in the center of the room, and even a smattering of mandatory little Hello Kitty goodies to catch impulse buyers on the way out. The bulk of the cuteness, however, lies in the gift store next door, with its extensive range of chopsticks, incense, good luck cats, tea and sake sets, cosmetics, kimonos, and other imported accessories. In the back, another room is lined with Japanese videotapes.Sales
On Thursdays, the shop offers a special on fresh seafood, discounted 10 to 50 percent.