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Wisefish Poke
Wisefish Poke
Robert Sietsema

Poke Heatmap: 20 Places To Get Poke in New York City

A guide to the wildly popular Hawaiian fish salad from Eater critic Robert Sietsema

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Wisefish Poke
| Robert Sietsema

When poke started out in Hawaii as an impromptu fisherman’s snack, it consisted mainly of cubed raw fish and seaweed dressed boatside with soy sauce or sesame oil. By the 1970s, it was popular statewide and eventually made the leap to the California mainland, where it first gained notoriety among surfers and other beach types in places like Huntington Beach and Redondo Beach.

We had it in New York as early as the late 90s, when Hawaiian chef Roy Yamaguchi established an outpost in the Financial District (now closed). It resurfaced in 2015 in something like its original form at places like Onomea and Noreetuh, riding a mini-wave of Hawaiian-food popularity in the city.

Last year the poke tsunami struck, with dozens of new places suddenly selling it, now around 40 by my estimate. But something has been lost in the translation, because — barring a few establishments that still serve traditional poke — it has turned into something quite different. Most places now interpret poke as a heaped-up chef salad with a dozen ingredients — including many selected for their healthy buzz — in which the raw fish takes a back seat. Sometimes there’s no fish at all. That doesn’t mean New York poke is bad: Like everything else, we’ve put our own stamp on it.

Here are 20 places to get poke in NYC. My favorites are designated with an [*].

Note: Restaurants are listed based on geography, starting with lower Manhattan.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kome Waza

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40 Water St
New York, NY 10004
Up a steep staircase, this tiny spot way downtown treats poke as a Japanese invention, by paying plenty of attention to the rice. The five signature bowls often incorporate Japanese ingredients, too, like white miso, tobiko, kizami nori, ogo seaweed, and hijiki. One selection features salted mango cream — a fruity anchovy sauce that’s a real complement to the yellowtail and scallops the bowl contains. Ongiri (rice balls) and miso soup are also available.
Photo: Kome Waza

2. Chikarashi*

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227 Canal St
New York, NY 10013
(646) 649-5965
Visit Website
On the edge of Chinatown, Chikarashi looks like any other poke place (bright lighting, rudimentary seating), but it tries harder to reinterpret poke in a creative direction, with fish that’s above-average and a menu that’s “chef driven.” This is the only poke place I know of where you can get your raw fish dotted with Sichuan peppercorns, which lend fresh excitement to the dish. Find them in “Sichuan chili salmon,” which features Scottish salmon, daikon, spicy peppercorn mayo, and panko crumbs for crunch. The 12 selections have a slightly higher proportion of fish than usual.
Photo: Chikarashi

3. Seamore's

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390 Broome St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 730-6005
Visit Website
Can a seafood restaurant do a decent poke? One would assume so. That’s the task Seamore’s sets for itself and the result isn’t bad — though when you are given the choice between using rice or chips as an accompaniment, pick rice, because the chips are blue corn chips right out of the bag, and they don’t do the poke (which contains ahi tuna, avocado, and fried shallots) any good.
Photo: Seamore's

4. The Dutch

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131 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 677-6200
Visit Website
We have the single poke appetizer at The Dutch, a welcome contrast to complicated poke menus — which invite you to customize your bowl with all sorts of optional ingredients. It distinguishes itself by using seared tuna swatches of high-quality fish, and sports a slight spicy aftertaste.

5. Pokee NYC

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121 W 3rd St
New York, NY 10012
This new Greenwich Village poke parlor surfed into town on a wave of hype, including making a rainbow-hued sushi donut — then quickly dropped the stunts in favor of some solid poke offerings, in a setting reminiscent of a beach cottage. Seating is along a pillow-strewn bench. Bowls are available in three sizes (the smallest comes in a beverage cup). Most appealing are those made with daily seafood specials. On a recent occasion these included yellowtail and Korean-style baby octopus — not traditional, but visually interesting.
Photo: Pokee

6. Noreetuh*

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Read Review |
128 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009
(646) 892-3050
Visit Website
Real Hawaiian poke as it was long ago is the forte of Noreetuh. Under the culinary direction of Per Se veteran Chung Chou, the stylish East Village bistro presents mainly reconfigured versions of Hawaiian classics such as beef-tongue musubi and kalua pork cavatelli, though the pokes (bigeye tuna or shrimp) remain seafood-centered and elemental in their simplicity. The tuna features bright red fish with two kinds of chewy seaweed and the crunch of macadamia nuts. It’s like an afternoon by the seaside.
Photo: Noreetuh

7. The PokéSpot

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120 4th Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 933-0971
Visit Website
Located just off Union Square and heralded by a cartoon otter eating a bowl of poke, Pokespot is larger and more comfortable than many of its competitors, with ample seating. It offers six “proteins”: tuna, salmon, chicken, shrimp, organic tofu, and — at a slight premium — snow crab, making for a sort of Alaskan-Hawaiian poke. The flavoring schemes are all over the map, incorporating Japanese, Southeast Asian, and Mexican elements. The “Pokespot special” includes crab, salmon, cukes, green onions, crunchy onions, furikake, etc.
Photo: The Pokespot

8. MI-NE SUSHI NY

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Read Review |
496 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
(917) 675-6942
Visit Website
A sushi bar already has the fixins for poke, so why not? This Japanese sushi chain that set down last year in the northern reaches of Greenwich Village savvily included several varieties of poke on its menu, including the salad- and the spare versions. All include tuna and salmon, simply dressed.

9. Gotham Poké

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353 W 14th St
New York, NY 10014
(646) 660-0453
Visit Website
This stall in the Gansevoort Market (now located on West 14th Street rather than on Gansevoort Street) plays fast and loose with the genre, including a dish known as poke nachos. Instead of tortilla chips, fried wonton skins are substituted, and you are welcome to select the “fish” of your choice (tuna, salmon, shrimp, veggie, chicken, pork) to be flung over the top and squirted with a spicy, mayo-bearing sauce.

10. Union Fare

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5 E 17th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 633-6003
Visit Website
Reminding us of the connection between poke and surfing, this stall inside the Union Fare Gastrohall exclusively serves the Hawaiian fish salad in six preset permutations with such surf themes as hang ten, bonsai pipeline, and wipeout — the latter designating an agreeable concoction of tuna, cucumber, and greens with crunchy chow mein noodles on top. Not bad, and it emphasizes the fish more than many contemporary examples.

11. Wisefish Poké

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263 W 19th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 367-7653
Visit Website
Poke with a healthier than usual aura is the province of Wisefish, a popular Chelsea spot despite a side-street location. Bowls are available in three sizes, and there are four styles of poke available, plus the usual “one from column A and one from column B” approach. With ahi tuna and only a couple of other ingredients, “Hawaii style” tries to replicate the ur-poke, while “the Chelsea” brings it into a contemporary idiom with tofu and avocado.

12. Poketeria

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3 East 36th St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 689-8985
Visit Website
It’s been over a year since Pokeworks opened and a lot has been learned about the poke business in the interim. To wit: better to arrange the elements in the plastic bowl so that you can see all of them, rather than making the bowl a giant indiscernible heap of who-knows-what. And apparently, increasing the diversity of the flavorings is also a good idea. Here you can get pesto poke and kimchi poke and lots of other things in between. I went for spicy tuna poke, and rather enjoyed it.

13. Pokéworks

Copy Link
63 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 575-8881
Visit Website
This place was one of the first of the modern poke era (starting 2016), generating long lines as pokemania infected large segments of the dining population. Within a few months there were a dozen more such storefronts, but for a brief period this was the go-to place. It was also possibly the originator of the poke burrito, though who has bragging rights for that swollen maki roll is still a matter for debate. This is where the assembly line approach was pioneered.
Photo: Pokeworks

14. Sons of Thunder*

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204 E 38th St
New York, NY 10016
(646) 863-2212
Visit Website
Hot dogs and poke seem like a strange combination for a restaurant, especially if it’s a nice restaurant with a skylight-lit dining room. Add thick milkshakes to the mix, and you have a real head-scratcher. Yet Sons of Thunder serves some of the best and most unfussy poke in town, with baby lettuces and tobiko as a foil, rather than heavier and crunchier stuff. Octopus is also available, which has been a common poke choice in Hawaii.

15. Red Poke

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600 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036
This relatively large place also sells coffee and pastries from a case in the front, but the main preoccupation is poke. The menu has a decidedly Korean perspective, including bowls called Seoul, Incheon, and Gangnam (dressed with kimchi aioli) — in case you’ve forgotten about the hit song of a few years ago. The signature is red poke, a rather conventional assemblage of tuna, cuke, onions, avocado, scallions, and nori sprinkled with sesame seeds.

16. Sweetcatch Poke Bar*

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642A Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 593-1020
Visit Website
With the avowed intention of taking poke back to its roots — at a slightly higher price point — Sweetcatch opened late last year under Top Cheftestant Lee Ann Wong on the East Side, an area underserved by poke. The “classic Hawaiian” includes ahi tuna and only a handful of ingredients, and a dressing made with candlenuts, a uniquely Hawaiian product and the world’s greasiest nut. Other bowls are far more baroque, and the place falls into the usual do-it-yourself, multi-option confusion.
Photo: Sweetcatch

17. Makana Hawaiian & Japanese BBQ*

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161 W 106th St
New York, NY 10025
(212) 678-4569
Visit Website
With some modest seating in its relentlessly orange premises, Upper West Side carryout Makana offers a combination of Hawaiian and Japanese food, and though its ahi poke comes slathered with spicy mayo such as you might find in a sushi roll, it’s good. The fish is fresh and relatively unadorned: the only other ingredient is a nest of shredded daikon and a sprig or two of greenery. Other Hawaiian provender such as musubi (Spam) rolls and kalua pork also available at this humorously decorated spot.

18. PokeLICious

Copy Link
5-37 51st Ave
Queens, NY 11101
(917) 741-1004
Poised on a Long Island City side street to pitch to the high-rise apartment buildings along the waterfront, Pokelicious offers plenty of seating, for a change. Many of the bowls are city themed (New York, London, Tokyo, Seoul), and they come stylishly decorated with a purple orchid (which is edible and tastes like endive). Featuring shrimp and octopus, the Mexico City has jalapenos and pico de gallo, but manages to not taste very Mexican.

19. Onomea*

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84 Havemeyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 844-9559
Visit Website
The narrow spot with a back-lit map of Hawaii on the far wall can’t decide whether it wants to be a wine bar or a restaurant, which is a good thing if you want to wash your poke down with a glass of French wine. All the other signatures of Hawaiian cuisine in relatively unreconstructed form are available, too, and the poke is real poke, which means tuna is the star of the show.
Photo: Onomea

20. Suzume*

Copy Link
545 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 486-0200
Visit Website
This bright little neighborhood shoebox in Williamsburg offers the twin specialties of sushi and ramen, but peppered around the unusual menu are all sorts of Hawaiian specialties, including Spam musubi, Honolulu-style tacos, and a pair of poke choices — tuna and salmon — ensconced in sleeves of crinkly nori. The salmon is laved in Filipino calamansi vinaigrette, adding another Hawaiian element.

1. Kome Waza

40 Water St, New York, NY 10004
Photo: Kome Waza
Up a steep staircase, this tiny spot way downtown treats poke as a Japanese invention, by paying plenty of attention to the rice. The five signature bowls often incorporate Japanese ingredients, too, like white miso, tobiko, kizami nori, ogo seaweed, and hijiki. One selection features salted mango cream — a fruity anchovy sauce that’s a real complement to the yellowtail and scallops the bowl contains. Ongiri (rice balls) and miso soup are also available.
40 Water St
New York, NY 10004

2. Chikarashi*

227 Canal St, New York, NY 10013
Photo: Chikarashi
On the edge of Chinatown, Chikarashi looks like any other poke place (bright lighting, rudimentary seating), but it tries harder to reinterpret poke in a creative direction, with fish that’s above-average and a menu that’s “chef driven.” This is the only poke place I know of where you can get your raw fish dotted with Sichuan peppercorns, which lend fresh excitement to the dish. Find them in “Sichuan chili salmon,” which features Scottish salmon, daikon, spicy peppercorn mayo, and panko crumbs for crunch. The 12 selections have a slightly higher proportion of fish than usual.
227 Canal St
New York, NY 10013

3. Seamore's

390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Photo: Seamore's
Can a seafood restaurant do a decent poke? One would assume so. That’s the task Seamore’s sets for itself and the result isn’t bad — though when you are given the choice between using rice or chips as an accompaniment, pick rice, because the chips are blue corn chips right out of the bag, and they don’t do the poke (which contains ahi tuna, avocado, and fried shallots) any good.
390 Broome St
New York, NY 10013

4. The Dutch

131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012
We have the single poke appetizer at The Dutch, a welcome contrast to complicated poke menus — which invite you to customize your bowl with all sorts of optional ingredients. It distinguishes itself by using seared tuna swatches of high-quality fish, and sports a slight spicy aftertaste.
131 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012

5. Pokee NYC

121 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012
Photo: Pokee
This new Greenwich Village poke parlor surfed into town on a wave of hype, including making a rainbow-hued sushi donut — then quickly dropped the stunts in favor of some solid poke offerings, in a setting reminiscent of a beach cottage. Seating is along a pillow-strewn bench. Bowls are available in three sizes (the smallest comes in a beverage cup). Most appealing are those made with daily seafood specials. On a recent occasion these included yellowtail and Korean-style baby octopus — not traditional, but visually interesting.
121 W 3rd St
New York, NY 10012

6. Noreetuh*

128 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009
Read Review |
Photo: Noreetuh
Real Hawaiian poke as it was long ago is the forte of Noreetuh. Under the culinary direction of Per Se veteran Chung Chou, the stylish East Village bistro presents mainly reconfigured versions of Hawaiian classics such as beef-tongue musubi and kalua pork cavatelli, though the pokes (bigeye tuna or shrimp) remain seafood-centered and elemental in their simplicity. The tuna features bright red fish with two kinds of chewy seaweed and the crunch of macadamia nuts. It’s like an afternoon by the seaside.
128 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009

7. The PokéSpot

120 4th Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Photo: The Pokespot
Located just off Union Square and heralded by a cartoon otter eating a bowl of poke, Pokespot is larger and more comfortable than many of its competitors, with ample seating. It offers six “proteins”: tuna, salmon, chicken, shrimp, organic tofu, and — at a slight premium — snow crab, making for a sort of Alaskan-Hawaiian poke. The flavoring schemes are all over the map, incorporating Japanese, Southeast Asian, and Mexican elements. The “Pokespot special” includes crab, salmon, cukes, green onions, crunchy onions, furikake, etc.
120 4th Avenue
New York, NY 10003

8. MI-NE SUSHI NY

496 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011
Read Review |
A sushi bar already has the fixins for poke, so why not? This Japanese sushi chain that set down last year in the northern reaches of Greenwich Village savvily included several varieties of poke on its menu, including the salad- and the spare versions. All include tuna and salmon, simply dressed.
496 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011

9. Gotham Poké

353 W 14th St, New York, NY 10014
This stall in the Gansevoort Market (now located on West 14th Street rather than on Gansevoort Street) plays fast and loose with the genre, including a dish known as poke nachos. Instead of tortilla chips, fried wonton skins are substituted, and you are welcome to select the “fish” of your choice (tuna, salmon, shrimp, veggie, chicken, pork) to be flung over the top and squirted with a spicy, mayo-bearing sauce.
353 W 14th St
New York, NY 10014

10. Union Fare

5 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003
Reminding us of the connection between poke and surfing, this stall inside the Union Fare Gastrohall exclusively serves the Hawaiian fish salad in six preset permutations with such surf themes as hang ten, bonsai pipeline, and wipeout — the latter designating an agreeable concoction of tuna, cucumber, and greens with crunchy chow mein noodles on top. Not bad, and it emphasizes the fish more than many contemporary examples.
5 E 17th St
New York, NY 10003

11. Wisefish Poké

263 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
Poke with a healthier than usual aura is the province of Wisefish, a popular Chelsea spot despite a side-street location. Bowls are available in three sizes, and there are four styles of poke available, plus the usual “one from column A and one from column B” approach. With ahi tuna and only a couple of other ingredients, “Hawaii style” tries to replicate the ur-poke, while “the Chelsea” brings it into a contemporary idiom with tofu and avocado.
263 W 19th St
New York, NY 10011

12. Poketeria

3 East 36th St, New York, NY 10016
It’s been over a year since Pokeworks opened and a lot has been learned about the poke business in the interim. To wit: better to arrange the elements in the plastic bowl so that you can see all of them, rather than making the bowl a giant indiscernible heap of who-knows-what. And apparently, increasing the diversity of the flavorings is also a good idea. Here you can get pesto poke and kimchi poke and lots of other things in between. I went for spicy tuna poke, and rather enjoyed it.
3 East 36th St
New York, NY 10016

13. Pokéworks

63 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018
Photo: Pokeworks
This place was one of the first of the modern poke era (starting 2016), generating long lines as pokemania infected large segments of the dining population. Within a few months there were a dozen more such storefronts, but for a brief period this was the go-to place. It was also possibly the originator of the poke burrito, though who has bragging rights for that swollen maki roll is still a matter for debate. This is where the assembly line approach was pioneered.
63 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018

14. Sons of Thunder*

204 E 38th St, New York, NY 10016
Hot dogs and poke seem like a strange combination for a restaurant, especially if it’s a nice restaurant with a skylight-lit dining room. Add thick milkshakes to the mix, and you have a real head-scratcher. Yet Sons of Thunder serves some of the best and most unfussy poke in town, with baby lettuces and tobiko as a foil, rather than heavier and crunchier stuff. Octopus is also available, which has been a common poke choice in Hawaii.
204 E 38th St
New York, NY 10016

15. Red Poke

600 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
This relatively large place also sells coffee and pastries from a case in the front, but the main preoccupation is poke. The menu has a decidedly Korean perspective, including bowls called Seoul, Incheon, and Gangnam (dressed with kimchi aioli) — in case you’ve forgotten about the hit song of a few years ago. The signature is red poke, a rather conventional assemblage of tuna, cuke, onions, avocado, scallions, and nori sprinkled with sesame seeds.
600 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036

Related Maps

16. Sweetcatch Poke Bar*

642A Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
Photo: Sweetcatch
With the avowed intention of taking poke back to its roots — at a slightly higher price point — Sweetcatch opened late last year under Top Cheftestant Lee Ann Wong on the East Side, an area underserved by poke. The “classic Hawaiian” includes ahi tuna and only a handful of ingredients, and a dressing made with candlenuts, a uniquely Hawaiian product and the world’s greasiest nut. Other bowls are far more baroque, and the place falls into the usual do-it-yourself, multi-option confusion.
642A Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022

17. Makana Hawaiian & Japanese BBQ*

161 W 106th St, New York, NY 10025
With some modest seating in its relentlessly orange premises, Upper West Side carryout Makana offers a combination of Hawaiian and Japanese food, and though its ahi poke comes slathered with spicy mayo such as you might find in a sushi roll, it’s good. The fish is fresh and relatively unadorned: the only other ingredient is a nest of shredded daikon and a sprig or two of greenery. Other Hawaiian provender such as musubi (Spam) rolls and kalua pork also available at this humorously decorated spot.
161 W 106th St
New York, NY 10025

18. PokeLICious

5-37 51st Ave, Queens, NY 11101
Poised on a Long Island City side street to pitch to the high-rise apartment buildings along the waterfront, Pokelicious offers plenty of seating, for a change. Many of the bowls are city themed (New York, London, Tokyo, Seoul), and they come stylishly decorated with a purple orchid (which is edible and tastes like endive). Featuring shrimp and octopus, the Mexico City has jalapenos and pico de gallo, but manages to not taste very Mexican.
5-37 51st Ave
Queens, NY 11101

19. Onomea*

84 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Photo: Onomea
The narrow spot with a back-lit map of Hawaii on the far wall can’t decide whether it wants to be a wine bar or a restaurant, which is a good thing if you want to wash your poke down with a glass of French wine. All the other signatures of Hawaiian cuisine in relatively unreconstructed form are available, too, and the poke is real poke, which means tuna is the star of the show.
84 Havemeyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

20. Suzume*

545 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
This bright little neighborhood shoebox in Williamsburg offers the twin specialties of sushi and ramen, but peppered around the unusual menu are all sorts of Hawaiian specialties, including Spam musubi, Honolulu-style tacos, and a pair of poke choices — tuna and salmon — ensconced in sleeves of crinkly nori. The salmon is laved in Filipino calamansi vinaigrette, adding another Hawaiian element.
545 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Related Maps