Sake Bar Decibel


A Little Slice of Tokyo in a Subterranean Sake Haven

Sake Bar decibel east village

About Sake Bar Decibel

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • With close to 100 options to choose from, this clandestine sake bar is one of the best in the city.
  • Look for the “On Air” sign and head down the stairs into what looks like a lair for a punk rock Batman strewn with graffiti and stocked to the brim with world-class sake.
  • Open for more than 25 years, Decibel claims to be New York’s first real sake bar.
  • The staff here are cool, hip, young, and really helpful. They were patient with our tasting groups’ sake newbie and will help you navigate a menu that can be intimidating.
  • They have a nice selection of small plates and a few other beverage choices for non-sake drinkers.
  • The music and the vibe are slightly edgy (as in an easygoing, East Village gentrified edgy).
  • It’s dark, but the graffiti makes it festive. The dim lights, however, work great for date night.
  • It’s the East Village, so they card everyone. It doesn’t matter how old you look, bring your ID.
  • It gets crowded, so be prepared to wait, but if you are a sake fan, it’s absolutely worth it.

Carpe City Trivia

Why is my sake overflowing into this little box??

My sake cup runneth over….now what? Sake is Japanese rice wine that has been around for 2,500+ years and the techniques of pouring, receiving and drinking it are both fascinating and puzzling. When you receive a glass of sake that overflows into a little wooden box, know that it is a show of kindness and generosity by your host. The box, called a “masu” can impart some nice aromas that complement the sake. So what should you do if your host serves you this generous pour? Simply sip the sake in the glass first and then either pour the remainder into the glass or drink it directly from the masu. Cheers! Kampai!

By: Christi Scofield & Candi Obrentz

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