A Hawaiian classic, poke is essentially a raw fish salad, typically prepared with tuna that has been marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, and often served with items such as seaweed salad, onions, masago and avocado. Though traditionally served as an appetizer, many restaurants have started serving larger, more substantial versions of the dish, adopting the “poke bowl” as their model of choice.
An incredibly-hyped craze in LA, infatuation for this Hawaiian delicacy has officially caught on in the Big Apple, with multiple new poke bowl spots establishing themselves across the city.
Here’s the rundown on NYC’s 8 best poke spots:
Featuring a Chipotle-style set-up, Pokeworks allows for maximum customization. Customers choose their base, pick a protein, decide on a sauce flavor, and top their creation off with a wide variety of fruits, veggies and other delicious mix-ins.
Pokeworks also offers other customizable poke creations like a pokirrito or poke salad.
Like Pokeworks, Wisefish poke also offers made-to-order poke bowl creations, in addition to a selection of “house favorite” fixed menu items. Featuring zucchini noodles as a base option, Wisefish’s bowl components are inventive and flavorful.
Originating at Urbanspace’s Madison Square Eats, Gotham Poke can now be found serving delicious bowls seven days a week at Broadway Bites. With proteins like huli-huli chicken and kahlua pork, Gotham Poke also offers a meaty twist on the traditionally fish-centered poke bowl.
Sons of Thunder
A new “West-Coast inspired” casual eatery in Murray Hill, Sons of Thunder’s take on the poke bowl is served with tortilla chips, fresh greens, cucumbers, seaweed salad and tobiko. Additionally featuring a menu complete with innovative hot dog creations, salmon tostadas, and hand-spun shakes, Sons of Thunder also comes through with a great array of other, non-poke options.
One of the few sit-down spots on this guide, Seamore’s serves up a deliciously refreshing and light ahi tuna poke. Listed as part of the “to-share” section on their menu, the poke is also big enough to serve as a main dish for one.
East Coast Poke
A long-running Smorgasburg favorite, East Coast Poke was amongst the first Poke institutions in the city. It has a simple, delicious menu of classic ahi tuna poke, spicy mayo ahi poke, and an “island classic” spam musubi, which consists of a teriyaki-seared piece of spam pressed between pineapple sticky rice, wrapped in nori seaweed, and then topped with a variety of Hawaiian sauces.
A “modern-Hawaiian” restaurant located in the East Village, Noreetuh offers more high-end dining options for Hawaiian cuisine. Featuring a poke starter consisting of bigeye tuna, pickled jalapeños, macadamia nuts, and seaweed, this poke won’t disappoint.
The only Brooklyn-based spot that made it onto the list, Onomea serves up a straightforward poke appetizer made with green and white onions, seaweed, sesame seeds, and of course, ahi tuna. Also including Hawaiian favorites like Loco Moco, Kalua pig, and Haupia, Onomea’s menu provides New Yorkers with the classic flavors of our nation’s 50th state.