Here's the problem with sake. There is so much to know, and so many bottles you haven't tried, that it's hard to begin. But if you are into sake, there are some great places in New York to go.
If there is a better liquor store in the world, I want to go there sober. With an immense wine and spirit selection, and supremely knowledgeable staff, Astor makes it easy to learn and easier to get bombed.
I know that people come here for the food, but to me that's crazy. This is possibly the greatest sake bar in the city, if not the country, and the only purpose for the (admittedly fine) food is to keep you from ralphing. I'm sorry, but it's true.
A very large, first-rate wine and liquor store with a fair-to-good wine stock and a very good range of speciality spirits, including sake and shoju.
Grungy, subterranean sake bar with a raucous vibe and wide selection.
A slick and swanky corporate sake bar. Snobs may sniff at it, but there's a big selection and the food is good.
There aren't a lot of sake bars in Staten Island, and this one is better than you would expect! The sushi is just meh, but the sake selection is big and interesting.
You know the immaculately curated, elegant temples of sake? This isn't that. It's low, dirty, rowdy, a den of drunken salarymen gobbling chicken skin and downing endless shots of cheap sake. It is wonderful.
The city's only dedicated sake store is small and beautifully curated, and features a wide range of products and prices from every prefecture in Japan. They also do sake tastings frequently for customers still getting their feet wet.