The Flatiron district is as diverse as New York itself. This bustling neighborhood features popular restaurants, dynamic retail, superb educational institutions, and architectural highlights. The district is just a short stroll from either Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station.
Looking for a unique experience and delicious sushi rolled into one? If so, this is the place for you. Yo! Sushi is one of a small number of conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Manhattan and is a perfect place for a speedy bite or to hang out after work.
The first conveyor belt sushi restaurant, known as "kaiten sushi," was launched by Yoshiaki Shiraishi when he realized he couldn't retain enough staff for his restaurant. After seeing a belt carrying bottles at an Asahi brewery, he decided to invent a similar conveyor belt system that would go around the counter of his restaurant at the perfect speed to allow guests to grab small plates of sushi without leaving their chairs. The invention allowed him to run the restaurant with fewer staff members and expand to additional locations. At the World Fair in Osaka in 1970, Yoshiaki Shiraishi opened another restaurant onsite, and kaiten sushi made it's debut to the world.
Yo! Sushi took the kaiten sushi concept international when it launched their UK based company to provide fresh, fast sushi to the Western world. The Flatiron location opened this year to much fanfare as a quick lunch option for sushi lovers in the area.
Walk into Yo! Sushi and you'll be seated at one of the many two-person booths that sit perpendicular to the sushi belt. There are only a few larger tables, so make sure to call ahead or come during a slow period if you have a big group. The entire staff seems to be trained in spotting newbies, so if you haven't eaten off a conveyor belt in the past, don't fear! They'll be happy to walk you through the process. You'll be given a menu with images of the different sushi options and side dishes so you can recognize them as they come around. If you'd prefer a hot dish or an item that you haven't seen on the belt, you can order directly from a waiter or waitress.
Each plate represents a different price ranging from $3.50 to $8.00. Just stack the plates as you eat your way through the rotating sushi options. When you're ready, someone will come and tally up the plates for your final bill.
Cover Photo Credit: Nikki Yeager