220 E. 9th St.
New York, NY 10003
Best Of


  • Sun-Thu 12pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-11pm
  • $$
  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • No Alcohol
  • No Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
Otafuku opened more than a decade ago in a closet of a space on East 9th Street with a menu that contained just two items. Micro-focused, niche restaurants since have spread like kudzu; Otafuku now occupies a larger, brighter space down the street, and the menu has — trends be damned — expanded. But the throngs still come for the takoyaki octopus balls and the cabbage pancakes known as okonomiyaki, both of which sport crisp exteriors and soft innards and receive a showering of toppings including aonori seaweed powder, squirts of Kewpie mayo, and a mop of dried bonito flakes. For dessert, puffy taiyaki — nutty, fragrant fish-shaped cakes filled with red bean paste — provide a fitting foil for the gut-busting main event. A selection of imported Japanese beverages and packaged desserts (like gummy daifuku, glutinous mochi filled with sweet azuki bean paste) are displayed in a fridge against the back wall. You can find takoyaki and okonomiyaki elsewhere in the city nowadays, but Otafuku exhibits a rogue downtown charm that makes stopping in an utter delight.

Related Stories (2)

  • Checking Out Otafuku 2.0
    Friday, January 31, 2014 at 9 a.m. by Zachary Feldman

    Like a settlement-winning divorcee, Otafuku (220 East 9th Street, 212-353-8503), the city's premiere destination for down-and-dirty takoyaki, okonomiyaki and taiyaki, has gotten a facelift and moved into roomier digs. Gone is the wo...

  • Our 10 Best Cheap Eats for Tourists in the East Village
    Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:50 a.m. by Clarissa Wei

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