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Jan 26, 2014 10:21 AM

Kaitenzushi (Conveyor Belt Sushi)?

I am underwhelmed by asking this question, especially after having visited Tokyo numerous times, alas out-of-town friends are curious.

I think it's been at least ten years since trying a kaitenzushi in Manhattan - 'twas by Mad. in the 40s? - and that wasn't good. They're closed anyway.

I know of two, East, and the Whole Foods on Houston, but are there more? No high hopes for quality, to be sure, but it's more for the experience.


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  1. I don't know of any more But if i had to choose between East andWhole Foods, It would be East . I wouldn't even think about whole foods.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodwhisperer

      Why would East get the nod? No bias here, just curious.

      1. re: BuildingMyBento

        Because it is the only Japanese restaurant that has kaiten sushi. Whole Foods is horrible for their cooked food IMO. Japanese, Indian, etc. as far as sushi, I would never even think to eat it at WF. I've had cooked Japanese there and I don't recommend that. East is not good, but at least it is Japanese, and many decades ago it was actually good

      2. re: foodwhisperer

        Yep, the one in the 40s (by 5th Ave., not Mad) has been closed for quite some time. Can't recall the name, but it sure wasn't this:

      3. there's one that i've seen recently, of all places, in the basement food court of queens center mall in elmhurst. no clue about the quality, but it does seem to do a brisk business, so freshness isn't a question.

        there was one in the 40s, and now i'm puzzling over the name as well!

        4 Replies
        1. re: debinqueens

          It was probably called Genki Sushi or something like that. And it was terrible.

          1. re: E Eto

            It was on Fifth Avenue between 34th and 35th. Mid 70's I believe.

            1. re: sockster

              If by 34th and 35th, you meant 46th St, and by Mid 70s, you meant mid-2000s, then you'd be right.

              1. re: E Eto

                Actually no, I meant between 34th and 35th and Fifth Avenue. Once upon a time, I worked at 362 Fifth Avenue, and there was a conveyor sushi place right downstairs.

        2. Does the Whole Foods on Houston even still have this? I thought they replaced it with a juice bar and Yuji Ramen.

          4 Replies
          1. re: loratliff

            I'm not remembering conveyor sushi at WF either...

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              They definitely had it a couple years ago. Not sure if it's still around.

              1. re: lexismore

                According to this:


                it's not, as of 2010. But maybe it's been reinstated - I haven't been upstairs there in a while. It wasn't replaced by Yuji, though. His ramen counter is in a different part of the food court, by the windows.

                1. re: small h

                  Right, but I just meant that they did change the whole area around, not that Yuji was where the sushi once was.

                  But yes, they definitely did have it at one time. It was pretty good.

          2. Kaitenzushi and quality typically don't go hand-in-hand. It's just in Japan, the (quality) bar is set higher Why does one go to Kaiten anyway - Novelty? Fast? Fear of dialogue with wait staff? Thus, I think in general, expectations need to be managed.

            That said, East (the sole survivor in NYC?) is OK and certainly not horrible. You can also order from the chef but I guess that defeats the purpose.

            And, should you go with East, you can always go upstairs after the meal and sing your Katenzushi Blues away. :-) Enjoy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: olympusnyc

              Even though I've eaten at kaitenzushi many times, the novelty factor hasn't worn off. Also, at least in Japan, no one would bat an eye if I sat down, took just two or three plates then left, which was nice.

              Another kaitenzushi was in Tribeca: Indeed, a verb in the past tense.

            2. Genki sushi, in the 40s off of Madison,was always packed at lunch. We thought the sushi was fine, not great, not awful. Good for lunch. Many were surprised when it closed.