NYC Street Food: Takoyaki

A round ball of diced octopus, covered with piles of fish flakes, mayonnaise, pickled ginger, green onion, okonomiyaki sauce and who knows what else. The chef will prepare them in short order batches, periodically turning them over in the pan until the exterior maintains an even brown. If you’re lucky, the concoction is barely cooked on the inside, keeping the batter moist and gooey.  Loose fish flakes will fly away in the slightest breeze as you attempt to devour these little critters as fast as possible, the hot steam be damned. You will get maybe a half-dozen in an order, and perhaps a toothpick in lieu of a fancy pair of chopsticks.  A word of advice: let the vendors pile on everything they have to offer.

From the picture, you can see that 500 yen (a little more than $5.00) is the going rate for an order. This particular vendor was located near Yoyogi National Stadium in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo.

Possibly the best hole-in-the-wall to pick up takoyaki in New York City: Otafuku at 236 East 9th (between 2nd and 3rd).

Written by Jason Summerfield