Going up the narrow and steep flight of stairs to get to the second floor Yakitori Totto, you feel like you’ve discovered a special out of the way find. Once you get inside, you’ll realize loads of people are “in the know.”

Yakitori means grilled chicken and their menu is like a journey through the bird; heart, liver, gizzard, knee bone, neck, skin, and tail. These are  is the delicious nasty bits served on bamboo skewers and sell out early.

But we know one man’s delight is another’s disgust. So if you’re eating with someone who doesn’t like to venture beyond the parts generally offered by KFC, there are other chicken, meat, fish and vegetarian choices. Kobe beef tongue, tuna sashimi, silver fish with green tea powder, deep-fried tofu topped with yuzu flavored miso, are just a few of the great options on the menu. Tsukune is also worth trying. It’s a chicken meat ball with choices of salt, barbeque, or shiso leaf and plum, served on a stick with a fresh raw quail egg dipping sauce.

The drinks at Yakitori Totto include Japanese beers served in beautiful ceramic mugs, a full shochu (Japanese vodka), and sake list. If you order a shochu cocktail, it comes with a juicer and half of an orange or grapefruit so you can add your own juice. They also serve various wines, teas, and soft drinks.

Try to get a reservation in advance. Otherwise, you might have a considerable wait and there is no bar area. There is a yakitori bar, which we recommend sitting at so you can watch the grilling action. Be mindful of how much you’re eating, because small plates add up to big bills. Even though many items are just $3 and $4, once you’ve eaten a few of them, they really tally up.

Yakitori Totto is part of a group of restaurants. Aburiya Kinnosuke offers some yakitori items, but its menu is more lavish with selections like homemade tofu, salt-crusted whole fish, skate fin, and organic Berkshire pork. They also have a reasonably priced lunch menu. Soba Totto serves both yakitori and soba dishes. The newest addition is Totto Ramen and is cash only.


Midtown West

251 West 55th Street

New York, NY 10019 (view map)

T: 212.245.4555




Mon - Thu: 5:30pm - 12am


Recommended By

- Chef Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern

- Chef Bill Telepan of Telepan Restaurant

- Hiroko Furukawa and Rick Smith of sake specialty store Sakaya

- Restaurateur Reika Yo Alexander of EN Japanese Brasserie


Recommendations on where else to eat Yakitori, Soba, and Japanese food in New York.

Recommendations on where else to eat Yakitori, Soba, and Japanese food in New York.


For more about Yakitori Totto, watch the slide show.


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