December 9, 2009

Otafuku: Takoyaki (Octopus Balls) in the East Village

We love showing visiting friends around NYC because inevitably, the sight-seeing turns into a food tour!  A few weeks ago, when the weather was a tad warmer and snow was not on the radar, we took a visiting friend over to the East Village.  While we were checking out Sunrise Mart, one of our favorite Japanese grocery stores, we mentioned a nearby place that makes Octopus balls.

She was intrigued, so we made our way to Otafuku - a tiny, narrow spot that could easily be missed if it weren't for the flags (and oftentimes, a small crowd waiting for their order).

Takoyaki (6 for $5):  The dish was topped with special Otafuko sauce, Japanese mayo, seaweed flakes, and a large pile of katsuobushi or bonito shavings (dried fish) that we tried to keep from blowing away (and landing on other people).

The Takoyaki is piping hot because our batch was freshly made.  It's delicious street food - crispy and salty on the outside, with a soft, pancake-like batter on the inside.  And of course, the octopus itself, which was warm and delicious.

What did our friend think?  The combination of a hole-in-the-wall gem, tasty snack, and an experience that cannot be duplicated back home, she loved this New York food spot.  When you come to New York, we would definitely encourage you to try Otafuku for its Takoyaki (and their Okonomiyaki - a savory pancake with lots of ingredients)

Otafuku is located at 236 E 9th St (btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave)


  1. I was just there the other night. The octopus takoyaki makes a great small meal. Their yakisoba noodles are good too.

  2. I miss that about NYC. Any time of day you could have all sorts of food it'd be hard to find elsewhere.

  3. Oh, that sounds so yummy. I want some lol.

  4. @lookytasty - will definitely get the combo the next time we go - we always seem to walk by on our way to dinner and cannot resist getting the takoyaki

    @unplanned cooking: We love how quickly we can walk from one different neighborhood/restaurant to another in NYC...but we love down-home, local fare in other cities when we travel.

    @Evelyne: NYC's really close to Montreal...just saying if you're itching for a quick weekend trip away...=)

    @FLB: It's worthwhile to add to your list of places to eat in NYC!


We love reading your comments! Don't worry if you don't have a Google account or website - just select Name/URL.