The Hoppie Hopper is all about the small bars, pubs, and tasty, hidden-away Japanese spots across New York City. We love the great, tiny places and secret dens cropping up around town, giving us ample opportunity to sample the savory delights we wash down with sake, shochu and, of course, hoppie*. With izakaya bursting upon the city’s culinary scene in recent years, the Hoppie Hopper has appeared to try new treats, keep up with trends, and share information about upcoming, not-to-be-missed events from the Lower East Side to deepest Queens.
We are two old friends, one Japanese and one American. While we have to work day jobs to pay for all the hopping we must do, our true passion is the perusal of both Japanese and English-language press, quick chats with those in the know among the places we visit, and close study of Japanese community sign boards, newsletters, and websites, all in the interest of finding the best, latest, tastiest izakaya New York City has to offer.
Forget sushi, forget tempura. While that’s great eating too, Japanese food is a whole world unto itself and izakaya– classic Japanese pubs specializing in little bites and strong drinks over which patrons linger to talk, debate, argue, and laugh– are long overdue the attention they deserve. For those in New York, we are lucky to have so much going on in the izakaya scene. Time and again we shake our heads and remark, “Wow, it’s just like in Tokyo.”
The scene is changing all the time, with new openings and pop-ups a constant, peppered with events, parties, and gatherings to help us more deeply appreciate the wonders of the izakaya. It was high time that someone start tracking it all and offering tips, insights, and a heads-up on what’s happening. Why not us?
On this blog we’ll be covering a range of izakaya, as well as offering insight on how to order, izakaya style and etiquette, pairing food and drink, seasonal dishes, and izakaya philosophy. Don’t forget to check our calendar for delicious upcoming events, and get in on the izakaya scene too. We’d love to hear from you and welcome guest hoppers. Pull up a stool, order a tall, crisp hoppie, and drop us a line.
Now hop along, hoppie hoppers!
* Hoppie is a low-alcohol content beer made popular in Japan during the difficult post-war years. Its devoted fans bought the beer cheap and bombed it with shochu. That’s exactly how most places in New York offering hoppie serve it today. When paired with all the thoughtful bites on offer in an excellent izakaya, where hours melt away and conversation just flows over plate and glass, a hoppie is the perfect quencher.