Cafe Zaiya on 41st Closed Due to Building Fire

In what we can only hope to be a gross misinterpretation of a Talking Heads song on part of their building neighbors, Cafe Zaiya’s location on 41st has been closed due to a fire in their building. No ETA to repair or restore yet, but if I’m not mistaken (please, please, please let me be mistaken) there’s now no place in Manhattan to get green tea soft serve ice cream. Could this be some karmic retribution on behalf of the Oms/b faithful, whose onigiri fortress was taken over recently by the expanding Cafe Zaiyaverse?

While you can get your fill of bento and umami-laden-if-not-lacking-side-dishes tonjiru soup at nearby Sunrise Mart, the temporary closure of Cafe Zaiya leaves the 41st St. bloc of Japanese goodness staggered after the recent permanent closing of udon powerhouse Yagura.

The upstairs Cafe Zaiya location not too far away across Bryant Park is still open, although they serve drastically less variety than you can get at the 41st St. location. We hope nobody was hurt in the fire but I hope I speak for us all when I say that I can’t wait for a reopening – it’s a schlep down to the Village for the nearest choco cornet and curry rice bento.  Thanks to Lunch’er Derrick C for the tip.


  • um yeah, my life isn’t going to be same if this spot closed down for good. BEST all around midtown lunch spot.

  • I can’t believe there was soft serve green tea ice cream available and I’m only hearing about it after it’s gone.

    • I’m sure they’ll be back – that block is basically Little Japan. The lack of Yagura doesn’t help but the Book-Off nearby plus Cafe Zaiya plus Kinokuniya a few long blocks away makes the place a hotbed of expats, weeaboos, and others.

      There’ll be soft serve green tea ice cream soon.

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