We have to give props to a restaurant that came out of the pandemic better than it started. You may remember Mission Ceviche as the casual takeout spot at food halls around the city. Those outposts are gone, but in their place is a legit restaurant. And yes, it’s serving up pisco sours next to those Peruvian bites. If you’re looking for the best ceviche in NYC, Mission Ceviche is on the list.
We are always in search of the best ceviche in NYC, because it’s like the splurge food that isn’t a diet splurge. Surprisingly though, ceviche bars don’t last in New York, at least not with a significant presence on the restaurant scene. Big chefs like Gaston Acurio tried with La Mar years ago, but it was surprisingly not successful.
That’s why we have to hand it to Mission Ceviche, which may just be the best ceviche in NYC right now. Actually, Mission has been the best ceviche in NYC for the past 5 years. We were fans from the start of Mission Ceviche’s outpost as a fast casual restaurant in the Meatpacking District food market. With its 4 seats or so at the bar, you could watch their chef fastidiously hand place every single herb on their ceviche bowl creations.
Fast forward a pandemic, and likely rising food costs, Mission Ceviche pivoted to a full-service restaurant. It was the right move, but we sure do miss those $20 massive bowls of fish, salad and rice. The nutshell is that even with the premium pricing and smaller portions, Mission Ceviche is where to get your fix for Peruvian food and the best ceviche in NYC.
The beauty of ceviche is that it’s flavorful and healthy, which is the premise of Mission Ceviche. Half the battle with ceviche is to acquire fish and seafood that is fresh. In the many visits to Mission, their fish and seafood is always top quality. From there though, Mission Ceviche takes the presentation and the preparation to the next level of gourmet. The Mixto ceviche has precise amounts of shrimp, mussels, squid and calamari, in a tigers milk broth. It’s finished with just enough pieces of the soft and crunchy Peruvian corn, sweet potato and herbs. The flavors are sweet, savory, crunchy, soft and fresh, all at once.
The tuna and watermelon ceviche is more Japanese influenced, with ponzu, wasabi taboo and a unique ginger foam. One of our favorite bites was the Causa de Congrejo, that’s soft shell crab set on top of a mashed potato-like mousse, with mango glaze. It’s a much lighter version of causa than we had even in Peru.
On the yuca fries, we suggest not ever ordering this through delivery. It’s best freshly made in the restaurant, especially at the $19 price tag for 4-5 pieces of yuca.
In the restaurant, besides now serving booze alongside ceviche, there’s a Japanese menu of sushi rolls and bites. The offerings have a clear Peruvian influence, with with yuzu emulsions, sweet potatoes and that typical Aji amarillo sauce. Also, there is a full suite of appetizers, like goat cheese salad and pan seared miatake mushrooms.
While the location on the Upper East side on 2nd Avenue is not our favorite. However, if you’re up for the best ceviche in NYC, it’s worth the Uber. They did a nice job with the interior decor that’s simple, sleek and clean, with pops of color. Just like their food. There is also a nice outdoor seating setup, but it is on 2nd Avenue, so not much you can do about the noise. It’s much better to eat ceviche inside anyway in the cool air conditioning.
From the first day, the passion they feel for food is clear, from the host all the way to the chef and waitstaff.