In March 1970, Ice Cream Connection was born. It was a neighborhood ice cream shop on St. Mark's where old neighborhood favorites such as Filmore East, Electric Circus, and Dom co-existed in the East Village.
After the Vietnam War, St. Mark's was hit by the recession and many local spots closed down. The only stores left included Head and Tails, Jerry Cutlers, Paul Mcgregor’s Hair Salon, and Grassroots Bar. At this time in 1974, Ice Cream Connection was still standing strong and even introduced savory foods by allotting some of its space to new-concept restaurant, Dojo. Dojo offered vegetarian-inspired dishes with Japanese flavor & heart. A year later, Ice Cream Connection finally shut its doors in order to expand the rapidly growing Dojo. In 1982, Dojo took over the space next door and expanded even more. Then in 1991, Dojo in the West Village was created – both Dojo East and Dojo West were favorite local gems. Unfortunately in 2007, Dojo East was closed down due to high rent. BUT Dojo West is still going strong!
Dojo's Asian/Vegetarian approach to food certainly influenced many NYC restaurants to veer in this direction. It's a fad that Dojo started that seems to be here to stay. Speaking of being on the cutting edge, Dojo East introduced the Dojo Dressing in 1973. Its popularity led to imitation dressings all over the city (but Dojo's recipe will always be the original, the best, and kept a secret). A favorite of Dojo customers was, and continues to be, the Soy Burger introduced in 1974. The Tofu Hijiki Burger, another '74 creation, is a Dojo staple to this day, as well. You can bet that the Dojo Dressing comes with both these dishes.
After undergoing renovations in 2014, Dojo has currently added more Japanese food options and constructed a ramen shop within the restaurant!
Dojo went through the hippie years, street riots, pop art & music culture movement with Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, etc. You get the picture. Thank you so much for supporting Dojo throughout all these years. We look forward to many more with you.
TONY Y. (owner)
The recent 2014 renovations to Dojo Restaurant opened up the bar space to allow for more mingling, more eating, and more room to settle in and get cozy. We kept the plants; we're digging our new light fixtures. Yeah, we got all fancy pants for ya.
Since 1974, our goal has been to give customers what they want. You want your own table, AND the Soy Burger, AND something from the bar AND something off the Ramen menu? No problem. We've got you covered. Some things never change.
RAMEN NOODLE BAR (nEW!)
Welcome our newest addition, the Dojo Ramen Noodle Bar! Need a quick bite in between classes? Have a date that needs to be casual but memorable? The NYC winter just a bit too frigid? Up your ramen game and warm up with us!