Move over pho (though not too far, you're still pretty tasty), because these five stand-out, ramen-centric eateries pack houses -- much to the delight of those who prefer a broth that has been simmering for 30hrs with fresh ingredients over a 14-cent noodle brick and an "Oriental flavor" MSG packet.
RT packs ravenous ramen junkies into its small, bustling space daily. There’s always a line out the door, but fear not, it moves along quickly. The amazingly rich broth of their Tonkotsu Original sets the foundation for encouraged add ins, like a Spicy Bomb or extra garlic (or more noodles if you’re extra hungry). The only thing audible over the upbeat soundtrack and slurping are the consistently happy patrons exclaiming, "Omigod, this is SO good". Tip: try the Sweet and Sour Yodas (Brussels sprouts). Disappoint you they will not.
The Japanese mainstay gets its ramen on during lunch hours, ensuring that you're much more inclined to nap than work for the rest of the afternoon after you maul a bowl of their spectacularly porky tonkotsu swimming with pork belly, corn, spinach, fish cake, ginger, egg, and bamboo shoots.
The folks at Kome wisely anticipated your need for more ramen and bestowed Daruma on Sixth Street. The broth here is chicken-based and has a light flavor and texture -- go for the Miso Ramen if you want a little more bite. The seating is communal, so besides having a warm, satisfying bowl of ramen, you’ll end up with a couple of new friends -- or at least the opportunity to eavesdrop if you have nothing left to say to the person you're eating with.
What began as a super-popular food truck (conveniently located in the Hobby Lobby parking lot) has become a super-popular actual building (still close to the Hobby Lobby parking lot!). The main draw of Michi Ramen is their large selection of ramen types, add-ons, and the choice of broth thickness -- light, original, or stout for badasses/ stout people. Don't miss the Michi Ramen with a marinated soft boiled egg. Bonus -- they have a large selection of both Austin-y and Japanese-y beers.
Top Chef winner and local golden boy Paul Qui's collab with iconic campus bar Hole in the Wall to create the first non-East Side location in the ESK empire delivers the goods (with the help of the talented Yoshi Okai). They're not only serving the standards that made ESK famous, but have a great little selection of next-level ramen dishes including Kimchee Pork Ramen and Sapporo Beer Miso Ramen served with a dollop of beer foam, which you often add to meals just due to general clumsiness.
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Nothing compares to the lovingly simmered broth made at Ramen Tatsu-ya. The gang here has managed to create a cult classic with their menu. Try their signature bowl of ramen is a rich, complex, pork bone broth filled with thin noodles, tender chashu pork (soy braised pork belly), a marinated soft boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, scallions, and your choice of add-ins. There is often a line but service moves lightning fast.
Obviously named after the doll of a legless Buddist monk, Daruma's a tiny 28-seat Kome offshoot slinging a short-but-sweet menu that eschews their signature pork tonkatsu broth in favor of whole chicken broth. Their delicious menu includes the Shio (roasted chicken, boiled egg, bok choy, sesame seeds, goji berry), hybrid chicken/seafood stock Shoyu, a Miso holdover from their first location (ground chicken, soy sauce-flavored boiled egg, shredded red pepper), and even a Vegan option.
Michi turned its short-lived ramen trailer into a bona fide brick and mortar on North Lamar, peddling noodle-y wonderment in a 75ish-seater marked by thick, Japanese-inspired wood beams.
The merger of Asian food truck, The East Side King, and beloved dive bar, Hole in the Wall, creates a space where food, culture, music, and nightlife converge. The iconic 70's building was restored as to its former glory as an underground live music haven with some added spice from the East (side of Austin). Fit for billiard and beer enthusiasts alike, East Side King at Hole in the Wall has pub-inspired grub with a far East flare. Try the Sapporo Beer Bacon Miso Ramen with bacon puree.
Designed by Japanese craftsmen, Kome has a modern atmosphere that compliments its homestyle Japanese comfort food. An extensive menu of Izakaya style meals and sushi rolls have influences from the owners' travels to other parts of Asia, with an added Austin flare.