The 33 Best Ramen Shops in America By Dan Gentile @dannosphere Ramen used to cost 10 cents. Now it costs a trained crew of culinary professionals several days of their lives watching broth boil. Like a pot of pork bones, ramen's popularity has been simmering for a long time. In the year since we released our initial list of the 21 best shops in the country, the noodle trend has reached a full boil, so much so that we felt the need to expand our list to a whopping 33 ramen-yas. Since making great ramen is a time-honored art, our new list pays respect to some of the more iconic trailblazers, as well as celebrates a few promising newcomers. Happy slurping! By Dan Gentile @dannosphere
The 33 Best Ramen Shops in America
The 33 Best Ramen Shops in America Ramen used to cost 10 cents. Now it costs a trained crew of culinary professionals several days of their lives watching broth boil. Like a pot of pork bones, ramen's popularity has been simmering for a long time. In the year since we released our initial list of the 21 best shops in the country, the noodle trend has reached a full boil, so much so that we felt the need to expand our list to a whopping 33 ramen-yas. Since making great ramen is a time-honored art, our new list pays respect to some of the more iconic trailblazers, as well as celebrates a few promising newcomers. Happy slurping! More Stuff You Will Like
New York, NY What you're getting: Tondaku green curry The second-generation Japanese-American chef at Bassanova was such a ramen geek that he made a pilgrimage to Japan to learn the craft, only to return to the States to post up in NYC's Chinatown and supply the Big Apple's noodle-fiends with one of the country's most unique slurpables: the Tondaku green curry, a fiery Thai-inspired broth that's simmered for 12 hours -- and makes the perfect complement to caramelized slices of Berkshire pork. Continue Reading
Portland, OR What you're getting: House hybrid ramen broth with smoked pork shoulder It's easy to look past Biwa with Portland's wealth of ramen options. And also because they don't have a sign. But after seven years, the city's trailblazing ramen-ya is still ladling out the best ramen in town from the basement of an old church. The hybrid pork/chicken/tare broth is a solid defense against Portland's relentlessly grey climate, and a ton of other izakaya and sushi options have you covered in the warmer months.
Portland, OR What you're getting: Spicy red miso and okonomiyaki tots Burgers, fried chicken biscuits, donuts, and ramen. None of these things are much like the others, but the guy behind Boxer somehow manages to knock them all out cold. The two tiny Boxer Ramen shops are always full, but seats flip quick, and the spicy red miso is the move, with a subtler pork base than their tonkotsu, but a spicy kick to round it out.
Philadelphia, PA What you're getting: Brisket ramen The dudes at Cheu prioritize “keeping it real” over authenticity to the point that their shop was originally going to be called Roundeye. After opting for a less offensive moniker, Cheu has noodled its way into the hearts of Philadelphians with a tiny 28-seat restaurant whose walls are decked with ramen blocks, and bowls are filled with some of the most inventive takes on the noodle in the country. The coconut curry has drawn rave reviews, but the don't-miss bowl is the brisket ramen with matzo balls and kimchi.
Honolulu, HI What you're getting: Belly Bowl with pork belly, applewood bacon, and Japanese kurobuta sausage The broth is the benchmark of any good ramen-ya, and Lucky Belly's is what makes it stand out. The steaming soup is a mix of miso, pork, and sesame, aiming to represent the melting pot of Hawaiian cultures. Their brisket-loaded Beast and mushroom-heavy Fungi are good choices, but the Belly's the move, because where else are you going to find Japanese sausage?
Miami, FL What you're getting: Oxtail tonkotsu At $20+ per bowl, Momi's tonkotsu comes with a hefty price, but the sticker-shock disappears once you're nose-down in the intoxicatingly rich, five-times-filtered pork broth. They make their noodles in-house using Japanese flour, scour out rare authentic ingredients like nameko mushrooms, and soup-up the soup with creative meats like shredded oxtail. Adventurous ramenites might also opt for a seldom-seen jellyfish salad.
New York, NY What you're getting: Momofuku ramen By now, most people are familiar with David Chang's culinary empire. The chef's Midas touch has blessed diners with a slew of Momofuku-associated choices: cocktails, pastries, fine dining, but above all, dude knows his ramen. He worked in Japanese shops way back in the early aughts before jump-starting the NYC ramen craze in 2004 with a double-threat pork belly and shoulder tonkotsu. And to further show he's not just a ramen shop/cocktail bar/dessert shop/fine-dining restaurant owner, his culinary tentacles now spread to the rest of the world via the gospel of his publication Lucky Peach.
Minneapolis, MN What you're getting: Brothless abura ramen It might only climb above 80 degrees one month out of the year, but for those few days of heat, moto-i's brothless abura ramen is a treasure. Chili oil, ponzu, and bonito flakes lubricate the noodles and smoked pork shoulder adds the girth. You'll be happy you skipped the water weight thanks to the wide selection of house-brewed sake.
Long Island City, NY What you're getting: Mu ramen Once the last bagel of the day has been served, Bricktown Bagels makes the unlikely transition to world-class ramen shop. The 10-seat counter offers a killer tonkotsu with broth brewed over the course of a week from a cauldron of 100lbs of bones, but the move is to get weird with their signature Mu ramen: it's built on an oxtail and bone marrow broth with unconventional toppings like brisket, half-sour pickle, cabbage, and dried bamboo shoots.
San Francisco, CA What you're getting: Shoyu ramen A Japanese izakaya/yakitori-ya hybrid by both day and night, Nojo really comes alive at... brunch? Their ramen's only available on weekends at midday, but the scarcity can't subtract from the flavor. The shoyu broth is a stunner, and it's only intensified by a hunk of grilled chicken confit.
New Orleans, LA What you're getting: Eight-hour brisket bowl, chocolate cream pie Started as a pop-up in late 2013, N&P puts Tulane dorm room ramen to shame. In true NOLA fashion, the sweet-toothed, campus-area noodle shop is alive with color, from the bright-orange walls to dangling colored lights. They've gained a following for spot-on small plates like deep-fried Brussels, gluttonous desserts, and of course, steaming bowls of ramen. The crab broth with pork is a solid curiosity in the ramen canon, but the star is the eight-hour brisket bowl.
Santa Clara, CA What you're getting: The Orenchi ramen, duh From master ramen wizard Yoshiyuki Maruyama, Orenchi is more of an experience, as it often includes wait times that would rival any of the most popular rides at Disney World. (Except the Jungle Cruise. No one is really going on that anymore.) But there is a reason for that, and it is his almost perfect broth, made with kurobuta pork simmered for 18 hours, plus more pork, green onion, and a perfect soft-boiled egg. Just promise us you’ll go early. Like, really early.
Los Angeles, CA What you're getting: Tonkotsu, side of octopus/cod/potato Tako Tots For many, the ultimate bite of ramen comes with a mouthful of soy-soaked egg, so it's only natural that one of the newest bowls on the crowded, noodle-filled blocks of LA comes from an egg lover. Or to be exact, an Eggslut. The Ramen Champ dude's other huevo-centric venture draws huge lines, and his new Chinatown noodle shop is no different. The rich tonkotsu broth is tempered by fresh farmers' market veggies and that ever-important runny egg. Add an order of their take on traditional fried takoyaki balls and you'll certainly leave feeling like you're wearing a heavyweight belt.
San Jose, CA What you're getting: Halu ramen Don’t be weirded out by the aquarium atmosphere (are those fish on the ceiling?), this is the place you’re looking for. The move here is the signature Halu ramen, which -- unlike most -- comes from “two kinds of rich and clear soup broth blended.” That broth combination is not like most other ramens we’ve ever had, and some people find it a little bracing or even sour, but once you mix it in with the chashu pork, and those thick noodles, it all mixes together into some sort of alchemist magic potion of love.
New York, NY What you're getting: Torigara shoyu ramen Every shop on this list is capable of schooling your taste buds, but only one is also going to tantalize your mind. Ramen Lab serves as equal parts restaurant, school, and flavor laboratory. The operation is speaheaded by Sun Noodles, the go-to supplier for most of the nation's best shops, and a chef who was recognized as a master in Japan at the age of 25. The torigara shoyu chicken broth is made from a 105-year-old recipe, so the only reason not to order it would be if they've unveiled their forthcoming ramen flight menu option.
Oakland, CA What you're getting: Whatever miso ramen they’ve got Here’s a recipe for success: take three chefs from uber-lauded Chez Panisse, and have them break away to start a casual noodle shop in downtown Oakland offering up a limited menu of three types of ramen, plus a few apps and ice cream sandwiches. Since it opened, Ramen Shop has been an absolute success, not only because of the reps of its owners/chefs, but because of the quality of the salty, spicy broth. The last time we were there, they had a kogashi miso ramen with ground pork belly, and some sort of shoyu-marinated egg that was mind-melting. And then, of course, we ate black sesame ice cream sandwiches. Life was good.
Austin, TX What you're getting: Tonkotsu ramen Started by a DJ who's also staged at a Michelin-starred LA sushi joint, Tatsu-Ya steams their pork broth for 60 hours, resulting in a soup you can't help but slurp. Topped with perfectly charred chashu, a bowl of tonkotsu is definitely worth the hour-plus wait. Wash it down with either a Sapporo or a canned brew from Austin Beerworks.
Chicago, IL What you're getting: Roasted chicken shoyu ramen All the ramen joints on this list encourage slurping, but there's only one that wears their slurp on their sleeve. With a Michelin star to his name thanks to his eponymous fusion spot (whose Sunday ramen nights are quite popular in their own right), Chef Takashi opened Slurping Turtle and quickly catapulted to the top of Chicago's tonkotsu ranks. His traditional pork broth is the jam, but for a more unique offering, go with the roasted chicken shoyu featuring homemade noodles topped with poached egg, scallions, bok choy, and bamboo shoots.
Chicago, IL What you're getting: Tonkotsu with duck breast and Berkshire pork Strings reps the Second City with an arsenal of secret weapons up their broth-stained sleeves: an imported Japanese noodle machine, 48-hour Berkshire broth so thick they call it pork milk, and seldom-seen proteins like duck breast.
Houston, TX What you're getting: Garlic black bean ramen Houston's generally more of a pho town, but Tiger Den is making waves for a style of ramen most commonly seen in the Southwestern city of Fukuoka. The house-made noodles are thinner, firmer, and straighter than most. You won't be able to find their garlic-bombed black bean flavor anywhere else.
Washington, DC What you're getting: Taipei curry chicken Likely the only ramen shop on this list decked out with skateboards as hand rails, they're also known to throw pop-up parties for guitar-effect pedal companies. In addition to sake and nine Japanese beers, they're pouring off-the-wall cocktails like the pork belly-topped Toki Monster (Bulleit, Barenjager, Peat Monster Scotch). The vegetarian broth comes highly recommended, but the signature bowl is the Taipei curry chicken with a curry-infused tonkotsu broth.
New York, NY What you're getting: Totto spicy ramen Totto is a tiny Hell's Kitchen hide-out that chars each piece of pork with a blowtorch. The tiny space leaves little elbow room: if you're sitting at the bar, you'll probably feel some of the heat from the torch. The chicken stock of their original paitan ramen is souped up with spicy sesame oil that exponentially increases the umami. For competitive eaters, they've also got a mega-bowl loaded to the brim with pork. If the original shop is full, try their second location nearby.
Los Angeles, CA What you're getting: Tsukemen This LA institution consistently takes top honors in local polls for its house-made curly noodles and an exciting atmosphere that splits the difference between welcoming and exclusive. It's open until midnight, but expect a wait, made much more pleasant by a BYOB patio and neighboring Asian outposts hawking snacks like chicken lollipops. The move is the tsukemen, a bowl of fresh noodles accompanied by a concentrated dose of broth that will make your eyes roll back in your head.
Brooklyn, NY What you're getting: Kimchi ramen Ippudo and Momofuku might've started NYC's ramen craze, but Chuko is one of a new class of slurpers that deserves serious praise. The brainchild of three Morimoto expats, this austere Prospect Heights noodle nook has been slinging some of the city's best ramen since their opening in 2011. The veggie broth is surprisingly flavorful thanks to a healthy dose of natural MSG via seaweed, but the kimchi is the standout. For dessert, walk down the block to one of the 21 best ice cream shops in the nation, Ample Hills.
Seattle, WA What you're getting: Old-school shoyu ramen Six days a week, Tsukushinbo serves up some of the best sushi in Seattle, and on the seventh day they do the opposite of rest -- they ladle out perhaps the hardest-to-get ramen on this list. The broth of their old-school shoyu ramen takes four days to make, so they can only cook enough to feed a few dozen hungry fanatics on Friday afternoons. Wash it down with a side of crispy gyoza dumplings.
Los Angeles, CA What you're getting: Tonkotsu ramen Daikokuya is perhaps LA's most beloved ramen shop -- there's a line outside the nondescript Little Tokyo door most times of most days. Neophyte competitors have come in and made LA a ramen town, but this OG stands tall, thanks to a slow-cooked tonkotsu broth that somehow still manages to be silky rather than over-rich, and a rustic, traditional feel that transports you to Japan from the moment your name is called and you sit down at the ramen bar, feeling the steamy heat and getting ready to open your mouth -- and your veins -- to classic, salty goodness.
Detroit, MI What you're getting: Red curry If you're looking for sliders in the D, you go to Green Dot Stables. If you're looking for slurpers, you hit their other spot -- Johnny Noodle King. They do the typical shoyu and miso, but also lesser-known Japanese variants like the seafood-filled champon, and off-the-wall bowls like the pickled tomatillo Southwest and tomato broth Minestrone. Bonus points for the tableside torched mackarel and bacon fried rice.
Cleveland, OH What you're getting: Pork broth ramen After dark, this Cleveland Italian restaurant goes Gremlin and mutates into a devilishly delicious noodle house. Take a seat at the guitar-shaped bar and enjoy pork broth ramen with a side of Michelin star until 1am. Pro-tip: ask for an extra egg. Extra pro-tip: after eating, head downstairs for a cocktail.
Denver, CO What you're getting: Kimchi ramen with shredded pork If you've visited Momofuku in New York, walking into Uncle might feel like deja vu -- the plentiful bar seating, wall-to-wall wood paneling, and pulsing soundtrack all feel reminiscent. But owner Tommy Lee has never shied away from saying he was inspired by the hugely successful NYC ramen shop when he opened his own two years ago. Since the opening, he's been packing in crowds with a menu that's branched off into un-Momofuku-like directions -- bibimbap and sashimi, along with an array of seasonal ramen that pleases Mile High crowds on the daily: kimchi with shredded pork, prawns in a miso broth, and standbys like the spicy chicken or chashu.
New York, NY What you're getting: Chicken and dashi broth shio ramen Ivan is an unlikely ramen master. After a post-college stint in Japan, he went to the CIA and returned to the Land of the Rising Sun to open his own ramen shop. He gained unprecedented notoriety for a foreigner, then brought his skills back stateside to start a stand at the Gotham West Market and an LES brick-and-mortar. The broth leans more Japanese than most, using a double-broth technique with two separate stocks to create a flavor as complex as tonkotsu, but far lighter. Rye noodles further distinguish him from the pack. If you want to go experimental, try the four-cheese mazemen.
Austin, TX What you're getting: Spicy tonkotsu Kome offers affordable sushi, an unpretentious environment, and most importantly, a killer lunch-only bowl of spicy tonkotsu. It spins the creamy flavor of the traditional broth into a chile-infused bomb of savory that's perfectly complemented by subtle fish cakes, generous sticks of ginger, and the all-important soy-soaked egg.
New York, NY What you're getting: Shiromaru Hakata Classic A worldwide ramen empire launched in Toyko in 1985, Ippudo is one of the undeniable OGs of NYC's ramen scene. Their two NYC-based shops are known for their classic tonkotsu, which on paper may look like anyone else's, but comes with a side of intangible excellence that has made Ippudo a must for any ramen pilgrim. And thankfully, they'll be making it easier to get your hands on their ramen via a to-go option at their new Times Square location in the ROW NYC Hotel.
Cambridge, MA What you're getting: Buta Ra-men If there's one thing Boston has, it's freezing temperatures. And if there's one thing that combats cold, it's ramen. So naturally, the ramen playing field is crowded, but most agree that Yume is the top slurping dog. They don't consider themselves a traditional ramen shop, but rather "a place where dreams are achieved." Basically, if you can finish their massive bowl, you can do anything! It's an unconventional concept, but their ramen is so dreamy that it's not unheard of to see a two-hour line for the 24-hour pork broth, whose richness is soaked up by a thick in-house noodle. Pro-tip: go with five slices of pork instead of the standard two. Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun. Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's National Food and Drink team. He slurps with reckless abandon and never abandons a bowl until he's recklessly full. Follow him to obnoxiously loud slurping sounds at @Dannosphere.
1. Bassanova Ramen76 Mott St, New York
2. Biwa215 SE 9th Ave, Portland
3. Boxer Ramen1025 SW Stark St, Portland
4. CHeU noodle bar255 S 10th St, Philadelphia
5. Lucky Belly50 N Hotel St, Honolulu
6. Momi Ramen5 SW 11th St, Miami
7. Momofuku Noodle Bar171 1st Ave, New York
8. Moto-i2940 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
9. Mu Ramen1209 Jackson Ave, Queens
10. Nojo231 Franklin St, San Francisco
11. Noodle & Pie741 State St, New Orleans
12. Orenchi Ramen3540 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
13. Ramen Champ727 N Broadway, Los Angeles
14. Ramen Halu375 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
15. Ramen Lab70 Kenmare St, New York
16. Ramen Shop5812 College Ave, Oakland
17. Ramen Tatsu-Ya8557 Research Blvd, Austin
18. Slurping Turtle116 W Hubbard St, Chicago
19. Strings Ramen Shop2141 S Archer Ave, Chicago
20. Tiger Den9889 Bellaire Blvd, Houston
21. Toki Underground1234 H Street NE, Washington
22. Totto Ramen366 W 52nd St, New York
23. Tsujita Annex2014 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
24. Chuko552 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn
25. Tsukushinbo515 S Main St, Seattle
26. Daikokuya327 E 1st St, Los Angeles
27. Johnny Noodle King2601 W Fort St, Detroit
28. Dante2247 Professor Ave, Cleveland
29. Uncle2215 W 32nd Ave, Denver
30. Ivan Ramen600 11th Ave, New York
31. Kome4917 Airport Blvd, Austin
32. Ippudo65 4th Ave, New York
33. Yume Wo Katare1923 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
The interior of Bassanova Ramen on the Lower East Side (bordering Chinatown) is decidedly chic and minimalist, but don't let its ascetic decor fool you -- this highly lauded ramen joint doles out bold, intense flavors by the bowlful. The cozy, subterranean space is cash-only, and an open kitchen lets you see exactly how your meal is made. Sidle up to the counter and try its trademark dish -- green-curry ramen with a soft-boiled egg.
Biwa is a Japanese restaurant serving up yakitori, ramen, and the occasional burger in SE Portland.
This place is all about creating a dish, executing it well, and selling it for a decent price in a good environment. Nestled at the front end of Union Way plaza, this place has been the best place to get ramen in Downtown since its opening, and a great place to stop for post-shopping lunch.
Manned by the Matyson chef who created a bit of a stir in naming his ramen pop-up "Roundeye", Cheu Noodle Bar's a permanent Center City lunch (and dinner) counter that's only stirring up deliciousness, like mustard greens-packed lamb's neck soup, slow-cooked pork belly buns, and black garlic chicken wings.
This Chinatown spot serves Asain style dishes like shrimp gyoza, ramen, oxtail dumplings, and thai red curry with coconut gnocchi. Lucky Belly itself might be a popular nighttime spot, but the late-night takeout window is the real pro move -- the menu is constantly changing, but the bites will only cost you around $5. Past window menu items have included bacon kimchi fried rice and a pork belly bao.
Unlike the cheap ramen you had back in college, Momi (who traveled Japan for a half-dozen years) has mastered the ramen to its purest perfection.
Momofuku has the OG pork bun that spurred a million copycats, and it’s surprisingly simple: steamed bao, roasted belly, cucumbers, and scallions. By now, most people are familiar with David Chang's culinary empire. The chef's Midas touch has blessed diners with a slew of Momofuku-associated venues offering cocktails, pastries, and fine-dining -- but above all is his ramen. Chang worked in Japanese shops way back in the early aughts before jump-starting the NYC ramen craze in 2004, and the varieties here are loaded with pork belly and pork shoulder, smoked chicken, and veggie options with chickpea and kale.
A Japanese resto that is also a sake brewery (!), serving their in-house namazake on draft alongside eats like Tokyo frites and miso popcorn on a sweet patio.
What started in the back of a bagel shop in Queens has become a molten-lava-hot spot. Expect top-notch ramen like the namesake Mu Ramen, with an oxtail and bone marrow-based broth, brisket, a half sour pickle, menma, cabbage, and scallions, plus delicious non-ramen touches like deep-fried chicken wings stuffed with foie and brioche.
Instead of tonkotsu pork broth, this ramen tavern in Hayes Valley serves paitan broth, a rich and milky broth made with chicken. Nojo's menu features five kinds of ramen with additional toppings like meatballs and a poached egg. There are also izakaya-style small bites like hand-made gyoza and teriyaki chicken buns, plus sake, shochu, wine, and beer.
Ramen and pie is the speciality at this Asian fusion restaurant. The move at Noodle & Pie is to start with a few small plates (okonomiyaki fries, deep-fried Brussels sprouts, Korean fried chicken) before moving on to a bowl of shoyu chicken ramen and finally, a slice of pie -- like the spicy Thai peanut butter cup with chocolate crust -- for dessert.
Long before Orenchi Beyond opened to eager ramen-lovers in the Mission, folks made the trek to Santa Clara for these unparalleled bowls. The OG Orenchi may look unassuming, tucked away in a run-down strip mall, but their ramen still attracts waits of two hours or more. Don't get cute, just get the signature Orenchi ramen made with kurobuta pork simmered for 18 hours, plus more pork, green onion, and a perfect soft-boiled egg. Oh, and don't get there late. You'll be waiting even longer.
The Eggslut guy opened up this ramen restaurant in the same center as Chego! in Chinatown. If you're not excited by that, you 1) are dead, 2) have never been to Eggslut, or 3) don't like ramen. In any of those cases, we are very, very sorry for you.
Don’t be weirded out by the aquarium atmosphere (are those fish on the ceiling?) -- this is the place you’re looking for. The move here is the signature Halu ramen, which -- unlike most -- comes from “two kinds of rich and clear soup broth blended.” That broth combination is not like most other ramens we’ve ever had, and some people find it a little bracing or even sour, but once you mix it in with the chashu pork, and those thick noodles, it all mixes together into some sort of alchemist magic potion of love.
A culinary laboratory devoted to all things ramen, this pint-sized shop operates as a casual counter service spot with a test kitchen cranking out creative iterations of the satisfying noodle soup daily. Run in conjunction with Sun Noodle, a premier ramen purveyor with over 30 years of experience under their belts, you can rest assured what you'll be slurping at Ramen Lab is fresh, delicious, and authentic.
Not just what you once subsisted on in college (and that one time after you spent a little too much in Vegas), ramen's a legit meal, further proved by Oakland's newest noodly spot appropriately called Ramen Shop. They're featuring a rotating menu of threeish ramens and a full cocktail menu including 12-yr-old Japanese whiskeys.
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.
The celebrated chef of Bucktown's Takashi is recreating childhood memories of noisy noodle bowls and other Japanese comfort food in ST's open kitchen, which overlooks a 30-seat communal wooden table hovered over by a mezzanine. We think that Slurping Turtle is one of the best restaurants in Chicago.
Using a Japanese noodle-making machine, Strings churns out some of the best bowls of ramen in town. Thick, flavorful pork broth and perfectly textured noodles bring this place to the next level of slurpy goodness.
Tiger Den is making waves for a style of ramen most commonly seen in the city of Fukuoka with housemade noodles that are thinner, firmer, and straighter than most. But there's also a huge, delicious selection of yakitori with special glazes, marinades, oils and seasonings.
One of the first authentic ramen joints in DC, Toki Underground serves comforting noodle dishes inspired by Chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s culinary memories -- whether it’s the Taipei ramen shop he worked at or the family-made dumplings he ate growing up. Made with that much TLC, the dishes here are well worth the occasionally long lunchtime wait. You’ll want to dig into the Toki Classic, a steaming bowl of ramen topped with pulled pork and a soft-boiled egg, and sip -- or bomb -- one of the specialty sakes.
Eating a meal at Totto Ramen is essentially like eating a meal in Tokyo -- without the air miles or baggage fees. This small ramen restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and serves up a variety of different ramen bowls and Japanese appetizers. It gets pretty crowded around dinnertime, so we suggest stopping by for lunch if you want more space to enjoy your tasty ramen bowl.
A small noodle house known for their extra-thick broth.
The brainchild of three Morimoto expats, this Prospect Heights noodle nook slings some of the city's best ramen. Standouts include the surprisingly flavorful veggie broth and the kimchi ramen, but the classic miso and soy varieties aren't too shabby either.
The teeny-tiny Tsukushinbo dishes up its infamous ramen just once a week, only on Fridays. The spot only makes about 50 bowls, so check 'em out to get it while it’s hot.
A mainstay in the ramen culture of LA (some may even argue that it started the trend), Daikokuya has been serving long lines of customers for years, satisfying them with its straightforward and scrumptious bowls of chewy noodles and rich broth, plus some stupid-good gyoza. Walk inside and you'll feel as though you've entered a bare-bones side-street shop in Tokyo. Slightly grungy and reverberating the sounds of loud Japanese orders and greetings, the space has red booths for you and your friends to squeeze into, and some counter seating, too.
Motor City was due for some ramen-y goodness, and Johnny Noodle King delivers with an eclectic menu full up with some Thai-style red curry ramen, a little Vietnamese pho, and plenty of Japanese-style goodness.
After dark, this Cleveland Italian restaurant goes Gremlin and mutates into a devilishly delicious noodle house.
Uncle is a pleasantly boisterous Asian Fusion restaurant in the Highland Parks neighborhood. The chefs' creative takes on ramen dishes are becoming local favorites on its lengthy, diverse menu.
Famed Chef Ivan Orkin is serving up five different rice and noodle dishes at this storefront Slurp Shop. Although you should try them all (immediately!), it's not all ramen here: don't forget about the breakfast buns, pork meatballs, or roasted beets
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.
As the flagship (and first international) location of the acclaimed Japanese ramen empire, the East Village's Ippudo holds one of the catalyst titles for the noodle craze. Get there past 5pm and you'll bear witness to the restaurant's absurd popularity due to its ultra-rich tonkotsu pork ramen with house-made noodles, and secret "Umami Dama" in the Akamaru Modern bowl.
Yume Wo Katare serves ramen, and nothing but ramen. Each bowl is filled with rich and silky broth, a mountain of long noodles, and thick-cut slices of tender pork. The portions are huge, and once you've slurped your last noodle, a waiter will give you a piece of paper to write your life goals, which will then be hung on the wall. The tiny Cambridge spot racks up quite a crowd, so be prepared to wait at peak lunch and dinner hours.