The 17 Best Ramen Joints in NYC
Order up a bowl and get to slurping.
While ramen is most closely associated with Japan—where diners casually queue up in lengthy lunch lines for the popular dish —“the roots of ramen come from Chinese noodles,” asserts Tokyo-based ramen enthusiast John Hirai, one of the top ramen reviewers in all of Japan on respected restaurant ratings site, Tabelog.
Hirai goes on to explain the soup’s early history: In the mid-1850s, the Chinese began immigrating to Japan, and in 1910 the country landed its first ramen shop, Rairaiken, which combined Chinese noodle dishes with Japanese food culture. And the single shop’s tremendous success inspired other ramenya to follow.
Fast-forwarding to ramen’s current-day popularity in the States (it can now be found in every major U.S. city), NYC was one of the earliest American cities to embrace the dish, and over the last decade, the Big Apple has become ground zero for countless ramen iterations, from temperatures hot to cold, broths rich to lean, and noodles thick to thin.
Below, we’ve rounded up 17 of NYC’s most essential ramen spots, available for outdoor dining and/or delivery/takeout. And as always, please wear a mask and social distance responsibly.
The top order at this long established Prospect Heights neighborhood favorite is Chuko’s Hakata-style sesame garlic ramen (that’s been on the menu for a full decade for good reason). This rich, cloudy pork and chicken broth is deeply flavored with a sesame-garlic umami and black garlic oil, and comes with thin noodles, spicy pickled mustard greens, wood ear mushrooms and scallion.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via website, Caviar, DoorDash.
With locations in Hell’s Kitchen and the West Village, this American import of a Japan-based chain focuses on Iekei-style bowls, a tonkotsu/shoyu variety originally hailing from the city of Yokohama. Here, go for the E.A.K. shoyu, with a soup made from a broth blend that’s partly rich pork-based tonkotsu with chicken and soy-based shoyu added. Its noodles are short and thick, and the soup comes garnished with a seasoned egg, pork chashu, spinach, and nori.
How to order: Outdoor seating available, order takeout and delivery via Postmates.
This minimalist-designed spicy ramen stalwart serves some of Queens’ best ramens in a myriad of regional Japanese styles. But the signature order here is the HinoMaru namesake, a richer Hakata-style (aka tonkotsu) 17-hour simmered pork bone broth with thin noodles, chashu pork, scallion, bean sprouts, nori, wood ear mushrooms, and the special “fire ball” chili sauce. Patrons also have the option to customize bowls with additional garnishes like butter or a poached egg.
How to order: Outdoor seating available (call 718-777-0228 in advance), order takeout via website.
An early favorite in NYC’s ramen invasion, this Japanese chain export that drew crazy lines for its milky tonkotsu landed in the East Village over a decade ago. And after a 12-year run in Manhattan, it wasn’t until this past summer that the soup slinger started to offer takeout and delivery from its East Village and Hell’s Kitchen locations (their 5th Avenue spot remains closed). To this day, Ippudo’s creamy pork-based broth holds up against any other. The shop offers a few soup options with its signature broth, such as Shiromaru Motoaji, organized with thick and chewy house-made noodles, chashu pork, mushrooms, scallion, bamboo shoots, and fish cake.
How to order: Order from East Village (takeout via website, delivery via Grubhub, UberEats) and Hell’s Kitchen (takeout via website, delivery via Grubhub, UberEats).
Chef Ivan Orkin’s ramen shop has been a fixture on the Lower East Side since its 2014 debut, with one of its most popular menu items a ramen Orkin developed while living in Tokyo (he commanded a ramenya of the same name for eight years there). Go for the Tokyo shio (shio means salt in Japanese), which is made with a split base of chicken broth and dashi, poured atop of a mess of thin, straight rye noodles, fortified with pork belly, a soft egg, and roasted tomato.
How to order: Reservations for outdoor seating available via OpenTable, order takeout and delivery via Caviar, GrubHub, Postmates, UberEats.
Jun-Men Ramen Bar
With its bright, open, and modern feel, Jun-Men—helmed by chef Jun Park—specializes in a hybrid Hokkaido-meets-NYC-style ramen made from a rich pork bone broth (simmered from three different types of bones for over 18 hours) that’s luxurious but not too heavy. The pork bone ramen comes with a twist of straight noodles, loaded with chashu pork, a soft-boiled egg, scallion, wood ear mushroom, and bamboo shoots.
How to order: Outdoor seating available, order takeout via website and delivery via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates.
A twist on Tokyo-style shoyu ramen, chef and owner (and former Ippudo chef) “Foo” Kanegae’s Point Blank Ramen hit the menu this past October, and was so well-received (even during COVID) that it has quickly become a staple. The Fukuoka native builds his broth with pork and horseradish, adds thin, wavy noodles, and tops the broth with pork chashu, scallions, wasabi tobiko, and wasabi oil. On the side patrons snag a vial of yuzu juice, and Kanegae suggests adding it halfway through slurping to change up the soup’s flavors.
How to order: Outdoor seating available, order takeout via website and delivery via Caviar, GrubHub.
This totally unfussy, shoe box-sized joint is part of NYC’s original ramen wave, having earned a devout following over the last 16 years for its serious bowls. Fans come for the signature pork and chicken bone broth, with customizable flavorings like soy or salt, and various noodles options from thin to thick to gluten-free. Expect classic toppings like pork chashu, wood ear mushrooms, scallion, and seasoned egg. Note: it’s cash only.
How to order: Outdoor seating available; order takeout and delivery via DoorDash, Seamless.
Mr. Taka Ramen
Chef and owner Takatoshi Nagara earned a Michelin star slinging ramen in Tokyo at his eatery, Bigiya Ramen, before launching this blonde wood-bedecked sophomore effort in NYC five years ago. Fans especially line up for his Tokyo-style tonkotsu ramen, which has a 12-hour-simmered pork bone broth inlaid with thin, straight noodles, all with the option to be made spicy with a house-made chili oil and paste.
How to order: Outdoor seating available; call 212-614-1810 for takeout, order delivery via Postmates.
This quirky cocktail bar is the sophomore effort from rockstar barman Shige Kabashima, who cut his teeth at lauded Japanese cocktail den, Angel’s Share, before debuting his first solo project, ROKC (also on this list). In addition to curious and elaborately garnished cocktails flavored with ingredients like palo santo, one should come for izakaya-style bites and ramen selections that are both warm and cold. Don’t miss the brothless uni and salmon roe option, which involves thickly-cut, extra chewy noodles topped with shiso and nori.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy for outdoor seating, order takeout and delivery via Grubhub.
Lauded Japanese ramen slinger Shigetoshi Nakamura first impressed New Yorkers with his balanced broths at Sun Noodle’s Ramen Lab back in 2015, and soon after he decamped to launch his own venture with Ramen Nakamura, a narrow spot that seated 18 when indoor dining was still allowed. Many of its ramen enthusiasts come for the Torigara, a lighter-style Jidori chicken broth seasoned with soy, loaded with the diner’s choice of noodle, and garnished with spinach, chashu, scallion oil, bamboo shoots, and fish cake.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast, and delivery via Caviar.
Celebrated for his ornate tipples served in wacky vessels, this is the first solo project from acclaimed barman Shige Kabashima, formerly of lauded drinks den Angel’s Share. And new to his team is Sapporo, Japan-native chef Takashi Igarashi (previously of Odo and Kyo Ya) who has just added a ramen inspired by the soup-style popular in his home city. The Sapporo calls for a chicken and house-made miso broth, and it’s spiked with butter and garnished with bean sprouts, scallion, and chicken char siu.
How to order: Outdoor seating is first come, first serve. Order takeout and delivery via Grubhub, Seamless.
Shinka Ramen & Sake Bar
Despite an expansive menu with options like burgers and truffles fries, skip right to the ramen. The order here is the beef bone marrow ramen for which Shinka has won several awards. Though this is a Japanese soup—made from 14-hour simmered wagyu bones with their marrow—chef Waki Ng was initially inspired by a richly-flavored Korean beef-based soup called seolleongtang. The result is a creamy gyukotu-style (beef) ramen that hails from Japan’s Tottori Prefecture, with thin noodles, wagyu brisket, sliced daikon, garlic chips, chives, scallion and the signature broiled bone marrow.
How to order: Outdoor seating available, order takeout via website in addition to takeout and delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless, UberEats
Before opening in 2018, chef Tomo Kubo slept at his restaurant for a week so that he could closely monitor his uber rich pork broth—one that he strived to make not just the richest in NYC, but the whole country. This broth takes more than 60 hours to refine, and that’s because Kubo believes that a long, slow cook is the only way to extract all flavor from the pork bones. Straight from the heart of Tokyo, come for the Jiro-style (large, heaping portions) tonkotsu tsukemen (dip ramen). Noodles are so thick and chewy that the TabeTomo team nicknamed this dish “mochi ramen.”
How to order: Outdoor seating available, order takeout and delivery via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub.
At this modern and new American izakaya that serves ramen, come here for the wantan-men—basically the Japanese take on wonton soup—in this case a fish and pork broth with thin noodles, loaded with pork and shrimp dumplings, broccoli rabe, chashu pork, scallions, nori, and yuzu zest.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy for outdoor seating, Order takeout and delivery via website, Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless, UberEats.
While this spunky, hip, three-year-old izakaya-inspired eatery (which originally opened in Japan almost three decades ago) sometimes blends flavors from Japan and the U.S. via dishes from curry cheese chicken wings, it’s the ramen you’re here to experience. The classic Tokyo tonkotsu is the only item still on the menu since day one, consisting of thin house-made noodles in a thick tonkotsu pork broth, with chashu pork, soft-boiled seasoned egg, scallion, bamboo shoots and nori.
How to order: Outdoor seating available, order takeout via website and delivery via GrubHub.
This popular midtown staple (with locations in Hell’s Kitchen and Midtown East) is part of the city’s older ramen guard and maintains its street cred even after a decade in the game. Patrons frequent Totto for its bird-based broths laced with chicken fat richness, tangled with thin, wavy noodles. Bowls are minimalist-adorned, with nori, scallion, onion, char siu and wood ear mushrooms.
How to order: Outdoor seating available; order from Hell’s Kitchen (takeout and delivery via Grubhub, Seamless, UberEats), order from Midtown East (takeout and delivery via Grubhub, Seamless, UberEats).