10 Best Ramen Restaurants in Kyoto

Food & Drinks in Kyoto
Menbakaichidai with permission
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Misty Fujii is a Canadian who moved to Osaka, Japan in 2019 and married her Japanese sweetheart. In 2022 they had a baby and moved to Fukui for the clean country air. She is a DJ who teaches English part time and writes in order to share Japan with the world. She gets excited about collecting vintage vinyl records, food of all countries, travelling and renovating her traditional Japanese house.

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Slurp your way through Kyoto! An area known for its ancient temples and serene gardens has a hidden delight bubbling beneath the surface: ramen that’ll rock your taste buds. We’re diving chopsticks first into Kyoto’s culinary scene to uncover the 10 Best Ramen Restaurants that’ll have you swapping your temple tour for a noodle tour. 

From rich, velvety broths to savory, mouthwatering toppings, these bowls are the stuff of legends. So, loosen that belt a notch, and let’s embark on a flavorful journey through Kyoto! 

1. Seikoudoku

Take a quick 20-minute jaunt from Kyoto City to Uji, and you’ll discover a ramen spot worth the journey. Seikoudoku is Japan’s top dog for soupless tantanmen ramen, racking up accolades like nobody’s business. This unassuming joint offers ramen and other delectable options like spicy fried noodles, charcoal-flavored mixed noodles, and the beloved white miso Chinese soba. The ramen sells out fast, making only one batch of noodles each day, so get there early!

Website: Seikoudoku

2. No Name Ramen

Genjitsutouhi.com

In Kyoto, a humble, nameless ramen spot has crafted a solid reputation solely through its exceptional ramen. This hidden gem lacks flashy signage or easy discovery; you must know about it. Beyond the unassuming entrance lies a stylish haven with industrial-chic decor and a touch of greenery, almost cafe-like. The real magic happens when you customize your bowl, offering choices of rich or light broths or a fusion of both. No Name Ramen shines in its meticulous attention to veggies alongside the meat and noodles, which takes the ramen here to a whole new level and keeps faithful fans returning. 

Address: B1, CEO Kiyamachi Building, 534-31, Ebisu-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

(Japanese Address: 中京区蛭子町534-31, CEO木屋町ビルB1)

3. Vegan Ramen UZU Kyoto

Kanesue, (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Vegan Ramen UZU Kyoto earned a coveted Bib Gourmand award in the 2023 MICHELIN Guide, which means the ramen here is incredible but can only be enjoyed by making a reservation in advance. Feast your eyes on teamLab‘s Reversible Rotation artwork adorning the walls and the polished black table, immersing you in creativity as you savor vegan delights. The ramen’s soul lies in a 12-hour broth steeped in Rausu kelp, Japanese shiitake mushrooms, and veggies. Noodles? They blend Hokkaido’s finest with organic whole-grain flour from Aya, Miyazaki. The menu boasts soy sauce, spicy miso, green tea-based ramen, and seasonal dishes bursting with herbs and veggies.

It’s culinary artistry that transcends table boundaries, and those bowls? Almost too pretty to eat, but the taste? Awe-inspiring. This dark and dramatic space, a global artists’ collective creation, sets the stage for visionary owner-chef Ryo Kataoka’s vegan ramen revolution. Experience it, a glimpse into the future of soulful Japanese cuisine.

Website: Vegan Ramen UZU Kyoto

4. Menbakaichidai

Menbakaichidai via Facebook with permission

Kyoto Fire Ramen Menbakaichidai, a small yet legendary ramen spot, sets itself apart with its flaming ramen. Established in 1984, it originally served various ramen types. Still, it became famous for Fire Ramen, thanks to abundant, flavorful green onions. When you order your ramen, a colossal mound of green onions envelops your noodles, and after a safety check, scalding oil transforms the scene into a fiery spectacle. But fear not; once the flames subside, you’ll have a flavorful bowl of soup and intact eyebrows. The fiery show serves a purpose, infusing a delicate flavor into the broth. Menbakaichidai stands unapologetically bold as the go-to spot for unforgettable Kyoto dining.

Website: Menbakaichidai

5. Ginjo Ramen Kubota

Ginjo Ramen Kubota, near Kyoto Station, needs no intro among locals. Their star dish, a rich seafood miso tsukemen, is a must-try. Thick miso broth clings to chewy noodles, delivering a unique umami punch. What’s remarkable is their dedication to perfection, crafting not just tsukemen but all their dishes into edible art. With a tiny 8-10 seat space run by two young maestros, you get a front-row view of culinary magic. Don’t be surprised if you leave an enthusiastic fan; it’s really good! Soak up the quaint Japanese atmosphere and dig in.

Website: Ginjo Ramen Kubota

6. Shinpuku Saikan – Main Shop

Guilhem Vellut, (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Shinpuku Saikan was born from a humble food stall in 1938 near Kyoto Station and now stands as an iconic ramen spot. Their claim to fame? A dark soy sauce-based broth with a flavorful Kujo onion twist. And don’t overlook their lip-smacking dark fried rice (yaki-meshi). This place is the original for Kyoto ramen, concocting rich, ebony broths from chicken and pork bones. They’ve been dishing out this magic forever and have loyal fans nationwide. In Kyoto’s ramen battleground, Shinpuku Saikan is one of the magnificent seven known nationwide as “Kyoto Ramen.” It’s history in a bowl!

Website: Shinpuku Saikan

7. Ramen Sen no Kaze

u dou, (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr

Ramen Sen no Kaze, a laid-back noodle bar, is all about authentic ramen. Their tonkatsu and chintan soups, creamy and clear, respectively, cater to both hearty and health-conscious appetites. With natural, safe ingredients, they offer Shio, Shoyu, and Miso pork-based options alongside seafood-based varieties like Sen no Shio and Kii Soba. Simplicity reigns on their menu, and you won’t need a reservation to dive into your customized bowl of goodness. Don’t rush; soak in the music-filled ambiance (the owner loves jazz!), and let every slurp bring a bit of happiness to your day. 

Website: Ramen Sen no Kaze

8. Menya Gokkei

Menya Gokkei, nestled in Kyoto’s ramen mecca of Ichijoji, is a beloved haunt for ramen enthusiasts. Their claim to fame? Incredibly thick chicken ramen that’s so hearty, rumors suggest your spoon might stand upright in it. Aptly named “extreme chicken” (Gokkei), this place doesn’t disappoint. Menya Gokkei’s ramen offers a perfect balance, from angular noodles with a bit of bite to massive pork chashu covering half the bowl, zesty leek accents, and satisfyingly chewy menma bamboo shoots. With four variations of their signature “tori-daku” broth, Menya Gokkei is the go-to spot for those craving rich, thick ramen. Just make sure you arrive with a hearty appetite!

Website: Menya Gokkei

9. Ramen Touhichi

Ramen Touhichi, boasting a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, defies the heavy ramen trend by championing Tokyo’s “clear-water” style. They craft a divine dashi using only local, free-range chicken and water. Try their signature ‘Chicken-and-soy-sauce Ramen’ with raw soy sauce kaeshi and medium-thick flat noodles, letting the rich broth shine. With no additives or MSG, they use top-notch ingredients, like solid black chicken from Tanba and Kochin from Nagoya, and a unique soy sauce blend. Quality Hokkaido flour elevates their noodles. Expect a wait, but savor this chicken and soy sauce masterpiece in a Kyoto-modern ambiance.

Website: Ramen Touhichi

10. Menkiya

Menkiya has locations near Omiya Station and Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station and is your go-to spot for top-notch ramen. They’re all about that “enjoy-every-day” ramen vibe, using Kyoto’s finest ingredients. Their Roast Pork Noodles are a porky umami explosion, and you can dial up the heat with their Spicy Noodles. Plus, they treat you to Uji matcha post-meal, sourced from a 120-year-old matcha supplier. It’s the perfect taste of Kyoto!

Website: Menkiya

Japan Wonder Travel Food Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Fish Market Tour @Tsukiji – Enjoy Local Food and Drink
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English speaking guide! 

tsukiji tour

Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour: Experience Tokyo’s Nightlife in Izakaya
Check out the best spots in Shinjuku while bar hopping through the lively and vibrant area. Try some delicious local food and drink as you explore the narrow yet photogenic alleys that the town has to offer. Experience Japanese izakaya culture and drink in Shinjuku like the locals!

shinjuku-drinking-tour

Kyoto Food and Drink Tour @Nishiki Street
If you’re looking to learn more about the culture and the local cuisine of Kyoto, this is the perfect tour for you! Take part in this Kyoto food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the surrounding areas.

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