Mao Goto is a Japanese freelancer who was born in Hayama, Kanagawa prefecture, and raised in Tokyo. Since 2016 she lives in the Taito Ward, home to a lot of Japanese culture hotspots such as Asakusa, Akihabara, and Ueno. She has been interested in the field of English education in Japan and got her Master’s degree in March 2020. A lover of photography, travel, sweets, and cross-stitch. Contact her via Facebook.
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When visiting Tokyo, you will surely spend a lot of time exploring all the wonderful sights and activities the city has to offer, but make sure to set plenty of time aside for its amazing food scene, too.
Although originating from China, today ramen is seen as a classic Japanese dish and it comes in many varieties, from tonkotsu and miso to soy sauce and salt, each with their own exquisite flavor. In recent years, ramen has also become popular overseas, and you can now find ramen shops in cities such as New York, London and Paris.
Tokyo has an overwhelming number of ramen shops, and each one has its own unique take on this classic noodle dish and prepares it with utmost effort. Read on for a list of some of the best ramen shops to visit in Tokyo for a delicious bowl of steaming goodness!
1. Hachigo (中華そば銀座八合)
At the michelin star Chuka-Soba Ginza Hachigo you will find a superb ramen created by a chef originally specializing in French cuisine. The soup of their so-called “Ajitama Chinese Ramen” is made by slowly simmering seafood, mushrooms and several types of vegetables – like a Chinese-style consommé – and it offers a refined and refreshing taste.
2. Ramen Jiro (ラーメン二郎)
If you are a ramen lover already, you have probably heard of Ramen Jiro. Ramen Jiro has its main shop in Mita and locations throughout Tokyo, and the chain is famous for its devoted fans, known as “Jirorians”. Toppings include chashu pork, garlic, vegetables, and karame (concentrated soy sauce), allowing customers to customize the ramen to their liking. Ramen Jiro has had a huge impact on the ramen industry, and the mountain of vegetables in each bowl as well as the rich, fatty flavor make this an unforgettable ramen.
3. Tsuta (蔦)
Tsuta, located in Yoyogi, serves up noodles made from 100% domestic wheat, and a slowly simmered soup based on fish, chicken and pork. The restaurant offers three types of ramen: soy sauce (shoyu), salt (shio), and tsukemen (noodles with dipping sauce), each using high-quality ingredients for the broth. The ingredients are carefully selected to create a superb ramen that has won the hearts and stomachs of many patrons. Tsuta was the first ramen restaurant to receive a Michelin star!
Official website: Ramen Tsuta
4. Kagari (銀座篝本店)
Kagari, a famous ramen restaurant in Ginza, has been selected and mentioned in the Michelin Guide for two consecutive years. The restaurant’s signature dish is “Tori paitan soba”, which is based on a rich chicken broth. This cloudy white chicken broth is made by slowly simmering sakura-dori (さくらどり), a highly regarded brand of chicken from Kagoshima Prefecture. The rich chicken flavor will delight your tastebuds the moment you savor the first spoonful, and soon you will fall in love with its deliciousness. If you are looking for authentic ramen in Ginza, Kagari is the place to go.
Official website: Ginza Kagari
5. Konjiki Hototogisu (SOBAHOUSE 金色不如帰 新宿御苑本店)
Konjiki Hototogisu is a ramen restaurant located in Shinjuku Gyoen, and with only 10 seats inside the restaurant it usually draws a long line and is often fully booked from the time it opens, even on weekday mornings. Shio and shoyu ramen are available, but the most popular item on the menu is the “shio ramen with sea bream and clams”. These are rare ingredients for soup stock, and the ramen is furthermore seasoned with truffle oil and porcini pesto, hinting towards Italian cuisine. If you are looking for a creative take on ramen that goes beyond traditional Japanese cuisine, visit this Shinjuku gem.
Official website: Konjiki Hototogisu
6. Dokutsuya (洞くつ家)
Dokutsuya is a ramen restaurant located in Kichijoji where customers can customize the porkbone shoyu ramen to their liking by choosing the preferred level of flavor intensity, amount of oil and noodle texture. The noodles have a sticky texture and mix very well with the rich broth.
7. Ushio (麺巧 潮)
Ushio, located in Awajicho, is a wonderful ramen shop serving up two different kinds of ramen: white and black. The white ramen is based on a thick chicken soup and is served with asparagus wrapped in pieces of meat, a rare topping for ramen, which adds a unique touch. The black ramen comes with a rich soy sauce broth and is topped with a half-boiled egg and juicy chashu pork for a simple, classic taste that never gets old. Choose your ramen based on your mood or favorite color!
8. Akanoren (赤のれん)
Akanoren is an authentic ramen restaurant from Hakata, known for their mouth-watering tonkotsu (porkbone-based) ramen. The tonkotsu broth at Akanoren, which is slowly cooked for a whole day, has a superbly rich flavor and a clean aftertaste, thanks to the careful selection and preparation of the pork. Thin noodles are used for this ramen, and they are a perfect match for the delicious soup. Akanoren’s special tonkotsu ramen is the kind of ramen you’ll want to eat on a cold evening in Roppongi!
Official website: Akanoren
9. Goryokaku (五稜郭)
Goryokaku is a ramen restaurant in Ogikubo specializing in Sapporo-style shio ramen, and it’s perfect for those who just want a simple and tasty bowl of ramen. The beautiful, clear broth is made from plenty of seafood, and the light flavor is so addictive that we are sure you’ll be coming back for more!
10. Menya Musashi (麺屋 武蔵)
Menya Musashi is unique in the way it uses two different kinds of broth – porkbone and seafood – which results in ramen with an exquisite and complex character. Their seafood broth is made with large amounts of dried Pacific saury and rausu kelp, and the porkbone broth is slowly simmered with several kinds of vegetables to create a perfect flavor combination. Enjoy this perfect ramen at their stylish bar counter!
Official website: Menya Musashi
Which of these 10 ramen shops will you be visiting during your trip to Tokyo? Ramen is a big part of Japanese food culture, and chefs constantly strive to perfect their recipes to provide the ultimate bowl of steaming deliciousness to their patrons. There’s a world of ramen waiting for you in Tokyo!
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