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  • Frank Striegl

Tokyo Ramen - BEST 10 Shops

The Tokyo Ramen scene is a deep one...there are literally thousands of shops to choose from! But we've sifted through them to deliver you this Best 10 Tokyo ramen shop list.

Furthermore, each of the 10 shops below are known for different ramen styles. We're covering everything from rich miso ramen to Michelin star spicy tantanmen. Let's get to it!

1. Classic Shoyu Ramen at Harukiya

To start things off, we're zooming in on classic shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. In 1910, the first ever ramen shop served this style. While they're no longer around, Harukiya (春木屋) is. They opened in 1949 and are still going strong in Tokyo's Ogikubo neighborhood.

Besides the carefully prepared soy sauce seasoning, the soup has over 20 ingredients, from pork bones to vegetables. What's most fascinating about Harukiya is that they've updated their ramen recipe hundreds of times. No wonder they're still around today.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 9 pm (closed on Tue)

2. Shio Ramen at Nijubun no Ichi

Nijubun no Ichi (にじゅうぶんのいち) is regarded as one of the top places to get shio (salt-seasoned) ramen in Tokyo. At this ramen outpost, the salt seasoning and complex soup amusingly hovers between being bold and soft.

3 types of seaweed salt, scallops, bonito, mackerel, horse mackerel, and other ingredients ⁠come together beautifully in this masterful bowl. But it's the warm chicken flavor that stands out most in the soup. Lastly, do enjoy the duck meat toppings!

Shop Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri: 11:30 am ~ 2:30 pm / 6:30 pm ~ 9 pm // Sat, Sun: 11:30 am ~ 3 pm (closed on Mon, Thu)

3. Miso Ramen at Hook

The owner at Hook (味噌っ子ふっく) trained at Tokyo miso ramen powerhouse Hanamichi. Just like at Hanamichi, Hook's miso ramen is thick and rich. They use plenty of momiji (chicken feet) to achieve this consistency for the soup.

But alongside this richness is a refined gentleness, with miso still brightly shining through it all. In other words, this is modern miso ramen at its finest. Among toppings, the stir-fried, smoky bean sprouts and broiled pork chashu slices are wonderful highlights.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3:30 pm / 5 pm ~ 9 pm (closed on Tue)

4. Light Tsukemen at Uchoku

Just like with Hook, we're again in Tokyo's ramen-heavy Ogikubo neighborhood for this bowl. If you haven't tried tsukemen (dipping ramen) before, we highly recommend you do. Uchoku (迂直) delivers an amazing tsukemen experience.

It's like enjoying two meals at once. The noodles (right) lay in a delicate bed of kelp and reverse osmosis water. You dip them into a soup (left) that's comprised of 6 types of soy sauce, chicken, bonito fish flakes, dried fish and other elements.

Shop Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri: 11:30 am ~ 3 pm / Sat, Sun: 11:30 ~ 4 pm (closed on Mon, Thu)

5. Tonkotsu Ramen at Shibaraku

Known for its strong flavor, tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen is probably the most popular style outside of Japan. The best place to get it is on the island of Kyushu, where it's from. So if you want quality tonkotsu in Tokyo, you'd better visit a place that knows what it's doing.

Shibaraku (博多ラーメン しばらく) knows what it's doing. The owner proudly hails from Fukuoka, Kyushu. He boils pork bones from Kyushu (Miyazaki) for 36 hours. The result is a silky smooth-flavored soup. The thin noodles here maintain their bite from start to finish.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 1 am (8 pm on Sun, open every day)

6. Tori Paitan Ramen at Mentaku Ushio

Tori Paitan is basically rich chicken ramen. Think of it as chicken's answer to pork bone ramen (the previous entry). Our pick for this style is Mentaku Ushio (麺巧 潮), located in Tokyo's Akihabara area. Their tori paitan is quite a good way.

Inside the already rich soup is a dollop of cream and a poached egg. The uniqueness doesn't stop there. You get meat wrapped asparagus, broccoli, and burnt spring onions that add punch. All in all, this a fun and tasty bowl.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 7 pm (open every day)

7. Heavy Tsukemen at Menya Itto

Like entry no. 4, we're going with tsukemen (dipping ramen)...but a heavier style! This means a thicker, more potent soup. Among restaurants serving heavier tsukemen, Menya Itto (麺屋 一燈) stands tall. Some even put it at the very top of the Tokyo tsukemen world.

This style can get quite fishy in flavor. Despite using 5 types of seafood in the soup, Itto's tsukemen isn't that fishy. The most powerful flavor is of chicken. Furthermore, you're going to love their thick noodles and gorgeous arrangement of meat.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm (open every day)

8. Modern Shoyu Ramen at Yamaguchi

We've already covered classic shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. So let's switch gears and get modern. We can't think of better candidate than ramen shop Yamaguchi. In their signature ramen, a bold but slightly sweet soy sauce holds up a 100% chicken soup.

It's made up of Aizu and Date breed chickens. It's collagen-heavy, syrupy, and fantastic. The thin flat noodles are made up of five types of wheat flour. Also, all toppings are high-quality at Yamaguchi (らぁ麺やまぐち), including pork from Spain's Galicia region.

Shop Hours: 11:30 am ~ 3 pm / 5:30 pm ~ 9 pm (Sun only lunch, closed on Mon)

9. Abura Soba at Chinchintei

Abura soba, maze soba, or mazemen - soupless ramen has many names. What they all have is common is super thick noodles that mop up a savory oil seasoning (instead of a soup). You can't mention abura soba in Tokyo without Chinchintei (珍珍亭).

It's believed that they invented this soupless ramen dish. The trek to reach them (in West Tokyo) is well worth it. Make sure you give everything a throughout mix after your abura soba arrives. You'll be rewarded with a buttery flavor that nicely coats uber thick noodles.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 4 pm (closed on Sun)

10. Tantanmen at Nakiryu

We're finishing off this list with a ramen restaurant that has a Michelin star! Nakiryu (創作麺工房 鳴龍) got their star in 2017 and are best known for their tantanmen, a spicy style of ramen. But they're not about just spice and making customers reach for glasses of water.

Their tantanmen soup is layered with flavors. You have sourness from black and apple vinegar, creaminess from sesame paste, and richness from ingredients like whole chickens and beef bones. As you'd expect, the toppings and noodles are just as stellar.

Shop Hours: Wed-Sun: 11:30 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm – 9 pm // Mon: 11:30 am – 3 pm (closed on Tue)

We hope this Tokyo Ramen Best 10 list was helpful...and that you get to eat at several of these places!


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