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)