Tokyo’s bustling streets offer an adventurous quest for the perfect bowl of ramen. With countless shops and a mesmerizing variety of noodle soup options, finding the best ramen can be more challenging than expected. This beloved Japanese culinary creation has gained international recognition for its comforting appeal and rich flavors.
A trip to Tokyo is incomplete without indulging in a steaming bowl of ramen for lunch or dinner. As you explore the city, you’ll come across numerous ramen restaurants competing for the title of the ultimate ramen destination. To ease your dilemma, Dishes Japan has carefully curated a list of the top five ramen establishments in Tokyo that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Tokyo’s ramen scene offers something for everyone, from traditional classics to modern interpretations. Whether you crave the soul-soothing broth of soupy noodles or the indulgent tsukemen with a flavorful dipping broth, these exceptional ramen spots have it all.
Navigating the sea of ramen choices in Tokyo may seem overwhelming, but fear not! As you wander through the vibrant neighborhoods, ramen houses will surprise you at every turn. Each district holds its own hidden gem, ensuring that you won’t miss out on the delightful experience of savoring ramen.
Ginza Hachigou (銀座 八五)
Hachigou is a restaurant near Kabukiza Theater in Ginza, Tokyo. The owner, Chef Osamu Matsumura, opened the restaurant in 2018 and it quickly gained recognition, appearing in the Michelin Guide. Chef Matsumura, who previously worked as a head chef at a French restaurant, brings a fine-dining touch to Hachigou’s ramen. The soup is unique as it doesn’t use tare, a common ingredient in ramen, and instead combines various high-quality ingredients like chicken, duck, ham, and shellfish. The result is a visually simple yet sophisticated and memorable bowl of ramen. However, due to its popularity, the soup often runs out before closing time.
IRUCA Tokyo (入鹿Tokyo 六本木)
IRUCA Tokyo, a restaurant with a warm and refined Japanese ambience, opened a second branch near Tokyo Midtown. While their signature dish is Yuzu Shio Ramen, the overwhelmingly popular choice is Porcini Shoyu Ramen, made with four different broths infused with porcini oil. The soup is free of chemical additives. The noodles are sourced from Mikawaya Seimen, a renowned noodle factory, and the toppings include pork and chicken chashu, bamboo shoots, and green onions. Additional recommended toppings are duck chashu, flavored egg, chicken dumplings, and shrimp dumplings, all made in-house.
Motenashi Kuroki (饗くろ喜)
Motenashi Kuroki is a highly regarded ramen restaurant located between JR Akihabara and Tokyo Metro Asakusabashi Stations. It offers two types of soup bases: shio (salt) and shoyu (soy sauce). The signature dish is Tokusei Shio Soba, a special salt ramen with a clear amber colored soup base made from a combination of meat and seafood broth. The chef, Naohito Kuroki, has an impressive culinary background and emphasizes high-quality, in-house made toppings. The restaurant also offers seasonal ramens, and despite long queues, the turnaround time is fast.
Sousaku Menkobo Nakiryu (創作麺工房 鳴龍)
Nakiryu is a ramen restaurant in Tokyo that recently received a Michelin 1-Star rating. It was opened in 2012 by Kazumasa Saito, the former head chef of a Michelin-starred ramen restaurant in Hong Kong. The Michelin Guide Tokyo has started recognizing casual “B-grade gourmet” restaurants, including Nakiryu, which it evaluates as a cuisine rather than B-grade. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with only counter seats for 10 people, making it comfortable for women to dine alone. Their signature dish is Tantanmen, made with homemade sesame paste and chili oil. The broth is free of chemical additives, and English menus are available. The location can be confusing, so using Google Maps is recommended.
Menya Itto (麺屋 一燈)
Menya Itto is a renowned restaurant for tsukemen, offering a unique blend of seafood and chicken broth with homemade noodles and vacuum-cooked chashu pork. Located near Shin-Koiwa Station, the restaurant only has 11 seats and requires reservations. Menya Itto’s tsukemen is highly satisfying, with a rich flavor and enjoyable texture. They pay attention to detail by using various wheat flours, offering multiple noodle types, and using high-quality ingredients such as natural sea salts and Tsukuba Akatsuki chicken. The restaurant is popular among ramen enthusiasts, but reservations can be made through their app or the EPARK system. Visit Menya Itto to experience their exceptional tsukemen.