Probably one of Japan’s most famous comfort foods, no trip to Tokyo would be complete without a delicious bowl of ramen. Read on for Hive Life’s picks for some top ramen spots.
Tokyo is a melting pot in every sense of the word, not least when it comes to food – specifically, bowls of the most delicious ramen noodles in the world. One of the city’s first popular foods of the industrialised era, ramen appeared on the scene in the 1850s and has been a staple of city life ever since. From traditional pork-bone broths to innovative vegan dishes, this Japanese metropolis has it all. Here’s our guide to some of Tokyo’s top places for a steaming bowl of ramen.
Ichiran is one of the most famous Tonkotsu (pork-based broth) ramen spots in the world. Loved by locals and ramen enthusiasts, it’s all about their secret 30-ingredient red sauce that has been simmered for several days to a recipe rumoured to only be known by four people in the world.
Insider’s Tip: While the individual seating experience might be new and exciting, the restaurant’s dividers can be opened up for groups who prefer more conventional seating arrangements.
Address: 1-22-7 Jinnan, Iwamoto Bldg. B1F, Shibuya 150-0041, Tokyo Prefecture
(Ichiran has multiple chain stores located in Tokyo, so be sure to check out their website.)
Open From: 24 hours
Price: Ramen bowls range from JPY 1,000 – 1,999
There are very few things more satisfying than made-to-order homemade ramen. In Menya Shichisai, every batch of noodles is handmade and prepared only after customers have placed their order. These famously tasty ribbons are then matched by the rich and velvety broth they’re served with. It’s no wonder this ramen spot is frequented by locals and tourists alike.
Insider’s Tip: If you’re feeling peckish, medium and large bowls are the same price!
Address: 2-13-2 Hatchobori, Chuo 104-0032, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm
Price: Meals range from JPY 1,000 – 1,999 at lunch and are roughly JPY 999 in the evening
One of the most affordable Michelin star restaurants in Tokyo, Tsuta serves long, thin noodles in a flavourful broth made with natural ingredients. Redefining the traditional ramen experience, every dish served at this renowned ramen spot is the product of extensive research and experimentation done by head chef Yuki Onishi himself.
Insider’s Tip:: The Tsuta seat ticketing system requires a JYP 1000 deposit per person that will be refunded once you place an order.
Address: 1-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima 170-0002, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Tue – Mon: 11am – 4pm
Price: Meals range from JPY 1,000 – 1,999
For a vegan-friendly dish, head over to Noodle Stand Tokyo for their signature Coconut Miso Ramen. Topped with vegan char siu that’s made with soybeans, the creamy broth flawlessly complements the restaurant’s thick and chewy noodles. This noodle spot prides themselves in ethically sourced local ingredients, meaning you can feel good about your lunch in every way!
Insider’s Tip: Stop by on Fridays to try their special menu item – vegan-friendly ‘Dandan Noodles.’
Address: 1-21-15 Jingumae | B1F Napore Harajuku Bldg., Shibuya 150-0001, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Mon – Fri: 11am – 4pm; Sat – Sun: 11am – 9pm
Price: Dishes start at JPY 850
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Not all ramen is served in soup. At Fuunji, customers enjoy the traditional Tsukemen (dipping noodle) experience. Their renowned, deconstructed dish is best enjoyed by dipping strands of eggy noodles into a separate, creamy chicken and seafood paste broth. Once coated with this tasty goodness, slurp away! Be careful though, as it can get a little messy.
Insider’s Tip: Order the special dipping noodles and have them served up with a deliciously marinated soft-boiled egg and pork belly.
Address: 2-14-3 | Hokuto Daiichi Building 1F, Yoyogi, Shibuya 151-0053, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Mon – Sat: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm
Price Range: Dipping noodle dishes start at JPY 900
Kai’s triple shellfish broth might be lighter than the varieties typically served in other shops, but it still packs a punch in taste. Topped with crunchy bamboo shoots and salty wakame seaweed, this unique ramen bowl carries a distinct ocean fragrance and is highly recommended by locals. Although their clam salt ramen is what put Kai on the map, their other dishes are definitely also worth waiting in line to try.
Insider’s Tip: Check the side of the ticketing machine before ordering for a whole new menu of seasonal and limited ramen bowls.
Address: 4-20-10 Kuramae | Miyauchi Bldg.1F, Taito 111-0051, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Tue – Sun: 11am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 9pm
Price: Prices start at JPY 999
One of Tokyo’s oldest ramen businesses, Taishoken has been serving extra-greasy and mouth-watering noodles since 1955. These unassuming, huge servings of thin, curly noodles are accompanied by leek, fermented bamboo shoots and juicy chashu pork. Transporting you right back to the 1950s, customers can ask for a yolk dip to dip their noodles in before devouring it – which is how the dish was eaten decades ago.
Insider’s Tip: Taishoken’s rest days vary monthly, so check their website before visiting!
Address: 3-5-3 Izumi, Suginami 168-0063, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: 11am – 12am
Price Range: Meals start from JPY 1000