6 Ramen Places to Try When You’re in Tokyo
Each one has its own specialty.
No trip to Japan is complete without trying out a ramen place or two. Here, we list down six Tokyo restaurants that you’ll almost certainly visit more than once throughout your stay.
1/F, Nakagin Otowa Mansion, 1-17-16 Otowa, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Monday to Sunday, except Tuesdays)
How to get there: It's a 1-minute walk from Gokokuji Station Exit #6
Mensho subscribes to a farm-to-table concept, so you can be sure that the ingredients in your shio ramen or tsukemen are always fresh. They also have a noodle-making room that produces noodles for other branches.
Mensho’s must-try dishes:
Seafood lovers will enjoy this soup made from red seabream and scallops’ broth cooked with Satsuma’s natural hot spring water. The salt sauce is blended with four kinds of Okunoto’s tamamoshio (brown salt from Okunoto, Ishikawa). Add savory scallop confit and karasumi in the soup, and the taste only gets better.
Hikitate Komugi Tsukemen (freshly ground wheat dipping noodles)
This one-of-a kind dish is best enjoyed by dipping the medium-thick noodles into Satsuma’s natural hot spring water first before dipping them into the duck broth.
Mensho is a flagship store under the brand, Menya Shono, and its first branch is located at Ichigaya, Tokyo.
2-51-5 Gohongi, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Saturday, except Wednesdays) and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
*Will close as soon as soup runs out
How to get there: It's a 6-minute walk from Gakugeidaigaku Station
MenLabo Hiro offers chicken noodle soup that comes in different flavors, but keep in mind that not all of the flavors are available every day. For those who love shoyu (soy sauce), it’s best to visit on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. On the other hand, those who prefer shio (salt) should drop by on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Aside from the savory taste or umami oozing from the chicken, the soup also comes with either pork belly, chicken breast, or duck breast toppings.
MenLabo Hiro’s must-try dishes:
LABO Chicken Soba (soy sauce-flavored)
This soy sauce-flavored dish is a delicious mix of chicken and seafood flavors.
Foie Gras Ramen
This luxury ramen contains foie gras oil, which gives the soup its rich fragrance and taste. It’s available in both shoyu or shio flavors.
1/F Akebono Building, 2-10-4 Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Tuesday to Saturday) and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m (Sunday and holidays)
*If Monday is a holiday, the restaurant will open the day after.
How to get there: It's a 4-minute walk from Tawaramachi Station Exit #3
If your taste buds crave the flavors of shoyu and shio ramen, Men Mitsui is the place to be. One awesome thing about this restaurant is that you may choose between hand-rubbed noodles or thin noodles for your ramen.
Men Mitsui’s must-try dishes:
Shoyu (soy sauce)
The dish is made from clear tori chinitan (similar to chicken consommé) and shoyu sauce combined with light fresh soy sauce and three other kinds to produce a rich taste. Lotus roots are added into the mix as toppings.
Fukui Prefecture’s local soba created with Chinese noodles is best eaten with a katsudon set.
2-15-27 Nishi Kubo, Musashino-shi, Tokyo
Open from: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday, Thursday to Saturday), 2:30 p.m. (Tuesday, Sunday, and holidays)
*Will close as soon as the ingredients run out
How to get there: It's a 12-minute walk from Mitaka Station North Exit
Located in a residential area, Menya Sakurai is famous for not putting additives in their food. The restaurant aims to offer customers a basic bowl of ramen they won’t get tired of.
Menya Sakura’s must-try dishes:
Tokusei Ramen (soy sauce-flavored)
The soup’s flavor is made from Hakata’s chicken and Oyama’s whole chicken. As you eat, the lard at the bottom of the bowl mixes with the soup, creating a smoother taste. You may order a special ramen topped with flavored egg, half pork shoulder loin, and slices of char-shu chicken.
Nigata Nagaoka Shoga Shoyu Ramen Oranda Ken
1/F Ikeda Daiichi Corpo, 6-5-3 Higashi Iwatsuki, Iwatsuki-ku, Saitama
Open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Monday to Wednesday, Friday to Saturday), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday and holidays)
*Will close as soon as ingredients run out
How to get there: It's a 5-minute walk from Higashi Iwatsuki East Exit
Savor the taste of Nagaoka City’s local ramen. Their famous char-shu men should be on top of your list!
Nigata Nagaoka Shoga Shoyu Ramen Oranda Ken’s must-try dishes:
Shoyu Char-shu Men (soy sauce port Chinese barbeque ramen)
The dish’s soup is made from pork bone extract and ginger mixed with light shoyu sauce. The fat and meat vary depending on the part so you get to relish different textures of pork.
Shio Ramen (salt ramen)
This classic ramen has a light, refreshing taste. Aside from the ginger flavor, the soup has a little fragrance and a bit of sweetness that can be addicting.
902-1 Kitaharacho, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday, except the first Friday of the month); 3 p.m. (Sunday)
How to get there: It's 5 minutes via bus going to Namiki Dori Danchi from Kouku-koen Station, then a 2-minute walk from the Kitaharacho chuo bus stop.
Kikuya ~garage~ is another version of Kikuya Ramen, a famous ramen house in Ome, Tokyo. The store offers a menu that’s not available in other Kikuya Ramen stores.
Kikuya garage’s must-try dishes:
Tai to Hamaguri no Chuka Soba (sea bream and clam Chinese-style noodles)
This ramen’s soup is made from two ingredients: sea bream and kuwana clam. In addition to its milky flavor, the store also put dried laver or seaweed into the soup, together with juicy pork belly char-shu.
Kani no Ae dama (crab balls)
Delight in this delicious blend of concentrated crab soup and oil with crab flake toppings. First, eat the dish as it is. Then, dip the noodles into the remaining soup of your ramen.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Tokyo Walker™ (March 2017)