These Are Fukuoka’s Best Ramen Shops, According to a Japanese Food Magazine
The votes are in!
Every year, ramen magazine Ramen Walker (KADOKAWA) holds the Ramen Walker Grand Prix, a ranking of the most delicious ramen shops throughout the country. The winners are determined by votes from readers as well as ramen connoisseurs from the industry and the media. We list down the five best ones in Fukuoka, one of the most competitive places for ramen in Kyushu.
5th Place: Menya KANETORA
The popular Karakara Tsukemen with bonito oil and spicy fish powder has a strong seafood flavor.
Menya KANETORA may have just moved beside Watanabe-dori’s Bic Camera from Akasaka in August 2018, but it has already become quite a popular ramen shop with long lines every day. The shopkeeper, who studied ramen at Tokyo's famous Inosho, makes tsukemen with Tokyo’s thick Mikawaya-Seimen (Mikawaya noodle) and a rich soup composed of dried small sardines, dried horse mackerel, dried bonito, pork bone, and chicken.
The first floor of the shop is filled with counter seats, while the second floor is home to the central kitchen where the soup is made. The ticket machine is located on the right-hand side of the entrance.
Dried small sardines, dried horse mackerel, and dried bonito are displayed in the shop.
Ramen connoisseurs consider their Karakara Tsukemen (¥930) as Kyushu’s best seafood-based tsukemen—and with good reason. Topped with large and thick slices of roast pork and bamboo shoots, the rich soup contains homemade dried sardine spicy oil and spicy fish powder. You can upgrade to 300g of noodles for the same price, and choose a soup from four levels of spiciness.
Menya KANETORA is located at 4-9-18, Watanabe-dori, Chuo District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily (only the first Sundays are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). It’s a 3-minute walk away from Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station.
4th Place: Mendokoro Kanadaya
Kurobuta pork ramen (650 yen), Super rich but not fishy foamy soup!
At Mendokoro Kanadaya, you have to try the Kurobuta Ramen, which owes the creaminess and smoothness of its tonkotsu-flavored broth to the fine bubbles that are formed on the surface through the process of boiling the kurobuta pork bones. Shopkeeper Kazuhiro Kanada makes the soup himself, crushing 150kg of kurobuta pork bones at high heat every day. Because the soup is strained carefully when it is poured into the bowl, it is quite rich, but has no fishy smell. It also doesn’t make use of oil, so the taste is light. Mild soy sauce made by marinating root kelp and shiitake mushrooms establishes the taste.
The white bubbles on the surface of the pork bone soup make it taste lighter.
Mendokoro Kanadaya is located at 1-4-3, Ohashi, Yukuhashi City, Fukuoka Prefecture and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.(until the soup runs out), daily except on Thursdays. It’s a 5-minute walk away from JR Yukuhashi Station. You may contact them at +81-93-024-3666.
3rd Place: Ramen Kobo Ryu
The medium-thin noodles are well-matched with the rich soup.
Ramen Kobo Ryu has been around for 23 years. Their soup is their specialty and is made by cooking Kagoshima pork skull bones and Rank A fatback for 13 hours. It has a slightly sweet taste, no fishy smell, and a mild texture. The ramen, on the other hand, is made in the Kurume style, which is the same style as the ramen shop which the shopkeeper was trained. There are two types of ramen at the shop: Ramen (¥600) and Chashu Men (¥770). You can also order four types of side dishes, including Yakimeshi or fried rice (¥520).
The chashu is carefully made by hand every day with pork back ribs. Soaked in a sweet soy sauce-based sauce, it possesses a flavor is strong and goes well with the pork bone soup.
The ramen uses only the best ingredients, and its rich soup made with 100 percent pork bone goes well with the chewy special medium-thin noodles. Chashu made from homegrown pork and Fukuoka’s green onions are used as the topping. According to ramen connoisseurs, "the balance of the rich deep pork bone soup with flavorful oil that leads us in a trance and easy-to-eat noodles are the best!”
Ramen Kobo Ryu is located at 2-3-28, Sangamori, Yahatanishi District, Kitakyushyu City, Fukuoka Prefecture and is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (until the soup runs out), daily except on Wednesdays and the second Thursdays of the month. It’s a 5-minute walk away from Sangamori Station of Chikuho Dentetsu. You may contact them at Contact: +81-93-612-8868.
2nd Place: Hakataramen Shin-Shin Tenjin Main Store
The smooth and extra-thin noodles of the ramen go well with the slightly sweet white soup made from pork bone.
What started as a yatai-style ramen shop is now one of the most popular ramen shops in the city. Hakata Ramen Shin-Shin Tenjin Main Store is known for their extra thin and straight noodles, which are special even within Fukuoka and go perfectly well with the sweetness of pork bone and soy sauce. There are also many fans of the Champon, which is made with the same pork bone soup as the Ramen (¥650). You can also enjoy drinking here as the shop offers Yakiramen (like yakisoba) and miso-flavored grilled offals.
In addition to ramen dare (ramen sauce) and red pickled ginger, the homemade chili oil is also popular as a ramen topping. It goes well with the Ramen, Champon, and dumplings.
Ninki no Ramen or popular ramen (¥650) is a simple dish that the shopkeeper has been making ever since the shop’s yatai days. A small amount of chicken bones is added to tonkotsu soup and is boiled until the soup gets its characteristic white color. The chashu is made from the thick pork belly and is also popular among foreign tourists.
Hakata Ramen Shin-Shin Tenjin Main Store is located at 3-2-19, Tenjin, Chuo District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily except on Sundays. It’s a 4-minute walk away from Tenjin Station. You may contact them at Contact: +81-92-732-4006.
1st Place: Anzen Syokudo
The Ramen’s tonkotsu soup has just the right amount of saltiness, which you will never get tired off.
The shopkeeper is famous for his love of ramen!
Even though the shop opened in 1974, it was still able to preserve its signature flavor. Their Ramen (¥600) is a classic Hakata ramen made with thin noodles and 100 percent tonkotsu soup. To reduce the rancid smell of pork bones, they don’t use pork skulls but only back and leg bones. The dish tastes simple at first, but a rich umami flavor gradually replaces it. "Soy sauce in which chashu is stewed," which is used in the ramen dare, complements the pork bone soup.
The pork is boiled in a cauldron. The soy sauce, which the chashu is marinated with, is not only used as the base of the soup, but also as a seasoning available on the tables.
The sesame and red pickled ginger toppings add a twist to the flavor. The dish is cooked with a great deal of time and care as evidenced by the excess fat scraped off the chashu.
Yakimeshi is made with simple seasoning and ingredients. Most customers order this with ramen.
Anzen Syokudo is also famous for “serving delicious fried rice.” The gentle-flavored Yakimeshi (¥800) has a light mouthfeel, which is made to fit the ramen soup. One plate has about 500g of rice, which is perfect to share with two or three people.
Anzen Syokudo is located at 3-35-1, Yokohama, Nishi District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (until the soup runs out), daily except on Wednesdays. It’s a 10-minute drive from Imajuku Inter Change on Nishi-Kyusyu Expressway. You may contact them at +81-92-806-2511.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kyushu Walker™ (18 February 2019)