YoNinja's Best of Ramen - Tokyo, Japan
YoNinja's Guide to Tokyo's Best Ramen 2013
It seems like you can't go more than 20 steps without seeing a ramen shop in Tokyo. Well....we L-O-V-E ramen and we thought we would share our favorite ramen joints with you in the first ever YoNinja's Guide to Tokyo's Best Ramen 2013! The votes are in and here is our top 5 ramen restaurants in Tokyo!
With Ichiran having locations throughout Japan, it's bound to be in our top 5. But not just because it's conventietly placed throughout Japan, this ramen is amazing with such a deep flavor and nice little spicy kick to it! The restaurant is also very cool. You sit in little booth like seats where you have walls on both sides of you and you get your bowl of noodles delivered by a person behind a tiny hanging curtain. The experience eating in Ichiran is just part of the fun and adds to the overall ramen experience. You also get a little sheet of paper at the beginning of your meal to select things like, tenderness of your noodles, level of spicy, amount of garlic and green onions. It's #1 on our top 5, need we say more. Go and enjoy this amazing bowl of noodles and then go back every chance you get!
Jangara ramen comes in as a VERY CLOSE second. I think the overall experience of eating at a Ichiran restaurant was what gave Ichiran the extra 2 points to come in first. They are both very delicious bowls of ramen. Jangara is just an explosion of flavors that just can't be matched. We HIGHLY recommend you to order the bowl that comes with all the toppings. The kakunin (fatty pork slices) is heavenly and melts in your mouth. The everything bowl comes with mentaiko which gives it that extra kick of a little spice and really changes up the taste. After you eat a bowl of this, you will need to take a nap. Oh, did we mention the hanjuku egg (runny hard boiled egg) that comes with it as well? Our recmmendation, fight the temptation and save the egg for the very end. You will be in food heaven!
It's no wonder the top 3 ramen companies on our list are from Fukuoka. Fukuoka just knows what they are doing when it comes to ramen. Each prefecture has their own way of creating the perfect bowl of noodles. The type of broth, the noodle thickness, the ingredients, and toppings, typically vary by prefecture. We love Ippudo ramen for it's style and use of burnt oil. The black oil in this photo is what we consider their secret weapon. We can't explain it, it's just amazing! Make sure you get a bowl of AKA ramen when you go here. You will thank us later!
Taishouken is one of the ramen shops that is not really a famous or well know chain. It definitely has a huge following though as it can see lines of 20+ people on week days during lunch and dinner time. Taishouken is Japanese simplicity at it's finest. A very simply bowl of ramen but with a broth that is to die for. There is a LONG waiting list to work for this company and learn from the ramen masters that work here. This bowl of noodles is so simply that there is not much to talk to. But if you trust us and head down to this restaurant, you will know why it made number 4 on our list. The shop also sells chilled noodles, the broth, and the menma, so if you enjoy your meal (which I know you will), pick up a few bags to take home. You will be so content and full at the end of your meal that you won't want to, but you will thank us in a couple days when you start craving it again!
Ramen Jirou has been around for a long time and it also have a following. It's not as main stream and well known as the top 3 on our list, but those that do know this little secret ramen joint, absolutely love it! It's a bit intense for the new comer to ramen, and unless you have a hugh appetite, we recommend to hold off on experiencing this place. The restaurant is a bit rough looking on the inside, but it's from the years and years of bowling pork bone soup in the large pots in the kitchen and just pumping out ramen day in and day out. The pork here is super tender and full of rich flavors! If you are starving and in the mood for ramen, head down to Ramen Jirou and get your fill. We still think you will have a hard time finishing this mammoth sized bowl of noodles!