The Best Bowl of Ramen in 28 US Cities

Have noodles, will travel

By Marion Bernstein

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06 October 2016

Mount Rushmore, Yosemite, Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard … there’s no shortage of reasons to hit the road and explore this great nation of ours.

And now, the best reason of all: ramen.

While it may not be American-born (ramen originated in China, then made its way to Japan during the Meiji period between 1868 and 1912), the upscale version of this delectable noodle soup has been steadily proliferating across the U.S. since making its stateside debut as Cup Noodles in 1971.

Forty years later, gourmet ramen variations abound — and trust us, they’re worth traveling for. From tonkotsu in New York to tsukemen in Austin, here’s where you’ll find the best bowls of ramen in 28 U.S. cities (in alphabetical order by state; not ranked).

To narrow down the list, we solicited the help of our friends at Foursquare, who provided their users’ favorites.

Slurp on.

Image courtesy of Foursquare

1. Phoenix, Arizona
Republic Ramen + Noodles
“Add an egg, it rocks.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

2. Los Angeles, California
Silver Lake Ramen
“Great broth. Go with a small group and sit at the bar if you can. If you're not sure about spice just ask for it on the side so you can add it yourself.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

3. San Diego, California
Tajima Ramen House
“Try the ground pork with thin-cut noodles and spicy Tajima original (tonkotsu) broth. For a satisfying meal, add a takana (Japanese spicy pickled leaves) rice ball, which bursts with flavor.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

4. San Francisco, California
Mensho Tokyo
“The tori paitan ramen served here is one of the best ramen I've ever had. So good. It's definitely worth the wait. Get the double chashu pork!”

Image courtesy of Facebook

5. Denver, Colorado
Menya Noodle Bar
“Get the kale noodles.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

6. Washington, D.C.
Daikaya
“Daikaya is two restaurants in one. On the ground floor: Sapporo-style ramen in a bustling setting. Upstairs, an izakaya specializing in Japanese bar food, whiskeys, shochu, and beer.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

7. Tampa, Florida
Japanese Kitchen Dosunco
“The spicy miso ramen is outstanding.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

8. Atlanta, Georgia
Miso Izakaya
“Dandan ramen... so good.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

9. Honolulu, Hawaii
Ramen Nakamura
“Oxtail ramen was great! Small place with about 20 seats. Cash only. Worth the wait.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

10. Chicago, Illinois
Wasabi
“Excellent tonkotsu ramen, and a surprising number of vegan options.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

11. New Orleans, Louisiana
Noodle & Pie
“The matador ramen is phenomenal! And the sautéed eggplant is to DIE for. And don't forget to save room for that bacon pecan pie.”


Image courtesy of Foursquare

12. Portland, Maine
Pai Men Miyake
“Everything here is fantastic, but I'm particularly fond of the yasai gyoza (veg dumpling), the Tokyo abura ramen (very spicy, no broth), and the craft beer list. That beer list is world class. Yesss.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

13. Baltimore, Maryland
Ejji Ramen
“Best ramen in Baltimore. Try the Laksa for something different (and delicious)!”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

14. Boston, Massachusetts
Pikaichi
“Spicy miso ramen rocks. Add an egg and a side salad. The homemade ginger dressing is great.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

15. Cambridge, Massachusetts
Santouka Ramen
“Excellent Hokkaido ramen, variety of broths, authentic atmosphere, friendly Japanese-speaking service.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

16. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Zen Box Izakaya
“Love this place! Absolutely one of the best ramen in downtown Minneapolis. Try the tonkotsu tonzen ramen with a side of chicken gyoza!”


Image courtesy of Foursquare

17. North Brunswick, New Jersey
Rai Rai Ramen
“Off menu akamaru modern ramen (like at Ippudo in NYC) is available and delicious.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

18. Brooklyn, New York
Chuko
“Chuko proved that ramen in Brooklyn competes with the best of 'em in Manhattan. Spicy pickles to start your meal off right, most unique kale salad in a long while, kimchi ramen — just damn.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

19. New York, New York
Ippudo
“Get the akamaru modern if it's your first time — by far the most popular. Otherwise, the spicy miso ramen at the bottom of the menu. And obviously, you need to try the pork buns. Better than momofuku.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

20. Cleveland, Ohio
Noodlecat
“The dan dan ramen is my new obsession. Get it with a fried egg on top. So, so good.”

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21. Columbus, Ohio
Fukuryu Ramen
“The noodles are top notch. They know what they are doing.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

22. Portland, Oregon
Biwa
“Giant bowls of ramen or udon for only $5 during happy hour (5-6, 9-10). Best ramen I've had in awhile!”


Image courtesy of Foursquare

23. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Terakawa Ramen
“Super awesome tonkotsu. It's also byob, so bring a tallboy to sip as you slurp.”

Image courtesy of Facebook

24. Nashville, Tennessee
Two Ten Jack
“The hattori hanzo is an unexpectedly unique margarita. Try it with the tori paitan (chicken broth) ramen. The broth has the perfect amount of spice. Vibe-y interior too.”


25. Austin, Texas
Ramen Tatsu-ya
“Ramen tsukemen is dipping ramen. Don't dump the sauce into the noodles. Pick up some noodles with your chopsticks, dunk it in the sauce, bring it back out and slurp your way to heaven.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

26. Fort Worth, Texas
Hanabi Ramen & Izakaya
“Tokyo and karami tonkotsu make the most of fresh noodles, pork belly, and incredible broth. Their onigiri/rice balls, yellowfin cheek, fried oysters and gyoza are top notch. Great drinks and service too!”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

27. Houston, Texas
Jinya Ramen Bar
“Best ramen in Houston. Get the tonkotsu black — add butter and make it hot or inferno.”

Image courtesy of Foursquare

28. Seattle, Washington
Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya
“Get the yuzo shio ramen. The bright clean flavors are a good contrast to the pork.Tempura and chicken karaage are well done.”

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