These are some of the best ramen in Tokyo you should try when you visit Tokyo. Even though there are some mass-market brands listed here, they have some good reasons to become widely popular in the world.
No.6 ICHIRAN – SHIBUYA
Absolutely, this is for ramen lovers! You can customize your own ramen bowl. It is one of the famous ramen chain restaurants in Japan founded in Hakata Fukuoka way back in the 1960s.
Their unique selling point is that they only sell one type of ramen. They serve only creamy smooth classic (pork bone/tonkotsu ramen) topped with Ichiran’s original red pepper sauced mixed with 3 type of spices. You have the choice of noodle firmness from very hard to very soft, the level of spiciness, richness and flavour strength, roasted pork included or not, and the choice of ingredients such as garlic, green onion, spicy red sauce and scallion. Its simply delicious bowl of ramen from Ichiran definitely might be one of the best tonkotsu ramen you ever had.
Ichiran – Shibuya Address: B1F, 1-22-7 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku Tokyo, Japan Tel: +81(0)3-3463-3667 Hours: all year round Other Ichiran shops in Tokyo: Harajuku, Ueno, Roppongi, Asakusa, Ikebukuro and etc.
No.5 HAKATA IPPUDO – EBISU
You might find this ramen shops in the major cities all over world right now. The founder Shigemi Kawahara who eventually won the “TV Champion Ramen Chef” 3 times consecutively between 1995 and 98 named as “blow wind” over the “dark clouds of the Kyushu ramen industry”.
Their tonkotsu soup leaves a creamy and delicious aftertaste prickling on your tongue. Also, you might enjoy thin, straight and chewable noodles as well.
Hakata Ippudo – Ebisu Address: 1-3-12 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan Access: along Meiji-dori towards Hiroo, past the post office Tel: +81 (0) 3-5420-2225 Hours: Mondays to Thursdays 11:00am ~ 3:00am Fridays and Saturdays 11:00am ~ 4:00am Sundays 11:00am ~ 2:00am Other Hakata Ippudo shops in Tokyo: Shinjuku (I-Land Tower), Roppongi, Ikebukuro, Ueno and etc.
No.4 GOGYO RAMEN – NISHI AZABU
Have you ever tried burnt ramen?
This unique soup base is cooked in 300℃ lard. The Kogashi Miso Ramen is served with a layer of black oil, specks of char, with a smokey aroma. Take your time to enjoy their rich, full-flavoured, heavy, with taste permeating throughout.
Gogyo Ramen – Nishi Azabu Address: Rojiman Nichi-Azabu Bldg. 1F, 1-4-36 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo Hours: Mondays to Saturdays 11:30am ~ 4:00pm, 5:00pm ~ 3:00am Sundays 11:30am ~ 4:00pm, 5:00pm ~ 12:00am
No.3 KAGARI – GINZA
This new place just opened in 2013 is getting popular and popular in Japan. It might be a little difficult to find, but you will see a long queue after a half block down from the apple store down a side alley. The sign above the restaurant says “Soba” not Kagari and its seats are only for 8 or 9 people at any one time with jazz and classic music playing in the background.
You must try their house-special tori-paitan soba topping with mitsuba (wild chervil), lotus roots, slices of tender chicken char-siew, green beans, Shimeji, amazingly Ikura laid on top!! Its soup made entirely out of chicken stock is thick, rich, smooth, silky, buttery and creamy as corn potage but not too heavy like tonkotsu broth swimming with thin noodles.
Kagari – Ginza Address: 4-4-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Access: ・2 minutes walk from Ginza station on Tokyo Metro Ginza line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line Exit A10 or B1 ・4 minutes walk from Ginza 1 cho-me Station on Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line ・5 minutes walk from Yurakucho Station on JR Yamanote Line or Keihin Tohoku Line Tel: +81(0)3-5725-3356 Weekdays: Lunch 11:00am ~ 3:30pm Dinner 5:30pm ~ 10:30pm Saturdays and Public holidays: Lunch 11:00am ~ 3:30pm Dinner 5:30pm ~ 9:00pm
No.2 NIIGATA SANPOUTEI TOKYO LABO – MEGURO
Sanpoitei founded in 1967, originated from Niigata where is famous for rice and sake has lauded in Tokyo. They feature a wide variety of Chinese ingredients to be cooked in Ramen. They serve ramen with broth that is boiled for six hours using vegetables, chicken, pork bone and dried sardine. The restaurant’s signature recipe is the Zentoro Mapo Men and the other not-to-be-missed option is the Suan la Tang Men.
Mapo Tofu Ramen is fusion dishes that takes a dish of Chinese origin as a topping for Japanese ramen. Covered with a layer Mapo Tofu of fluffy simmered soup adding the shisen sansho, korean spice chilli, special and origin spicy oil and ground meat mixture atop ramen noodles ended up with a tasty new dish.
Enjoy their broth by simmering chicken for hours and adding 7 kinds of Miso and fresh meat leading it to become the best-selling dish that its taste are having koku (body) and okuyuki (literally, depth).
Suan la Tang Men swimming in hot and sour soup topped with lots of fresh coriander makes you enjoy not only the spiciness and sour but also fluffy egg with the deep flavour soup at the same time.
You can choose 3 steps of spiciness. Its spiciness is adjusted with pepper and house made chili oil which make the sourness of vinegar milder. Hot and sour soup is a culinary contradiction. It is intense, velvety rich and having a multitude of flavours. If you are lover of fresh coriander, add on and enjoy your customized ramen.
Niigata Sanpoutei Tokyo Labo – Meguro Address: 2-44-5 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo Access: 6 minutes walk from Naka-Meguro Station Tel: +81(0)3-5725-3356 Lunch 11:00am ~ 3:30pm（L.O.3:00pm） Dinner: 5:30pm ~ 11:30pm（L.O. 11:00pm）
No.1 AFURI – EBISU
You might find lots of ramen in the world but looking for something different taste?
Here is Yuzu shio ramen. Everybody knows that the soup is the really important tip for ramen and they use the beautiful nature of water from Afuri Mountain for their soup. Their lighter chicken based stock with citrusy yuzu may attract your stomach.
Afuri – EbisuAddress: 1F 117 Bld., 1-1-7 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: +81 (0)3-5795-0750 Hours: 11:00am ~ 5:00am (Open 7 days a week) Other Afuri shops in Tokyo: Harajuku, Roppongi, Azabu-Juban, Naka-Meguro