It seemed only recently that we equated authentic Japanese ramen with its dorm room staple, the kind you microwave and drink out of its plastic bowl. Then traditional ramen came to New York in different variations. New Yorkers caught on, and soon ramen shops became a full-blown phenomenon. Now it’s almost every day that ramen shops are popping up around the city. And in our search, we found that, for the most part, these ramen shops, even the new ones, require a wait. And the ramen they serve is nothing like those with a price tag of 49 cents.
Ramen, of course, is a Japanese staple. It’s not ours, and we didn’t inherit it. Still, some of the ramen shops we visited feel very authentic, and that’s because they’re helmed by chefs from Japan. Other chefs who haven’t worked in Japan do their best, too. They are making very original and complex bowls with lots of traditional and unique tastes. Whether you’re looking for flavorful mazemen or ramen with green curry, a recipe born right here in New York, here are the best ramen spots in New York City.
This two-month-old hot spot is the first of it’s kind in NYC but comes from a famous chain in Asia. The creator’s sons founded the restaurant in Midtown in 2017. Tonchin also serves Tokyo-style ramen in Japan, Taiwan, and Shanghai, and the Sugeno family owns and operates 70+ restaurants throughout Asia. Costumers rave about the ramen and the unique drink menu. The stylish decor and to-die-for food makes it a popular spot for date night. Luckily, they allow you to join the waitlist online.
76 Mott Street, Chinatown (between Canal and Bayard Street)
Bassanova, an import from Tokyo, is located on Mott Street in bustling Chinatown and has clean lines and a light and airy minimalistic touch (blond wood, and a large communal table flanked by two-seaters). Fans have been coming here for its originality for years. Shoushin Yanaura makes complex bowls of noodles that you won’t find anywhere else. A green curry ramen is the signature dish and the first thing you should get if it’s your first time. Another popular dish is a Tondaku ramen made with pork, mushroom, fried ginger, scallion, and, as a refreshing twist, is topped off with thin slices of lemon. The dish includes thin, straight noodles made by the highly-respected Sun Noodle Company. Other ramen dishes include ones with truffle oil, ones with shrimp, okra, red pepper, and lime, and ones with Berkshire pork tonkotsu & wadashi bouillion. There’s also a good selection of mazemen, with one that’s vegetarian. While the menu seems extremely edited, you can order separate toppings like okra, red pepper, baby corn, shrimp, and boiled eggs, among others. Just remember to bring cash because that’s all Bassanova takes.
【Bassanova Ramen】 76 Mott St, New York, NY 10013 Price: (約$14~) 今年最後ご紹介するのは、チャイナタウンにある本格的で美味しいラーメン屋さん！ その中でも1番おすすめするのが豚濁柚子トリュフオイルラーメン(名前定かではありませんが、柚子とトリュフオイルのらーめんですw)。 濃厚な豚骨スープにトリュフオイルがきいていてコクがすごい👀しかも柚子の風味が加わって女性も美味しく食べれるラーメンだと思います。 あるレビューにトリュフオイル入れたら何でも美味しくなると書いていた人がいましたがすごく同感。是非柚子とトリュフオイルの美味しさを実感してみて下さいね🐉 ・ ・ ・ #ニューヨーク#マンハッタン#ブルックリン#フード#グルメ#B級グルメ#グルメ部#美味しい#美味い#美味しい#グルメ旅#オシャレ#オシャレランチ#ランチ#ブランチ#インスタフード#インスタグルメ#カワイイ#ラーメン#bassanova#bassanovaramen
East Village: 65 Fourth Avenue (between 9th and 10th Street)
Midtown: 321 West 51st Street (Between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Ippudo NY is an imported Japanese chain with two soup shops in New York, one in the East Village and one in Midtown. Both are in a nice, modern space that’s bustling with those waiting for a seat. You know you’re not at just any chain if young Japanese men and women make up the crowded bar area. The housemade ramen is so fresh that you can take a peek downstairs at the East Village location and, behind a windowed chamber, you can see the noodles being made.
The first Ippudo, in the East Village, was the first international Ippudo to introduce to the world authentic Hakata Tonkotsu pork soup. The ramen here embraces its Japanese roots and, at the same time, it offers a unique Western interpretation. The second shop, opened in 2013, has the same menu as the one in the East Village, with its signature dishes and its adherence to only fresh, homemade premium noodles that are always house-made.
150 Ainslie Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Between Lorimer and Leonard Street)
Yuki still dishes out an all-ramen Omakase tasting menu—nine courses of noodle at $100—on weekend nights. On regular evenings, there are delicacies like bacon and egg mazenmen—ramen without broth and made instead with a thick, intensely-flavored sauce. Chef Yuji Haraguchi opened up his restaurant after closing up his pop-up shops in Whole Foods. Yuji is tiny, with only 13 seats, but it’s also cozy. The restaurant serves both breakfast and dinner. Yuji Ramen is for dinner and Okonomi is for breakfast. The menu for the latter is a smaller-scale menu of Yuji Ramen. As for those nine courses, you’d think people would be taken aback by it and its price, but apparently throngs of crowds reveal that it still remains popular. As for breakfast, Okonomi plays it close to the bone, with a traditional and fantastic Japanese meal called “Ichiju Sansai,” which consists of a rice bowl, a miso soup, a piece of cooked fish, and three small sides.
Ivan Ramen and Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop (East Village, Hell’s Kitchen)
East Village: Ivan Ramen: 25 Clinton Street (Between Avenue B and Houston Street)
Hell’s Kitchen: Gotham West Market, 600 11th Avenue (between 44th and 45th Street)
Long Island native Ivan Orkin went to Tokyo to open up a ramen style restaurant in a city teeming with ramen shops. It worked, though, and he made a name for himself and then returned to New York to open up Ivan Ramen and the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, the latter a sort of pit stop with a slightly leaner menu. Clinton Street is Orkin’s signature restaurant, a sixty-seat room with a decidedly diner-like decor (chrome-edged counter, vinyl stools, and a few banquettes.) Orkin is known for his rye-flour noodles in both shio and shoyu varieties, as well as his tonkotsu broth, with chilled whole wheat noodles, egg, fried pork belly, and chili oil. Ivan Ramen also has a twenty five-seat backyard, a really great addition to the spot. The Slurp Shop stand in the Gotham West Market has big taste but on a smaller scale, with an edited-down menu. The Slurp Shop is famous for its breakfast offerings of delicious ramen that will leave you full until dinner.
536 E 5th St, New York (near Avenue A)
This small Japanese ramen shop has a similar history of other ramen shops. Shigeto Kamada was in New York trying to find ramen shops and failed in his search. His quest for ramen led him to open his own, the Minca Ramen Factory, in 2004. Simple yet complex, all of Shigeto’s signature ramen dishes start out with pork and chicken bones to make a broth, as well as seaweed, dried bonito, and dried shiitake mushrooms.
Minca takes its no-frills decor from Japan. The one-room restaurant is cramped, there’s no air-conditioning, there’s exposed brick walls and just a few knockabout tables. A long wooden bar facing the kitchen is the best place to sit because you can watch the chef work. Besides some Japanese beers and appetizers, ramen dominates the menu. Customers first choose from five types of broth, then select the fresh, springy noodles: thick, thin, or wavy. The best ramen comes with chunks of pork or seafood, and all ramen are topped with such things as black mushrooms, tamago, and a hard-boiled egg.
Midtown West: 366 W. 52nd Street (Between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Hell’s Kitchen, 464 West 51st Street (Between 9th and 10th Avenues)
Midtown East: 248 East 52nd Street, First Floor (Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
Totto is so popular that it rivals the wait to get into the Polo Lounge. As such, the restaurant has three locations, including one on 51st and 10th. Located in the part of Hell’s Kitchen where restaurants start to thin out, Totto at 51st is small but worth the trip for its authentic Japanese noodles. Totto serves simple yet sumptuous bowls of chicken broth steeped with house-made noodles, or a diner’s favorite featuring the house-made noodles topped with char siu pork, tender pork belly chunks, bean sprouts, scallions, cabbage, garlic, and onions. The menu is slim, with five noodle soup choices, and know that the basement dining room, which makes up for the narrow first floor, features house music so loud you’d probably leave if not for the flavorful food.
12-09 Jackson Avenue, Hunters Point, Long Island City
Mu Ramen—a stylish, warmly-lit brick-walled Long Island City Japanese noodle shop—has to be good if there‘s a throng of people waiting to get a seat at a place that is first come, first served. It also has to be good because it’s helmed by Per Se alum Joshua Smookler and his wife, Heidy He. There’s some food that’s not ramen on the menu, but ramen is the reason why customers keep coming back to Mu Ramen. The best seats in the house are the barstools overlooking the open kitchen. Thin noodles with chicken, skinny straight noodles with hog jowl and pork belly, and house ramen with a broth made of oxtail and bone marrow and which features melting pieces of brisket are at the forefront. Meanwhile, there are a few appetizers that are wildly popular, like the warm rice with uni, spicy maguro, Ikura, and sesame-roasted nori.
171 1st Avenue, East Village (Between 10th and 11th Street)
Where to start with the Momofuku Noodle Bar? That it’s one-of-a-kind, the first place to bring ramen to New York? That each bowl mixes in the staples, like delicious pork belly, pork shoulder, and poached eggs? That the signature bowl is crazy-ass great, a mix of a rich chicken and pork broth, springy wiry noodles, and double pork toppings?
You can call it anything you want, but this ramen shop is built to last, with record-breaking waiting times to get into it. The decor—floor to ceiling windows and light-wood paneling—has a modern, Scandinavian-like vibe. The fact that David Chang, the owner, has made ramen ubiquitous in New York City is probably why he’s now like a movie star. Chang loves pork, and you can tell. It’s the base for his pork noodle broths and his sauces, and there’s nothing on the menu (besides the ice cream-based desserts) that’s not infused with some variation of pork. And the critically-acclaimed pork bun—pork belly mixed with hoisin sauce, scallions and pickle slices—makes Momofuku a destination spot.
Chef Morimoto holds onto his reputation with this restaurant. This ramen spot in Murray Hill has a trendy upscale interior with affordable prices. Yelp users are particularly fond of the kakuni bao and the tonkotsu & tantan ramen. Bring a few friends for lunch and take advantage of their amazing specials. The seating is communal so large parties are probably not a good idea but perfect for couples and small groups!