The quest for the best ramen in the world is a journey that many food enthusiasts embark on. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the vibrant neighborhoods of New York City, the search for the perfect bowl of noodles knows no bounds. Join me as we explore the top ramen shops around the globe, from the iconic Ichiran in Japan to the renowned Tenkaippin in Hawaii. Get ready to indulge in the savory flavors and rich broths that make these ramen shops the best of the best.
The Quest for the Best Ramen in The World
Ramen is more than just a quick and easy meal; it’s a soul-warming experience that captivates your taste buds and transports you to the heart of Japan with every savory slurp. As a ramen connoisseur, I’ve embarked on a worldwide quest to unearth the crème de la crème of ramen establishments. What separates the best from the rest? Let’s delve into the key attributes that make a ramen shop truly stand out.
Craftsmanship and Authenticity
The hallmark of an exceptional ramen shop lies in its unwavering dedication to the art of creating this iconic dish. From meticulously preparing the broth over hours, using carefully selected ingredients, to mastering the art of noodle-making, a standout ramen shop exudes an air of authenticity and craftsmanship that elevates the entire dining experience.
Diverse and Flavorful Broths
A top-tier ramen shop offers an array of broth options, each boasting its own unique depth of flavor. Whether it’s the rich and creamy tonkotsu, the umami-packed shoyu, or the fiery heat of tantanmen, the ability to craft a diverse range of broths with exceptional depth and complexity sets the best ramen shops apart.
Customization and Personalization
One of the defining characteristics of a standout ramen shop is the ability to customize your bowl to perfection. From choosing the richness of the broth to the firmness of the noodles and the intensity of spice, the freedom to tailor your ramen to your exact preferences ensures that every bowl is a personalized masterpiece.
Ambiance and Experience
Beyond the culinary mastery, an exceptional ramen shop creates an immersive dining experience. Whether it’s the lively hustle and bustle of a bustling shop or the serene intimacy of a traditional ramen-ya, the ambiance and overall experience play a pivotal role in cementing a ramen shop’s status as a cut above the rest.
As we navigate through the world of ramen, these fundamental attributes serve as the guiding beacons in our relentless pursuit of the finest bowls of this beloved comfort food. Join me as we embark on an exhilarating journey to uncover the world’s best ramen establishments.
Ichiran: The Champion of Ramen
I just had to share my favorite ramen spot with you! Ichiran is not just a place to eat; it’s a journey through flavor town. Let me take you on a whirlwind trip through what makes Ichiran so special.
The Journey of Ichiran Ramen
Photo by mitbg000
Ichiran’s story begins in Fukuoka, Japan, where it originated. Their dedication to authentic tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen has earned them a global following. The journey from their humble beginnings to becoming a world-renowned ramen chain is truly inspiring.
What’s Special About Ichiran’s Ramen?
Ichiran takes the art of ramen to the next level. From the moment you enter, you’re greeted with the savory aroma of simmering broth and fresh noodles. Each bowl is a carefully crafted masterpiece, combining rich flavors and nuanced textures. The customization options allow you to tailor your bowl to perfection, ensuring every bite is exactly how you like it.
Where to Find Ichiran Outside Japan
Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen
If you’re not in Japan, fear not! You can still slurp up Ichiran’s renowned ramen in cities like New York, Hong Kong, and Taipei. It’s amazing how this little taste of Fukuoka has spread its delicious reach across the globe.
Tenkaippin: A Close Contender
As I continue my global quest for the best ramen shops, I can’t overlook the humble beginnings of Tenkaippin. From its modest start in Kyoto, Japan, over 50 years ago, this ramen joint has captured the hearts and taste buds of people worldwide. Let’s dive into the story behind this must-visit establishment.
The Humble Beginnings of Tenkaippin
Tenkaippin’s journey began in 1945, in the aftermath of World War II. Its founder, Tsukasa Yashiro, set out to create a unique ramen dish that would delight customers and help them forget the struggles of everyday life. With a secret umami-packed recipe, the first Tenkaippin restaurant quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike. Today, the brand stays true to its roots, preserving the original flavors that made it famous.
Why Tenkaippin is a Must-Try
What sets Tenkaippin apart is its hearty and rich broth, accompanied by a distinctive blend of spices and perfectly cooked noodles. The resulting umami explosion in every bite keeps customers coming back for more. Whether you prefer a classic shoyu (soy sauce) base or a fiery miso broth, Tenkaippin offers a diverse menu that caters to every palate. It’s no wonder that even the most discerning ramen enthusiasts consider Tenkaippin a top contender in the global ramen scene.
Tenkaippin’s Global Reach
Despite its humble beginnings, Tenkaippin has expanded beyond Japan and now operates in several countries, including the United States, Singapore, and Australia. Its international success speaks volumes about the universal appeal of its flavorful offerings. Whether you’re strolling through the vibrant streets of Tokyo or exploring a bustling city halfway across the globe, the chance to savor Tenkaippin’s renowned ramen is an experience not to be missed.
Photo by Jimmy Liao
More Top Ramen Shops from Around the Globe
Who doesn’t love a steaming bowl of delicious, flavorful ramen? If you’re a ramen enthusiast like me, then you’re probably always on the hunt for the next best bowl of noodles. Here are some top ramen shops from different corners of the world that are worth exploring.
The Best Ramen Shops in America
From the bustling streets of New York City to the laid-back vibes of Los Angeles, America has become a hub for top-notch ramen joints. One of my personal favorites is “Ippudo” in New York City, known for its rich and creamy tonkotsu broth. For a unique and adventurous twist on ramen, “Tatsu Ramen” in Los Angeles offers innovative flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.
Photo by Following NYC
Europe’s Hidden Ramen Gems
While Asia is the birthplace of ramen, Europe has certainly carved out its own niche in the ramen scene. In London, “Kanada-Ya” serves up authentic tonkotsu ramen that has gained a cult following. Meanwhile, in Berlin, “Cocolo Ramen” offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere to savor their mouthwatering bowls of noodles.
Photo by stein egil liland
Exploring Asia’s Finest Ramen Spots
No ramen journey would be complete without delving into the heart of Asia, where ramen culture runs deep. In Tokyo, “Afuri” offers a unique yuzu shio ramen that is both refreshing and satisfying. For those venturing to Singapore, “Noodle Story” fuses traditional Japanese techniques with local flavors, resulting in an unforgettable dining experience.
Photo by KYUTAE PARK
A Closer Look at Ramen Varieties
Ramen, the versatile noodle dish, comes in a myriad of styles and flavors, making it a delightful adventure for any food enthusiast. Let’s delve into the world of ramen varieties, understanding the different types and exploring the regional flavors that grace the captivating culinary landscape of Japan.
Understanding Different Types of Ramen
Ramen broths can be classified based on their heaviness, broth base, and seasoning source. Heaviness comes in two main categories: kotteri, which refers to rich and thick broths, and assari, which denotes light and clear broths. The broth base comprises the main ingredients simmered to make the soup, ranging from animal bones to vegetables and seafood. Then, there’s the seasoning source, which includes shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented bean paste), and tonkotsu (pork).
This classification system is not only fascinating but also crucial in comprehending the diverse world of ramen. It allows enthusiasts to appreciate the intricate nuances and variations that each type of ramen brings to the table, making each bowl a unique and flavorful experience.
Regional Ramen Flavors Across Japan
In Japan, regional varieties of ramen showcase an array of distinctive flavors and ingredients, reflecting the rich culinary traditions of different areas. From the robust and savory Sapporo-style miso ramen to the delicate and seafood-infused Hakodate ramen, each region boasts its own interpretation of this beloved dish.
For instance, the northern island of Hokkaido is renowned for its miso-based ramen, utilizing the local miso to create a hearty and flavorful broth. On the other hand, the southern island of Kyushu takes pride in its tonkotsu ramen, characterized by its creamy and rich pork bone broth.
These regional variations add depth and complexity to the world of ramen, inviting food enthusiasts to embark on a captivating journey through Japan’s diverse culinary landscape.
Photo by Brian Oh
What the Fans Say
Ramen has taken the world by storm, and fans are the driving force behind the popularity of ramen shops. Not only do they frequent these establishments regularly, but they also influence the rankings and reviews that shape the reputation of each shop.
How Rankings and Reviews Influence Ramen Popularity
Online platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor have become the go-to sources for ramen enthusiasts seeking the best spots to satisfy their cravings. Positive reviews and high ratings can catapult a ramen shop to superstardom, attracting visitors from far and wide. Conversely, negative reviews can swiftly tarnish a shop’s reputation, highlighting the immense impact that rankings and reviews have on the success of a ramen establishment.
Fan Favorites and Cult Classics
Some ramen shops have gained a cult following, with fans eagerly lining up for a taste of their signature dishes. These fan favorites often have a unique selling point, whether it’s a secret recipe passed down through generations or an innovative twist on traditional flavors. From bustling city joints to hidden gems off the beaten path, these cult classics hold a special place in the hearts of ramen aficionados, contributing to the rich tapestry of ramen culture across the globe.
Bringing the Flavor Home
Ramen enthusiasts, listen up! As much as I love slurping bowls of delicious ramen at my favorite shops, there’s something uniquely satisfying about creating my own custom bowl of ramen at home. Not only does it allow you to tailor the flavors to your liking, but it’s also a fun and creative process. Let’s delve into the world of DIY ramen and discover how to bring the authentic flavors of this beloved dish into your own kitchen.
Tips for Making Your Own Ramen
Making your own ramen may seem daunting, but fear not! With the right tips and tricks, you can easily craft a bowl of ramen that rivals your favorite restaurant’s. Here are some pointers to get you started:
- Broth is Key: The broth sets the foundation for your ramen, so take the time to simmer it with care. Whether it’s a rich tonkotsu broth or a flavorful shoyu base, the secret lies in a slow and steady simmer to extract the maximum flavor from your ingredients.
- Noodle Perfection: While making your own noodles from scratch can be rewarding, there’s no shame in opting for high-quality store-bought noodles. Look for fresh or dried ramen noodles at your local Asian grocery store for an authentic touch.
- Customize Your Toppings: One of the joys of DIY ramen is the freedom to add your favorite toppings. Whether it’s succulent chashu pork, marinated soft-boiled eggs, or an assortment of fresh vegetables, experiment with different combinations to find your ideal bowl.
- Umami Boosters: Elevate the depth of flavor in your ramen by incorporating umami-rich elements such as miso paste, dried shiitake mushrooms, or kombu seaweed into your broth.
Where to Get Authentic Ramen Ingredients
To create an authentic bowl of ramen at home, sourcing the right ingredients is crucial. Here are a few key components you’ll need:
- Noodles: Look for alkaline noodles specifically labeled for ramen. These can often be found in the refrigerated or frozen section of Asian supermarkets.
- Tare and Aromatics: Essential for flavoring the broth, tare is a concentrated sauce that adds depth to the soup. Authentic tare can be purchased at specialty Asian markets or online.
- Quality Broth Base: While making ramen broth from scratch is an art in itself, time constraints may lead you to opt for store-bought broth. Seek out high-quality, flavorful broth options to serve as the foundation for your homemade ramen.
- Fresh Toppings: Visit your local market for fresh produce and protein options for toppings, ensuring that your bowl of ramen boasts the freshest ingredients.
Creating your own ramen at home can be a delightful adventure, allowing you to personalize every element of this beloved dish. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary journey to craft the perfect bowl of DIY ramen.
1. Regional Ramen Varieties in Japan:
- Hokkaido’s Miso Ramen: Known for its rich, hearty broth made with miso paste, often topped with sweet corn, butter, and roasted pork.
- Tokyo’s Shoyu Ramen: A soy sauce-based broth, usually lighter and clearer, often served with bamboo shoots and green onions.
- Kyushu’s Tonkotsu Ramen: A creamy, pork bone broth that’s been simmered for hours to achieve its rich flavor, typically served with thin, straight noodles.
2. International Ramen Innovations:
- Ramen has been adapted in various parts of the world, incorporating local ingredients and flavors. For instance, in America, you might find ramen with unconventional toppings like bacon or avocado.
- Vegetarian and vegan ramen varieties are gaining popularity globally, offering plant-based broths and toppings to cater to a wider audience.
3. The Art of Eating Ramen:
- Slurping is not only acceptable but encouraged in Japan when eating ramen. It’s said to enhance the flavors and also helps to cool down the hot noodles.
- It’s customary to consume ramen quickly after it’s served to enjoy the noodles at their best texture, as they can become soggy if left in the broth for too long.
4. Pairing Ramen with Drinks:
- In Japan, ramen is often paired with beer or sake. The right drink can complement the rich flavors of the ramen broth.
- Non-alcoholic options like green tea or oolong tea are also popular choices, especially in more traditional settings.
5. Ramen Etiquette and Customs:
- It’s typical to see communal water stations in ramen shops in Japan, where diners can help themselves to water.
- Some ramen shops offer customizability in terms of noodle firmness, broth strength, and oil level. This allows diners to tailor the dish to their personal preferences.
6. Home Cooking:
- Making ramen at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. You can experiment with different broths, noodles, and toppings to create your own unique bowl.
- Instant ramen can be elevated with a few simple additions like fresh vegetables, a soft-boiled egg, or leftover cooked meats.
7. Unique Ramen Experiences:
- Ramen museums, like the one in Yokohama, offer a unique experience where you can learn about the history of ramen and try different styles from across Japan.
- Ramen cooking classes are a great way to learn the art of ramen making from experienced chefs, especially popular in tourist destinations in Japan.
So there you have it, the best ramen shops in the world according to the passionate voters on Goo Ranking. Ichiran took the top spot with its natural tonkotsu ramen, and you can find it not only in Japan but also in New York City. Meanwhile, Tenkaippin is a close runner-up with its affordable and delicious bowls of ramen. Whether you’re a ramen aficionado or just looking to try something new, these top-ranking shops are definitely worth a visit.