Akihabara ramen! You might first associate Tokyo's Akihabara district with Gundam, bizarre maid cafes, and an endless amount of electronics stores. But this neon-drenched area is also home to superb ramen restaurants - some of the best in Tokyo!
Here are our top 5 picks for Akihabara ramen! As per usual, we're leaving out any ramen shops that we visit during Tokyo Ramen Tours.
1. Motenashi Kuroki (饗 くろ喜)
Motenashi Kuroki is one the top ranked ramen shops in ALL OF Tokyo. That's saying something. Whatever you order, you can't go wrong. But our recommendation is the shio (salt seasoned) ramen. It's beautifully modern in flavor and appearance.
The punchy seasoning is a blend of 5 different types of salt, including Mongolian rock salt. The soup it supports is equally complex, with whole chickens and fish among the many ingredients. If you've never had shio ramen before, this could be the bowl that hooks you.
Shop Hours: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat: 11 am ~ 2:30 pm / 5:30 ~ 7:30 pm // Wed: 11 am ~ 2:30 pm (closed on Sun)
2. Ramen Tsugumi (らーめん紬麦)
Tsumugi falls into the category of "hidden ramen gem". This Akihabara ramen shop is in the basement of an unassuming office building. Whereas Motenashi Kuroki pushes the limits with its modern ramen, Tsumugi is all about the classics.
We suggest ordering the standard "ramen" - top left of the ticket machine. This well-balanced bowl is anything but standard. The delicious soy sauce-seasoned soup is made up of whole chickens, pork trotters and other ingredients. You get particularly strong notes of bonito fish.
Shop Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30 am ~ 2:30 pm / 6 pm ~ 10:30 pm // Sat: 11:30 am ~ 2:30 pm (closed on Sun)
3. Shokudo Iki na Issho (食堂粋な一生)
This modest eatery also serves up old-school ramen, just like Tsumugi. You have several ramen options...but their miso ramen perhaps stands out most. They blend three types of miso together and these three are matched up with a soup that's 20+ elements.
The end result is rich, but not too rich. It will delightfully remind of earlier miso ramen bowls. There's a smokiness too. Among toppings, you have refreshing and crunchy bean sprouts, Japanese spinach, bamboo shoots, and a big slab of chashu pork.
Shop Hours: Mon-Fri: 11 am ~ 9 pm // Sat-Sun: 11 am ~ 8 pm (closed on Wed)
4. Mendokoro Honda (麺処 ほん田)
This place is another darling of the Tokyo ramen world. Owner Honda-san is considered to be somewhat of a ramen prodigy, diving into the industry at the prime age of 21. He recently moved their flagship shop to Akihabara, right across from the station.
Order their shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. Flavor-wise, it's a chicken-leaning bowl. But there's a lot going on in the soup, including subtle hints of fish. The varied slices of chicken and pork are a real treat, as are the in-house made noodles.
Shop Hours: Tue-Sun: 11:30 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 8 pm // Mon: 11:30 am ~ 3 pm (open every day)
5. Ramen Tenjinshita Daiki (らーめん天神下 大喜)
We end our list with another shio (salt) ramen. This one is even punchier - one that glitters like gold. The soup has a wonderful chicken oiliness that clings to your lips. But light fish flavors anchor everything and give it a very wafu / Japanese flavor too.
Another noticeable Japanese component is the chicken sorobo...these are little bits of minced chicken, which give the soup even more meatiness and chicken richness. Lastly, the bright yellow, spicy citrus paste in the middle is a nice touch.
Shop Hours: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 11 am ~ 2:30 pm / 6 ~ 9 pm // Wed: 11 am ~ 2:30 pm // Sat: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 ~ 8:30 pm (closed on Sun)
We hope you have a chance to visit at least one of these tasty Akihabara ramen shops. Maybe you'll even get to visit all of them!