Tokyo ramen shops - there are literally thousands of them! The sheer number of ramen choices is staggering in this MASSIVE CITY. But we've done all the ramen homework for you.
We're revealing 10 different ramen styles too ...and the very best Tokyo ramen shops for each style. We're covering everything from classic 1920s soy sauce ramen to deliciously creamy chicken ramen. This is BIG - so let's get to it!
1. Classic Soy Sauce Ramen at Manpuku (萬福)
The first ramen shop ever opened in 1910. They served a ramen seasoned with soy sauce (shoyu). Manpuku's ramen is as close to this classic style as you can probably get. Many believe Manpuku is Tokyo's second oldest ramen restaurant (1929).
Conveniently located in Tokyo's glitzy Ginza district, Manpuku has a big menu. But you have to order their "chukasoba". This traditional ramen is a piece of history and relatively light. The signature egg omelette topping makes for a great photo as well.
Shop Hours: 10:30 am ~ 12:30 am (Every day)
2. Modern Soy Sauce Ramen at Mendokoro Kinari (メンドコロ キナリ)
If the previous entry represents the old guard, Mendokoro Kinari represents the new guard. The masterchef at this Nakano area ramen shop got his start in French cuisine. This is vividly clear in his modern approach to shoyu (soy sauce) ramen.
He blends together 4 types of soy sauces, including a dark (koikuchi) soy sauce from Shimane. The gentle and delicious tasting broth even includes sherry and balsamic vinegar. The low-temperature cooked pork and chicken toppings are tasty highlights.
Shop Hours: 10:30 am ~ 12:30 am (Every day)
3. Savory Miso Ramen at Oshima (大島)
Oshima is usually at the very top of Tokyo miso ramen lists. They do a Sumire style miso ramen. Sumire is one of Japan's most famous miso ramen shops - the owner at Oshima trained there for many years.
Simply put, this means fantastic miso ramen. A savory miso seasoning meets a complex pork bone, vegetable and fish soup. Stir-fried vegetables provide smokiness and grated ginger, some welcome sweetness. A must visit.
Shop Hours: Tue-Sat: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 5 pm ~ 8:30 pm
Sun: 11 am ~ 4 pm / 5 pm ~ 8 pm
4. Punchy Salt-Seasoned Ramen at Menya Syo (麺屋 翔 本店)
"Shio ramen" is salt-seasoned ramen. It's is often light and bright, which really allows a ramen soup's ingredients to shine. For our shio ramen pick we're going with Menya Syo, located in Tokyo's busy Shinjuku district.
Menya Syo's salty seasoning is a blend several salts, including ones from France and Mongolia. These carefully selected salts carry a beautifully deep chicken soup. This soup is collagen-heavy, with a lip-smacking chicken oil sprinkled on top.
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 10 pm
(5 pm ~ 9 pm on Weekends, open Every day)
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5. Silky Pork Bone Ramen at Aka no Ren (赤のれん)
What's not to love about tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen? Boiling pork bones for hours and hours gives it an unforgettable, porky rich flavor. For our Tokyo tonkotsu ramen shop, we're featuring Aka no Ren in Tokyo's Roppongi neighborhood.
Aka no Ren has a history. They're one of the first in Tokyo to serve proper tonkotsu ramen from Kyushu (where this style is from). The broth is thick and milky but the soy sauce seasoning also gives it a tangy jolt. Furthermore, they're open until 4:45 AM!
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 4:45 am (6:45 pm on Sun)
6. Creamy Chicken Ramen at Tori no Ana (鶏の穴)
Continuing with the theme of rich-flavored ramen, we're now zooming in on tori paitan (creamy chicken ramen). Tori No Ana serves one of our favorites in this style. They boil chicken bones for 6+ hours, using high-grade chickens from Aomori Prefecture.
A shio (salt) seasoning powers the bowl. As to toppings, you're treated to both minced chicken and sliced chicken chashu. Tori no Ana is in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district. This place is a ramen battleground, with a high concentration of top level shops!
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 10 pm (Every day)
7. Spicy Tantanmen at La Show Han (担々麺本舗辣椒漢)
Tantanmen is a spicy ramen derived from dan dan noodles from Sichuan province, China. La Show Han in Jimbocho has some of the finest tantanmen in Tokyo. Choose soupless tantanmen or tantanmen with soup at varying spice levels.
Their soupless tantanmen is the crown jewel. Its thick, flat noodles mop an oil that's part sesame creamy and part chili oil / numbing pepper spicy. The toppings include sweetly seasoned minced pork, bits of green negi (spring onions), and kaiware sprouts.
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 2:30 pm / 5:30 pm ~ 9:30 pm (closes at 3 pm and 9 on Sat, Sun)
8. Thick Dipping Ramen at Tsukemen Michi (つけ麺 道)
Tokyo ramenheads absolutely love Tsukemen Michi. Although it's far from the center of Tokyo (Adachi City), it's well worth the trip. The broth is a beautifully thick one, with strong flavors coming from chicken and pork bones.
Fish flavors in the background provide another layer of wonderful umami. Furthermore, the toppings are unbelievable. The same can be said about the condiments, which are regularly changed (top left). Lastly, the noodles are made in-house.
Shop Hours: 11:30 am ~ soup running out (around 7:30 pm) / Mon & Tue they serve salt seasoned tsukemen (different from photo)
9. Soupless Ramen at Bubuka (ぶぶか)
While entry #7 serves soupless ramen, Bubuka specializes in it ("abura soba"). At Bubuka, choose a “black” or “white” seasoning. Black has a stronger soy sauce flavor, whereas white has a gentler creaminess to it. Both are excellent of course.
They employ thick, wavy noodles to pick up that concentrated oily seasoning. Don't dismiss abura soba because there's no soup. You're missing out - it's a whole other ramen experience...and Bubuka reigns supreme.
Shop Hours: 11:30 am ~ Midnight (Every day)
10. New Age Ramen at Mengyo (真鯛らーめん 麺魚 本店)
One of the greatest things about ramen is that it continues to evolve. There are so many styles, some of which can't even be categorized. Mengyo is perhaps a good example of this, with their modern, "new age" ramen.
Mengyo serves a unique red snapper ramen. The fish flavor is delicate but as deep as the ocean. The modern toppings include melt-in-your-mouth, slow-cooked pork and broiled minced red snapper. Incredible bowl.
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 9 pm (Every day)
Again, bear in mind that Tokyo has an endless number of ramen shops. It's hard to compile a best 100 list, let alone a best 10 list. This said, we do hope this info was helpful in showcasing the diversity of Tokyo ramen shops!