For Tokyo spicy ramen, these 5 spots have you covered! From spicy miso ramen to dipping ramen with a mountain of ground chili pepper, let's dive in!
1. Fiery Hot Tsukemen - Mendokoro Inosho
Location: Shakuji-koen, Nerima
Ramen shop Mendokoro (麺処 井の庄) Itosho is deep within Nerima, Tokyo’s Westernmost ward. While non-spicy ramen is available, everyone orders the spicy ramen here. Their spicy tsukemen (dipping ramen) is most popular. Choose from a spice level of 1-4. But note that even level 2 will make you sweat.
Spice-wise, let's just say that they don't hold anything back. The tsukemen soup is rich from pork bones and it works like a coating agent for the thick noodles. The heat comes from the bright red chili oil and mound of ground chili peppers (togarashi). But that little mound also has fish powder inside. In other words, fish flavors are present too.
In summary, Mendokoro Inosho serves ramen that's insanely spicy but also unique.
Shop Hours: Weekdays: 10 am ~ 3:30 am / 5 pm ~ 11 pm // Weekends: 10 am ~ 11 pm
2. Katsu-ura Style Tantanmen - Bingiri
Location: Ogikubo, Suginami
Bingiri (ビンギリ) is located in Ogikubo, one of Tokyo’s most important ramen neighborhoods. Their speciality is a Katsu-ura style tantanmen. Tantanmen is a spicy ramen derived from Chinese dan dan noodles. Katsu-ura City created its own version to help local fisherman combat cold winter nights. Naturally, it's spicy.
The owner at Bingiri is actually from Katsu-ura City. So you know what they're doing is authentic! Seasoned with soy sauce, the thick soup is brimming with chili oil, sansho numbing pepper, and an array of toppings. This includes minced pork, garlic chives, and fried onions. The noodles below the soup are thinner.
In conclusion, Bingiri serves a delicious mess. Be warned - this one is spicy too!
Shop Hours: Every Day: 12 pm ~ 2:30 pm (closed on Sun)
3. Tokyo’s Favorite Spicy Ramen Chain - Nakamoto
Location: Throughout Tokyo
Mouko Tanmen Nakamoto (蒙古タンメン中本) commands legions of diehard fans. Their ramen menu is massive, showcasing spice levels 0 to 10. Level 10 is a tsukemen (dipping ramen). But it's actually their Level 9 ramen that gets the most attention. It's ironically named the "Arctic Ramen" and it looks like something out of Koopa's Castle.
It features a bold miso seasoning and plenty of garlic, togarashi pepper, and chili oil. But if you're not into spicy food, spice levels 0-3 are quite mild. On this same scale (0-10) they adjust each ramen in terms of toppings and even the soup. They also do a number of specials, many of which are only available at specific branches.
While their main Tokyo branch is in Kamiitabashi, you can find them in Shibuya and Shinjuku too!
Shinjuku Shop Hours: Every Day: 10 am ~ 11 pm
4. Devil Miso Ramen - Kikanbo
Location: Kanda, Ikebukuro
English language media regularly mentions Kikanbo. This is for good reason. Their ramen is out of this world. We'll get to this in a second. Kikanbo maintains an “Oni” (devil) theme. It's a lot of fun. As soon as you enter their Kanda or Ikebukuro branches, you're greeted by devilish decorations and dramatic drum music.
In terms of spicy ramen, Kikanbo practically reinvented the wheel. Their signature spicy miso ramen is as complex as it is delicious. The soup is everything from pork bones to six types of red peppers. Select spice levels and sansho (numbing pepper) levels from 1-5. But be warned...Level 5, Oni Level, is HOT.
Clear the following day's schedule if you decide to go down the "Oni" route.
Kanda Shop Hours: Every Day: 11 am ~ 9:30 pm (4 pm on Sun)
5. Late Night Spicy Ramen - Rishiri
Location: Shinjuku, Shinjuku
Rishiri Ramen (利しりらーめん) is a late night institution in one of Tokyo’s more “shady” neighborhoods. This would be Kabukicho, Shinjuku's big red light district. It’s open until 5 am every day except Sunday. I’m sure they've seen a lot of things in their 50+ years of business.
The soy sauce seasoned "Orochon Ramen" is the spicy ramen you see pictured. It may not be as remarkable as the other spicy bowls on this list. But it more than gets the job done. First of all, it's massive. Furthermore, packed with toppings - from bell peppers to slices of pork rib. Choose your pain, this time on a spice scale of 1-9.
After spice level 6, you'll really start to feel the heat.
Shop Hours: Every Day: 6:30 pm ~ 5 am (closed on Sun)
There you have it - the best Tokyo spicy ramen shops!