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Top 10 Tokyo Tsukemen (Dipping Ramen) Restaurants

Tokyo Tsukemen - these elite 10 restaurants are at the very top of the Tokyo tsukemen pile. For those not familiar with tsukemen, think of it as deconstructed ramen. That is, the broth is served separately from the noodles. Why do this? For one, it better isolates the texture of the noodles.

Tokyo Tsukemen - Top 10

The noodles are often thicker and served cold, which helps lock in the flavor. Furthermore, tsukemen broth is generally more potent and concentrated than ramen broth. In short, tsukemen is a whole other experience.

This dish continues to evolve and has changed dramatically since its humble beginnings 65 years ago. Not sure which tsukemen in Tokyo to try? Here are 10 Tokyo tsukemen restaurants that deliciously live up to the hype!

1. Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken (東池袋 大勝軒)

A tsukemen list would feel empty without Taishoken. At this historical ramen shop, the late Yamagishi-san first served tsukemen to the public. It started out a hearty dish for his employees to eat between shifts, a sort of hybrid hiyashi chuka (sweet and sour cold ramen) and meatier ramen.

Taishoken's tsukemen (or "mori soba", as they call it) turned out to be a big hit with customers. The broth is relatively clear compared to what you get today. But it's fatty and still packs a punch. Also, the portions are enormous. Make sure to come hungry if you decide to pay homage.

Shop Hours:

11 am ~ 10 pm

(closed on Wednesdays)

2. Fuunji (風雲児)

When it comes to tsukemen in Shinjuku (if not all of Tokyo), Fuunji is legendary. They're one of the pioneers behind the thicker and more condensed "double soup" style. This is the style most common today. At Fuunji, it's a rich chicken and briny fish flavor combination that hits you from all directions.

Once you're inside, it's quite the experience. Even though there's a line against the wall, it moves quickly. While you're waiting, you'll get to see Miyake-san put on a performance, including a theatrical yugiri (shaking out the water from the noodles).

Shop Hours:

11 am ~ 3 pm / 5 pm ~ 9 pm (closed on Sundays, Holidays)

3. Kanda Katsumoto (つけそば 神田勝本)

Kanda Katsumoto has been around since 2009. Since then, they've made an enormous splash in the Tokyo tsukemen scene. Their tsukemen isn't as heavy as the "double soup" varieties on this list. On the contrary, it's is light and refined. In addition, there's almost an elegance to it - taste and appearance.

Perhaps the most fun part at Katsumoto is that you get 2 types of noodles, side by side - thick and thin. While Katsumoto's broth is lighter, there's enough chicken richness that helps it clings to these noodles. There's also a delicate fish flavor that lingers after each slurp.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 5 pm

(closed on Sundays)

4. Menya Itto (麺屋一燈)

Menya Itto never falls outside of the top 3 rankings for tsukemen in Japan. It's one of my favorites. Just like at Fuunji, an emphasis on chicken (vs pork) provides a less messy broth with extra creamy chicken punch. But it's not as thick as at Fuunji, and there's less fishiness.