top of page

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.

Like Tomita (next entry below), you'll need to grab a ticket in the morning and they'll let you know what time to come back. But unlike at Tomita, if you arrive at 10:30 am, you might even be asked to come back at 10:50 am. This is a relatively short wait for high-level, amazing tsukemen.

Shop Hours:

11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm

(4th Wed of the month only open for lunch)

5. Tomita (中華蕎麦 とみ田)

Unless you've been living under a tsukemen-less rock, you'd have heard of Tomita. Featured in the documentary "Ramenheads", Tomita is unanimously ranked as the no. 1 ramen (tsukemen) restaurant in Japan. They're actually not in Tokyo, but in neighboring Chiba prefecture. But we'll let it slide. It is Tomita, after all.

The broth is well-balanced and a perfect example of modern "kodawari" tsukemen. With all toppings, Tomita could set you back at ¥1,950+. But it's worth it. You just have to decide whether it's worth spending half a day in far-flung Matusdo. Like Menya Itto, you need to grab a ticket first and come back. For more on how this works, click here.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm

(closed on Wednesdays)

6. Warito (和利道)

Right off of Highway No. 3 near Shibuya, Warito doesn't get as crowded as some of these other shops. Take full advantage, as Warito is just as much the real tsukemen deal. Before Warito, owner Kumagai-san cut his teeth at famed tsukemen house Tetsu.

They serve a beautifully sweet and sour broth that's heavy but not too heavy. A fish flavor takes charge but there's still a silky rich smoothness. This comes from a pork-based soup at lunch and a chicken-based soup at dinner. Lastly, Warito serves one of the best ajitama (flavored eggs) in Tokyo - no joke.

Shop Hours:

11:30 am ~ 3:30 pm

5:30 pm ~ 10 pm

(open until 11 pm on Thurs, Fri, closed first Sat of the month)

7. Ginza Oborzuki (銀座 朧月)

I have a personal soft spot for Obrozuki. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's their tiny, cave-like interior (only 7 seats). This minimalist vibe is a wonderful contrast to the glitz of Ginza that surrounds the restaurant. Or maybe it's just that Obrozuki's tsukemen is so fantastically good.

Ultra thick noodles match an ultra thick and savory broth. A splash of mayu (garlic oil) is ingeniously added on top. Among toppings, the broiled pork chashu are smoky and out of this world. The egg is equally amazing. Have I mentioned I like this place a lot?

Shop Hours:

11:30 am ~ 3:30 pm

5:30 pm ~ 10 pm

(open until 11 pm on Thurs, Fri, closed first Saturday of the month)

8. Maruchou (丸長中華そば店)

Since 1947, Maruchou has played a pivotal role in Ogikubo's and Tokyo's overall ramen scene. They even contributed to the creation of tsukemen entry #1 (Taishoken) - a story for another time! It's common at Maruchou to see long line snaking around the shop. This is also because they're only open for lunch.

Maruchou's tsukemen broth is lighter and not as intense as many entries on this list. But its brimming with flavor, being sweet and salty at the same time. The dry pork chashu almost look like pork logs for a fire. Their peppery seasoning compliments the broth well. Finally, the noodles are round and somewhat slippery.

Shop Hours:

11 am ~ 3 pm

(closed on Wednesdays, every 3rd Sunday, 1st Saturday of the month)

9. Tsukemen Michi (つけ麺 道)

The tsukemen at Michi is less fishy than Tomita or Warito and packs a creamier punch like Menya Itto. While you wait outside, one of the staff will confirm your order. Tell them "tokusei nami-mori" for all toppings and a regular portion of noodles. Once inside, you'll still need to buy a ticket from the vending machine.

It's a joy to watch master chef Nagahama-san (who trained at the famous Honda) do his thing. Before the tsukemen arrives, he'll dish out seasonal yakumi (condiment). Pictured (top middle) is a garlic and ginger infused spicy oil. They also have crème brûlée (¥300) for dessert. While the egg here is sweeter than I personally like, all the other toppings are rock stars.

Shop Hours:

11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm (closed on Sundays)

#10 Niboshi Tsukemen Miyamoto (煮干しつけ麺 宮元)

Of the Tokyo tsukemen on this list, Miyamoto is perhaps the fishiest in flavor. This comes via niboshi (dried sardines), and they assert dominance over the chicken and pork bones in the soup. There's a little bit of yuzu citrus in the soup to cut through that salty bitterness from the sardines.

Miyamoto trained at #4 entry Menya Itto. This is clearly visible in the way everything is presented and prepared. This means the same deliciousness, including the toppings. But again, fish is king here!

Shop Hours:

11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm (closed on Sundays)

Tokyo Tsukemen - Maruchou

All in all, Tokyo has a plethora of choices for tsukemen. Tokyo tsukemen gets better and better, picking up more and more fans of the genre along the way. This top 10 list is hopefully a testament to that.

Want some awesome fish-based ramen in busy Shinjuku? CLICK HERE.


bottom of page