Although ramen places are everywhere in Japan, I’ve checked out a few that are different from Ichiran Ramen, a famous Hakata brand. Although it is delicious to foreigners, my friend told me it’s not the same for the Japanese so I started to check out a few different places to recommend people visiting and living in Japan and who wants to find other ramen chains to eat at.
Hakata Ramen (¥950):
At first I thought it was non-authentic but it was only because of the branch I went to. The 辛とんこつラーメン (Spicy tonkotsu ramen) is really good and you can ask for different spice levels for this particular ramen. In my opinion it wasn’t hot but later on, I felt the spice – in my stomach. The つけ麺 (Tsukumen) is probably my most favourite as its soup stock is really tasty. I highly recommend going there.
– Hakata Ramen, Oji
This branch is like traditional ramen places and they seem to specialise on 味噌 “miso” or しょっぱい “salty” ramen. The presentation is nice but I prefer Hakata ramen. Id recommend the みそ担担麺 (Miso Szechuan noodles with mince) as it was quite good and also spicy. If you come for something else, try the original 特みそラーメン (Special miso ramen) or 辛みそつけ麺 (Spicy tsukumen).
– Do・Miso, Nishi Arai
Although Hidakaya is more Chinese style ramen, it’s a cheap recommendation for people on a budget. I ate there quite frequently because of the cheap prices and there seemed to be so many wherever I went to. Some dishes I recommend to eat are 油なしラーメン (Oil free ramen) and 中華そば (Chinese noodles) which are quite popular favourites of others.
– Hidakaya, Shinjuku
This is quite similar to ど・みそ in the sense of the taste. 上油ラーメン (Oily ramen) was probably the better choice as it had a nice taste to it but the presentation was more like Hidakaya’s style of ramen. Unlike the other recommendations, this place is its own place.
– Azabu Ramen, Azabujuuban
Kitakata Ramen (¥650):
The Kitakata Ramen is something you should try. It’s another branch with several stores around Tokyo and seems similar to Hakata Ramen but in my opinion but the taste is alright. It’s similar to Hakata ramen but from their menu, I’d recommend 博多方 ラーメン (Hakata style Ramen) and especially the チャーシュー (Roasted pork fillet with rice).
– Kitakata Ramen, Yotsuya Sanchome
Mt. Fuji Soba (¥370):
It’s probably the cheapest option I’ll mention and because a lot of salaryman go there, the portions are small. But quite similar to 日高屋, it’s more of a fast food branch where people come and go quickly. I tried the Nishifuji soba in Ueno and the portions are always so small.
– Mt. Fuji Soba, Ueno
The one I’d recommend the most on this list is Hakata Ramen. I’ve probably just gone to all the popular branches but this one was by far the better one. Most of the ramen or tsukemen is not salty and you can enjoy the taste more. Let me know if you try any of these places when you come to Japan!