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A diner lifts a bunch of noodles from a bowl of ramen.
Ramen at Kikanbo.
Ken Shimizu

The 16 Best Ramen Shops in Tokyo

From truffle-infused ramen at Japan’s first Michelin-starred ramen shop to trendy konbusui tsukemen served in salty seaweed water, here’s where to slurp ramen in Tokyo

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Ramen at Kikanbo.
| Ken Shimizu

Tokyo reigns supreme in Japan’s ramen world. Sure, Sapporo has its rich miso ramen and Fukuoka has some of the best creamy tonkotsu pork ramen, but Tokyo has it all: rich and funky niboshi ramen made from dried sardines, devilishly spicy bowls tinged with Trinidad scorpion peppers, Michelin-worthy truffle-infused ramen, and of course local shoyu ramen, which is all the rage these days. The shops aren’t resting on their laurels either; touring the city’s ramen offerings, you’ll often hear the buzzword kodawari, a shop’s speciality ingredients like craft soy sauce, rare breeds of free-range chicken, and homemade noodles from blends of domestic flours that ramen makers use to continue pushing boundaries.

Great ramen is abundant and conveniently spread out across the city, with most neighborhoods boasting a few top-ranked shops. A comprehensive list of surefire winners covers all culinary bases in terms of flavor and texture. Quality ramen in Tokyo tends to cost around 1,000 yen (just under $8) these days, give or take a few hundred, so there’s no reason not to try them all.

Brian MacDuckston is a Tokyo-based ramen critic and cookbook author. He writes at Ramen Adventures, makes videos for YouTube, and streams his ramen hunting on Twitch.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Ramen Ibuki

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Some pungent soups have been dividing opinions among ramen lovers these days. Rich niboshi ramen, made from dried sardines, may be trendy, but it’s also very fishy — and very thick. Check out Ibuki for a great argument in favor of the style, despite their inconvenient location on Tokyo’s north side. Upwards of 14 different kinds of dried fish from around Japan are used in the preparation of the soup depending on the day, so expect a slightly different experience each time you visit.

Through a darkened window, a chef working behind a ramen counter.
Outside Ramen Ibuki.
Brian MacDuckston

King Seimen

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King Seimen is part of an expanding group of popular ramen shops in Tokyo, which also includes Nishino and Purejidento. Though their other shops all deserve a place on this list, King Seimen stands out with their house-made noodles and some of the plumpest wontons in town. Get your bowl with both pork wontons and shrimp wontons (which are also excellent on their own in a bowl of wonton soup without noodles).

A bowl of ramen on a wood counter. The bowl includes pale slices of pork, and wontons in two varieties.
Ramen with wontons at King Seimen.
Brian MacDuckston

Kikanbo

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Kikanbo is a favorite among spice-loving diners for their signature devil ramen. To make the scorching dish, they combine miso with two secret blends of spices, both hot and numbing. Customers can choose their preferred level of each. First-timers should go regular for both (futsu futsu), but spice hunters can go as far as the devil level (oni mashi) in their pursuit of spicy satisfaction, where the restaurant deploys a house-made spice mix made with Trinidad scorpion pepper. It’s surprisingly complex, with hints of citrus, but a few bites in and you’ll be feeling the heat.

From above, a bowl overflowing with toppings like slices of caramelized pork meat, green onions, boiled egg, baby corn, and ribbons of dark spice mix.
Fiery ramen from Kikanbo.
Ken Shimizu

Ramen Atelier Nakiryū

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Everything on the menu at Nakiryū comes recommended, but their Japanese take on tantanmen is something special. Their base broth is made from bones and oysters blended with mild spices. It’s not as hot and spicy as its distant cousin, Chinese dan dan mian, but the underlying umami flavors really stand out.

A fiery orange bowl of broth, topped with crumbled spice powder and seaweed.
Japanese tantanmen at Nakiryū.
Brian MacDuckston

Ramen Yamaguchi

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Yamaguchi was one of the first shops to really take the kodawari concept to the next level. Their ramen is all about chicken, utilizing specialty breeds from Japan, making it great for diners who don’t dig swine. The chicken-based broth is subtle and refreshing, while the sous vide chicken chashu topping is tender, flavorful, and good enough to justify ordering an extra serving.

A restaurant exterior, set in a bright blue building, on the far side of a crosswalk.
Outside Ramen Yamaguchi.
Brian MacDuckston

Miso ramen is often associated with Hokkaido, but Hook makes a uniquely Tokyo version. White miso is reduced with bone broth, and served with thick noodles and moyashi bean sprouts. With something so perfectly simple, there’s no need for fussy menu extras; the ramen is just served normal or spicy, in regular or large size.

From above, a bowl of ramen with two large slices of pork, sprouts, deep red broth on one side and pale yellow on the other, on a wooden countertop.
Simple perfection at Hook.
Brian MacDuckston

Honda Tokyo Noodle Works

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Honda has been loved for years for their noodles made in-house with Hokkaido flour, but their previous location north on the Yamanote train line made them a bit of a trek to visit. In April 2020, they moved locations to bustling Akhikabara, seconds from the train station gates, where they continued making the noodles on-site. The noodles come out with a firm, chewy texture, excellent in any preparation: shoyu tsukemen with a sharp soy sauce taste, shio tsukemen with a more subtle flavor, or soupless tantanmen with a hit of subtle spice.

A machine with light up buttons in purple for various options of ramen written in Japanese.
The ordering machine at Honda.
Brian MacDuckston

Jimbōchō Kurosu

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Chef Taichi Kurosu is obsessed with his job. On his days off, he often works at other, non-ramen restaurants in Tokyo just to broaden his perspective on other cuisines. That drive is reflected in his ramen; although the shio and shoyu ramen look quite simple, Kurosu uses choice ingredients like Oyama chickens from Shimane Prefecture and a blend of eight different soy sauces. Expect subtle changes in the regular menu each time you visit, plus interesting limited offerings like Hiroshima oyster ramen.

A tall bowl of ramen with a heap of sprouts on top of bright pink slices of pork, and a boiled egg floating in the broth.
Shoyu ramen at Jimbōchō Kurosu.
Brian MacDuckston

Ramenya Shima

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Shima was an instant hit when it opened in 2020. Customers lined up for their shoyu and shio ramen, but it was the konbusui tsukemen that put them over the top. The latest trend in tsukemen, cold noodles are served in a bowl with viscous konbusui (konbu seaweed water), along with a small bowl of strong soy-based dipping soup that fills with oceany umami as you dip your noodles. If slightly slimy tsukemen doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, go for the shoyu or shio.

A bowl of noodles in broth.
Konbusui tsukemen ready for dipping.
Brian MacDuckston

Tsukemen Gonokami Seisakusho

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Gonokami Seisakusho is mere minutes from the must-visit Shinjuku Gyoen park. After browsing the garden, line up for shrimp-infused tsukemen that is well worth the unavoidable wait. Choose from standard tsukemen, miso, or tomato-style. That last one is most popular, and comes with a tiny dollop of pesto paste; despite the Italian flair, it’s full of Japanese umami and a bit of sweetness from the shrimp.

A large shrimp wall-hanging sculpture.
Shrimp-themed decor.
Brian MacDuckston

Chukasoba Ginza Hachigo

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Hachigo’s chef, Matsumura Yasushi, worked in fine dining at a fancy hotel for most of his life. At 55, when peers might start thinking about retirement, he opened up a small ramen shop in Ginza. The ramen gets its salty kick from Parma ham in the soup stock, with duck and shellfish adding some complementary flavors. While most ramen shops prefer you leave the minute you finish your food, Hachigo shows some extra hospitality, encouraging guests to relax a bit at the end of their meal with some iced tea (combined with the slow pace of the restaurant, this can also cause some long lines).

From above, a bowl of ramen with thick slices of pork, bamboo shoots, egg, greens, and noodles beside chopsticks and a spoon on a counter.
Ramen at Hachigo with extra salty stock.
Brian MacDuckston

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles

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Tsuta was the first ramen shop in Japan to earn a coveted Michelin star, and their truffle-infused ramen is worthy of the accolade. Just enough truffle flavor builds on top of stock made with three kinds of chicken bones, dried fish, and konbu from Hokkaido. Ramen master Onishi-san painstakingly sources the rest of the ingredients from around Japan: Soy sauce comes from Wakayama, Hyogo, and Nagano, while the eggs come from Aomori. In late 2019 the shop moved to a convenient location in Yoyogi Uehara, just a few stops from Shinjuku or Shibuya. With their online reservation system allowing savvy diners to skip the queue, the days of waiting in line for hours are over, though you can still just show up and try your luck.

A ramen chef lifts noodles from a pot in the glare of kitchen lamps.
Onishi-san at work on the noodles.
Ken Shimizu

Men Kurai

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Men Kurai veers as far away from refined shoyu ramen as possible. Their abura soba is served without the soup that distinguishes most ramen. Instead the focus is on massive, hand-cut noodles, served in a garlicky sauce and mixed with oil. For an extra 100 yen, you can add on a pile of roasted garlic bulbs, in case it wasn’t garlicky enough already.

A restaurant exterior with large lettering in both Japanese and English.
Outside Men Kurai.
Brian MacDuckston

Muginae Homemade Ramen

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Muginae is always hovering on lists of the best ramen in Japan, whether they’re written by global food critics or local experts. Chef Akihiro Fukaya tweaks his house-made noodles every morning based on the climate and types of flour available, and every ingredient in the shoyu ramen is meticulously sourced from across Japan. Even the donburi ramen bowls are crafted by a local artisan.

A bowl of ramen with relatively thin noodles, slices of pork stacked above the surface, a wonton, bamboo shoots, a slice of seaweed sticking up, and a boiled egg.
Meticulous shoyu ramen at Muginae.
Brian MacDuckston

Tsukemen Miyamoto

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Miyamoto’s tonkotsu gyokai tsukemen is a sight to behold. Thick pork soup is spiked with dried fish powder and concentrated into a gravy-like sauce, served alongside thick wheat noodles, served cold, to dip and slurp. It’s a powerhouse of a meal, especially with two standard kinds of pork: sous vide pork shoulder and tender stewed belly.

Two bowls from above, one with thick noodles, slices of pork, and a dark boiled egg, the other with thick dark green sauce.
Noodles and thick broth at Miyamoto.
Brian MacDuckston

Shinjiko Shijimi Noodle Kohaku

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Kohaku takes littleneck clams from Lake Shinji in Shimane Prefecture and blends them with whatever other shellfish they deem worthy on that day. The result is a golden bowl of shio ramen with subtle undertones of shellfish. A sous vide slice of pork shoulder adds a stark contrast in both flavor and color.

A wide-rimmed bowl of ramen, with noodles and pink slices of pork in straw-colored broth.
Shellfish-packed bowl from Kohaku.
Brian MacDuckston

Ramen Ibuki

Through a darkened window, a chef working behind a ramen counter.
Outside Ramen Ibuki.
Brian MacDuckston

Some pungent soups have been dividing opinions among ramen lovers these days. Rich niboshi ramen, made from dried sardines, may be trendy, but it’s also very fishy — and very thick. Check out Ibuki for a great argument in favor of the style, despite their inconvenient location on Tokyo’s north side. Upwards of 14 different kinds of dried fish from around Japan are used in the preparation of the soup depending on the day, so expect a slightly different experience each time you visit.

Through a darkened window, a chef working behind a ramen counter.
Outside Ramen Ibuki.
Brian MacDuckston

King Seimen

A bowl of ramen on a wood counter. The bowl includes pale slices of pork, and wontons in two varieties.
Ramen with wontons at King Seimen.
Brian MacDuckston

King Seimen is part of an expanding group of popular ramen shops in Tokyo, which also includes Nishino and Purejidento. Though their other shops all deserve a place on this list, King Seimen stands out with their house-made noodles and some of the plumpest wontons in town. Get your bowl with both pork wontons and shrimp wontons (which are also excellent on their own in a bowl of wonton soup without noodles).

A bowl of ramen on a wood counter. The bowl includes pale slices of pork, and wontons in two varieties.
Ramen with wontons at King Seimen.
Brian MacDuckston

Kikanbo

From above, a bowl overflowing with toppings like slices of caramelized pork meat, green onions, boiled egg, baby corn, and ribbons of dark spice mix.
Fiery ramen from Kikanbo.
Ken Shimizu

Kikanbo is a favorite among spice-loving diners for their signature devil ramen. To make the scorching dish, they combine miso with two secret blends of spices, both hot and numbing. Customers can choose their preferred level of each. First-timers should go regular for both (futsu futsu), but spice hunters can go as far as the devil level (oni mashi) in their pursuit of spicy satisfaction, where the restaurant deploys a house-made spice mix made with Trinidad scorpion pepper. It’s surprisingly complex, with hints of citrus, but a few bites in and you’ll be feeling the heat.

From above, a bowl overflowing with toppings like slices of caramelized pork meat, green onions, boiled egg, baby corn, and ribbons of dark spice mix.
Fiery ramen from Kikanbo.
Ken Shimizu

Ramen Atelier Nakiryū

A fiery orange bowl of broth, topped with crumbled spice powder and seaweed.
Japanese tantanmen at Nakiryū.
Brian MacDuckston

Everything on the menu at Nakiryū comes recommended, but their Japanese take on tantanmen is something special. Their base broth is made from bones and oysters blended with mild spices. It’s not as hot and spicy as its distant cousin, Chinese dan dan mian, but the underlying umami flavors really stand out.

A fiery orange bowl of broth, topped with crumbled spice powder and seaweed.
Japanese tantanmen at Nakiryū.
Brian MacDuckston

Ramen Yamaguchi

A restaurant exterior, set in a bright blue building, on the far side of a crosswalk.
Outside Ramen Yamaguchi.
Brian MacDuckston

Yamaguchi was one of the first shops to really take the kodawari concept to the next level. Their ramen is all about chicken, utilizing specialty breeds from Japan, making it great for diners who don’t dig swine. The chicken-based broth is subtle and refreshing, while the sous vide chicken chashu topping is tender, flavorful, and good enough to justify ordering an extra serving.

A restaurant exterior, set in a bright blue building, on the far side of a crosswalk.
Outside Ramen Yamaguchi.
Brian MacDuckston

Hook

From above, a bowl of ramen with two large slices of pork, sprouts, deep red broth on one side and pale yellow on the other, on a wooden countertop.
Simple perfection at Hook.
Brian MacDuckston

Miso ramen is often associated with Hokkaido, but Hook makes a uniquely Tokyo version. White miso is reduced with bone broth, and served with thick noodles and moyashi bean sprouts. With something so perfectly simple, there’s no need for fussy menu extras; the ramen is just served normal or spicy, in regular or large size.

From above, a bowl of ramen with two large slices of pork, sprouts, deep red broth on one side and pale yellow on the other, on a wooden countertop.
Simple perfection at Hook.
Brian MacDuckston

Honda Tokyo Noodle Works

A machine with light up buttons in purple for various options of ramen written in Japanese.
The ordering machine at Honda.
Brian MacDuckston

Honda has been loved for years for their noodles made in-house with Hokkaido flour, but their previous location north on the Yamanote train line made them a bit of a trek to visit. In April 2020, they moved locations to bustling Akhikabara, seconds from the train station gates, where they continued making the noodles on-site. The noodles come out with a firm, chewy texture, excellent in any preparation: shoyu tsukemen with a sharp soy sauce taste, shio tsukemen with a more subtle flavor, or soupless tantanmen with a hit of subtle spice.

A machine with light up buttons in purple for various options of ramen written in Japanese.
The ordering machine at Honda.
Brian MacDuckston

Jimbōchō Kurosu

A tall bowl of ramen with a heap of sprouts on top of bright pink slices of pork, and a boiled egg floating in the broth.
Shoyu ramen at Jimbōchō Kurosu.
Brian MacDuckston

Chef Taichi Kurosu is obsessed with his job. On his days off, he often works at other, non-ramen restaurants in Tokyo just to broaden his perspective on other cuisines. That drive is reflected in his ramen; although the shio and shoyu ramen look quite simple, Kurosu uses choice ingredients like Oyama chickens from Shimane Prefecture and a blend of eight different soy sauces. Expect subtle changes in the regular menu each time you visit, plus interesting limited offerings like Hiroshima oyster ramen.

A tall bowl of ramen with a heap of sprouts on top of bright pink slices of pork, and a boiled egg floating in the broth.
Shoyu ramen at Jimbōchō Kurosu.
Brian MacDuckston

Ramenya Shima

A bowl of noodles in broth.
Konbusui tsukemen ready for dipping.
Brian MacDuckston

Shima was an instant hit when it opened in 2020. Customers lined up for their shoyu and shio ramen, but it was the konbusui tsukemen that put them over the top. The latest trend in tsukemen, cold noodles are served in a bowl with viscous konbusui (konbu seaweed water), along with a small bowl of strong soy-based dipping soup that fills with oceany umami as you dip your noodles. If slightly slimy tsukemen doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, go for the shoyu or shio.

A bowl of noodles in broth.
Konbusui tsukemen ready for dipping.
Brian MacDuckston

Tsukemen Gonokami Seisakusho

A large shrimp wall-hanging sculpture.
Shrimp-themed decor.
Brian MacDuckston

Gonokami Seisakusho is mere minutes from the must-visit Shinjuku Gyoen park. After browsing the garden, line up for shrimp-infused tsukemen that is well worth the unavoidable wait. Choose from standard tsukemen, miso, or tomato-style. That last one is most popular, and comes with a tiny dollop of pesto paste; despite the Italian flair, it’s full of Japanese umami and a bit of sweetness from the shrimp.

A large shrimp wall-hanging sculpture.
Shrimp-themed decor.
Brian MacDuckston

Chukasoba Ginza Hachigo

From above, a bowl of ramen with thick slices of pork, bamboo shoots, egg, greens, and noodles beside chopsticks and a spoon on a counter.
Ramen at Hachigo with extra salty stock.
Brian MacDuckston

Hachigo’s chef, Matsumura Yasushi, worked in fine dining at a fancy hotel for most of his life. At 55, when peers might start thinking about retirement, he opened up a small ramen shop in Ginza. The ramen gets its salty kick from Parma ham in the soup stock, with duck and shellfish adding some complementary flavors. While most ramen shops prefer you leave the minute you finish your food, Hachigo shows some extra hospitality, encouraging guests to relax a bit at the end of their meal with some iced tea (combined with the slow pace of the restaurant, this can also cause some long lines).

From above, a bowl of ramen with thick slices of pork, bamboo shoots, egg, greens, and noodles beside chopsticks and a spoon on a counter.
Ramen at Hachigo with extra salty stock.
Brian MacDuckston

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles

A ramen chef lifts noodles from a pot in the glare of kitchen lamps.
Onishi-san at work on the noodles.
Ken Shimizu

Tsuta was the first ramen shop in Japan to earn a coveted Michelin star, and their truffle-infused ramen is worthy of the accolade. Just enough truffle flavor builds on top of stock made with three kinds of chicken bones, dried fish, and konbu from Hokkaido. Ramen master Onishi-san painstakingly sources the rest of the ingredients from around Japan: Soy sauce comes from Wakayama, Hyogo, and Nagano, while the eggs come from Aomori. In late 2019 the shop moved to a convenient location in Yoyogi Uehara, just a few stops from Shinjuku or Shibuya. With their online reservation system allowing savvy diners to skip the queue, the days of waiting in line for hours are over, though you can still just show up and try your luck.

A ramen chef lifts noodles from a pot in the glare of kitchen lamps.
Onishi-san at work on the noodles.
Ken Shimizu

Men Kurai

A restaurant exterior with large lettering in both Japanese and English.
Outside Men Kurai.
Brian MacDuckston

Men Kurai veers as far away from refined shoyu ramen as possible. Their abura soba is served without the soup that distinguishes most ramen. Instead the focus is on massive, hand-cut noodles, served in a garlicky sauce and mixed with oil. For an extra 100 yen, you can add on a pile of roasted garlic bulbs, in case it wasn’t garlicky enough already.

A restaurant exterior with large lettering in both Japanese and English.
Outside Men Kurai.
Brian MacDuckston

Muginae Homemade Ramen

A bowl of ramen with relatively thin noodles, slices of pork stacked above the surface, a wonton, bamboo shoots, a slice of seaweed sticking up, and a boiled egg.
Meticulous shoyu ramen at Muginae.
Brian MacDuckston

Muginae is always hovering on lists of the best ramen in Japan, whether they’re written by global food critics or local experts. Chef Akihiro Fukaya tweaks his house-made noodles every morning based on the climate and types of flour available, and every ingredient in the shoyu ramen is meticulously sourced from across Japan. Even the donburi ramen bowls are crafted by a local artisan.

A bowl of ramen with relatively thin noodles, slices of pork stacked above the surface, a wonton, bamboo shoots, a slice of seaweed sticking up, and a boiled egg.
Meticulous shoyu ramen at Muginae.
Brian MacDuckston

Tsukemen Miyamoto

Two bowls from above, one with thick noodles, slices of pork, and a dark boiled egg, the other with thick dark green sauce.
Noodles and thick broth at Miyamoto.
Brian MacDuckston

Miyamoto’s tonkotsu gyokai tsukemen is a sight to behold. Thick pork soup is spiked with dried fish powder and concentrated into a gravy-like sauce, served alongside thick wheat noodles, served cold, to dip and slurp. It’s a powerhouse of a meal, especially with two standard kinds of pork: sous vide pork shoulder and tender stewed belly.

Two bowls from above, one with thick noodles, slices of pork, and a dark boiled egg, the other with thick dark green sauce.
Noodles and thick broth at Miyamoto.
Brian MacDuckston

Related Maps

Shinjiko Shijimi Noodle Kohaku

A wide-rimmed bowl of ramen, with noodles and pink slices of pork in straw-colored broth.
Shellfish-packed bowl from Kohaku.
Brian MacDuckston

Kohaku takes littleneck clams from Lake Shinji in Shimane Prefecture and blends them with whatever other shellfish they deem worthy on that day. The result is a golden bowl of shio ramen with subtle undertones of shellfish. A sous vide slice of pork shoulder adds a stark contrast in both flavor and color.