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The 19 Hottest Ramen Shops Across America Right Now

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Ramen is taking over. What was once a buzzy food just in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco is now popping up all over the country, including cities such as Philadelphia, Austin, and San Diego. Blame Momofuku's noodley overlord David Chang, perhaps: it's certainly no coincidence that a good number of the new ramen restaurants mimic the sleek wood aesthetic of his landmark New York restaurant Noodle Bar, and the ramen trend has only intensified after the first, ramen-themed first issue of Chang's Lucky Peach was released in 2011. Below, Eater's picks for the 19 most exciting recent editions to the ramen genre across the country.

How creative? How about Paul Qui's East Side King in Austin, which serves a combination ramen/tortilla soup? Or Oiistar in Chicago, where the Pozolmen is a riff on pozole and topped with shredded pork and pico de gallo? The brand spanking new Zen 6 in New York's East Village even has a ramenified take on the California Roll, topped with avocado, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and bell peppers, while Oakland's Ramen Shop serves up a meyer lemon version of the traditional yuzu broth.

Of course, the traditional stuff is much more common: pork bones are simmered across the country for anywhere from 12 to 60 (!) hours at Austin's Ramen Tastu-Ya, and the noodles at San Diego's RakiRaki are simmered in an alkalized water (glasses of the stuff are complimentary). These restaurants often have quirky rules like their Japanese counterparts, where take out is not an option but slurping is most definitely allowed. Some of the restaurants even make their own noodles in house or order their own proprietary style from noodle companies in the States and abroad.

Below, the Eater National Ramen Heat Map, featuring some of the best ramen shop openings across the United States that have, for the most part, opened over the last twelve months. Don't say your favorite place? Let us know in the comments below. Long lines and long noodles, ahead.


· All Ramen Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Eater Heatmaps [-E-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Yume wo Katare

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The Boston location (there are five in Japan) of this teeny tiny ramen shop serves up pork-based ramen to a mere 16 seats at a time. Rules: Everyone over the age of 12 must order a bowl. Line: always.[Photo]

Hanjan is actually a Korean restaurant, and they serve a Korean take on ramen called ramyun. Late night only: the broth is started in the morning, and they serve it when it's done (after 10:00PM).[Photo]

Nom Nom Ramen

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Serving Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen with a 24 hour broth, Nom Nom Ramen is a simple (almost bare bones) ramen storefront that is very serious about its ramen.[Photo]

East Village newcomer Zen 6 has traditional ramen, but check out their "New York Pop Creations." This wilder half of the menu includes a California Ramen with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and bell pepper, Spider Ramen topped with soft shell crab, and more.[Photo]

Ramen Bar

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Another specimen of Philly's recent ramen boom, Ramen Bar not only serves everything from tonkatsu to shoyu to veggie miso, they also serve rice bowls and teriyaki for the noodle averse.[Photo]

Daikaya

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Daikaya is so hot it's barely even open: Washington, DC's most anticipated ramen venture in recent memory opens today. The downstairs of Daikaya serves ramen while the upstairs will be an izakaya. Four types of ramen on the menu from Minibar alum Katsuya Fukushima, including, it seems, a vegan option.[Photo]

Miso Izakaya

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Guy Wong's Miso Izakaya has been open since 2009, but its ramen lunch service just started in September. 16 seats are available from 11:30 to 2:00; ramen is a 36-hour tonkotsu, but there are occasional specials of other varieties.Photo]

Momi Ramen

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Tonkotsu and miso ramens from chef Jeffrey Z. Chen, who worked at ramen houses in Japan for over ten years before setting up (noodle) shop in Miami.[Photo]

Ramen Tatsu-ya

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A line forms outside this Austin ramen shop each night, but do not be intimidated: it moves quick. Options include a 60 (!) hour pork broth which is served original style, shoyu style or blended with a miso broth.[Photo]

East Side King (at Hole in the Wall)

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Top Chef winner Paul Qui gets into the ramen game with the fourth location of his East Side King food carts. Here, ESK riffs on traditional ramen flavors with a tortilla soup version, a beer/bacon version, and more.[Photo]

Oiistar

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This elegant boasts noodles made in-house, an 18-hour pork broth, and variations on ramen including a version with mussels and a "pozolmen." And the soup doesn't stop there: there's also a French Kimchi Soup, served like French Onion Soup with bread and melted cheese.[Photo]

One Two Three Sushi

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Primarily a customizable sushi lunch counter, One Two Three Sushi also serves tempura shrimp ramen, pork belly ramen, and a tonkatsu ramen. (Not tonkotsu, tonkatsu. As in, topped with crispy fried pork.)[Photo]

If Tommy Lee's Uncle looks familiar, it's because the Denver chef set out to emulate a certain famous NYC noodle bar: "I went to Noodle Bar the first time by myself and it was like someone had taken my entire life and put it into a restaurant." Lee serves up two styles of ramen (pork; spicy lamb) along with buns, sesame pancakes, and more.[Photo]

Shoku Ramen-ya

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Owner Lorin Watada goes traditional with the ramen at Shoku, with a pork-based broth, a Lobster-miso broth, a spicy miso and a Northern Japanese seafood-based broth. [Photo]

Rakiraki

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RakiRaki serves a simple menu with two broth choices (original and premium) available at varying degrees of spiciness as well as a Tsukemen dipping ramen. What they're perhaps best known for, though, is serving Alkalized water — and using it in their cooking as well.[Photo]

Tatsu Ramen

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Los Angeles is just lousy with good ramen — check out Eater LA's ramen map if you're skeptical — but of the newer offerings, Tatsu's perhaps the most interesting. Customize your order by broth choice and toppings when your order on their iPad menu system. Futuristic.[Photo]

Ramen Shop

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While the Bay Area caught ramen fever a couple years ahead of the trend in the rest of the country, one major recent opening is Oakland's Ramen Shop. Run by Chez Panisse alums serving a variety of broths (meyer lemon shoyu, anyone?) and a menu of craft cocktails.[Photo]

Yataimura Maru

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A new spot from Portland's Shigezo, Yataimura Maru mimics a "food-stall-lined Japanese alleyway" and serves several types of ramen, including a broth-free Shio Abu Ramen.[Photo]

Kukai Ramen & Izakaya

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The first US location of a Japanese chain, Kukai serves just about every type of traditional ramen you can thinking of: chicken-based, tonkotsu, tsukeman, shio, shoyu, yuzu shio and more. [Photo]

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Yume wo Katare

The Boston location (there are five in Japan) of this teeny tiny ramen shop serves up pork-based ramen to a mere 16 seats at a time. Rules: Everyone over the age of 12 must order a bowl. Line: always.[Photo]

Hanjan

Hanjan is actually a Korean restaurant, and they serve a Korean take on ramen called ramyun. Late night only: the broth is started in the morning, and they serve it when it's done (after 10:00PM).[Photo]

Nom Nom Ramen

Serving Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen with a 24 hour broth, Nom Nom Ramen is a simple (almost bare bones) ramen storefront that is very serious about its ramen.[Photo]

Zen 6

East Village newcomer Zen 6 has traditional ramen, but check out their "New York Pop Creations." This wilder half of the menu includes a California Ramen with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and bell pepper, Spider Ramen topped with soft shell crab, and more.[Photo]

Ramen Bar

Another specimen of Philly's recent ramen boom, Ramen Bar not only serves everything from tonkatsu to shoyu to veggie miso, they also serve rice bowls and teriyaki for the noodle averse.[Photo]

Daikaya

Daikaya is so hot it's barely even open: Washington, DC's most anticipated ramen venture in recent memory opens today. The downstairs of Daikaya serves ramen while the upstairs will be an izakaya. Four types of ramen on the menu from Minibar alum Katsuya Fukushima, including, it seems, a vegan option.[Photo]

Miso Izakaya

Guy Wong's Miso Izakaya has been open since 2009, but its ramen lunch service just started in September. 16 seats are available from 11:30 to 2:00; ramen is a 36-hour tonkotsu, but there are occasional specials of other varieties.Photo]

Momi Ramen

Tonkotsu and miso ramens from chef Jeffrey Z. Chen, who worked at ramen houses in Japan for over ten years before setting up (noodle) shop in Miami.[Photo]

Ramen Tatsu-ya

A line forms outside this Austin ramen shop each night, but do not be intimidated: it moves quick. Options include a 60 (!) hour pork broth which is served original style, shoyu style or blended with a miso broth.[Photo]

East Side King (at Hole in the Wall)

Top Chef winner Paul Qui gets into the ramen game with the fourth location of his East Side King food carts. Here, ESK riffs on traditional ramen flavors with a tortilla soup version, a beer/bacon version, and more.[Photo]

Oiistar

This elegant boasts noodles made in-house, an 18-hour pork broth, and variations on ramen including a version with mussels and a "pozolmen." And the soup doesn't stop there: there's also a French Kimchi Soup, served like French Onion Soup with bread and melted cheese.[Photo]

One Two Three Sushi

Primarily a customizable sushi lunch counter, One Two Three Sushi also serves tempura shrimp ramen, pork belly ramen, and a tonkatsu ramen. (Not tonkotsu, tonkatsu. As in, topped with crispy fried pork.)[Photo]

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