Warm Up With Our Favorite Ramen Bowls
Face it: It’s going to start getting cold here in NYC. It’s undeniably fall and what comes next? That’s right. Winter (UGH). Winter means cold weather, sweaters, and hot soup. Don’t go for just any soup, though, try these bowls of ramen which just happen to be some of our faves:
Ivan Ramen – Ivan Orkin, a “Jewish Kid from Long Island,” opened his Lower East Side ramen after a long stint in Japan. His inventive noodle-soups and izakaya-style dishes are a hit with New Yorkers: the Tokyo Shio Ramen, the Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen and the Chilled Shrimp and Fried Green Tomatoes are must-orders.
Ichiran – Ichiran is one of the more recent of the immensely popular Japanese ramen chains to make its way to the United States and it’s quite like any other. The only ramen available is tonkotsu — a rich pork-based broth — but diners are able to customize most everything else about it. The ramen is served in “flavor concentration booths” — or singular partition booths — allowing the diner a rather unique experience.
Jun-Men Ramen Bar – This Chelsea hotspot is stylish. The restaurant itself is bright and has an open kitchen — both a plus to us! The ramen is also quite delicious: the Uni Mushroom Mazeman and Pork Bone Ramen are must-orders. Be sure to finish off your meal here with their Green Tea brûlée!
MEW MEN – If you’re looking for ramen that’s starkly different than, say, Ippudo or Ichiran, this is your place. The soup at Mew Men is chicken-based, meaning it’s a lighter broth than those previously mentioned. The eatery is best known for their Shoyu-Chintan ramen with clear chicken broth, chicken oil, pork chashu, chicken chashu, and more. Basically fancy chicken noodle soup. The place is immensely stylish, plays good music, and is owned by the same people as Her Name is Han, another great NYC eatery.
Nakamura – This narrow Lower East Side restaurant is serving up some really great bowls of ramen. The owner, Shigetoshi Nakamura, is referred to “Ramen God” in Japan, so what’s not to like? The Torigara Shoyu is the chef’s signature: a soy base and light clear chicken broth, chashu pork, spinach, menma — salty simmered bamboo shoots — and thin noodles. They also have vegan options, which is relatively rare for a ramen shop.
Mr. Taka Ramen – Mr. Taka is definitely an under-the-radar star. It isn’t as well known as others on this list but certainly deserves to be. You’ll believe us the second your Spicy Tonkotsu ramen and Sweet Potato Tempura arrives. The restaurant itself has a wooden counter the counter and a plethora of seats; the interior sort of resembles the Momofuku Noodle Bar.
Ippudo – Ippudo, a world-renowned Japanese ramen shop, is one of the hottest amongst New Yorkers. The wait at the East Village location is consistently three hours — and it’s actually worth it. The minute the steaming bowl of Shiromaru Hakata Classic and Shishito peppers arrive, any hesitations about the wait will disappear. Make sure to order “kaedama” – extra noodles! Pro Tip: If you want the Ippudo ramen but in a rush, be sure to check out Kuro-Obi, their ramen bar, in many UrbanSpaces around the city.
Momofuku Noodle Bar – This one’s a no brainer for us. David Chang arguably pioneered the ramen craze in NYC when opening up Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004. We always go with the classic Momofuku Ramen and the pork buns here are our absolute favorite. Treat yo-self to some chocolate malt cake truffles for dessert while you’re at it!