There’s ramen, and then there’s ramen. The majority of us have had a bowl — or several — in our lifetime. But are you sure you’ve had the good stuff? Get ready to rethink noodles. Here’s where you can find the best ramen in Tokyo — by type.

Infographic: What is ramen, anyway?

What is ramen infographic
Photo by Hawken King

Ramen can be mixed and matched into several varieties. However, there are four main classifications, based on the base and flavorings used: shio (salt), shōyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented soy bean), and tonkotsu (cloudy pork bone).

Ramen aficionados tend to have a favorite, as the four main types vary a lot in taste and texture. For instance, a tonkotsu ramen tends to be thicker and heavier to eat, while a shōyu ramen is lighter. Ramen restaurants in Japan tend to be known for one type (even if they have several on their menu), so we’ve made a list of the tastiest and the best value.

Suggested Activity
Ramen Cooking Class
Whether you're a seasoned chef or a complete beginner, you're sure to find this Ramen cookery class fun, interactive, and educational!

Where to find the best miso ramen in Tokyo

Miso ramen can be made spicy or kept simple. | Photo by Getty Images
  • Shimbu Sakiya Ramen: Open until the early morning in Shibuya and offering mainly Sapporo-style miso ramen, as well as other flavors and gluten-free and vegan options.
  • San Tora: The owner hails from Sapporo, famous for its miso ramen, so there’s an authentic taste. It is known for its pork-bone base.
  • Hanamichi: If you want to sweat, then head to Hanamichi in either Nogata or Kita Sando. The store is known for having ramen that’ll blow your head off, so pick wisely. They also offer tsukemen (dipping noodles).
  • Do Miso: A cheerful chain specializing in miso ramen.

Pro tip: Save time and taste six mini bowls of ramen, from three award-winning restaurants, on this popular ramen tour around Shibuya.

Where to find the best soy-sauce ramen in Tokyo

The presentation of this shoyu ramen from Jyunteuchi Daruma is mouth watering. | Photo by Alex Ziminski
  • Jyunteuchi Daruma: A pristine shop in Nakano Fujimicho, where the chef creates the noodles in front of you.
  • Tsuta: This popular ramen shop once had a Michelin star (before relocating to its current location in Yoyogi Uehara). That means the classic shoyu-ramen bowls start at a steep ¥3,000, but the taste is worth it.
  • Ramen Yamaguchi: You’ll find a lot of good ramen shops in the student town of Nishi Waseda, and this store is one of them. Yamaguchi’s broth is made with the finest chicken in Japan, and they also offer dipping noodles.
  • Ramen Kamo to Negi: Expect to wait in line at this establishment near Ueno Station. The highlight of the menu is duck and green onion with a light soy sauce broth.

Where to find the best shio (salt) ramen in Tokyo

Shimbu Sakiya Ramen doesn’t just serve miso ramen. Take a look at this salt-based dish. | Photo by Maria Danuco
  • Afuri: This chain can be found all over Tokyo. Most famous for their yuzu salt-based ramen, they also offer different types, including soy sauce and vegan options.
  • Oreryu Shio Ramen: Also a chain offering a wide range of flavors, but as it’s in the name, you can’t go wrong with the shio option.
  • Motenashi Kuroki: Akihabara has plenty to offer in the way of ramen, but the shop Kuroki goes an extra step. The soup is a complex blend of game meats and shellfish and isn’t too salty. They are also known for their handmade noodles.

Where to find the best tonkotsu ramen in Tokyo

Tonkotsu ramen is not for the faint-hearted. This is the feast you’ll get at Musashiya in Shin Nakano. | Photo by Alex Ziminski
  • Musashiya: Reasonably priced ramen in Shin Nakano serving big bowls, plus free rice.
  • Ichiran: Here you can customize your own bowl of ramen.
  • Ippudo Ramen: A ramen restaurant chain found throughout Tokyo, with bowls between ¥800 and ¥1,000.
  • Hakata Tenjin: Where to try excellent tonkotsu on a budget.

The cheapest ramen in Tokyo

  • Hidakaya: Another chain, with bowls priced at ¥390 to ¥690.
  • Stamina Ramen: A shop in the Kichijoji neighborhood, frequented by locals (so you know it’s good) and just ¥500 a bowl.
  • Raion Ramen: A casual ramen house on Tokyo’s west side. ¥700 and up.

Ramen cooking classes in Tokyo

Had enough of simply eating bowl after bowl of delicious ramen? Think you can become the next ramen master? Try your hand at making your own in one of these cooking classes (with English-language support).

  • Make your own ramen and gyoza guided by Andrew Baba, a British-Japanese professional chef. See our video at the start of this article, where we took part in one of his classes. He also has a dedicated class for making vegetarian ramen and gyoza.
  • If you want a slightly speedier option, join Chef Yoshi Shishido in the kitchen and create a bowl of the chefs original chicken tonkotsu ramen, plus gyoza.
  • This inclusive cooking class teaches you how to make halal ramen and gyoza with halal-certified ingredients and equipment.

Other places to find ramen in Tokyo

If you can’t choose just one type of ramen to try, then you may want to go somewhere that offers tastes of a variety of types.

  • Tokyo Ramen Street: Tokyo Ramen Street in Tokyo Station has numerous carefully selected ramen shops from across Tokyo, with a regional restaurant that invites new hosts every 101 days.
  • The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum: This is a little less museum, a little more ramen street. There is a section on the history of ramen, but the joy is the faux-Showa-era streets with restaurants, all offering full or half-size bowls.
  • Tokyo Ramen Festa: If you are in Tokyo in late October/early November, then take the chance to try a selection of ramen from around Japan in one spot.
  • Cup Noodles Museum: Try your hand at making your own cup noodles, at this fun little museum in Yokohama.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. This article was first published in 2017 by Adriana Paradiso. It was last updated in December 2023 by Alexandra Ziminski, with recommendations from the Tokyo Cheapo team.

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Filed under: Ramen
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