Chicago

11 Best Restaurants to Slurp Ramen in Chicago

Ramen has taken the world by storm in the last few years, and the U.S was no exception. Now for my dearly oblivious readers, ramen is a Japanese masterpiece and a staple to the natives. Al dente noodles in a luxuriously rich broth with slices of marinated pork, a soft-boiled egg, nori, and dashi are artistically cooked together; to make a sinfully good bowl of ramen. It’s a meal fit for the Gods, and these heavenly bowls of ramen are right here in Chicago.

The spots listed below have ramen figured out like a mathematical formula. Therefore, have a cult following. Perhaps this is the closest Chicagoans will get to the real deal outside of Japan. Also, let’s not confuse ourselves with the prepacked instant kind. Some varieties of broths sit simmering for up to 72 hours and noodles the hand-made.

Best Ramen in Chicago

The traditional, the unconventional, the mild, the fire, we have you covered on all ends. These are some of the top bowls of ramen bowls you can get your chopsticks into in the city of Chicago. Get ready to get slurpin’!

1

Ramen San

best-ramen-in-chicago

The regulars at Ramen San know that it is customary to start with an order of buns or gyoza (Japanese dumplings), knowing full well that the appetizers are just the opening act. The Tokyo-style curly noodles sit soaking in decadent tonkotsu (pork-based) or shio (salt-based) broth. They are topped with chashu (sliced marinated pork) or even fried chicken, kimchi, even butted corn. 

This noodle bar prides itself in both its traditional and unorthodox varieties. Even the vegetarians swear by the Imperial Shio Ramen with a veg-based broth, finished with tofu chunks, a soft-boiled egg, and nori confetti. Like these bowls of ramen need any upgrading, but the ad-on menu provides just that; fried garlic, spicy sesame chili, or wontons make the bowl a homerun.

Address –  59 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654

Contact –  (312) 377-9950

2

Ramen Wasabi

The callous weather of Chicago gets one in the mood for a warm and cozy bowl of ramen or even a fiery one if you are feeling adventurous. For instance, if you’re in the mood for a ‘blow your soak off” heat, opt for the spicy roasted garlic ramen laden with chili peppers. 

Alternatively, you could order the slowed-cooked tonkotsu; its rich and silky mouthfeel is heavenly. A complete bowl comes with Berkshire pork, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, scallions, sesame, wood ear mushrooms, and garlic oil. Ramen Wasabi is memorable for its undistorted and straightforward noodle bowls.  

Address – 2115 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Contact –  (773) 227-8180

3

Urbanbelly (Best Ramen in Chicago)

best-ramen-in-chicago

Chef Bill Kim is a crackerjack of Asian Fusion cooking. Therefore, he is popularly known for his soups, and ramen is also a staple. This chef has masterminded dishes like the Phat ramen; it is a culinary delight. Its indulgent broth, studded with tender pork dumplings, lemongrass-flavored chicken, whole shrimp, and wavy ramen noodles. 

Urbanbelly even offers Vietnamese-inspired ramen. A pho-influenced broth with braised pork belly, radish, mushrooms, and the glorious soft-boiled egg. Now that sounds like a surf and turf ramen that cures the winter blues, regarded as some of the best ramens in Chicago.

Address –  1542 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Contact –  (773) 904-8606

4

Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya

This global ramen chain with two stores in Chicago aspires to bring the traditional experience to The Windy City. A hearty menu packed full of flavorful noodle bowls. One could keep it simple with their garlic tonkotsu (pork broth), the yuzu shio (Japanese citrus), or one of the Japanese classics, the tsukemen (a type of dipping ramen). 

Tsukemen comes with the noodles served separately from the broth, as one is supposed to dip the noodles in the super-rich and dense broth. Some Japanese even consider this to be the best style of ramen. Why don’t you find out for yourself? Each bowl is even customizable with additional toppings or even a low sodium broth. In addition to these addicting bowls of ramen, they serve small plates of gyoza (Japanese dumplings) and onigiri (stuffed rice balls).

Address – 1482 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Contact –  (773) 270-4150

5

Oiistar (Best Ramen In Chicago)

best-ramen-in-chicago

Oiistar is dishing out some of the most creative bowls of ramen in Chicago. Mussels, chicken tikka masala, and beef brisket are just some of the unconventional toppings diners will find at this hip joint. Therefore, this restaurant exists to share its culinary wonders with the world. Eaters seeking out a bit more traditionally rooted meals need not worry. 

The shop puts out its 18-hour pork stock and chewy homemade noodles to great use in the Pozolmen. The Pozolmen is a ramen bowl with pork loin, jalapeños, red onion, and tomato. However, one can go in the opposite direction with the Tikkamen. The latter is a rich masala broth, with hints of sesame, and finished with tender cuts of chicken and bean sprouts. Oiistar serves outstanding dishes like tempura cod (fish cover in a light crispy batter) and duck breast to round off the menu. A little something for everyone.

Address – 1385 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Contact –  (773) 360-8791

6

Ramen Takeya

Logan Square’s Ramen Wasabi is an established local favorite, and they know it. For this reason, the owners opened up a sister restaurant called Ramen Takeya. This sister’s joint specializes in different types of ramens. 

Takeya’s shoyu (soy-based broth) ramen is an umami-rich broth, a flavor bomb if you will. This bowl makes it a cult classic with its signature al dente egg noodles adorned with succulent pork belly. Despite all the meat fest, there are even vegan options on the menu. The seiten ragu in a mushroom seaweed broth is the popular pick for vegans. 

Ramen Takeya does a chicken-based broth complemented with Berkshire chashu, soft boiled jidori egg, bamboo shoots, kikurage mushrooms, diced onions, and scallions. A great accompaniment to the delicious ramen bowls is either a smooth Japanese whiskey or a fan favorite ice-cold Sapporo beer. 

Address – 819 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

Contact: (312) 666-7710

7

High Five Ramen

best-ramen-in-chicago

High Five Ramen is a cute hidden gem under Green Street Smoked Meats in the West Loop. This ramen bar in Chicago is one of the hardest to get into, so don’t forget to make a reservation in advance. Now, this restaurant is all about bringing the heat. Diners can indeed moderate the spice level as per their preference for sure.

Get yourself a bowl of tonkotsu or maitake ramen and take a trip to flavor town. Go on a heat-laced adventure, experience the addictive ‘face-numbing, hurts so good’ kanado spice. Don’t forget to pair your ramen with crisp and refreshing sake (Japanese rice wine). 

Address – 112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607

Contact – (312) 754-0431

8

Strings Ramen

Strings Ramen has three locations in Chicago, one in Chinatown, Lakeview, and Hyde Park. Noodles are considered the soul of a good ramen bowl, and this Chicago ramen joint has it down to a science. The noodles made in-house daily using a Japanese machine that churns consistently firm, chewy, and slurp-worthy noodles daily. 

Now for an average Joe, they have their regular ‘tame’ ramen bowls. However, as a thrill-seeker, your eyes will undoubtedly dart to the ‘Hell Ramen’ on their menu. This bowl is no easy feat to complete. The bowl is put together with a shoyu broth infused with hot peppers and chili sauces (level 5 incorporates ghost and scorpion pepper). The brave eater that wipes this bowl out earns a free bowl, t-shirt, $50 gift card and bragging rights are a given. 

Address – 2141 S Archer Ave,Chicago, IL 60616

Contact – (312) 374-3450

9

Shinya Ramen House

best-ramen-in-chicago

Rightfully nicknamed the “Midnight Diner,” this Bridgeport restaurant keeps its doors open to hungry folks until 1:30 am. They are known for their pocket-friendly eats and an impressive array of ramen in Chicago. 

This ramen house’s menu entails black garlic tonkotsu, curry chicken, tomato vegetable, tofu miso (fermented soybean paste), udon, and yuzu chicken. The list of noodle options is equally extensive to choose from egg, matcha, rice, yam, soba, and udon. As all of this variety wasn’t enough, they have a dessert menu too. Mochi seems to be the most popular dessert item on this menu but in a close second is the taiyaki, a fish-shaped cake with red bean filling.

Address – 3240 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

Contact –  (312) 877-6008

10

Furious Spoon (Best Ramen in Chicago)

Furious Spoon is laidback ramen joint, with its specialty being its customizable bowls of ramen. Chicago has two locations of the chain, one in Logan Square and another in Lakeview. One could opt for the chef-crafted ramen bowl and slurp right on. According to chef Shin Thompson slurping the noodles is the dining etiquette in Japan. 

First-timers will enjoy the shoyu with tonkotsu broth, pork belly, bean sprouts, bonito flakes (fish flakes), and nori (seaweed). On the other hand, if you are looking for some excitement in your life, go for the Furious Bowl. The Furious Bowl is a miso-based broth with tongue-tingling spice that will fire you from the inside without being overwhelming. There is a vegan-friendly option with the veggie reman; no person will be left behind! 

Address – 2410 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Contact –  (773) 770-3559

To conclude

This list is all that you need to know about the ramen food scene in Chicago. Now that you have it in your arsenal go forth and conquer! 

Also for the Best Sushi in Chicago, do read the article.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button