The 18 Best Ramen Spots In NYC

Let's not pretend that it's hard to find places to get fresh ramen noodles in New York City. It's not even particularly difficult to find a decent ramen joint in your neighborhood, regardless of whether you live in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or any of the five boroughs. But determining the best spots to go for a bowl of ramen in NYC can get contentious pretty quickly.

There are different styles of Japanese ramen, but the base of the dish is always a bowl noodles served with vegetables and protein in an umami-bomb broth. The most common broth bases include tonkotsu (made from pork), shio (chicken), soy, and miso. Popular ramen toppings and add-ons include sliced pork, nori, menma, and boiled eggs. The warm noodle soup is filled with enough meat and vegetables to make it the ultimate comfort dish on a cold day — or simply a way to boost your energy after a tiring one. Boasting a rich, warm umami flavor, there is nothing quite like a tasty bowl of ramen when that craving hits.

The best ramen in New York is either made by the most well-known, world renowned Japanese chefs or just out of some hole in the wall. It really just depends on who you ask. These 18 restaurants run the gamut, but each of them is considered by many to be one of the best ramen spots in NYC.

1. Ippudo NY

Ippudo Ramen is a staple ramen chain from Japan that made its way to New York City in 2008. The Ippudo brand has been serving traditional tonkotsu ramen for nearly 40 years. The Ippudo name is internationally recognized as synonymous with ramen, with locations throughout Asia and in pockets of the United States and Europe. Naturally, the five Ippudo locations in New York City are some of the best ramen you can find in the city.

Despite being one of the biggest ramen brands in the city, Ippudo never skimps on quality. While you can get more classic ramen flavors, reviews like those from The Infatuation rave about the Akamaru Modern. This pork ramen is an elevated tonkotsu that's more flavorful, and spicier, than the Shiromaru classic. If you go to Ippudo often, you can also try the varying seasonal ramen options that grace the menu.

If you want to start your NYC ramen adventure, it's hard to think of a better place to start than Ippudo. With an easy-to-follow menu, and delicious flavors, this internationally-renowned shop is square one. 

2. Momofuku Noodle Bar

If you live in New York City, you probably know the name Momofuku for one reason or another. In addition to the excellent ramen you can find at the Noodle Bar, Momofuku Milk Bar is renowned for its frozen desserts and baked goods. Chef and restauranteur David Chang opened up this ramen shop in 2004. Chang has gone on to build an empire out of the Momofuku brand, but the original spot that created this legacy is still open in the heart of New York City. 

By going to either of the Manhattan Momofuku Noodle Bar locations, you'll find an excellent and elevated ramen menu that will leave you recollecting the bold and memorable flavors for months. You may go to Momofuku for the Chicken Garlic Ramen or the Mushroom Ramen, but you should stay for the pork buns and whichever inventive dessert Chang's menu is currently serving up. 

3. Mr. Taka Ramen

This miso ramen joint is found at Time Out Market in Brooklyn. Mr. Taka Ramen was founded by two Japanese chefs, Takatoshi Nagara and Takayuki Watanabe, and opened in 2015. Ever since it has been serving award-winning ramen dishes that have helped it earn a spot on Michelin's coveted Bib Gourmand list. Make no mistake, Mr. Taka is one of the best places to get ramen in the entire country, not just New York City.

This love-child of two brilliant ramen-making minds was one of the first ramen spots in the city to earn a Michelin Star. The tonkotsu ramen is good enough to make fans of the food line up around the block to get their ramen fix on. Other highlights of the menu include the miso ramen, which Mr. Taka makes with a chicken and bonito fish broth, and the spicy vegan ramen — both of which feature the flat, wavy noodle that the restaurant offers in addition to the traditional thin ones. 

4. Ivan Ramen

A great way to locate high quality ramen spots in NYC is to look into the story behind the restaurant. Chef Ivan Orkin was born in America, but wound up opening one of the best ramen shops in Japan with the original Ivan Ramen location. Ivan Ramen's flagship American location opened in Manhattan's Lower East Side in 2013 and remains one of the best places to go for ramen in the city. 

Known for their signature thin rye noodles, Ivan serves up a wide variety of ramen broths that includes all the most popular options including shoyu, shio, tonkotsu, and chicken paitan. In its rave review, New York Magazine specifically recommended the spicy red chili ramen as one of Ivan's top dishes. Overall, the publication called it one of the best ramen spots in NYC. While it strays from traditional ramen, the broth-less pork mazeman noodles are not to be overlooked as they are a core part of the Ivan Ramen menu. 

5. Minca Ramen Factory

Minca Ramen Factory is a small, cash-only joint that has been serving up some of the best ramen in New York City since 2004. If you are looking to meld the authentic Japanese flavors of ramen with the cramped, hole-in-the-wall New York City vibe, Minca will meet you right in the middle. 

In addition to the East Village vibes, chef Shigeto Kamada is serving up some of the best noodles in the city at Minca. The offerings don't differ that much from one another, in terms of toppings, and your only customization choice is picking which type of noodle you want. But this ensures that no matter which chicken, miso, or pork broth based ramen you get, you will be served a tried and true recipe that has stood the test of time for nearly 20 years on the Minca menu. If you consider yourself to be more adventurous, the menu also typically has one "experimental ramen" dish. This lets the regulars switch things up and allows the chefs to flex their creative muscles.

6. Ichiran

Ichiran is home to some fantastic ramen, but its vibe is very particular. You will either be in the mood for it, or you won't, but just know beforehand what type of dining experience you are getting yourself into by going to Ichiran in Manhattan or Bushwick. In total, there are three locations in NYC and each of them allow you to dine in an individual ramen booth.

This traditional ramen shop serves fully customizable tonkotsu ramen, made from pork bone broth. You can opt for vegetarian ramen as well, but aside from customizing the toppings and ingredients in your ramen the menu doesn't deviate or vary. This ramen is what you come for and when you do, you can sit in one of the booths inspired by the Japanese food stall origins of the Ichiran chain. According to the New York Post, there is also a dining room option for those not impressed by this "silent" dining room idea.

At the end of the day, if you are flying solo and want to enjoy one of the best bowls of ramen in the city, you know what to do. Ichiran will give you a memorable, if not entirely isolating, experience and a great meal.

7. Chuko

Chuko is one of the trendiest places to get delicious ramen in New York. The Brooklyn establishment has a hole-in-the-wall vibe that is matched only by the homey flavors you'll find in the noodle soup and other dishes that adorn the limited menu. Of course, those other banging dishes don't matter, since we are here for one thing only and that is the ramen.

At Chuko, a word that means vintage in Japanese, there are four specialty ramen dishes to choose from and a whole list of add-ons you can enhance your dish with. This might not be where you come for the most traditional tonkotsu ramen in New York, but whether it be the sesame garlic ramen or the kimchi ramen, you are sure to find one of Chuko's signature dishes to your liking.

Like many NYC eateries since 2020, Chuko focuses on take-out as well, but unlike other ramen shops, delivery won't result in a lesser product. Chuko's website notes that "noodles and soup are separated to preserve quality and may require re-heating" for delivery orders. This extra work is worth it to get some of the best and freshest ramen in the city delivered to your doorstep.

8. HinoMaru Ramen

If you don't want to deal with the hustle and bustle of the big city, you can head to the borough of Queens and hit up this excellent Japanese restaurant in Astoria. While this area is far from up-and-coming, this neighborhood in Queens will still give you different vibes from all the other spots on this list. So while you are in Astoria, you might want to stop by HinoMaru Ramen for a warm brothy bowl of some of the best noodle soup in the city.

HinoMaru serves a variety of styles of ramen dishes ranging from tonkotsu to miso to shio broth. Even its vegetarian ramen is acclaimed (via Loving New York). Aside from a side of gyoza, ramen is what the entire menu comprises. Good thing HinoMaru serves up spicy, crave-able dishes to Queens residents who no longer have to travel outside of their borough for top-notch ramen. For a dish that's so good in the winter, it is great to not have to go far for your favorite comfort food.

9. Ramen Ishida

Right off the bat we mentioned Ippudo as one of the ramen institutions of New York City. Well, in 2017, long-time Ippudo chef Yohei Ishida left to start his own spot and it's worth mentioning on its own terms. Ramen Ishida is an authentic Tokyo-style ramen restaurant that rivals even Ippudo in terms of flavor and quality. By focusing on the freshest ingredients, Ishida has earned rave reviews.

The menu at Ishida includes shoyu and miso ramen, as well as spicy mushroom vegetarian and shio ramen dishes. The chicken or vegetable based shoyu is an excellent place to start at Ishida, before venturing out to the more citrus-forward miso ramens or the spicier noodle options. This is one menu that will satisfy any of your ramen cravings and even serve you up a side of Japanese potato salad as one of its unique appetizers. 

If you are visiting and fall in love with Ishida Ramen, you can always order the restaurant's Ramen at home kit, an ongoing venture that the brand started in 2020. 

10. NR

If you want a modern take on the age-old Japanese noodle dish that is ramen, head on over to NR in Manhattan. This ramen spot doesn't waste any time with a name with more than two letters. Therefore, the flavors at this Upper East Side Japanese joint need to speak for themselves. They do so magically. Traditionalists beware as there are plenty of options on this upscale contemporary menu that go far outside of the realm of normalcy for ramen.

The most controversial items on NR's menu are certain to be the soupless ramen dishes. They are, thankfully, a highlight of the menu according to WPIX. NR still leaves room for the other, more traditional ramens, but while you are there we recommend you leap outside of your comfort zone. If you are going to go out of your way to go to NR, we recommend you try what they are known for. 

In addition to the beef and seafood soupless ramens, NR also highlights its signature Japanese cocktails, which are just as complex and bold in flavor as the food.

11. Tonchin

One of the best parts of living in New York City is getting international chains before many of your American counterparts. This was the case when Tonchin, the old-school ramen shop hailing from Japan, came to NYC and opened up in 2017 to much hype. The Tonchin brand has become a NYC ramen staple and a new location opened in Brooklyn, in 2022.

Tonchin has taken something authentic to Tokyo and transplanted it straight into the heart of NYC. This delicious and affordable ramen has made the Michelin Guide's prestigious Bib Gourmand list. Calling Tonchin's ramen one of the "city's best bowls", the Michelin guide recommends a couple of the dishes saying "refined tonkotsu is the house favorite, but the smoked dashi ramen holds its own." 

With a great lunch special to boot, Tonchin has established itself as one of the top Manhattan spots to grab a quick and cheap bowl of ramen for lunch. And here, you won't be sacrificing quality for that deal. 

12. Marufuku Ramen

One of the newest great ramen restaurants in NYC is Marufuku Ramen in the East Village of Manhattan. This chain comes from California, but has been offering the goods in New York since 2021. Spicing up the game in an already-elite ramen city (at least by American standards) takes a lot of work. Marufuku is the latest new Japanese noodle house to do so by delivering on its promise of authentic Hakata-style ramen noodle bowls.

If you haven't heard of this off-shoot of tonkotsu ramen, Hakata style is a type of ramen that hails from the city of Fukuoka, Japan. What distinguishes it from regular tonkotsu pork broth ramen are the extra thin noodles and a creamier broth than you might be used to. The result is the same umami deliciousness you expect from ramen, but the texture of the noodles adds a different element. Marufuku gladly serves up huge bowls of this delectable noodle soup, alongside an array of other Japanese dishes sure to satisfy as shareables with the rest of your hungry party.

13. Totto Ramen

Among as many great ramen places as the city holds, it can become easy to get lost in the crowd. The acclaimed Totto Ramen doesn't run into this issue due to its main hook; all the ramen at Totto is made with chicken broth. While many NYC ramen joints stick to traditional pork broth or spin up a veggie or vegan alternative, Totto has a focus on chicken. You can get veggie ramen, and the menu even often encourages you to get pork slices in your ramen, but the chicken paitan broth is the star player on the Totto menu.

Totto cooks its paitan broth, one of two general categories of ramen broth, all day with a mix of fresh ingredients including potatoes and onions, as well as other aromatics. The result is a delicious ramen menu for chicken lovers, that includes many creative variations on the classic dish. Some of the other highlights include fried chicken ramen and a tuna don rice bowl for non-ramen friends who we have to assume you are dragging along anyway.

14. E.A.K. Ramen

If you've tried many ramen places in the city and want an experience that is entirely new, you have to check out E.A.K Ramen. On the flipside of what is expected, this Iekei-style ramen joint bucks the trends when it comes to this comforting Japanese noodle soup. But rest assured, if you want to try Iekei ramen in New York, E.A.K. should be your first choice.

Originating in Yokohama in the 1970s, this cult style of ramen starts with a broth that mixes the fatty, milk-based tonkotsu with the clear, chicken-based shoyu. By mixing these styles into one dish, E.A.K. offers something that other ramen joints in NYC can't rival or recreate. On top of this unique broth base, E.A.K builds different flavor bombs with signature ramen dishes such as the Zebra Shio ramen, which comes topped with spinach, chashu, nori, butter, and garlic oil. In one of the more ingenious twists on the menu, the Oh So Hot ramen is finished off with miso tare fried garlic. These are the kind of flavorful flares you can expect from E.A.K. in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.

15. Ramen Nakamura

If you have one night in NYC and you are craving ramen, you can't go wrong with Nakamura, not to be confused with Top Ramen (don't you dare). The ramen-focused restaurant is run and owned by renowned Japanese chef Shigetoshi Nakamura, a name synonymous with ramen in Japan. Chefs already mentioned on this very list like David Chang and Ivan Orkin have spent their whole careers looking up to Nakamura. So of course, the food doesn't disappoint. 

Typically picky critics are brought down to Earth by Nakamura's simple and clean flavors in the ramen bowls. New York Magazine praised all the bowls as worthy of your taste buds' attention, but with the caveat that "everyone should know his torigara shoyu, a classic bowl of chicken-and-seafood broth seasoned with Japanese soy sauce."

Other signature Nakamura dishes that you can't find anywhere else include the Shrimp Yuzu Wanton ramen (served with shrimp wantons in yuzu dashi broth) and the vegan Truffle Miso, which uses truffle oil and crimini mushrooms to give a punch of umami right to the gut.

16. Karazishi Botan

Another offshoot from the Ippudo Ramen legacy is Karazishi Botan. Opened in Brooklyn in early 2020, it managed to survive the difficult year that ensued. It's all thanks to former Ippudo Ramen master Fumihiro (Foo) Kanegae, who was at Ippudo in NYC for many years until opening up this self-proclaimed "ramen diner." What goes on here is a fusion between the technique and clean flavors of ramen and some of the most indulgent American classics. 

The seasonal ramen menu at Karazishi Botan is always changing, but there are staples like the Iron Men ramen, which was on the menu when the restaurant opened. Its evolved form, the Iron Men III, graces the current menu, and includes a specialty broth made from dry aged pork bone, chicken, and oxtail. The rest of the menu is overflowing with ingredients atypical of a ramen shop, like matcha, horseradish, and anchovies. 

Our advice is to go to Karazishi Botan with an open mind, and empty stomach, and trust that the flavor masters in the kitchen have created something delicious from the unusual.

17. Jun-Men Ramen Bar

You can't have your cake and eat it too but, if you are at Jun-Men Ramen Bar in Chelsea, you might be able to have your traditional ramen and your elevated fusion dishes at the same spot. It's true that you can get traditional pork, chicken, or mushroom-based veggie ramens at Jun-Men and you would be perfectly happy. You can't go wrong with the ramen at this critically raved about restaurant, but the star dishes are unlike other bowls of broth you've had. 

Two particular standouts from the Jun-Men menu's ramen section are the Spicy Chicken and the Uni Mushroom offerings. Each has a special, fusion-worthy ingredient. The first includes chicken confit, while the umami-filled Uni ramen contains roasted pancetta, fried shallots, truffle oil, porcini butter, and parmesan cheese. These are far from traditional ingredients, but that is exactly the kind of boundary pushing you can expect from the menu at Jun-Men. Beyond the ramen offerings, the savory buns and sweet desserts at this hip spot are equally as innovative.

18. Shinka Ramen

Last, but certainly not least, Shinka Ramen and Sake Bar is an award-winning ramen restaurant that you can find on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Found inside a hotel, this Japanese bar and restaurant delivers on some of the most creative ideas in the ramen world. It helps that they are delicious as well. 

Among the tight competition, Shinka offers a dish that no other ramen joint in NYC, or anywhere else, can lay claim to. The Beef Bone Marrow ramen is the shining star of Shinka Ramen. This noodle bowl is made with marrow broth, braised beef brisket, and it's topped with daikon radish, scallion, and garlic chips. This is a standout mix of American fine dining and Japanese ramen. 

The latest creation to grace the Shinka menu is a play on a Mexican classic. The Birria Ramen is a bold fusion dish made with bone marrow birria broth and Mexican spiced braised lamb shoulder. If you are looking for bold flavors that push the envelope in your ramen shops, we've found you a brand new home.