The Daily Meal recently published our 25 Best Ramen Shops in America for 2014, and in order to compile our ranking, we contacted the leading culinary authorities around the country to ask them about their personal favorite shops are (sticking to restaurants that specialize in ramen and noodles as oppose to you sushi bars with one bowl of ramen on the menu), and we supplemented those suggestions with ramen shops featured in local reviews and also consulted pre-existing local rankings. We then took that list of more than 100 shops from across the country and concocted a survey, with the shops separated by region. We invited our group of trusted panelists (made up of chefs, bloggers, journalists, and other culinary authorities) to vote for their favorites, and more than 30, including the Los Angeles Times’ Jonathan Gold and our fleet of city editors, cast their votes. In the end there was one clear winner, but the top shops aren’t all found in ramen hotspots like New York and the Bay Area; there’s great ramen all over America, including Portland, Ore.
Biwa has been creating delicious bowls of ramen and other homestyle Japanese fare since opening back in 2008, and it’s still as good as ever. The kitchen in the signless, cozy space no longer makes its noodles from scratch (an improvement, as they’re now more consistent); their signature ramen, made with both chicken and pork stocks, doesn’t fall into any of the major categories like Shio or Tonkotsu, but is delicious in its own right. Egg and chashu top it off, and add-ons include melt-in-your-mouth pork shoulder, spicy ground pork, seaweed, and fried shrimp.
Biwa is the only ramen shop in Portland to make our list, so it’s unequivocally the best ramen shop in the city this year.