Detroit’s Best Ramen Shop

Credit: Yelp/Rachel B.

Johnny Noodle King’s red curry ramen.

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 opposed to sushi bars with one bowl of ramen on the menu), and we supplemented those suggestions with ramen shops featured in local rave reviews and pre-existing local rankings. We then took that list of more than 100 shops from across the country and conducted 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 in Detroit.

The team behind this Detroit newcomer, Johnny Noodle King, hails from Vietnam to Eastern Europe, so while there’s plenty of Japanese influence in its creative and delicious bowls of ramen, it’s pretty obvious that they’re not afraid to stray from the norm Some examples: the miso ramen contains chicken thigh; the red curry ramen contains coconut powder, cauliflower, lime, and zucchini; and the Southwest ramen contains shredded pork shoulder, honeycomb tripe, fennel, and basil. Flavorful, well-balanced, and a whole lot of fun, this is a welcome addition to Detroit’s dining scene. Make sure you snag one of the six counter seats for a view of the gigantic cauldrons of boiling both, which is made fresh throughout the day. 

Johnny Noodle King is the only ramen shop in Detroit to make our 2014 list, so it’s unequivocally the best one in the city this year.


Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant and City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant