Thursday, January 7, 2021

The BEST Ramen in Japan 2020

Here are the BEST 34 ramen shops in Japan! Your search is over!

As always, my annual list is just clickbait to drive traffic to the site, composing a list of the shops I blogged about in the previous year. I picked out my favorites.

And a quick sorry-not-sorry in advance. This list is long. In late 2019 I began working with Ramen Walker magazine, arguably Japan's top ramen-related magazine. Alongside nine other ramen critics, I help a bit with rankings and general comments on ramen shops. Said other ramen critics are some of the top guys in the game, and I felt like a small fish in a big pond. Could I effectively make a best-five list in somewhere like Saga Prefecture? Definitely not. So I made it an ongoing pursuit to hit all the highly ranked shops across Japan as well as I could. It's a monumental undertaking, with hundreds of shops around the country on my hit list. And, for the sake of my own best-of list, they are all winners.

Expect next year's list to be even longer.

いそのかづお (Isono Kazuo in Sapporo, Hokkaido)

鶏Soba 座銀 にぼし店 (Zagin Niboshi in Osaka)

ぶたのほし (Butanohoshi in Amagasaki, Hyogo)

杭州飯店 (Koshu Hanten in Niigata)

梅花亭 (Baikatei in Shiga Prefecture)

猪一 離れ (Inoichi Hanare in Kyoto)

好陽軒 (Koyoken in Nagoya)

ラーメンル・デッサン (Le Dessin in Shizuoka Prefecture)

わかば亭 (Wakabatei in Hiroshima)

けいま (Keima in Hiroshima)

宝来軒 (Horaiken in Oita Prefecture)

二代目ラーメンカヨ (Kayo in Oita Prefecture)

再来軒 (Sairaiken in Miyazaki Prefecture)

拉麺男 (Ramen Man in Miyazaki Prefecture)

ラーメン工房 龍 (Ryu in Fukuoka Prefecture)

来久軒 (Raikyuken in Saga Prefecture)

幸陽閣 (Koyokaku in Saga Prefecture)

丸星ラーメン (Maruboshi in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture)

Furari in Beppu, Oita Prefecture

きしもと食堂 (Kishimoto Shokudo in Okinawa)

らぁ麺 紫陽花 (Ajisai in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture)

つけ麺 丸和 (Maruwa in Nagoya)

総本家 好来道場 (Koraidojo in Nagoya)

らぁ麺 飛鶏 (Asuka in Nagoya)

らぁ麺や 汐そば 雫 (Shizuku in Nagoya)

恵那く (Enaku in Kyoto)

らーめん本竈 (Honkamado in Sendai)

ふじ屋 NOODLE (Fujiya in Sapporo, Hokkaido)

Japanese Ramen Noodle Lab Q in Sapporo

Men-Eiji Higarashi Base in Sapporo

富良野 とみ川 (Tomikawa in Furano, Hokkaido)

鬼者語 (Onimonogatari in Tsukuba, Ibaraki)

ふる川 (Furukawa in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture)

らあめん厨房どる屋 (Doruya in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture)

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The BEST Ramen in Tokyo 2020

Here is my 2020 list of the BEST ramen in Tokyo.

Hmmm, how can I increase my SEO?

The most best top gourmet ramen in Tokyo, Japan! You won't believe number 12! Yes, number 12 is cricket ramen. OMG, I ate insect bug ramen and lived to tell about it (warning gross bugs!).

Did that work? Last year's Best Ramen in Tokyo has more hits than average, but I want more! Let's crush it in 2020.

Anyways, the list is better viewed over at my dedicated best-of ramen site


but if you just want to see the photos go ahead and scroll down. As always, this is just a list of shops that I blogged about in 2020 that I thought were standouts. It's not a solid top 10 list or anything like that, but these are all winners. Happy New Year!

case-K in Chiba

房総式ラーメン 人力船 (Jinrikisen in Chiba)

中華そば 螢 (Hotaru in Saitama)

道有楽 (Doraku in Kashiwa, Saitama)

麺ハチイチ (81 Noodle Bar in Kichijoji)

crab台風 (Crab Typhoon in Ningyocho, Tokyo)

迂直 (Uchoku in Ogikubo, Tokyo)

焼鳥 山もと (Yamamoto in Mitaka, Tokyo)

味噌っ子ふっく (Hook in Ogikubo, Tokyo)

味噌ぶりnoodleみやみや (Miyamiya in Sakuragaoka, Tokyo)

らーめん飛粋 (Hiiki in Kamata, Tokyo)

コオロギラーメン (Cricket Ramen at Antcicada)

IRUCA Tokyo in Higashi-Kurume, Tokyo

函館塩ラーメン 五稜郭 (Goryokaku in Ogikubo, Tokyo)

ぜんや (Zenya in Niiza, Saitama)

麺処 しろくろ (Shirokuro in Kamitakaido, Tokyo)

中華蕎麦きつね (Kitsune in Rokakoen, Tokyo)

ラーメン 健やか (Sukoyaka in Mitaka, Tokyo)

Thursday, December 31, 2020

らあめん厨房どる屋 (Doruya in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture)


Welcome to Utsunomiya. This major city in Tochigi Prefecture is known for gyoza, but they also have a few notable ramen shops as well. Head over to city hall, take care of any paperwork you might have, and get a bowl at Doruya (the shop is basically next door).

Doruya's specialty is Sea bream salt butter ramen using high-quality French butter. Definitely a unique spot.

Everything on the menu is made with dried tai (鯛) fish from Shimane Prefecture.

The menu looks a bit complex, but just order the Tai Shio Bata Ramen (鯛塩バターらーめん). The menu has a different column for different kinds of chashu. Go for loin (焼豚), rib (ばら焼豚), or cheek (ほっぺた焼豚).

The butter, for you gourmands out there, is the Échiré brand from France. Loved by pastry chefs the world over, it's now available in your ramen. Échiré has, according to the internet, a unique flavor from their wooden butter churns. In Japan, it is very expensive. If you live in Tokyo you can visit their shop near Tokyo Station to try some for yourself.

The shop also offers an array of limited seafood bowls, like mitten crab (藻屑蟹) in winter and ayu (鮎) in summer.

The master, Ochiai-san (落合) opened the shop in 1996. He's spent time overseas in Australia, so feel free to speak in English. Doruya also does some neat outreach programs for local elementary school students. Using local fish he helps the kids create their own homemade ramen. How cool is that!

Some of the kid's ramen looked great. Unfortunately, they don't serve it to customers. I was some rainbow trout ramen!

Official site here.