Ramen is definitely one of Japan’s most iconic dishes. Just noodles and strong-flavored broth, how can something seemingly simple be so godly? No wonder people are willing to wait in long lines just to have their fill of this. Shinjuku being the crowded hub that it is will surely give you a long list of options to get your ramen fix. There’s probably a ramen shop in every corner.
But do you know which ones you must definitely go to? Have a look at this list to find out the best 10 ramen bowls in Shinjuku.
1. KONJIKI HOTOTOGISU (SOBAHOUSE 金色不如帰)
Konjiki Hototogisu became famous recently as it was chosen as one of 1 Star of the Michelin Restaurant guide in the 2019 edition! This small ramen shop with only 11 seats offers basic, simple, yet overwhelming ramen bowls. Have simple shoyu (soy sauce) ramen or Shio (salt) ramen with sea beam and clam toppings. Once you sip their soup, you will be amazed by how flavorful their ramen is. However, you should note that it may be extremely hard to get a seat. Bring something to kill your time so that you can wait as long as it takes to taste their fantastic bowl of ramen.
9 mins walk from JR Shinjuku Station
2-chome-4-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm (Monday to Friday)
2. Menya Shou (麺屋翔)
Light chicken-based broth with a clean aftertaste, Shio Ramen is Menya Shou’s specialty. It may be very basic with just sea salt as its main seasoning, but oh so delicious! It really is the perfect comfort food.
On the other hand, if you’re up for something more complicated, their equally delicious Miso ramen is served every Wednesdays.
5 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit
7-22-34 Nishi-shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Monday to Friday 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holiday 11am - 3pm, 5pm – 9pm
Website: http://www.menya-syo.com (Japanese only)
3. Menya Kaijin (麺屋海神)
Menya Kaijin’s bestseller is the Arataki Shio Ramen – noodles with a light soup made of tasty simmered fish stock. There’s a bit of randomness to the taste with every visit because the kind of fish used for the soup depends on the day’s catch. Once served, the dish is topped with meatball, fish ball, welsh onions, Japanese ginger, green perilla, and red pepper. The best way to eat is to order on the side a Heshiko Onigiri (rice ball with pickled mackerel), and dunk it in the soup when you’re done with your noodles.
Indeed, they will have you convinced that the goodness of the sea can be captured in one hot bowl.
2 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station South East Exit
Sanraku Building 2F 3-35-7 Shinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo
Monday to Saturday 11am - 3pm, 4:30pm - 11:30pm
Sunday 11am - 11pm
4. AFURI LUMINE Shinjuku (阿夫利 ルミネ新宿店)
AFURI is one of the most popular ramen chain restaurants in Tokyo. Their Yuzu-shio (salt) and Yuzu-shoyu (soy sauce) ramens have attracted locals and tourists alike for many years. Ramen is normally greasy and oily. AFURI's ramen isn't like that. The chicken and dashi based broth feels light yet flavorful, and the yuzu, Japanese citrus, adds refreshing aroma and flavor. It's notable that they also offer a vegetarian option here, which is unique for a ramen shop.
Connected directly with Shinjuku Station
B2F LUMINE1, 1-1-5 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open 7 days a week
5. Ramen Takahashi (焼きあご塩らー麺 たかはし)
Takahashi is another noodle shop for fish lovers where its famous bowl makes use of Yakiago (grilled flying fish) stock. With just one sip, you’ll experience its full-bodied broth spreading in your mouth.
This plus the restaurant’s nice and comfortable interiors will surely make a trip to Takahashi an exquisite ramen outing.
5 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit
1 min. walk from Seibu Shinjuku Station
1 chome-27 Kabukicho Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Monday to Sunday 11am - 5am
Closed during New Year Holiday Period
Website: http://takahashi-ramen.com (Japanese only)
6. Ebisoba Ichigen (えびそば一幻)
One definite perk of being in the capital is to find the best of other regions sampled in the city. Case in point: Ebisoba Ichigen.
One of Sapporo’s most popular ramen restaurants, Ebisoba Ichigen’s trademark is its shrimp-flavored ramen. You can choose between Sonomama (light, shrimp-only broth) and Ajiwai (a more intense combination of shrimp broth and Tonkotsu soup) for the base, and determine the seasoning among the usual selection of Shio (salt), Shoyu (soy sauce), and Miso flavors. The result is umami levels straight from Sapporo minus the plane ride.
6 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit
2 min. walk from Seibu Shinjuku Station
7-8-2 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo
Monday to Sunday 11am - 11pm
Closed on Wednesdays
Website: http://www.ebisoba.com (Japanese only)
7. Taiyo-no-Tomato-men Shinjuku Toho Building (太陽のトマト麺 新宿東宝ビル店)
Taiyo-no-Tomato-men is a unique ramen shop because their signature menu is made with Italian ripe organic tomatoes! The new flavor made by the mixture of tomatoes and chicken broth may sound skeptical, but try it, it's actually very nice! They use plenty of tomatoes, approximately three organic tomatoes, for each bowl. No wonder their ramen is exceptionally flavorful. They use soy milk for noodles, which is also a plus for people who are health conscious. Don't forget to ask for rice after finishing the noodles so that you can enjoy their special risotto with the leftover soup!
3 min. walk from Shinjuku Sanchome Station
1-19-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
8. Hokkaido Ramen Ajihachi (北海道らーめん 味八)
Hokkaido Ramen Ajihachi focuses on Hokkaido-style ramens: Sapporo miso ramen, Asahikawa Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, and Hakodate Shio (salt) ramen. You can taste flavors of Hokkaido without travelling all the way to north! Hokkaido Ramen Ajihachi also has table seats, which makes groups and families with children easy to dine. Also, since it's located near Omoide Yokocho and open until 4 am, it's also a great place to stop by after bar hopping.
3 mins walk from JR Shinjuku Station
7-1-7, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Monday to Sunday 11:00am - 4:00 am the following day
9. Kibouken (希望軒)
Can you really resist petals of pork barbecue on your ramen?
Unlike most restaurants, Kibouken has an actual menu instead of the usual ticket machines. At the same time, while most shops would only have one or two offerings based on their specialty, Kibuoken offer several varieties. So in case you’re the type to be undecided on what to get until the very last minute, you know where to go.
PS. The Tonkotsu Ramen is the house specialty.
5 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station C3 Exit
1 min. walk from Shinjukusanchome Station
3-7-3 Shinjuku Shinjuku, Tokyo
Sunday to Thursday 11am - 11:30pm
Fridays, Saturdays, and the day before holidays 11am - 1:30am (next day)
Website: http://www.kibou-ken.com (Japanese only)
10. ISSUITEI(博多 一瑞亭)
ISSUITEI offers authentic Hakata Tonkotsu ramen in Shinjuku. They take a long time to boil down pork bone until it melts to create their signature broth for the tonkotsu ramen. They also recommende their side menus such as fried rice and bite-sized gyoza dumplings. Have some with tonkotsu ramen and it would make a perfect meal before or after sightseeing Shinjuku.
10 min. walk from Shinjuku Station
1-4-12 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
To enjoy ramen like a local, Voyagin offers a tour to have ramen with a local in Shinjuku Golden Gai. A local will navigate through the Golden Gai alleyways, and you can feast on the best tonkotsu ramen in Golden Gai. Check out their website for the details.Eat ramen with a local in Shinjuku Golden Gai (View at Voyagin)
More delicious food finds in Shinjuku and Tokyo
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- 10 Best Local Food in Tokyo You Must Eat
Thumbnail image is from Flickr