The Best Ramen in NYC

Food

by Liam Clark

There's nothing quite like a bowl of ramen to keep you warm on these cold winter nights though it's equally as delicious on hot, summer nights as well.

Regardless of the weather, tasty ramen is always in season. If you're tired of the instant ramen of your college days, try out these joints for a true taste of these popular noodles.

SEE ALSO: Best Williamsburg restaurants on a budget

Here's the list of best ramen places in NYC (in no particular order)

Koa

12 West 21st Street

KOA NYC

This isn't your standard ramen fare. Koa takes what you know about ramen and throws it out the window with their unique spin on the Japanese classic.

What makes them stand out is their use of Sorba noodles, a Koa original. That means you'll only find these noodles at this restaurant. You can choose a single serving or go with the tasting menu where you can try three different flavors.

The Soymilk Dan Dan Sorba is a stand-out as it uses soymilk for its soup base, a rarity among ramen restaurants. If you're looking to cool off, they offer a few cold options.

For those who are first time visitors, it's best to get the sample menu and try out three flavors you're interested in. That way you'll know what to order the next time you go.

Minca Ramen Factory

536 East 5th Street

Minca Ramen Factory

This ramen is perfect if you're hankering for a taste of Japan. Their Minca broth is made from a combination of pork and chicken bones combined with traditional Japanese ingredients like seaweed, bonito and shiitake mushrooms for that deep umami flavor.

If you're a vegetarian, don't worry! They even offer a vegetarian broth so everyone can slurp their noodles together happily.

There's plenty of customization here as well from the broth, noodles (thin, thick, wavy and gluten-free), toppings and flavor. And if you're still a little peckish, there are a handful of appetizers you can order and some frosty beers to help wash it all down.

Ippudo NY

Located at 65 Fourth Ave, between 9th and 10th Sts

Ippudo NY

This is a place where you most likely, or alway, will have to wait in line. Why, its simple, they serve outstanding ramen, period. Ippudo bustling atmosphere, with a view of the kitchen, makes this spot a must visit for any ramen lover or first timers.

Dine solo or with friends, Ippudo will make you cry for more. With a service that stands out you will always feel welcome even if you have to wait for hours.

Try the Karaka-men and the Shiromaru Hakata Classic, as it comes recommended by regulars. That said, you simply can't go wrong with any order.

Mu Ramen

Located at 12-09 Jackson Ave, between 47th Rd and 48th Ave

Mu Ramen

Created by Joshua and Heidy Smookler, the husband and wife team, Mu Ramen surely delivers up to expectation. Cause you've most likely heard of the insta-hit-ramen-place before.

As other popular spots in NYC you will have to wait before sitting down at the bar, which is by the way the best place, and dig into what's one of NYC best ramen.

The food is prepared with joy, as you can see and hear when chefs crack jokes one after the other, which of course also make the taste for us visitors simply amazing.

Try the Spicy Miso, Tebasaki Gyoza and foie gras, yes you've heard right, the softness of the foie gras is delicious.

Takashi

456 Hudson Street

Takashi NYC

From 6pm-11pm, Takashi is a standard Japanese restaurant that specializes in meat. Almost everything in their menu is meat of some kind and you can choose to eat it raw or grilled.

From 12am-1am on Friday and Saturday, Takashi transforms into a late-night ramen shop making it a perfect place to fill your belly after a night of hard-drinking.

They only serve two types of ramen both made with beef broth base simmered for 24 hours. This is then topped with a slice of Kobe beef belly and soft-boiled egg. For those who like a little spice in their life, the Grandma's spicy ramen comes with a generous dollop of red-pepper paste.

While they do accept walk-ins, it's best to make a reservation ahead of time.

Bassanova Ramen

76 Mott Street

Bassanova Ramen

If you're looking for a new twist on regular ramen, Bassanova is definitely the place to go.

While the flavors might seem strange at first, if you're familiar with Thai or traditional Chinese cooking, you should feel right at home with options like green curry ramen or lemon and black pepper.

They also offer broth-less ramen for those who don't want to fill up on liquids. Regardless of what you choose, you'll definitely be satisfied with it. A word of warning though, Bassanova is cash only so make sure to pull some out before you decide to eat here.

Yuji Ramen

150 Ainslie Street, Brooklyn

Yuji Ramen

From 9am-3pm this small storefront – Okonomi - serves traditional Japanese breakfast and lunch sets for the hungry masses.

At night, it transforms into a Yuji – a ramen shop. The shop seats only 12 people so you'll have to wait quite a while before you can dive into the bowls.

The signature dish - the bacon-and-egg mazemen (ramen without the broth) – is full of flavor thanks to the crispy bacon and over easy eggs that coat the noodles when broken. Or, if you want a full culinary tour, you can make a reservation for ramen tasting menu.

Momofuku Noodle Bar

171 1st Ave

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Momofuku Noodle Bar is probably one of the most hyped ramen spots around town these day, and while that's not always a good thing, Momofuku manage to pull through the highly set expectations. David Chang, chef and owner, creates his own version of "americanised" Tokyo ramen, simply called Momofuku ramen.

As any hyped spot in NYC you must be prepared to wait, sometimes for a long time, and while that is discouraging, you just must try this spot at least once. Go for the pork buns and the momofuku ramen.

Honorable Mention

Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen

Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen

This tiny no-frills shop serves only a handful of things, one of which is, of course, "ramen."

Why is ramen in quotes? Technically these aren't ramen noodles; they are hand-pulled Chinese noodles. This is, in fact, ramen in its original form when it first arrived in Japan from China.

The broth itself is very light and gentle as the star of the show is the noodle. These are masterfully stretched, spun and cut by the chef in front of the patrons. If you go into the restaurant knowing you are not getting the regular ramen, you'll definitely leave full and happy.