Need a break from the packaged instant noodles? We all do. Why not head over to a ramen restaurant for some delicious Japanese noodles and snacks.
Over the past few years, Chicago’s ramen scene has blown up and there are constantly new restaurants to try. As a self-proclaimed ramen connoisseur, I’ve picked out some of the best of the best around Chicago. So get slurpin’!
Do you like food hot enough to set your mouth on fire? This Tokyo-inspired gem is perfect for those who love their food hot ‘n spicy and anyone who just loves good Japanese-style ramen. Everything on their menu, from their spicy AF Kanabo Spice ramen to their lighter Shio and Shoyu ramens, promises a unique experience. But for all you spice-lovers out there, don’t wimp out. Get hurt in the best way possible: eating.
If you haven’t been to Furious Spoon, you better get yourself over there now. They boast flavorful broths, tender noodles, and tons of different toppings to choose from. Their Furious Ramen is known to pack a punch, but even if you don’t like spicy foods, it’s so addicting that it’ll keep you coming back again and again.
Chef Takashi’s Slurping Turtle is a modern take on Japanese comfort food. Just like some of the other mentions, Slurping Turtle has an amazing spicy option. The Tan Tan Men Ramen, and their Tonkotsu Ramen are also crowd favorites. However, no matter what you pick, you’ll be definitely be raving about their savory broth and their homemade noodles. Besides their ramen, their most requested dish is the Duck Fat Fried Chicken. Slurping Turtle also gets bonus points for their huge sake, wine, beer, and cocktail list.
Something about Strings is just addicting. They currently have two locations: Strings 1 in Chinatown and Strings 2 in Lincoln Park. Both have similar menus, but if you’re looking for vegetarian-friendly ramen, the Lincoln Park location is the one to go to. As for their ramen, it’s not only full of flavor, but it’s also very customizable. If you’re looking for this writer’s favorites, definitely try their Shoyu Oden Ramen, or Kuro Buta Tonkotsu Ramen.
A staple in Wicker Park, Oiistar is the Asian fusion ramen restaurant that you’ve been dreaming of. What makes Oiistar a favorite is the mix of Korean and French influences in their food. You can see it all throughout the menu. As for their ramen, definitely try the Oiimen. It features their flavorful signature pork broth with a kick of spice along with their fresh, homemade noodles. And make sure to also try their selection of bao buns for appetizers.
Straight out of Tokyo, Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya is the most authentic restaurant on the entire list. Their signature is their creamy, home-made broths and the perfect noodles to match each type. Along with the noodles, make sure to also sample some of their small plates, like onigiri, gyoza (pot stickers) and pork buns, for the full Japanese experience. Trust me. You won’t regret it.
Yet another along Milwaukee, Wasabi is Logan Square’s secret gem. One slurp and you’ll know exactly why people keep flocking here. The secret is the rich and creamy Berkshire pork broth that takes up to 45 hours to make. And don’t forget about the rest of the menu. You want skewers? They’ve got ’em. Gyozas? Spring rolls? Check and check. Sushi? Well, have you even seen their menu? So when you’re all done with your ramen, make sure to also give the rest of the menu a try.