When you think of ramen in the East Village, your first thought is probably Ippudo. While Ippudo is definitely worth a visit, these three ramen shops in the East Village offer reasonably priced ramen without ridiculously long lines.
Rai Rai Ken
In Japanese, “rai rai” means to return time and time again. Trust us when we say the hearty broth from Rai Rai Ken definitely makes its customers “rai rai.” After eight long yet well-worthy hours of simmering pork meat and stewing vegetables along with a whole hen, the clear broth is left with a deep and unforgettable sweet flavor. You may not be able to resist gulping down the entire bowl of soup before you even finish the noodles.
Address: 218 East 10th Street (between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave.)
Hours of operation: Mon-Thu: noon to 11:30pm, Fri-Sat: noon to 1:30am, Sun: noon to 11:30pm
At Ramen Misoya, you can choose kome (Hokkaido style), mame (Nagoya style) and shiro (Kyoto style) miso ramen for $10 along with a choice of homemade gyoza, fried chicken or fried rice. Unlike other ramen shops, Misoya serves its ramen with interesting toppings like grounded pork and fried potato wedges. The minced pork and sweet corn give the miso soup a tinge of sweetness and the soft-boiled egg has a gooey yolk that blends perfectly with the broth.
Address: 129 2nd Avenue (between 7th & St. Marks Place)
Hours of operation: Mon-Sat: noon to midnight, Sun: noon to 11pm
Ramen Factory Minca
Run by Japanese staff and chefs, Minca is an authentic hidden gem in the East Village. Its Toroniku ramen with basic broth (salt and roast garlic flavor) is as good as (if not better than) the ramen from Ippudo or Totto Ramen. The slow-cooked pork, unbelievably rich and tender, is the signature of Minca. Layered among its fat, the huge chunks of pork pair deliciously with the chewy noodles. With a hint of garlic, the soup, made from pork and chicken bones, is perfectly salty and oily for customers who crave a flavorful bowl of ramen.
Address: 536 East 5th street (between Avenue A and Avenue B)
Hours of operation: Mon-Sun: noon to 11:30pm