I am definitely not over the ramen craze, and I don't think I ever will be. I am partially Japanese, and I grew up with strong influences of Japanese culture from my grandmother. I think that loving ramen is just in my blood. 

Super authentic and satisfying ramen is hard to come by. The broth is a delicate balance of subtle flavors that takes several hours to come together, simmering over low heat. I've tried ramen at innumerable places, and few have accomplished what Santouka has. 

Convenient for this side of the Charles River. 

pizza, beer, coffee
Haley Abram

The first time I had ramen at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Harvard Square, I was overwhelmed by the authenticity. I sent a photo of my bowl of perfectly balanced shio (salt) ramen to my grandmother and she claimed it looked exactly like the kind she ate in Japan. 

I soon learned that Santouka was founded by Hitoshi Hatanaka in Asahikawa, a major city in Hokkaido, Japan. While Santouka is the real deal, Harvard Square is not an ideal location for students on the Boston-side of the Charles River.

Lucky for us, Santouka recently opened a location at the intersection of Hereford and Newbury Street. This is an ideal location at the start of Newbury Street for Boston University students like myself.

Everything is authentic and delicious. 

miso soup, sake, tea
Haley Abram

You can't go wrong with any style broth at Santouka. Whether you try the classic shio broth they're so well known for or more adventurous ones like the miso or spicy base, I promise it will be delicious.

They serve an assortment of side dishes and starters as well. You can add a side of rice, which is delicious in the broth, or a soft-boiled egg. If you're craving meat, you can get an extra dish of sliced, roasted pork on the side. Beyond ramen, I suggest starting with the fried gyoza.

Winter is upon us in Massachusetts, and nothing warms the soul like a steaming bowl of soup. Head on over to Santouka and warm yourself up with classic Japanese cuisine.