The Best Ramen in Japan 2016

I had the chance to travel a bit in 2016, and slurped quite a few stellar bowls. This is in no way a comprehensive best-of list, but rather my personal best-of 2016 from the far reaches of this country.

Chronologically-slurped order. Clicking the names will take you to the full article.


1. 大喜 (Taiki in Toyama)

Toyama Black at the original spot. Not much to do in Toyama, but if you have a rail pass and are coming or going from Kanazawa, might as well stop off for a minute.


2. 極鶏 (Gokkei in Kyoto)

The highest ranked shop in Kyoto, according to Tabelog’s curated Best 50 in Japan.


3. 大和 (Yamato in Sano, Tochigi)

Sano is a ramen destination, and Yamato is one of the best, if not the best.


4. Kodawari Ramen in Paris – The Ramen

Sorry, not Japan, but my friend’s place in Paris was awesome.


5. 一風堂パリ (Ippudo in Paris, France)

Again, not Japan, but Ippudo in Paris had the best vegetarian ramen I’ve ever had.


6. 千草 (Chigusa in Kuji, Iwate)

Old school shop in the countryside. If you care about ramen as much as I do, you’ll try and make it.


7. たかはし中華そば店 (Takahashi in Aomori)

True Aomori style ramen in Aomori Prefecture. Niboshi-rich, this was the perfect bowl on a super rainy day.


8. 星龍軒 (Seiryuken in Hakodate, Hokkaido)

Hakodate is known for shio ramen, and this is the shop that all others look up to. Expect a line.


9. 鱗 (Uroko in Osaka)

So much umami in this one. Very light in impact, but deep in other ways.


10. 丈六 (Joroku in Osaka)

Osaka tamari shoyu style. I’ve had a few, and Joroku is the one I recommend.


11. 和心 (Nagomi in Mukonoso, Hyogo)

Fishy ramen at a Hyogo institution. Preservative free and hearty.


12. 元気一杯 (Genki Ippai in Fukuoka)

The no-photos, no-talking, no-phones spot in Fukuoka that many foodies swear by. I’m a believer!


13. 金田家 (Kanadaya in Fukuoka) – review soon

Regarded at the best in Kyushu, everything at Kanadaya is creamy pork perfection.

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