Ramen Adventures uses a five-star rating system. Ratings in general are a tricky subject. A five to you might be a three to me. Plenty of Michelin Three-Star restaurants in Tokyo do not align with the Tabelog Gold ranking. Some magazines favor the same shops year after year while others change with the seasons. I love and use these lists, but hate making them so much that I made my own Best of Ramen site that doesn’t follow any rules other than getting drunk once a year and going over the last 100 ramen posts for the ones that stand out.
That said, Ramen Adventures gives shops a ranking of one to five stars.
One-Star: These bowls were, for me, categorically bad. Whether it was the soup, noodles, or service, something made me really dislike the experience. I’ll never think of going back to these shops nor would I ever recommend anyone do the same. I generally enjoy ramen and the experience of hunting for it, so very few shops will have this rating . . . I hope.
Two-Star: Meh. This one didn’t resonate with me. You might like it, but I’ve already forgotten.
Three-Star: Decent ramen! If you are in the area hit it up. If it is inconvenient you might want to think twice about taking a journey out of your way to dine here. That said, I enjoyed every three-star slurp I’ve put my chopsticks into.
Four-Star: Something I really, really loved. Crush it with gusto. Go a little out of your way. Of course, my taste might be different than yours, so there’s a chance we disagree.
Five-Star: For a shop to receive the maximum five-star rating, it also has to be adored by the Japanese ramen critic community. Ramen Walker’s 百名人, TRY’s panel of judges, and Tabelog’s 百名店 are all acceptable. These are legend shops, the best-of-the-best. You’ll wait in long lines with other ramen nerds. If you aren’t satisfied, please let me know the reason why!
Keep in mind, I am heavily influenced by external factors like atmosphere and my mood at the time of slurping. A six-hour motorcycle ride to a shop probably works in that shop’s favor in my case, while that might work against it for others. I also made these ranking retroactively in March 2021 meaning older shops are a mere fragment of a memory.