Best of the Best Ramen in Japan


So you want the best ramen in Japan. Maybe a Google search brought you here. At the end of the day making a best-of list is the most annoying part of being a ramen critic. The lists from Michelin differ greatly from Japanese lists which differ from lists on Chinese platforms. I decided to make my life easier and let ChatGPT pick the best.

This list would feel well at home in any English language guidebook. The truth is, these shops are all packed with more tourists than locals and some of them are completely absent from any of the well-respected Japanese best-of lists. Speaking of Japanese best-of lists.


The Hyakumeiten (百名店) list from Tabelog is one heck of a list. We have 100 shops in Tokyo, Osaka, East, and West for a total of 400 top shops around Japan. I’ve compiled all of the shops into lists with links. Eating at 400 shops is a mission, so why not start with the top 10 in each area? My lists are in order of the general Tabelog rating which, though not a perfect metric, is decent in its own special way.

Tokyo 2023

Osaka 2023

West Japan 2023

East Japan 2023

The Hyakumeiten covers 29 different genres of casual gourmet like soba, unagi, burgers, ice cream, and curry. It is updated yearly. If you finish all 400, why not go back and check off the shops from the 2022 list as well? You’ll only have to look at 300 this time. Tokyo, West, East.

Print Media

Publishing is alive and well in Japan with many ramen magazines hitting the shelves annually. Check out Ramen Walker or TRY if you want magazines with ranking lists.

For something less daunting, check out the map I helped with for There are 16 shops around Tokyo that I consider to be tops. I tried to balance this list as best I could. Enjoy!

If you want something in book form, you can’t go wrong with Best of the Best Ramen, a guidebook put out by Ramen Walker magazine. It covers shops in Ramen Walker’s Hall of Fame from around Japan and is written in four languages. English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Grab a copy here.



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Ramen Adventures approved books: