A lot of us grew up eating instant ramen. It’s inexpensive (like dirt cheap) and honestly can be pretty damn tasty. But just as a can of Progresso doesn’t begin to compare with the glory of a steaming pot of homemade soup, instant ramen doesn’t prepare anyone for the glory of true ramen — with its silky, meaty broth and fresh wheat noodles. Enjoying a well-made bowl of ramen can be a transformative culinary experience, well worth your time and money.
We asked some experts in the culinary field where they’ve had the best ramen of their lives. If you live close enough to one of these shops, drop in ASAP. These people know what they’re talking about. And if you’ve only ever tasted Top Ramen or Cup o’ Noodles, you owe it to yourself to find a ramen joint in your neighborhood. We guarantee you won’t regret it.
Momi Ramen (Miami, Florida)
“Although it’s a bit pricey, I love the ramen at Momi Ramen.”
Ippudo (New York, New York)
Michael Beltran, Chef and Owner of Ariete in Miami, Florida
“Ippudo in NY. I try to go every time in town. The ramen is insanely good!”
Ivan Ramen (New York, New York)
Travis Sparks, Chef of Tánsuŏ in Nashville, Tennessee
“I love Ivan Ramen in New York. They have a couple of locations and we try to go there when we’re in the city.”
Umami Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Ben Raupp, Executive Chef of The Howard in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
“Umami Pittsburgh is a must visit in the City of Champions for sushi and ramen. It features traditional Japanese dishes but prepares them with modern techniques and local ingredients. Umami’s infrared robata grill cooks skewered meats and vegetables—traditional Japanese menu items, prepared in a modern manner. It’s a super cool place with a great atmosphere. Inside, there’s a small tatami room where patrons can sit and dine, wallpaper covered in the Umami logo (which looks like Japanese kanji) and red Japanese lanterns. Umami also has awesome cocktails like the Fizzy Lifting Drink, a low-proof alcohol-based cocktail with grilled pear and egg white, and some great Japanese whiskeys.”