In Tokyo, nothing beats a steaming hot bowl of ramen.

Searching through Tokyo’s streets for an excellent ramen shop can be daunting—especially since there are shops on close to every corner claiming to be 'the best', 'traditionally prepared', or 'voted #1' in the city. So what’s a tourist to do? First, understand what you’re getting into when visiting a ramen shop. Ramen has become a regional dish in Japan and your steaming hot bowl of noodles will be one of four kinds of ramen: shoyu (soy sauce based), shio (salt based), tonkotsu (pork bone soup based) or miso (fermented soy bean-based).

Thankfully, there is a wealth of information out there that will map out the best of the city’s thousands of ramen shops so you can make an educated decision for your meal. Be aware that many of the shops are very small and can only seat around ten people. To beat the crowds and avoid the lines, be sure to arrive a little early or a little late.

Ramen is Tokyo’s most popular fast food dish, and for good reason. The simple ingredients, careful preparation and delicious end result ensure that this food fad won’t be going away anytime soon. If you find yourself in Tokyo with a grumbling stomach, use Cover-More’s guide to finding the best places for ramen.

Menya Musashi

Saying one ramen shop is 'better' than the other can bring on a never-ending argument about what being the 'best' really means. However, you will find that many locals will bring up Menya Musashi, where the ramen bowls are hearty and full of delicious pork and noodles in the classic Tokyo style. Be sure to bring cash though—this establishment doesn’t accept credit cards.


The superstar of this ramen spot is the broth. It is tonkotsu, or pork-bone broth that is painstakingly made, and it takes about 20 hours of work to finish a batch. Unsurprisingly, this dedication to the craft pays off and Mutekiya is recognized as one of the best in the city. Long lines start queueing up far before mealtimes, so plan ahead if you want to try their take on ramen.

Obaku Kokuseki

If you prefer a little more spice and flare to your ramen, this is your spot. Obaku Kokuseki specialises in 'tan tan men' which is a slightly different variation of ramen using spicy broth. There is more than one branch of this ramen spot and if you are in Kichijoji, the environment will be more relaxed than at the Roppongi location.


Harukiya has been in business for more than 60 years now, and this expertise is immediately recognized when you have a bowl of their classic shoyu ramen. The quality of the ramen is incredible, and the eatery serves another typical kind of ramen in Tokyo called chukka soba, which combines chicken and fish stock with soy sauce to create a rich broth for the noodles.


Located in the fiercely competitive neighbourhood of Takadanobaba, Watanabe stands out. The exterior and refined atmosphere of this ramen shop set it apart from the other shops with less than desirable dining environments. The ramen itself comes out with a rich, intense taste and is topped with tender, homemade menma (fermented bamboo shoots) that burst with flavour as you bite into them.

There are great noodles being cooked up all over the city morning, noon, and night, so whenever you’re ready to try the popular dish, there will be hundreds of shops more than happy to accommodate. The only thing as dependable as ramen in Tokyo may be your travel insurance policy that’ll support you in the event something unexpected happens and you need help—be it lost luggage, a sudden illness, or an accident. Count on Cover-More to be there for you during your holiday to Tokyo and beyond.

Image courtesy of Flickr user earthhopper