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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jonathan Lin

The best ramen in Austin

From tonkotsu to vegan broths and bowls of noodles, these restaurants serve the best ramen Austin has ever seen

By Kelly Stocker

What do you do on those rare cold Austin nights? Sure, grabbing a beer while watching the pros play at one of the best sports bars in Austin and taking down a few drinks at the best bars in Austin are tempting options, but may we suggest a more delicious plan? Head to one of these eateries to warm up with the top ramen Austin has to offer. From classic tonkotsu to just-as-delicious vegan broths and noodles, here are the best restaurants to enjoy a delectable plate of ramen (are you a fan of another sort of Asian cuisine? Check out the best sushi in Austin instead). 

Best ramen in Austin

Ramen Tatsu-ya
Photograph: Courtesy Ramen Tatsu-ya/Chiai Matsumoto

1. Ramen Tatsu-ya

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese Wooten

The obscurely located Ramen Tatsu-ya single-handedly inspired the Austin ramen craze. The eateries cooks its tonkotsu for three days for a depth and richness of flavor that has earned it lots of praise. Custom noodles, tender chashu, marinated egg and woodear mushrooms for the traditionalist; if you’re more adventurous, add a corn bomb, a spicy bomb or yuzu kosho bomb. Their dedication to perfection and willingness to experiment has earned it the trust of patrons. 

Michi Ramen
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/kerinin

2. Michi Ramen

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Ramen East Austin

Michi Ramen, more accessible than other more traditional ramen spots, boasts a big open space, a comfortable patio and a happy hour worth arriving early for. The variety of toppings and different broth options available make this a must-visit (bonus points: craft beer, sake and wine are part of the menu as well). Folks looking for a unique twist on their food should order the Texas ramen, which comes complete with a rib, smoked corn, coleslaw and Texas toast.

Daruma Ramen
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/kiyomi3631

3. Daruma Ramen

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Ramen Swedish Hill Historic District

Eschewing the pork base, Daruma specializes in whole chicken broth ramen made with eggless tapioca-based noodles. Boasting a full-scratch kitchen in a sleek, modern space, the 6th street location is quite small and offers only communal tables. Diners will choose one of four options: shio, shoyu, miso and vegetable (vegan). You might want to call ahead for a reservation and to make sure they’re offering a daily specialty item.

Photograph: Courtesy Kome

4. Kome

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Sushi North Loop

Though it primarily serves sushi, Kome was one of the first eateries to offer ramen in Austin. The owners both hail from Japan and approach the ramen with the same care. The restaurant itself is lovely and intimate, the perfect setting for a bowl of steaming soup. Only served during lunch, there are three ramen options: miso, tonkotsu and vegan miso. Add kimchi or a spicy base to mix it up.

Photograph: Courtesy Soto

5. Soto

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese Northwest Austin

Soto is located near Lakeline mall in Cedar Park. Here you’ll find a vast array of sushi and creative Japanese dishes, among them a build-your-own ramen. Choose your broth, your noodle (udon is also an option) and main toppings. These include grilled beef, shoyu, seafood, grilled chicken, shrimp or vegetable tempura. Served with a house salad and primarily at lunch, you might be able to convince the staff to serve it to you for dinner as well. 

Hanabi Ramen & Bento
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/ Aron Y.

6. Hanabi Ramen & Bento

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese North Shoal Creek

Formerly a beloved sushi spot, the original location of Hanabi now specializes in ramen and bento boxes. Choose between six different ramen options, all with relatively traditional broths. Non-ramen lovers can devour a variety of bento boxes, including the crispy flounder, calamari and chicken karaage.

Jinya Ramen Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jacky Z.

7. Jinya Ramen Bar

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese North Burnet

“No ramen, no life” is Jinya Ramen’s motto. The California-born eatery serves thick, rich broth with handmade noodles that are aged before being cooked and served. To keep the broth free from impurities, the staff uses Fiji water—and we’re all for that. The extensive menu offers over 25 ramen add-ins, including Brussels sprouts and garlic galore. In the mood for something different? Feel free to order tapas, rice bowls and curry as well.

Xian Sushi & Noodle
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Xian Sushi & Noodle

8. Xian Sushi and Noodle

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Rmma

Although Xian Sushi & Noodle serves a single ramen dish (shoyu ramen), the hand-pulled noodles are worth a visit. The centuries-old Chinese tradition of pressing and pulling softens the gluten and gives the noodles a remarkable texture and freshness. Waiting for a table? Enjoy the fantastic happy hour.

Shabu Hot Pot & Noodle Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Henry L.

9. Shabu Hot Pot & Noodle Bar

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese North Shoal Creek

Shabu is the place of your noodle dreams. This north Austin gem is tucked way back in a corner spot off Anderson lane. Walk into an elegant, modern ambience with a semi-open kitchen, hanging edison bulbs and look at the semi-visible chefs at work. The ramen here boasts a Chinese flair—barbecue pork with oyster mushrooms, snow peas, green onions and (Japanese) ramen noodles.

Kanji Ramen Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Misoran C.

10. Kanji Ramen Bar

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese Barrington Oaks

North Austin is quickly becoming a haven for ramen of all types and Kanji is a welcome addition to that scene. It’s counter-service with a short but interesting menu featuring eight kinds of ramen and ten small dishes. Broths range from pork bone to miso to veggie. Spicy k-pop ramen, sukiyaki ramen and Murukai ramen are ideal orders if you’re looking for a little excitement in your perfect ramen pursuit. The eatery also offers a kids menu for your little culinary expert.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jonathan Lin

11. Yanagi

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese

Like many Japanese restaurants in Austin, Yanagi is actually owned by Koreans. Instead of the thick, meaty pork broth, this spot opts for a Korean ramen that consists of a red miso base (spicy or mild options available). Lest you be taken aback, the color is a bright crimson. The bowl is topped with squash, onion, Kimchi and carrots with the traditional Chashu and marinated egg present as well.


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