Steaming bowls of noodles have been a fixture of chef Bill Kim’s menus ever since he opened his first restaurant, and diners have always been eager to slurp his latest creations. Originally launched as a delivery-only concept, Bill Kim Ramen Bar specializes in broths that draw on Korean, Vietnamese and Mexican flavors, garnished with a creative array of toppings. Whether you’re looking for a conventional bowl or ramen or something a bit more adventurous, Kim has something you can enjoy by the spoonful.
When the temperatures begin to drop, few things are as comforting as ramen. The combination of rich, creamy broth with springy noodles is like a warm hug in a bowl. Though the dish may seem simple, a lot of love and labor actually goes into it. And only a handful of Chicago shops have mastered the art of ramen. You’ll find everything from Ramen Wasabi’s porky tonkotsu to gyukotsu-style ramen, a specialty of southern Japan, at newcomer Monster Ramen. There’s even plant-based broth for non-meat eaters from Tokyo chain Rakkan Ramen. Some places adhere strictly to traditional toppings, while others mix things up with unorthodox ingredients such as fried chicken and mussels. And you won’t break the bank, because these spots are among the finest cheap eats, as well as best Japanese restaurants, in Chicago. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned noodles expert or if your only ramen experience is with the instant variety, our guide to the best ramen shops in the city will have you slurping all the same.
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