London's best ramen restaurants

We unravel the best of the Japanese noodle-in-broth joints
© Jamie Lau
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From Kyushu-style tonkotsu made with long-simmered pork bone broth, to simple soy sauce based soup, you can now get your ramen fix in all sorts of forms in London. From traditional Japanese restaurants to places doing something a bit different, here’s our pick of where to grab a steaming bowl of thin wheat noodles in broth. It's the best ramen joints in London. 

 

 

The best ramen in London

London's best ramen restaurants, bone daddies
© Michael Franke
Restaurants, Japanese

Bone Daddies

icon-location-pin Soho

The flavours are bold, the dining room’s tightly packed and the staff are friendly at Bone Daddies: a gusty New York-style noodle joint with blaring rock music and some seriously rich ramen. We’re sold on the chicken bone broth specialities, especially the standout Tantanmen 2 with wheat noodles, sesame and chilli.   

Ippudo
Guy Dimond
Restaurants, Japanese

Ippudo Villiers Street

icon-location-pin Charing Cross

Ramen connoisseurs know all about Ippudo, and this Villiers Street outlet doesn’t disappoint. The look is minimal but smart, and the ‘grand menu’ features multiple versions of tonkotsu including a bowl of ‘karaka-men’ that’s solid, warm and comforting, with a kick from miso paste. Branches in Covent Garden and Canary Wharf.

Venue says Craving something delicious for lunch? Get Yaki Gyoza, Karaage Sicks or Crispy Gyoza for only £1, available with every bowl of ramen!

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Restaurants, Japanese

Kanada-Ya

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Mega in reputation, massive in quality, this no-bookings ramen specialist has a huge fan base – and the queues to prove it. Bijou and bright, it serves custom-built bowls of seriously savoury deliciousness with cooked-to-order wheat noodles and a choice of pork belly or char-sui pork collar. Branches in Angel and Covent Garden.

Venue says If you’re looking for authentic tonkotsu ramen, look no further than Kanada-Ya in Holborn.

Restaurants, Japanese

Koi Ramen Bar

icon-location-pin Brixton

Now holed up permanently in Pop Brixton, Koi specialises in ‘classic’ tonkotsu involving tender chargrilled pork belly, bouncy noodles and crunchy kikurage (cloud ear mushrooms). There are also two miso riffs including a vegan version with fried tofu and another that’s pimped up with pork. Just add a marinated egg.

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Restaurants, Japanese

Nagoya

icon-location-pin Marylebone

With its slatted wood façade, this Marylebone Japanese looks decidedly old school, and – no surprise – it serves up totally traditional bowls of steaming ramen noodles in broth alongside its tempura, teriyaki and sushi. Choose straight tonkotsu with braised pork loin, deep-fried chicken katsu or the veggie option loaded with wakame seaweed.  

best ramen restaurants in london, nanban
© Jamie Lau
Restaurants, Japanese

Nanban

icon-location-pin Brixton

Sure, it’s not the cosiest spot in town, but Nanban’s inventive noodles and broth will keep you more than toasty. There’s a meatless variant named after Chinese pop star and movie queen Faye Wong, but we’re fans of the ‘Lazy Goat’ – a two-parter that delivers unctuous ramen beauty (one bowl containing a rich deep curry, the other holding fat, wiggly noodles).  

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Restaurants, Japanese

Shoryu Ramen

icon-location-pin St James'

From the team behind the Japan Centre, Shoryu mixes authentic flavours with a little bit of innovation. Tonkotsu ramen is the main event, although the list of additional toppings includes some unusual options (piri-piri sauce, anyone?). However, it’s the Dracula version with extra garlic that has us slurping up every last drop.

Venue says Get two-for-one Shoryu buns every Monday when purchasing any bowl of ramen.

best ramen restaurants in london, tonkotsu
© Ming Tang-Evans
Restaurants, Japanese

Tonkotsu

icon-location-pin Soho

Another champion of noodles in long-simmered pork bone broth, Tonkotsu’s eponymous mainstays come generously topped with slices of tender pork, beansprouts and half a marinated soft-boiled egg. They also offer a veggie noodle soup here, packed with shiitake mushrooms and kombu (kelp). There are currently six branches spread across town.

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Restaurants, Japanese

Yamagoya

icon-location-pin Southwark

It popped up briefly in Chinatown, but this Southwark spot is the first permanent London outpost of the global ramen chain Yamagoya. With drinks in the chiller and a buzzer sounding when your food’s ready, it feels a bit like a fast-food joint, although the signature house ramen passes muster for value and depth of flavour.

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Restaurants, Tea rooms

The Rosebery Lounge

icon-location-pin Belgravia

A suitably sleek salon at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The real draw here is the afternoon tea. Some pretty serious consideration has gone into the tea selection - apparently their very own 'tea master' has been working with the East India Company to compile a selection nothing short of extensive.  Expect, then, some of the finest teas from around the world including Orange Pekoe from Sri Lanka, the Golden Monkey leaf from China and their very own Oriental Afternoon Blend. These leaves are served alongside delicate sandwiches, freshly baked scones, hand-made cakes and madeleines - all created by their team of skilled pastry chefs.  In the evening there's a lounge dining menu with a focus on pan-Asian cuisine. Expect dishes such as Thai green curry, tom yum soup and pad Thai. 

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