Where to Find the Best Ramen in Philadelphia
Our favorite spots to get a bowl of ramen around Philadelphia
For many, Ramen conjures an image of instant noodles good for a cheap meal. In recent years, Philadelphia has seen a surge in restaurants serving real, hearty ramen that will make those days waiting at the microwave seem like a distant memory.
The traditional Japanese noodle soup dish can be found throughout the city, with favorites including Nom Nom Ramen in Rittenhouse Square, Market 16 Noodle Bar and Ramen Bar in University City, Hiro Ramen House in Washington Square and Terakawa Ramen in Chinatown. Each brings its own distinctive spin on the dish, offering quick and inexpensive eats to aspiring slurpers.
Read on for our picks for the best ramen in Philadelphia.
Nom Nom Ramen
These are not the noodles from college. Authentic Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen bowls come filled with mushrooms, bamboo, kelp, pickled ginger or soft boiled eggs, among other ingredients. To master its flavorful broth, Nom Nom Ramen in Rittenhouse soaks pork bones for more than 24 hours to extract all the richness.
Cheu Noodle Bar
Noodles are the main attraction at Cheu Noodle Bar, a 32-seat restaurant that’s received solid praise since opening in Washington Square West in early 2013. The oodles of noodles on the menu at this no-reservations hotspot include: ramen, matzo ball, hand-torn and more.
Morimoto is known for more than its ramen, the Stephen Starr- and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto-owned restaurant boasts some of the best Japanese cuisine in the city. With two types — yasai ramen for the vegetarians and Morimoto ramen soup (Chef’s take on chicken noodle) during dinner and the addition of a pork belly ramen during lunch, the longstanding restaurant is the place to be if you’re looking for a night, or afternoon, out and some delicious ramen just a few blocks from Independence Hall.
Market 16 Noodle Bar
Drexel’s campus gets a fast-service lunch option with Market 16 Noodle Bar, serving hot and cold noodle dishes, teas, sushi and takeaway snacks for studying around the clock.
Ramen Bar Philly
Just a few blocks from Market 16 Noodle Bar, Ramen Bar Philly has staked its own claim in University City, with an affordable menu featuring eight kinds of noodles with extra toppings, plus fried rice and Japanese entrees such as black cod and steak teriyaki.
Hiro Ramen House
There are seven types of ramen on the MSG-free menu at Washington Square’s Hiro Ramen House, but they are made with very serious care. The house version is updated biweekly, and all meats and poultry are sourced locally.
Japanese noodle bowls topped with roast pork, hard-boiled egg or soy-flavored chicken make up the main attractions at Terakawa Ramen, a sleek fast-service spot in Chinatown. The ramen-averse can sample platters with homemade curry, as well as the Japanese sandwich, with slowly braised pork, lettuce, tomato and spicy mayonnaise.
Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine
A pork-heavy bowl of ramen is the staple at Old City’s Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine. Made with pork-bone stock and pork collar, the affordable dish is available during lunch and diner.