The Ten: Best Ramen

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So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

We were scratching our noodle about what to round up this week, when one our editors mentioned ramen. After lots of slurping – a compliment at a ramen joint, not a sign of rudeness – we have compiled a definitive list of the ten best spots to score a bowl of the Japanese delicacy.

Toki Underground

This second floor H Street hangout kick-started the ramen revolution in the District when it opened in the spring of 2011. Chef-owner Eric Bruner-Yang – a recent nominee for Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Mid-Atlantic Region ­– turns out undeniably show stopping bowls of ramen that we like to amp up with house-made sriracha and a nitamago (egg).

Daikaya  

It may have just opened, but Daikaya has already earned a dedicated following. José Andrés alum Katsuya Fukushima oversees the kitchen, which produces a standout take on traditional Sapporo style ramen built on a broth enriched with pork, chicken and beef.

Ren’s Ramen  

Hidden away in a tiny, nondescript Wheaton strip mall, this slender-spaced eatery deserves your devotion. We always order the deeply flavorful Sapporo style miso ramen with kaedama – an extra helping of the wiggly, squiggly noodles imported directly from Nishiyama Noodles in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Sakuramen  

These AdMo up ‘n’ comers have transformed a basement space into stellar stop-in for ramen aficionados. The Shoki Bowl is our favorite, especially when you drop in a 12-pepper fireball. Don’t forget to get an order of the beef bulgogi buns, too.

Taan  

We have three words for you: Shoyu Duck Ramen. This fowl play comes topped with a perfectly executed Hanjuku Tamago, otherwise known as a Japanese Magic Egg or Lava Egg – a hard-boiled and soy marinated egg with a runny golden core.

Nooshi  

The Oodles Spicy Seafood Ramen lurks in the middle of this pan-Asian sushi restaurant’s menu. Fish cake, squid, shrimp and snow crab all crest this impressive bowl.

Tanpopo Ramen House

When you order at this Annandale redoubt, you indicate how intense you want your food: level one, two or three. Only crank the heat all the way up if you are accustomed to truly spicy fare. No matter what, don’t forget to add on a few toppings – such as the seaweed and bamboo shoots – since the noodles are sparsely decorated.

Honey Pig Izakaya 

They may be getting more press for their rapped out TV commercial, but this Korean late night fave offers a solid bowl of ramen.

Tono Sushi 

A panoply of Asian options grace this casual Woodley Park eatery’s menu, including a well-loved miso ramen.

Temari Japanese Café

Juicy slabs of pork belly finish off the Tonkotsu ramen here, which sits in a rich, salty broth dotted with glistening globules of fat.

 

Is your favorite missing? Disagree with one (or more) of my choices? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @nevinmartell.

 

  • HMA8

    Maneki Neko is also very good.

  • Rajib Hossain

    Thanks for the share. Great stuff, just nice!
    ming green marble Tile