The city of Boston, Massachusetts, is known for the Boston Redsox and Fenway Park, the Boston Celtics basketball team, the Boston Harborwalk, the New England Aquarium, and other interesting attractions.
But more than anything, this vibrant, culturally-diverse city is known for its food. People go there for – and perhaps even decide to live there for – the baked beans, fish and chips, clam chowder, and Boston cream pies.
And Boston has a plethora of excellent restaurants, bars, cafes, and other eateries, making it easy to explore all of this delicious food.
But you might not realize that Boston has the largest Japanese population of any city in Massachusetts. As such, there are many excellent Japanese restaurants serving delicious ramen.
Ramen is a type of noodle soup that originates from China but became popular thanks to noodle shops in Yokohama Chinatown in Japan and is now widely adored around the world – including in Boston!
I’ll share the best ramen in Boston, or right outside of Boston so that you know where to find these tasty noodles the next time you’re in town.
318 Harvard St #3, Brookline, MA 02446
Ganko Ittetsu Ramen is a popular restaurant outside Boston to the west, between Paradise Rock Club and Griggs Park.
This top-rated ramen spot is small but sleek, offering an intimate, traditional, and cozy atmosphere. They offer three different kinds of Sapporo-style ramen, all cooked in a wok.
Many ramen places have a lot of flavor in their ramen broth, but sometimes the flavor comes with heaviness and oiliness that is almost too filling.
However, Ganko gets it right by making a broth that is super rich and ultra flavorful while maintaining a refreshing lightness.
But don’t worry; both the broth and the ingredients will ensure you feel pleasantly full and satisfied. I like to get their spicy miso ramen with pork, but all their ramen dishes are amazing.
20A District Ave, Boston, MA 02125
Totto Ramen is a quiet, casual, intimate ramen joint on District Avenue, close to the Newmarket train station and Clifford Playground.
I love visiting this restaurant when I’m in the mood for both ramen and fried chicken, and I can’t decide! Totto makes reasonably good ramen at an affordable price, and I appreciate the option for a creamier broth.
They also use chicken broth, so this is an ideal spot for people who don’t eat pork for religious or dietary reasons.
But if I’m being honest, I think their fried chicken is their best dish. Some people put the fried chicken into the ramen soup, but I prefer it all by itself or on the side.
420 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02144
Tsurumen Davis is another casual and compact ramen spot with simple decor. I like no-frills places like this because I get the sense that they’re going to put all of their energy into the food instead of how the place looks.
And that is very true of Tsurumen Davis, located in Somerville near the Somerville Theater. You can order beef, pork, or chicken broth, and I think they are all spectacular.
But my favorite here is the Spicy Paitan, a rich chicken shoyu ramen that comes with pork chashu, scallions, bamboo shoots, red onions, chili oil, and bean sprouts.
You should definitely get an onset soft egg on top, even though it costs a little extra. Also, it’s cash-only, so bring your bills with you!
1923 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
If you like eating your ramen in a small, Japanese-style counter-serve space with long lunch-table-style seating, look no further than Yume Wo Katare.
Yume Wo Katare is in Porter Square, right by the Porter station, and has several cafes surrounding it like Little Bake and Panera Bread.
The area gets quite busy, and so does the noodle shop due to its delectable ramen that comes in pre-heated bowls as well as its friendly, open environment.
The staff even asks customers – or “members” if they are frequent customers – to share their dreams with the whole restaurant after finishing their meal.
It’s quite a unique, entertaining, and inspiring experience! There will likely be a line when you get there, but trust me – it’s worth the wait.
1271 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
Another popular ramen restaurant in the heart of Boston is called Hojoko. It’s just minutes from Fenway Park, making it the perfect spot to fill up on savory broth and noodles before or after a baseball game.
Hojoko is known for its twists on traditional Japanese cuisine, which is very true of their ramen dishes.
They have a Funky Chicken Ramen that comes with 48-hour chicken broth, grilled koi chicken, and the option to add spicy fermented chili relish for a small up-charge. Some say the broth is quite salty, but I like its saltiness.
Other tasty items at this vibrant, fun, and casual restaurant include kimchi fried rice and sushi rolls, like the mushroom truffle roll!
Plus, they have creative cocktails and whiskey drinks, which add to the overall cheery and vibrant environment.
1247 Centre St, Newton, MA 02459
What is Asian soul food? You’ll have to go to Little Big Diner to see for yourself, as that is what they proudly claim to serve!
Essentially, you’ll find plenty of savory, salty, and fried eats at these Japanese-inspired restaurants, including but not limited to miso ramen, chicken karaage, and even burgers.
Little Big Diner is right across the street from the Newton Centre Green park, making it a nice place to eat with your kids after taking them to the park for an afternoon.
Additionally, the environment is quite hip and modern, and you can take a peek into the kitchen to see what the chef and staff are cooking up while you wait for your dish.
310 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
If you’re in the mood for Japanese fare and your friend is in the mood for Spanish food, you might assume you’ll have to eat at different places.
But at Pagu, you don’t have to decide between the two! They offer small plates of both Japanese- and Spanish-inspired fare.
Besides ramen, which is perhaps the most popular menu item here, there are plenty of tasty things you can order.
I love the squid ink bao buns more than anything on the regular menu, but I suggest going in for one of their tasting menu nights when you can try a bunch of different innovative dishes back-to-back.
Pagu is also very well located near the broader portion of the Charles River and Boston University, so if you are an incoming student, this might be your new favorite spot.
66 Hereford St, Boston, MA 02115
Another ramen restaurant located near Boston University and the Charles River is called Santouka Back Bay.
Santouka is an exceptionally popular spot, and for good reasons. It’s a chain restaurant that specifically focuses on serving up the best ramen dishes with various types of broth.
Like several ramen locations on this list, the restaurant is quite small and intimate, so you might have to wait several minutes before being seated.
But once you’re in, you’ll be treated to your choice of spicy ramen, pork belly ramen, vegetarian ramen, and more.
It’s not a bad idea to get Cha-shu Gohan, a tasty pork belly rice bowl, especially if you’re ordering small ramen.
294 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115
Near Santouka and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, you’ll find a lesser-known but just as delicious ramen restaurant called Red White Ramen.
The brick building makes it feel cozy and inviting, and you’ll be seated faster since it’s a smaller spot. But the best aspect of Red White Ramen for some people is that it’s a vegan ramen place!
Some vegan ramen dishes in other places lack depth, richness, and flavor, but Red White Ramen knows how to make vegan ramen without compromising any taste.
My favorite menu item is the dragon breath, which is insanely spicy and delicious. But as one of the best ramen spots in Boston, you can’t go wrong with any order here.
1 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
Isshindo Ramen is the place to go for traditionalists. This is a small, no-frills Japanese restaurant that doesn’t focus on innovation but simply focuses on exceptional taste.
Located near Malvern Field, this little spot may be harder to find, but it’s worth the search.
Not only is their ramen incredible, with flavorful broth that isn’t too oily, but they also have delicious curry, takoyaki, gyudon bowls, fried chicken, and more.
411 Massachusetts Ave Retail #5, Cambridge, MA 02139
If cozy, casual, family-run restaurants are your vibe, check out Muku Ramen in Central Square, near Lafayette Square Park.
This unassuming spot is the perfect place to get a quick takeout ramen meal, but I also like ordering shishito peppers and fried oysters here.
I also recommend Muku for spice-lovers, as they have arguably the spiciest ramen in Boston.
The particular dish is called the spicy devil ramen, and if the name doesn’t scare you, the striking bright red broth just might. I overcame my hesitation and went for it, and I had no regrets!
1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
Just a three-minute walk from Yume Wo Katare mentioned above, you’ll find Sapporo Ramen. While Yume draws crowds due to its friendly and entertaining environment.
In addition to its traditional and tasty bowls, Sapporo Ramen has equally delicious ramen dishes at a remarkably affordable price.
This is another excellent spot for spice lovers, but none of the dishes will be too intense. Sapporo tends to include the perfect amount of spice – nothing more, nothing less.
You might not assume that ramen in Boston, MA, would be that popular. But the city is filled with incredible ramen joints that range from traditional and classic to creative and innovative.
There is something for everyone in terms of the best ramen in Boston, and the next place you try depends on your specific flavor, spice, fusion, topping, and atmosphere preferences.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out! don’t forget to check out some of the greatest places to get a drink in the city as well!
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