As summer comes to a close and the weather (finally) begins to cool down, ramen season is upon us. Although I could eat soup year-round, there’s something comforting about holding a piping hot bowl of ramen in your hands during one of Philadelphia’s frigid cold winters.
It’s actually a sign of respect to loudly slurp your noodles, so don’t listen to your friends if they tell you you’re being obnoxious.
While we’re far from Tokyo (in distance, but not in quality), these Philadelphia ramen restaurants will transport you to Japan, sans the 16-hour flight.
Best Ramen in Philadelphia
Tomo Sushi and Ramen
228 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (267) 519-0209
Fun fact: Tomo comes from the word “Tomodachi” or “friends” in Japanese. So, bring your friends to this BYOB sushi and ramen restaurant in Old City!
This menu has something for everyone, from mayu tonkotsu ramen, to vegetarian shoyu ramen, to vegan yasai ramen (with seitan teriyaki mmm), as well as a whole menu of vegan rolls and vegan inari sushi, like the “guacarollie” and “straw-veggie.”
While Tomo is a little more on the upscale end in comparison to some of the other spots on this list, considering that they don’t have a single rating below 4-stars, it should be your next go-to for a date night or special occasion.
1414-1416 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Phone: (267) 758-2269
We’ll never forget Cheu Noodle Bar, one of Philly’s favorite ramen bars in Center City. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to close their doors permanently.
Luckily for us, Cheu Fishtown is still open for business. Located inside a restored stable, this Japanese-inspired, neon-lit restaurant has great vibes inside and out. During the colder months, their alley oasis has hanging string lights and heat lamps. But if you can, definitely sit at the bar for the true Cheu experience.
One positive thing to come from COVID is that you can now order from both Cheu and Nunu next door. Try a bowl of Cheu’s coconut curry or matzah and brisket ramen, along with Nunu’s sushi hoagie.
1028 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 629-3888
The owners of Yamitsuki believe that ramen is good for all seasons and moods, and I couldn’t agree more!
Feeling down? A bowl of their Yamitsuki ramen or shrimp tempura udon is sure to pick you up, as well as their extensive sake and sushi menu.
Now that indoor dining is back, you can experience their modern, anime-themed bar for after-work cocktails (they have a stellar happy hour) or late night bites (they’re open till midnight on weekends). You’ll be slurping these noodles almost as fast as Naruto!
204 N 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (267) 687-1355
Terakawa’s broth, which is simmered for 2 days, is the kind of broth you want to drink straight from the bowl (no spoon and no broth left behind).
This Kyushu style ramen is the most prestigious variation of Tonkotsu ramen, so it’s a no-brainer that it would make this list.
According to their website, it’s the chef’s intention for you to experience the passion they put into every bowl of ramen, which you can do by following 4 simple steps: taste the broth, taste the egg noodles, experience the flavors and texture of the ramen, and flavor the broth and noodles using the spices on your table.
If you do this, the dish will evolve throughout your meal. Take a seat at the counter and enjoy a big bowl of their signature Terakawa ramen or an even bigger bowl of their Kyushu Danji (Whopper style) ramen!
Da-Wa Sushi and Ramen
1204 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Located in Northern Liberties near the Rivers Casino Philadelphia, Da-Wa Sushi and Ramen is a friendly restaurant with one of the best veggie ramen options I’ve ever tried!
I’m a meat eater, and I don’t usually gravitate to veggie dishes when eating out, but my friend suggested it to me, and I gave it a shot. I’m glad I did, as Da-Wa ramen has a unique yet familiar flavor that I couldn’t get enough of.
Some other menu items I was impressed by included the cha su ramen and shrimp ceviche. On my second visit, I tried their omakase, a chef-selected series of dishes, and was thoroughly impressed.
I recommend trying it if you come here to celebrate a birthday or other special event.
723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 413-9070
Steven Starr has managed to master every genre of cuisine, including Japanese.
Morimoto, a contemporary and ultra chic Asian fusion restaurant, is a fine dining experience. Do they have the best ramen on this list? Definitely not.
However, the Morimoto ramen is described as the “iron chef’s chicken noodle soup,” so saying it’s good would be a gross understatement.
The Morimoto Omakase, a multi-course tasting menu, is also well worth the expensive price tag next time you have something worth celebrating.
617 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 201-3501
Best of Philly 2019 winner Neighborhood Ramen is a BYOB counter service ramen shop in Old City. Their menu is small and shifts with the seasons (they are currently brothless until September).
But ramen is ramen, am I right? And where else in Philly are you going to find ramen that pays homage to the City of Brotherly Love, like pizza maz and cheesesteak maz?
Find them at their brick and mortar location or popping up around the city and beyond (they were just in Iceland)!
Check out their Instagram for menu changes and specials (Update: the pizza maz just sold out, but they’ll be replacing it with something else this week. Stay tuned).
4357 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127
The restaurant @Ramen, otherwise spelled “At Ramen MNYK,” is a modern yet super casual and easygoing ramen joint near Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal Path.
I adore this ramen restaurant due to the variety of available broths, but their Spicy Katsu Ramen is what really holds a special place in my heart.
My friends enjoyed the Miso Ramen and the creamy Tonkotsu Ramen, but you really can’t go wrong! Plus, the servers allow you to add bok choy to your ramen dishes, giving you an extra dose of healthy veggies.
And if that feels too healthy, don’t hesitate to finish your meal with their decadent (and fabulously delicious) mango mochi ice cream!
200 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Phone: (215) 426-8700
Hajimaru Ramen in Fishtown and Bryn Mawr is dine-in only, but let’s be honest; ramen shouldn’t be delivered.
There’s just something special about guzzling fresh noodles out of a big bowl that is incomparable with pouring lukewarm broth into a plastic container at home.
That feeling was something I sorely missed in the midst of the pandemic, and this is why I didn’t eat ramen for more than a year. But Hajimaru is the perfect place to go for your first meal out among the rest of society.
The signature ramen with spicy tonkotsu broth, extra chashu, a whole marinated egg, sweet corn, baby bok choy, menma bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, kikurage mushrooms, fishcake, and scallions has everything other ramen restaurants are lacking.
1102 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 626-5172
For nearly 10 years, this cash-only ramen house has been serving authentic ramen in Center City. In fact, they practically invented the ramen scene in Philly.
Like Neighborhood Ramen, their menu is small, but that makes the already near-impossible decision of what to order a little easier.
Do you go for the “Hiro’s Inch of Heaven” (pork tonkotsu broth, blended soy sauce, pork belly chashu, bamboo, egg, and nori) or the “Gates of Hell” (same thing but with chili oil)?
What about the “Black Pig” or the “Pig and Miso”? Each one is only $10, so you might as well get all of them!
Nom Nom Ramen
20 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 988-0898
Nom Nom Ramen holds a special place in my heart because it’s where I went on my first date with my boyfriend of 3 years…at the time, I was trying to be vegetarian and ordered the tofu ramen, but I instantly regretted that decision once I tried his classic pork ramen.
While the vegetarian ramen is a good substitute for those who don’t eat meat, you’re really missing out if you don’t get the aka nom nom ramen with tonkatsu broth and pork belly chashu.
The “aka bomb” is an explosion of flavor that will have you “nomming” this bowl in seconds. Seriously, what’s more romantic than ramen?
3400 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 921-5804
If you go to Drexel or Penn, you’ve probably been to Ramen Bar, a West Philly sushi and ramen restaurant walking distance from campus.
Do you like to customize your dish? Well, Ramen Bar lets you choose your toppings (while giving suggestions that I would also advise you to follow), noodles (straight or wavy), broth (vegan or pork), and spice level (on a scale from 1-5).
On top of the classic shoyu, miso, et cetera, this menu has green curry and tom yum ramen, tsukemen or “dipping noodles” served separately with a spicy minced pork shoyu dipping soup, and mazesoba ramen, brothless noodles served with an egg yolk meant to be mixed together.
Aki Nom Nom Sushi
1210 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 985-1838
Not to be confused with Nom Nom Ramen, Aki Nom Nom also features the chef’s aki bomb in their aki nom nom ramen, but I’m not sure if aki is different from aka or if one of them is a typo.
Aki Nom Nom has a wide selection of ramen in regular or large portions, including four variations of each of the following broths: pork belly tonkotsu (cooked for 36 hours), kyoto chicken chintan, and vegetarian.
For an extra kick of umami, I suggest adding the aki bomb to any ramen (except the vegetarian one).
If the weather is cooperating or you just prefer to sit outside, dine outdoors in their makeshift streetery. And don’t skip the $30 all you can eat sushi or you might be kicked to the curb.
Ramen isn’t just a cheap dinner for college students (even though I do love Maruchan when I’m on a budget). Still, there’s no wrong way to eat ramen, unless you’re using a fork.
Speaking of noodles, check out my list of the Best Italian Restaurants in Philly to find out where to eat the finest macaroni and gravy, besides the Italian Market.
Did I forget some of your favorite ramen spots? Let me know in the comments below!