Golly, has ramen come a long way since the days of sad after-school snacking. What was once 10 cents a pack and served on the coffee table is now a hip experience, served in a place this side of a nightclub (well, a few places do this).
Ramen is fun to eat whether it’s hot or cold — it’s warm, delicious, there’s not a lot of chewing, and you can blame your excessive sweating on something. Now that you’re comfortable, here are 19 places across metro Phoenix with excellent ramen.
655 West Warner Road, #114, Tempe
This friendly neighborhood ramen shop offers four basic bowls — tonkotsu, shoyu, miso, and a house bowl called the Hachi Special — along with delicious sides like homemade karaage chicken, which is beautifully battered, juicy, and tender. Hachi Ramen also delivers a highly flavorful miso broth, which beautifully complements the kitchen’s wonderfully melty slices of chashu pork belly.
1954 South Dobson Road, #5, Mesa
The lively Drunken Tiger is ideal for a Friday or Saturday night, a late-night carbo load, or a fun afternoon. The ramen is a spicy beef broth with vegetables, customizable with egg, cheese, mushrooms, rice cakes, and dumplings for an extra buck or two. But the starter ramen chips are even more fun — piping hot fried ramen with sprinkled-on sugar. Drunken Tiger has a great list of Korean beers and soju cocktails to boot.
2224 East Williams Field Road, #108, Gilbert
The Santan Village Mall’s Haiku Tokyo is a quick-serve eatery serving Japanese ramen plus selections of Asian fusion boba tea. Start with appetizers like seaweed salad and takosarada salad, followed by choice of ramen flavors like shoyu, miso, and tonkotsu.
Hana Japanese Eatery
5524 North Seventh Avenue
Hana Japanese Eatery offers authentic Japanese cuisine, a bustling dining area, and a BYOB policy. The spot has been owned and overseen by renowned Chef Lori Hashimoto — nutrition science graduate and daughter of a local vegetable farmer — since its 2007 opening. Head to Hana for ramen, or noodles topped with yakituba pork, bamboo, fish cake, green onion, and seaweed. Choice of broth includes shio, shoyu, miso, and tonkotsu.
Cherryblossom Noodle Café
914 East Camelback Road
Cherryblossom Noodle Café celebrates all things noodle and is strictly nondenominational in the matter. While its non-Japanese food is good, it's the ramen that keeps us coming back over and over again. We could talk about how complex its broth is, how perfectly tender the noodles are, but instead we will just say that it is a bowl of noodles that is worthy of this treatment.
Hot Noodles Cold Sake
15689 North Hayden Road, #127, Scottsdale
Chef Joshua Hebert spent time in Japan honing his ramen skills, and later branched off from Posh to open Hot Noodles Cold Sake. The goma is recommended — a steaming siren of salty, porky panache complete with pork spears, nori, leeks, bean sprouts, scallions, bok choy, sesame seeds, and noodles.
The Clever Koi
4236 North Central Avenue, #100
This Asian-inspired kitchen and craft cocktail bar has a small but powerful noodles and broth section. There’s a pork and a lemon pepper chicken ramen, both in paitan broth. And there’s a vegetable ramen in dashi broth and burnt scallion oil. But be warned east Valley residents: The Clever Koi’s location in Gilbert’s Heritage District closed after a kitchen fire in August. Owners say the Asian eatery and ramen shop likely won’t reopen for three to six months.
OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen7300 North Via Paseo Del Sur, #102, Scottsdale
OBON offers traditional Japanese dishes with a Korean spin — like ramen — with a chef-driven menu. Bowls range from tonkotsu black, veggie white, tonkots, and chilled ramen. Ramen options also include extra egg, vegan noodle, double protein, and a spice bomb.
Ohya Sushi, Korean Kitchen & Bar
4920 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale
Across Thunderbird Road from ASU West, Ohya Sushi, Korean Kitchen & Bar offers happy hour specials, a modern lounge setting, private karaoke rooms, and ramen on the menu. The entrée is Japanese style with special marinated pork.
This local Mediterranean chain has recently added a new menu this spring with keto and paleo-friendly dishes, as well as Bone Broth Ramen. The ramen at Pita Jungle comes with shirataki noodles, miso, kimchi, baby spinach, and green onions.
1909 East Ray Road, Chandler
Nishikawa Ramen hit the ground running when it opened in Chandler in 2016. This Japanese noodle bar makes its noodles from-scratch each morning. There’s traditional ramen in the form of miso, vegetarian, and the sea-salt based shio, as well as specials like curry, the soy-sauce based Yokohama Style, and the Nishikawa Black. You can also ask for extra topping and extra homemade flavored oil.
15807 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, #105, Scottsdale
Ramen Hood offers customizable ramen bowls. You start by picking a base, like noodles either traditional or gluten-free, then a broth, and a protein — chicken, pork, or tofu. Then select toppings, including soft-boiled eggs, bamboo, Naruto, and more.
3128 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Those on the hunt for traditional varieties of ramen can swing by the new Azusa Ramen at Southern and Mill avenues. The menu lists tonkotsu, miso, shio, and vegetarian ramen, as well as beer and wine.
SoSoBa214 West Roosevelt Street
SoSoBa offers a number of fun ramen options, plus cocktails, beer, and starters. The Tantanmen Ramen comes recommended for spice fan. It’s a steaming bowl of ramen noodles in spicy miso pork broth, hoisin ground pork, sautéed greens, sesame seeds, menma, scallions, and a soft egg. You can also add chicken, beef, pork belly, carnitas, tofu, mushrooms, or saku tuna.
9940 West Happy Valley Road, #1060, Peoria
This local sushi spot in Peoria serves mostly sushi, but noodle dishes as well. The Japanese-style Sushi Doraku offers veggie, chicken, and beef ramen, as well as some specialties. The Chashu Ramen offers a donkotsu or miso base, while the Kaisen Ramen offers a shoyu or miso soup base.
3223 South McClintock Drive, Tempe
This authentic Japanese ramen spot offers top-notch ramen like the ultra-spicy, curry, miso, soymilk, and seafood. All steaming bowls start with the Tampopo original tonkotsu ramen, while proteins include roasted pork, squid, scallops, and fried chicken. Toppings include scallions, bamboo shoots, and Tampopo’s original spicy paste. You can also add rich soup and extra noodles.
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Tomo Japanese Cuisine
1550 North Dysart Road, Suite A7-9, Goodyear
This west Valley Japanese eatery has dedicated a small part of its menu to ramen. Tomo offers miso, shoyu, and tonkotsu with egg, green onion, sweet corn, pork, bean sprouts, and fish cake. For something special, the spicy seafood is mussels, calamari, shrimp, and vegetables served in a spicy broth.
1101 West University Drive, Tempe
Yet another ramen shop in Tempe (not that we’re complaining), Yatai Ramen is located in a ground-floor suite of the Fine Art Complex 1101 apartment building. Though he operated a food truck for the past five years, the Japanese-born owner Mark Kondo decided to open the 20-seat eatery offering rice bowls, specialty ramen, and more.
Umami at Shady Park
26 East University Drive, Tempe
Oh mommy do we love Umami. It’s a fun, open air atmosphere right off University Drive and across from ASU. It’s either lively and fun, or just chill, depending on what’s happening at Shady Park (hint, it’s usually an EDM show). Umami offers a build-your-own-bowl option for ramen or try the house bowls like the Spicy Shoyu or the Miso Hungry with double noodle.