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When it comes to iconic foods in Japan, Ramen is undoubtedly on top. This list features some of the most recommended ramen experiences in Kyoto for the best ramen food trip, each with a unique type of flavor. Make sure to head to these ramen shops with an empty stomach!
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If you are up for some exciting food adventures, Japan is a popular country to be in. Japanese cuisine offers a variety of unique and enticing dishes and delicacies that have attracted not just the locals but also people from across the world. One of the famous dishes in Japanese cuisine that have gained popularity globally is ramen.
Ramen is not just an ordinary dish for the Japanese people. It has been part of their culture and everyday life since the 1800s and has continued to grow popularity even outside the country. Over the years, this simple dish has evolved into a more complex combination of flavors and techniques, thus providing its consumers a new and improved experience every time they order a bowl of ramen. Nowadays, ramen is a staple dish for many Japanese and a favorite request of many tourists in the country.
Each region in Japan has its own version of this proud dish, making it an adventure for food enthusiasts to go ramen-hopping and taste the variety of flavors each region offers. One of the best regions to visit and try a remarkable variety of ramen in Japan is Kyoto. The traditional Kyoto-style ramen is famous for its shoyu-flavored (soy sauce) thick soup made up of pork and chicken broth and straight noodles topped with bamboo, scallions, roasted pork, and butter or pork oil for extra flavors. However, Kyoto ramen restaurants have started to innovate their dishes and incorporate other flavors and styles to come up with more appealing bowls of ramen.
Are you tired of all those traditional and common toppings? Why don't you top your ramen with real fire? Men Baka Ichidai features the famous fire topping you'd never expect at a ramen bowl. Yes, you read it right! Fire topping is all about setting your ramen on literal fire by pouring burning oil that produces flames before serving! Get your tummies filled with delicious leek ramen after being blown away by this hot and fiery entertainment! Make sure to capture or record this one-of-a-kind ramen experience and proudly share this with your friends.
Are you a vegan and still want to experience the ramen culture in Japan at least once? You actually can without worrying about the pork, chicken, or other meat that is usually the primary ingredients of traditional ramen. There are already several vegetarian and vegan ramen restaurants in Kyoto that are willing to serve you. Check out the following restaurants:
Towzen is a cozy and quiet restaurant that offers pure yet flavorful and satisfying plant-based ramen and other Japanese meals. Incorporating traditional and modern methods of cooking, Towzen offers soymilk-based ramen and other vegan-friendly dishes like gluten-free rice bowls and even ice cream.
Vegans Cafe and Restaurant offers a creamy with a tinge of spicy soy milk miso ramen topped with vegetables, bean sprouts, and crispy tofu. The cafe is a great pitstop if you are going to visit Fushimi Shrine because it is located near the attraction.
Fill up your stomach and get a generous serve of thick noodles and peanut-flavored creamy soup in Morpho Cafe. This cafe will definitely satisfy your vegan appetite with its flavorful and creamy ramen and other plant-based dishes like burgers and sweets.
Mumokuteki is also a great vegan restaurant offering soymilk ramen and is pretty accessible because it is centrally located at the downtown Nishiki market and a couple minutes walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station.
Another unique ramen experience you should try in Kyoto is “tsukemen” or ramen dipping. It is basically a ramen dish however the noodles and the broth are separated into different bowls. You have to dip the noodles first on the soup and then enjoy a satisfying slurp. Here are few of Tsukemen restaurants you can find in Kyoto:
Must-try Dish: Shoyu-based Tsukesoba (pork bone and seafood soup with thick curly noodles and roasted pork)
Must-try Dish: Urutora tsukemen (broth is served cold and taste like a mushroom soup)
Must-try Dish: Motsu Tsukemen (chicken soup with seafood and “hoso” or grilled small intestine)
Must-try Dish: Sakura zensen, or Cherry Blossom Front (light sakura flavor noodles)
Must-try Dish: Noukou Gyokai (pork bone and chicken soup with dried sardine soup)
Must-try Dish: Thick soup of Ginjo Tsukemen Miso where you can partner it with thick and curly noodles. You can still enjoy the flavorful soup even if you’re out of noodles already by mixing it with a seafood broth making a “soup-wari”.
For our Muslim friends out there, you can certainly enjoy a ramen bowl in some of the 100% Halal restaurants in Kyoto that also offer original ramen recipes and other dishes using Halal ingredients. These restaurants have received Halal certification already and have been a favorite food destination for Muslim tourists. Here are some of them:
Halal Ramen Naritaya Gion
Kiyomizu Junsei Okabeya
Curry Club Ruu
Each of these Halal restaurants has its own specialty that you should never miss.
Aside from those ramen restaurants and cafes that provide special and unique offers to targeted consumers, there are other remarkable ramen shops in Kyoto that are worth paying a visit to.
The best choice for kotteri (thick soup) ramen is definitely Tenkaippin. Tenkaippin has many branches and outlets across Japan making it an accessible choice for travelers. Their Kotteri ramen is in demand because of its full-bodied soup that produces a lingering flavor in your mouth which is brought by boiling chicken bones and vegetables thoroughly. This extremely thick and creamy ramen soup is definitely worth a try!
The place is highly popular because of its signature dish, Chuka Soba - meaning Chinese noodles which is sometimes synonymous with ramen - which is said to have a stronger flavor than other shops.
A healthy bowl of ramen is waiting for you in Menya Sanda. Their chicken-based broth and noodles are additives and MSG-free making it a healthy choice for health-conscious ramen lovers.
A ramen restaurant for all is Ramen Sen no Kaze. The place offers different varieties of ramen ranging from light to heavy soups, from pork and chicken to seafood-based broths, and even Halal and vegan choices.
Restaurants and cafes featured in this article are just some of the numerous ramen shops you can find in Kyoto. Other ramen shops you might want to visit are:
Honke Daiichi Asahi
Ramen is everywhere in Japan. You can find ramen shops almost in every corner. However, if you are looking for a unique, remarkable, and tasty ramen experience, you should definitely try the proud ramen restaurants and cafes in Kyoto. Each restaurant has incorporated a personal touch and exciting twist on their signature dishes that will surely give you a memorable experience each and every time you devour a ramen bowl.
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