Ramen is one of the quintessential Japanese soul foods. The Greater Tokyo Area alone is home to over 6000 ramen restaurants. Naturally, Tokyoites take their ramen very seriously. Competition is stiff, and the best places often see queues snaking around the corner. What this means is that there’s no shortage of amazing and affordable noodle bowls in the city no matter which area you happen to be at!
Ramen, noodle in Japanese style
At each shop, you’ll buy your ramen tickets from a vending machine at the door before handing them to the staff. It’s a highly Japanese experience that might be a little daunting at first, especially if there are no English words to help you, but you’ll quickly get used to it. A tip: a bowl of ramen usually costs around JPY800–JPY1100, and the more expensive bowls have more toppings. So if you hit a button with around that amount of yen on it when standing in front of the machine, you’re probably going to get a delicious bowl of ramen for your troubles.
All of Japan’s regional ramen styles are represented in Tokyo. Whether you’re craving fatty, hearty, meaty tonkotsu styles or more refined, lighter soups, there’s something for every ramen lover in town. Our list of ramen shops will have you covered for all your noodle needs when you’re visiting Tokyo.
- Takahashi (Shinjuku; budget)
If you find yourself craving some delicious ramen in Shinjuku, Takahashi’s fantastically smoky ramen bowl will save your stomach and your soul.
- Roast Beef Abura Soba Beefst (Shinjuku; budget)
When the fun and games are over and the hangover starts calling at 3am, few things are better for your soul than a janky bowl of ramen. Roast Beef Abura Soba Beefst in Shinjuku is the place to head to for your messy late-night noodle fix.
- Fuunji (Shinjuku; budget)
Shinjuku has no shortage of great ramen, but Fuunji in the west side is the place to head to for excellent tsukemen dipping noodles.
- Ichiran (Shibuya; budget)
Ichiran in Shibuya is the quintessential solo ramen dining experience. And if you like personalized tonkotsu ramen, this is the place for you.
- Mengekijo Genei (Roppongi; budget)
For a great bowl of Hakata-style ramen in Roppongi, try Mengekijo Genei. It’s truly delicious and it’s MSG-free!
- Ippudo Ginza (Ginza; budget)
Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen chain Ippudo might be familiar to well-travelled diners worldwide, but it’s still a solid choice when you’re looking for a quick meal in Ginza - or any of its other locations in Tokyo.
- Mugi to Olive (Ginza; budget)
Sometimes eating like a local means queuing like a local. Thankfully, at Mugi to Olive in Ginza, the lines don’t last long – which is a boon when you want some good shoyu ramen.
- Manpuku (Ginza; budget)
Old-school ramen joint Manpuku in Ginza has been in business since 1929. In a city where ramen restaurant turnover is scarily quick, their classic Tokyo-style ramen has withstood the test of time.
- T’s Tantan (Tokyo Station; budget)
Looking for a tasty vegan bowl of noodles while in Tokyo Station? Then look no further than T’s Tantan Ramen for a delicious and spicy meal.
- Tokyo Ramen Street (Tokyo Station; budget)
Tokyo Ramen Street in the belly of Tokyo Station is home to eight of the nation’s best slurps, all in a single corridor. Your only problem is deciding which one to eat - and which queue to brave.
- Soranoiro NIPPON (Tokyo Station; budget)
Think ramen’s all meat and fish? Think again. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, the vegetable noodle bowls at Soranoiro NIPPON in Tokyo Station’s Ramen Street are sure to steal your heart.
- Rokurinsha (Tokyo Station; budget)
Other shops in Tokyo Ramen Street come and go, but Rokurinsha’s legendary tsukemen continues to draw crowds to their shop. One slurp and you’ll understand why.
- Ippudo Marunouchi (Tokyo Station; budget)
Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen chain Ippudo might be familiar to well-travelled diners worldwide, but it’s still a solid choice when you’re looking for a quick meal around Tokyo Station.
- Asakusa Ramen Yoroiya (Asakusa; budget)
If you’re in Asakusa over the Japanese holidays and you need a place that’s open for business, Ramen Yoroiya serves a very decent classic Tokyo shoyu ramen year-round. It’s a good place to have on your list when you’re in the area.
- Bazoku (Asakusa; budget)
Tokyo heatwaves call for cold food. Bazoku in Asakusa serves a fine bowl of hiyashi chūka (cold Chinese-style noodles) that’ll cool you down and put you in a food coma - in the best way possible.
- Kikanbo (Kanda; budget)
Kikanbo translates as ‘ogre’s iron club,’ and if you order the super spicy ramen at this shop in Kanda, you’ll feel like someone’s clubbed you in the mouth. It’s a must-visit for lovers of spicy ramen.
- IBUKI Tsukemen Dining (Kojimachi; budget)
Can’t decide between curry or ramen? At IBUKI Tsukemen Dining in Kojimachi, your an have both when you order their gut-busting, meaty bowl of curry dipping noodles.
- Soranoiro Japanese Soup Noodle Free Style Honten (Imperial Palace Area; budget)
Vegan or vegetarian ramen may sound like an oxymoron, but Soranoiro’s bright, flavorful bowls will convert any skeptics to this cause. The original Special Veggie Soba at their main Kojimachi branch is sure to win over both veggie and non-veggie lovers alike.
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Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- Get essential travel insurance for Tokyo – World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)