Though not as densely populated with eateries as San Francisco, Los Angeles—given its staggering population and ethnic diversity—is a wonderful place to reside if you’re into top notch food from the international scene. It also houses some of the top ramen restaurants in the whole of the US.
Ramen, a beloved Japanese dish created in the early 20th century, took off in the international scene when exported by Nissin Foods in ’71 in the form of instant cup ramen. Since then, an appreciation for traditional, hand-cut ramen over instant has been cultivated throughout the United States, and finding a stellar ramen venue has become easier and easier as the years roll by. Ramen in LA has a storied history, but in recent years the city’s standards have risen, ensuring that some of the best ramen in the country is found in the city.
Our Top Ramen Restaurants in LA
This Melrose Ave noodle shop is one of the best in town. With lighter iekei-style broth soaked up by thick cut noodles—not to mention additional veggies and a fantastic overall use of unique spices—EAK’s ramen is to die for. We guarantee that you’ll love every trip to EAK as much as you do your first, and it is sure to make your list of top ramen restaurants in LA!
If you’ve ever been to Torrance’s Torihei Yakitori Robata Dining—a sort of Japanese-style gastropub—you’ll want to make the trip down to Gardena to try the ramen at Jidaiya. Sure, it isn’t LA proper, but they’ve got fish and pork ramen dishes that are absolutely out of this world. Their dishes run the gamut between thick and thin broth and noodles. So you can pick out your preferred style when ordering.
If you’ve ever been to Tsujita before, you could be forgiven for thinking that they’re a lunch-only venue. They’ve recently swapped to an all day affair, which is fortunate for those of you living on the Westside! They serve standard ramen and tsukemen—an LA favorite, where your noodles are served in their own bowl and dipped into a separate broth cup. Making this restaurant beyond reproach.
If you’re a fan of lighter chicken-based broth, as opposed to the more common heavy pork variant, Tentenyu’s your spot. Their bowls are more well-rounded than some. They have a huge array of ingredients in each dish. If you can’t make it to their main location in Sawtelle, they’ve got newer branches in Culver City and Capitol Hill. Each branch has amazing decor and pushes this onto our list of the top ramen restuarants.
Imported directly from Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture, the ramen at Shin-Sen-Gumi has a rich, milky, pork-bone based consistency and straight noodles. You can pick between futsu, barigane, barikata, or yawamen noodles—regular, very hard, al dente and soft, respectively.
Shin-Sen-Gumi has a large, oft-packed dining area, so be ready for a loud evening if you’re planning a trip there! It’s surely worth it though, as Shin-Sen-Gumi is our overall choice for the best ramen in the city.
Last—but certainly not least—is the archetype grand daddy ramen joint in LA, Jinya Ramen Bar. They helped popularize the high quality ramen we see in LA today when they opened up their West Hollywood venue in 2010. Jinya Ramen serves one of the most balanced bowls of ramen in the city, and you’re sure to enjoy every bowl you have there.