The Top 6 Essential Chicago Ramen Restaurants
6 Must-Try Chicago Ramen Restaurants
With winter right around the corner, nothing is more warm and comforting than a bowl of ramen. Maybe that means a package of instant ramen from the store, but how about an upgrade? Forget about the microwave for a minute and trade it in for a bowl of gourmet ramen, packed with fresh noodles, tender meat, and broth you can’t stop drinking.
We’ve made your life easier and compiled a list of the top 6 Chicago ramen restaurants worth checking out. Grab a spoon and a pair of chopsticks and get ready, it’s about to get delicious.
1. Strings Ramen
With three locations throughout the city, including Lakeview, Chinatown, and Hyde Park, Strings Ramen is a must-try for ramen fanatics. Voted “Chicago’s Best Ramen Restaurant”, they’re known for their Tonkotsu Ramen. It’s not hard to see why this is the fan-favorite, especially with their house-made noodles, a rich pork-based broth that cooks for 48 hours, and perfectly tender pork. You can order the Tonkotsu with “kuro buta”, pork belly or pork loin, with spicy clams and pork, or the premium version loaded with just about everything but the kitchen sink!
2. Shinya Ramen House
If you ever have a late-night craving for ramen, check out Shinya Ramen in Bridgeport. Shinya, which translates to “late in the night”, serves late-night Japanese bites, but their ramen is a fan favorite. We’d recommend trying the Black Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen and Sapporo Spicy Miso Ramen. Both dishes have a creamy pork bone broth and similar toppings, but the Black Garlic is the stronger flavor option. Although they have late hours, they are not open on Tuesday, so plan ahead!
3. Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya
If you want authentic and delicious ramen without flying to Japan, check out Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya. They use ingredients imported from Japan and traditional Japanese cooking techniques, setting them apart from the competition. Not to mention, their pork broth takes 16 hours to cook, giving it that rich flavor customers can’t get enough of. Their best seller is the Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen, filled with shoyu- flavored pork broth, strong garlic flavor, and a perfectly soft boiled egg.
4. Ramen Takeya
While most ramen shops use pork-based broth, Ramen Takeya specializes in chicken ramen for those who like a lighter ramen broth. Try the Chicken Paitan Ramen or Spicy Chicken Paitan Ramen, both dishes include cage-free chicken broth, egg noodles, and tender pork belly pork siu. “Paitan” refers to the bone-based broth that’s boiled until the collagen is extracted, giving the broth a milky color. Other standout elements include their thick and flavor absorbent noodles, shipped from California, and their use of cage-free chickens.
5. E Ramen
Located in Bridgeport, we recommend trying the Crispy Chicken Ramen at E Ramen. Their delicious ramen is topped with perfectly fried chicken - crispy on the outside, but still juicy on the inside. For those looking for a lighter option without sacrificing flavor, try their Chicken Ramen or Spicy Chicken Ramen. Not only is their food delicious, but customers also rave about their friendly service and reasonable prices.
6. Aodake Ramen West Loop
Since opening in 2020, Aodake Ramen has quickly become a fan favorite for fresh and high-quality ramen. Diners rave about their flavorful ramen and large portions, as well as their gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions. Popular options include the Tonkotsu Ramen, Spicy Miso Ramen, and Tonkotsu Black Ramen.
So, why is ramen so popular?
Throughout history, ramen has evolved from street food in Japan to quick college meals to artisan bowls in restaurants worldwide. Considered one of the best comfort foods, ramen quickly gained popularity because of its filling nature, convenience, and affordable price. No matter if it comes from a microwavable cup or a top ramen restaurant, there's no denying that ramen represents a universal feeling of warmth and comfort.
Is your stomach growling yet?
We hope this inspired you to trade in your instant ramen for a bowl of gourmet ramen that’ll warm you up in a heartbeat. Here’s the good news, you can order all of these options on Chowbus. Avoid going out in the cold Chicago weather and let us deliver your next ramen meal straight to your door!