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Ramen is one of the best-known Japanese dishes, and you’ll find ramen shops all over the country, from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south. The classics include fragrant shoyu ramen (made with soy sauce), the lightest zodiac ramen (salt based) and the rich tonkotsu ramen (made with pork bones) with countless regional varieties in each category.
But your choice of ramen doesn’t end there! Recently, chefs are experimenting with flavors and combinations and have created unique types of ramen, a concept that is becoming increasingly popular in Japan. Here’s our list of 10 places in Tokyo to enjoy some of these unique bowls of steamy goodness!
1. Taiyo no Tomato Men (multiple locations)
The first is Taiyo no Tomato Men, an Italian-style ramen that combines Italian flavors with ramen noodles. His signature dish is “Taiyo no Tomato Ramen” with a perfect combination of slightly acidic tomatoes and rich chicken broth as a base. and the base of the ramen soup used here is tomato. The acidity of the fresh tomatoes and the richness of the chicken broth are a perfect match. The bright red ramen is a feast for the eyes, and some varieties also come with a shredded cheese topping.
Official website: Taiyo no tomato men
2. Tsukumo Ramen (Ebisu)
Speaking of cheese, we highly recommend this ramen shop for all cheese lovers, as Tsukumo Ramen in Ebisu is known for its cheese ramen. The most popular dish is their “Goose Cheese Ramen”, where cheese powder is piled in the center of the bowl. The cheese is Gouda cheese, which is made from 100% Tokachi milk from Hokkaidō and aged for about six months. The cheese pairs perfectly with the rich chicken and tonkotsu broth and is ideal for those who want to try a ramen with a bit of a western flavor.
Official Site: Ramen Tsukumo
3. Vegan Ramen UZU Tokyo (teamLab)
Ramen broth is often made with ingredients like chicken or pork bones, making the dish unsuitable for those trying to avoid animal products in their diet. Recently, however, some vegan and vegetarian options have started to appear, and the vegan ramen offered at teamLab is one such option. Famous for its digital art museum, teamLab serves up a tasty bowl of ramen made entirely from plant-based ingredients. The broth is made by simmering Hokkaido seaweed, Japanese shiitake mushrooms, and various types of vegetables for a long time, creating a rich and flavorful dish. Take your time and enjoy your vegan ramen in a fantastic setting, surrounded by teamLab’s incredible digital art.
Official Site: UZU Tokyo Vegan Ramen
4. Kiposhi (Shibuya)
Blue food is a rare sight in general, but Kipposhi in Shibuya is up to the challenge, serving up unusual blue ramen. The soup turns such a beautiful light blue color that it’s almost like looking at a calm tropical sea. The unique soup is chicken based and you won’t find blue ramen anywhere else in Japan except here!
Official website: Kiposhi
5. Mensho San Francisco (Shinjuku)
A very popular ramen restaurant in San Francisco, this American version of the classic Japanese dish has now been brought back to the country it came from! Mensho San Francisco in Shinjuku is a stylish ramen restaurant whose Western-style interior with decorative plants and marble countertops is particularly popular with young people. The recommended dish to try is the “Paitan Ramen Chicken”, which is made with soy milk cream.
Official website: Mensho San Francisco
6. Due Italian (multiple locations)
Melt drift cheese into a golden broth. A piece of serrano ham on the edge of the bowl as a garnish. For a moment, it looks like a Western-style soup, but there are noodles at the bottom of the bowl: it’s unmistakably ramen. Due Italian is a very popular ramen restaurant that proudly offers Italian-inspired ramen with melted cheese in clear chicken broth for a complex and rich flavor.
Official site: due to Italian
Aroma is perhaps the only shop with the most original version of ramen we’ve ever seen. Essentially a coffee shop, rather than a restaurant, Aroma decided to combine coffee and ramen and make it into a dish in its own right. Aroma’s coffee ramen uses coffee in everything from the noodles to the broth, and the ingredients are out of the ordinary too: ice cream, bananas, kiwi and more. It’s a whole new (and some would say controversial) type of ramen, but you should try it at least once if you get the chance!
Offered by the restaurant with the amusing name Papapapapine, the “Pineapple Shrimp Shio Ramen” gives off an almost tropical feel with its bright yellow color and topped with sweet-and-sour pineapple slices. For an additional fee, you can also add a pineapple-seasoned egg. The salt based soup and pineapple slices are a perfect flavor combination and simply irresistible!
9.UMA TSUKEMEN (Tachikawa)
tsusukemen is another popular noodle dish where very thick noodles are dipped into the broth rather than served in it. However the tsukemen at UMA TSUKEMEN, it’s different because the bowl is topped with a huge freshly baked cake. At first glance, the pie looks like a regular pie, but when you open it, you’ll have access to a thick, delicious seafood broth with sticky noodles. This tsukemen it is influenced by both western and japanese cuisine, and its appearance certainly impresses as well!
Official site: UMA TSUKEMEN
10. Ayu Ramen (Futako Tamagawa)
ayu (sweet fish) is a popular type of fish in Japan, so what comes to mind when you hear the words “ayu ramen”? Swirled noodles in a sweet fish-based broth? Or maybe ramen covered in bonito flakes, like okonomiyaki? He oui Ramen at Futako Tamagawa is ni. This dish definitely leaves an impact as the bowl is served with a set oui in the light broth, grilled to perfection for the best way to savor this delicious fish.
Official Site: Ayu Ramen
We’ve featured 10 different types of ramen that are sure to stand out from the crowd, but which one would you like to try while in Tokyo?
Traditionalists among ramen fans may argue that some of these unusual creations offend the original dish, but the chefs who make these unique ramen work hard to achieve not only good looks, but also the best flavor in their bowls. You could almost say that making ramen has become an art form!
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