9 Places to Get Great Ramen in Philadelphia
From shoyu to tan tan, these are the best spots to slurp a warming bowl of ramen in Philly.
There are few foods that feel as nourishing and foundational as a long-simmered bowl of ramen. And if you grew up slurping one-dimensional, MSG-laden Top Ramen or Cup Noodles from the package, entering the world of real ramen — in all its long-simmered, pork belly-laden glory — is like going from black and white to Technicolor. Philly has its share of authentic spots (with more on the way) serving a variety of styles, so there’s no reason not to try them all, one delicious bowl at a time. Here are some of our favorite spots in the city to get a warming bowl of ramen.
Hiro Ramen House, Washington Square West
Hiro is known for not cutting corners with its long-simmered, house-made broths. For an extra-spicy, sweat-inducing bowl, get their Best of Philly-winning Gates of Hell ramen, made with pork belly, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots in a spicy broth spiked with “intense” chili oil.
Terakawa, Chinatown and University City
Long considered Chinatown’s destination for ramen, Terakawa expanded with a big new location on the Penn campus earlier this year — all the better to get their bowls built around savory, long-cooked stock made in-house.
Nom Nom Ramen, Center City
This spot at 18th and Market specializes in Hakata-style ramen, typically made with a pork bone broth — but you can get these Best of Philly-winning bowls built around chicken or veggies, too.
Morimoto, Washington Square West
Stephen Starr’s Japanese outpost does contemporary Japanese from sushi to katsu curry to ramen. Get a steamy bowl made with chicken, pork, or veggie-based broth.
CoZara, University City
Their deep menu of Japanese classics includes ramen bowls based on chicken, pork, and seafood — and you can get them at lunch or dinner.
Cheu Noodle Bar, Washington Square West and Fishtown
Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz’s flagship — and its big, shiny sister on Frankford Avenue — gives ramen the Asian fusion-Jewish diaspora treatment the duo are known for with a version loaded with brisket, matzo balls, and kimchi.
Rayaki, Cherry Hill
This spot, which opened last year in the relative ramen desert of South Jersey, has anime and comic book characters painted on its walls and a hefty list of ramen options. Try bowls spiked with black garlic oil or loaded with New York strip steak, salmon, or a shellfish trio.
Ai Ramen, Center City
This spot in the Shops at Liberty Place serves a tight but tasty slate of ramen in flavors like miso garlic butter as well as more traditional styles, along with a few bao buns and sushi rolls for good measure.
This spot at 11th and Arch — just look for the giant Iron Man robot in the window — does ramen all day long. But you can hit them up for their lunch special, which gets you a great deal on a bowl and a bao Monday through Thursday. Step up the heat in your bowl with a “spicy bomb,” but use caution — it’s not for amateurs.