Top 10 Ramen in Bay Area

To start the year off (ok, it’s been awhile since my last post, but I’m back!), here’s my list of top 10 best ramen shops in the bay area. I’ve not tried Santa Ramen since it’s move to the newer location. There also have been several new ramen-ya that has come and gone. I’ll try to visit anew all of these places again in 2008 to see how all the places hold up. Let me know if you’ve discovered any hidden gems in your neighborhood!

Remember that everyone’s taste in ramen varies. My taste leans toward the deep, hearty, more flavorful side of the scale. I put strong emphasis on the Q-ness (done-ness, el dente) of the noodle and its ability to blend with the flavor of a good broth. The broth must be complex tonkotsu based – no simple soy based Shoyu broth would do. Lastly are the topping ingredients which include the flavor and tenderness of the chasu or kakuni meat. All other things are secondary.

With this in mind, I rank the bay area ramen shops in following preference.

  1. Ramen Halu, San Jose – Halu Ramen
  2. Gen Ramen, Fremont (closed) – Kakuni Tonkotsu Ramen
  3. Do-Henkotsu, San Jose (closed) – Pork Rib Ramen & Yasai Ramen
  4. Kahoo Ramen, San Jose – Shoyu Ramen
  5. Ajisen Ramen, Fremont – BBQ Pork Chashu Ramen
  6. Maru Ichi, Mountain View – Kuro & Tonkotsu Ramen
  7. Ringer Hut, San Jose – Nagasaki Champon
  8. Santa Ramen, San Mateo – Kakuni Tonkotsu Ramen
  9. Himawari, San Mateo – Kakuni Tonkotsu Ramen
  10. Ryowa, Mountain View – Ryowa Ramen
  11. Maru Ichi, Milpitas – Kuro & Tonkotsu Ramen

Failed to make Top 10:

  • Tanpopo, San Francisco
  • Tanto, San Jose
  • Katanaya, San Jose (closed)
  • Ramen-Rama, Cupertino
  • Mifune, San Francisco
  • Suzu, San Francisco
  • Ogi-San Ramen, Cupertino (closed)
  • Hotei, San Francisco
  • Mitsuwa Deli, San Jose
  • Sapporo-Ya, San Francisco
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1 Response

  1. wintersweet says:

    Welcome back! Maybe I’ll see you at Ajisen sometime, if you’re up this way.

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