The 10 Best Ramen Spots in Vancouver

Anyone that knows me knows I'm a massive ramen fanatic. Give me some ramen noodles and a few slices of melt-in-your-mouth char siu covered in rich, savoury broth and you'll see me light up as if it's Christmas morning.



With my love for ramen, I set out on a quest to find the best ramen spots in the city. Every place I visited put their own twist on this classic Japanese dish. Ramen can be done in so many ways that you never really know what to expect. That's what I love about it. So without further ado, here's my picks for the 10 best ramen restaurants in Vancouver (in no particular order).

1) Harvest Community Foods





Where: 243 Union St.
When: Monday-Friday: 11am-8pm, Saturday-Sunday: 10am-6pm
What makes them special: Harvest uses local products, organic produce, and artisan foods. This results in hearty bowls of ramen full of fresh veggies, clean homemade broth, and high-quality meat. You know how some ramen restaurants leave you feeling bloated and heavy? This was not the case with Harvest at all. The broth was perfectly salted, the pork was lean yet still extremely tender, and the seasonal greens were the perfect finishing touch. Who knew ramen could be a healthy dining option?
Make sure to try the: Ramen with pork shoulder, candied bacon, egg, and radish
Website: http://harvestunion.ca

2) Kintaro



Where: 788 Denmen St.
When: Closed Mondays, Tuesday-Sunday: 11:30am-11pm
What makes them special: Kintaro always has a line out of the door. And for good reason. This place has been serving up some of the best ramen I've ever had since 1999. It's the broth that sets them apart. Simmered for 22 hours, the pork bone stock is thick and packed with flavour. I also love how you can customize your pork and soup. When you put your order in, you'll get to choose the intensity of your soup (rich, medium, or light) and decide between fatty or lean pork. Make sure to arrive hungry because the portions are massive!
Make sure to try the: Spicy garlic ramen (my absolute favourite!) Not a fan of spicy food? Opt for the miso ramen instead.
Website: No website but check out their Zomato page for more info

3) Ramen Koika





Where: 1231 Davie St.
When: Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-10pm, Friday: 11:30am-10:30pm, Saturday: 12pm-10:30pm, Sunday:12pm-10pm
What makes them special: Besides serving up ramen burgers, Ramen Koika is known for their homemade noodles. Made daily with love and care, these noodles are comprised of only the freshest ingredients. They also offer "wok cuisine" ramen where they wok fry the ingredients first so you can enjoy a distinct smokey flavour in the final product.
Make sure to try the: Black garlic ramen, King's ramen
Website: http://ramenkoika.com/

4) Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 




Where: 1690 Robson St.
When: 11am-11pm
What makes them special: This famous Japanese chain is a favourite amongst Vancouverites. Pork bones are simmered for 2 whole days to produce a full-bodied broth that's almost creamy-like. The menu also has plenty of options so you can enjoy a wide variety of ramen and other Japanese dishes.
Make sure to try the: Shio ramen
Website: http://www.santouka.co.jp/en/index.html

5) Taishoken Ramen




Where: 515 Abbott St.
When: 11:30-4pm / 5pm-9:30pm
What makes them special: Taishoken is the place to go if you love tsukemen. Tsukemen is different from other types of ramen because it keeps the noodles and broth separate. The noodles are served cold (although you can request them hot) and the broth is boiled down to deliver a more concentrated flavour. You take your noodles and dip them in the broth. By doing this, your noodles stay firmer and bouncier than if they were sitting in a bowl of steaming broth.
Make sure to try the: Original or spicy tsukemen
Website: No website but check out their Zomato page for more info

6) Ramen Butcher






Where: 223 E Georgia St.
When: Closed Mondays, Tuesday-Thursday: 11am-3pm / 5pm-10pm, Friday-Sunday: 11am-10pm
What makes them special: Ramen Butcher specializes in popular tonkotsu ramen flavours and hand make everything from their noodles to gyoza. They also offer a FREE noodle refill so make sure to not slurp up all your broth the first time around.
Make sure to try the: Classic, Orange, or Red
Website: http://theramenbutcher.com/

7) Marutama Ramen



Where: 780 Bidwell St.
When: Closed on holidays, Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-10pm, Friday: 11:30am-10:30pm, Saturday: 11am-10:30pm, Sunday: 11am-10pm
What makes them special: Marutama's broth is made entirely with chicken bones. Since most ramen restaurants make tonkotsu ramen (pork based soup), Marutama offers a completely different taste experience. I found the chicken broth much lighter than pork, yet it was still able to offer that tummy warming feeling.
Make sure to try the: Tamago ramen
Website: http://japanesenoodle.com/

8) Jinya Ramen Bar



Where: 270 Robson St. (They also have a location outside of downtown at 2129 West 41st Ave)
When: Monday-Thursday: 11am-10:30pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-11pm, Sunday: 11am-9pm
What makes them specialOh man, this place has the most potent broth I've ever tasted! Jinya's pork stock is loaded with massive amounts of dashi and dried fish to create a broth full of umami (pleasant savoury taste). If you like your soup fatty and rich, this is the place to go.
Make sure to try the: Tonkotsu black
Website: http://www.jinya-ramenbar.com/

9) Hida Takayama Ramen




Where: 203-1610 Robson St. (2nd floor of the Robson Public Market)
When: 11:30am-8:30pm
What makes them special: Tucked away on the second floor of the Robson Public Market, Hida Takayama is a hidden gem most Vancouverites are unaware of. This food court stall serves up a mean bowl of ramen and offers small, medium, and large noodle sizes at the same price. It's the only ramen spot in the city to hand make their noodles with the highest grade ramen flour imported from Japan. Their broth also contains zero MSG or artificial sweeteners.
Make sure to try the: White sesame ramen
Website: http://hidatakayamaramen.com/

10) Motomachi Shokudo 








Where: 740 Denmen St.
When: Closed Wednesdays, Thursday-Tuesday: 12pm-11pm
What makes them special: The bamboo charcoal dark miso ramen is hands down the most popular dish here. Said to clean toxins from your body, the charcoal powder infuses perfectly with the miso broth and offers a unique smokey flavour that's hard to come by.
Make sure to try the: Bamboo charcoal dark miso ramen
Website: No website but check out their Zomato page for more info





Did I miss your favourite ramen spot? Leave me a comment and I'll be sure to check it out the next time I have a ramen craving.

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

3 comments:

  1. Holy crap! this is exactly what I've been trying to find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! Glad you found what you're looking for :)

      Delete
  2. Wow...9 new places to try out. We visited Ramen Butcher in spring 2016 and thumbs up from the family.

    ReplyDelete