Leave it to New York to make a piping hot bowl of soup one of the most happening indulgences of an even hotter summer. Ramen is a Japanese art form that is consistently craved all year long. Here are our five favorite slurp spots of the moment. By Margeau Barnes
Let it be known that Totto is cash only—which, in a way, aids in delivering the authentic Japan lunch hour feel that so many of its loyal customers know and love. We assume this newer location was opened in result of the tremendous success from its smaller location on 52nd street. The dishes to try are the Totto Extra Spicy Ramen and Totto Miso Ramen. They even give you the option of asking for wavy noodles which is widely appreciated among ramen enthusiasts like us.
Ippudo has the sizzle factor because of its global presence—most famously known for its location in Japan. There are two locations in New York City, the original being in East Village and the newer in Midtown West. There will almost always be a wait at both, so plan ahead and go early—your tummy will thank you. The two Ippudo “must” dishes are the Karaka-men with egg, and Pork Buns. Be warned… if for some reason you choose not to order the pork buns, expect to experience major food envy from everyone who has ordered them around you.
We’re particularly excited about Ivan because of its new location in the Lower East Side, carrying with it all the qualities we love in its market west slurp shop uptown, but with added modern flair. The best seat in the house is actually at the bar, where the servers love to give you advice on how and what to eat, which makes your ramen experience more fun and interactive. Our favorite is the Spicy Miso Ramen.
As if we didn’t love the Momofuku brand enough already, they happen to nail the art of ramen in the head. Their noodle shop was actually the first of the Momofuku restaurant family, further solidifying the credibility. Our favorite dishes were the Momofuku Ramen with pork belly and a poached egg, as well as the Pork Buns. Have a group of 4-8 people? You can even make a reservation for the fried chicken dinner. If not, the noodle bar is walk in only.
Takashi gets its praise for its beef broth Ramen base, which to our surprise makes all the difference. Although you must be a garlic lover, because it plays a huge role in the distinct boldness and flavor. In addition to ramen, make sure to try the tartare appetizer. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, we urge you to go for the tongue experience.