5 Recommended Ramen Shops in Hakata
The town of Hakata in Fukuoka is packed with many well-known shops that serve tonkotsu ramen, which is made with broth from pork bones. Here are five recommended ramen shops in Hakata.
1. Hakata Ramen Shin-Shin – Tenjin Honten
Hakata Ramen Shin-Shin is a popular ramen shop where a lot of customers, from local residents to tourists and travelers, line up just to get inside. This restaurant is best represented by Hakata ShinShin Ramen (600 JPY (incl. tax)). This ramen's soup is made under the concept of “easy to eat that anybody will drink it up to the last drop” and has a deep body that packs in all the flavors, but without the smell and unpleasant taste of pork bones. They use thin noodles with their specialty soup for maximum deliciousness. The exquisite roast pork that is carefully simmered in its secret sauce is so soft that it will almost melt in your mouth. You may find yourself devouring the noodles in a blink of an eye and then gulping the soup, but please take your time! Now although there are no large portions of noodles here, you can order "kaedama" (120 JPY (incl. tax)), or an extra serving of a ball of noodles. There are no limits to the number of kaedama you order, so you can keep on ordering until you’re full. Aside from the main branch, Hakata Ramen Shin-Shin also has the Sumiyoshi, Hakata Deitos, and KITTE Hakata branches that are open to serve you.
2. Ramen Unari – Kiyokawa Shop
The secret to the success of Ramen Unari is the restaurant’s original seafood tonkotsu (720 JPY (incl. tax)). Its “W Soup” that is made by mixing the soup stock from fish with the strong tonkotsu soup has quite an unusual combination. This ramen has been getting rave reviews because it has virtually no smell of pork bones or a fatty taste. With that, even those who hate the distinct taste of pork bones must try this ramen. And for people who want to taste a more peculiar taste, you have to check out the Genoa Ramen available at its sister shops Unari Shokudo and Nakasu. It’s a Genovese-style tonkotsu ramen with a unique green soup in which the smell of the basil works wonders on the smell of pork bones. With pesto in the ramen, you might think it’s a pasta dish. Try a bowl of this ramen that fuses tonkotsu ramen with Italian tastes, and you will surely admire it!
3. Hakata Ikkousha – Hakata Honten
Hakata Ikkousha has been aggressively expanding worldwide, starting with Indonesia and then into China and the U.S., so it is a ramen shop that is well-known even among those abroad. Their ramen is creamy in consistency and melds umami, sweetness, and thickness, and is delicious even for people that are new to tonkotsu ramen. The bubbles floating on the surface of the soup, called “aburaawa,” are considered to be proof of a tasty soup that has fat or oil mixed in the air bubble. Meanwhile, the special roast pork that is made by marinating the shoulder roast of pork in secret sauce achieves a good balance of fat and meat, so it splendidly matches the soup! The king in this shop’s menu is the Ikkousha Ramen (700 JPY (incl. tax)), but in order to enjoy the roast pork, how about choosing the Ajitama Chashumen (1,000 JPY (incl. tax)) that comes with roast pork and flavored egg?
4. Ganso Nagahamaya
The Nagahama ramen that was born in the Nagahama area of Fukuoka is one of the roots of Hakata ramen. Characterized by its fine noodles and the deep body of the tonkotsu soup, this ramen is said to have given birth to kaedama. And out of all the shops serving Nagahama ramen, the most famous one is Ganso Nagahamaya. This shop doesn’t serve anything but ramen, and one bowl of ramen here is quite cheap at 500 JPY (incl. tax). When you order, you have to let them know of your preferred amount of oil (“beta" (full), regular, or none), hardness of noodles (fresh, hard, regular, or soft), and amount of spring onions (a lot, regular, or none), and then look forward to the taste that you ordered to your liking. For instance, if you want a lot of oil, the hardest type of noodles and more spring onions, then you should order “beta, fresh, and a lot of spring onions”. Now if you are looking for the standard taste, then order the “futsuu" (regular).
5. Hakata Daruma – Sohonten
Established in 1963, Hakata Daruma is a well-established ramen place in Hakata that has not opened a new business nor expanded its franchise since it was launched, catapulting it into a leading, closely-guarded tonkotsu ramen shop. Inside this street stall-like restaurant, there are a lot of signatures of famous people who have visited this restaurant, testifying to its popularity. The soup is made through the method that adds freshly boiled soup into the broth every day, thereby turning it into a deep-body ramen with that strong distinctive smell of tonkotsu. Put the soup in your mouth and the delicious taste will spread to your tongue and you will enjoy that rich, pronounced taste. The ramen (700 JPY (incl. tax)), which continues to pass on the tradition of this shop since it opened, is recommended here. Further, the Aburi Toroniku Chashu Men (1,030 JPY (incl. tax)), which has roast pork, made from a rare cut of pork cheek, is a strong tasting masterpiece that is only available at the main branch.
Hakata Ramen is characterized by its thin noodles and tonkotsu soup. The fine noodles become soft easily, so there are no large servings of noodles for this ramen. To make up for that, the kaedama system was born. People's preferences in tonkotsu soups differ, so it's good that they come in various thickness and taste to satisfy everyone. You have to try and compare them all!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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