Japanese ramen is characterized for its different flavors depending on the region where it is prepared. Hokkaido is especially famous for its miso ramen, which features a warming miso-based soup! Let's have a look at a few famous ramen restaurants in Hokkaido.
Menya Saimi is a ramen restaurant located within a 5 min. walk from Misono Station, in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo. While this is a rather small restaurant located in a residential area, it is so popular that customers line up in front of it throughout the day since opening time. We especially recommend their miso ramen. The owner, who learned his skills at Sumire, a popular ramen restaurant representative of Hokkaido, is especially proud of his miso soup, which features a slightly sweet yet rich taste. The toppings are added in quantities that do not get in the way of the noodles, and are roasted pork fillet, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, scallion, and a small amount of ginger. Tonkotsu-based miso ramen tends to be on the greasy side, but this restaurant's miso ramen is rather light, so even small eaters can finish off their bowls. There are always lines of customers waiting outside of this restaurant, but their miso ramen is exquisite, making this a definite must-visit restaurant when in Sapporo. The restaurant has its own parking lot, so you can also come by car.
Miso ramen (750 JPY)
1. Menya Saimi, a restaurant with long lines that branched out from popular restaurant Sumire
Itomatsu, a popular ramen restaurant located in Tanukikoji, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, enjoys a especially good reputation for its vaunted soup, made with a base of tonkotsu and chicken broth to which kelp, smoked mackerel shavings and dried bonito shavings are added and simmered together for 12 hours. Itomatsu's traditional miso ramen is made with their vaunted miso sauce, which they created by mixing white and red miso paste, to which they add ginger and dozens of other seasonings, such as Japanese pepper. Despite being a rather light dish, its highly fragrant aroma never fails to attract a large number of customers. The ramen is served with roasted pork fillet, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and scallion among other toppings. Customers can also order the miso chashu ramen if they want to have some extra roasted pork fillets added to their bowl. The restaurant is conveniently located within a 5 minute walk from Susukino Station on the subway Nanboku Line and it is open well into the night, making it a must-stop by destination if you are in the downtown Sapporo area.
Miso ramen (700 JPY)
2. Itomatsu, a restaurant serving an exquisite soup made by thoroughly simmering kelp and smoked mackerel shavings
Ebisoba Ichigen, located near the Higashi Hongan-ji Temple in Chuo-ku, Sapporo, is a popular ramen restaurant chain that has branches in the New Chitose Airport and in Tokyo. Their ramen is popular in Japan for having a shrimp flavored base. Their vaunted shrimp soup is made with rare sweet shrimp heads from which the flavor is thoroughly extracted. In addition, in the case of their miso ramen, the rich flavor of tonkotsu adds to the combination to give it an even deeper taste, and it comes topped with a rather large roasted pork fillet, a soft-boiled egg marinated in soy sauce and mirin, green onion, and red pickled ginger. The secret to the popularity of this restaurant lies in the fact that their dishes are highly customizable to taste: customers can choose between three types of soup (from rich flavored to lighter), along with their preferred thickness for the noodles. The restaurant is located within a 15 minute walk from Nakajima Koen Station on the subway Nanboku line, and it also features a parking lot for customers coming by car. Their dishes can also be ordered online.
Shrimp miso ramen (780 JPY)
3. Ebisoba Ichigen, featuring an irresistible shrimp-based broth!
Keyaki is a representative restaurant when it comes to Hokkaido's miso ramen. Their miso ramen, made with specially chosen ingredients, is popular not only in Sapporo but all over the country. The restaurant makes it a point to make the soup using pork bones and back fat, chicken from Niigata, vegetables, and mushrooms, which are then boiled together for about 10 hours. As for the miso, they blend three types of miso, such as soybean miso and barley miso, along with the sweetness of vegetables to create a rich and crisp flavor. In addition, their vaunted thick roasted pork fillet is simmered in homemade soy sauce until tender and juicy. Variations of the dish using their special miso ramen as a base are available as well, such as roasted pork filet ramen, spicy ramen, and corn butter ramen. Their dishes are also available to purchase online, and the restaurant has other branches within Sapporo.
Miso ramen (870 JPY)
4. Keyaki, a restaurant specializing in miso ramen where you will always find lines of customers waiting outside
In this article, we have featured a few restaurants serving exquisite miso ramen in Hokkaido. All of them make it a point to use a special kind of soup and miso, and enjoy a very good reputation for it. The flavors of the ramen vary from one restaurant to the other, so we suggest trying them out to compare.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.