Sapporo is a battleground of leading ramen shops. The ramen shops in this region are furiously competing against each other, pursuing the best possible taste every day. Even their soups are filled with a variety of ingredients like soy sauce, salt, miso, and pork bones. Here are five ramen restaurants in Sapporo that you simply have to try!
1. Sumire Sapporo Main Branch
Sumire is a hugely popular restaurant that is crowded with patrons almost every day. The most recommended dish in this restaurant, which has also become synonymous with this shop, is the miso (870 JPY (incl. tax)). The soup has a strong miso flavor with a distinct ginger taste, and even though it's rich and heavy, the aftertaste is fresh. The surface of the ramen has a layer of lard, so you can eat it hot until the last drop. Another main characteristic of this ramen is that it does not have roast pork, but uses ground meat, so the delicious flavors will spread in your mouth with one bite. Aside from the miso ramen, the other favorites at this shop are the shoyu ramen (820 JPY (incl. tax)) that is made with dark soy sauce, the shio ramen (820 JPY (incl. tax)) that uses natural salt, and the Mukashi-fu Ramen (870 JPY (incl. tax)) with mild soy sauce flavor that is filled with roast pork, boiled egg, menma (fermented and dried bamboo shoots), spring onions, and spinach. For those new to Sumire, try the miso ramen that is so popular it's become the flavor of a famous cup noodle brand! Aside from the main branch, there is also a branch in Susukino.
2. Menya Saimi
Menya Saimi is the only shop run by a former employee of the legendary Sumire restaurant that was allowed to open. The spirit of the original lives on in this restaurant, but it has a flavor all its own. Located in a residential community that is quite far from the center of Sapporo, this shop is visited by many foreign tourists and always has a never-ending queue outside. People in line have their eyes set on the simple miso ramen (750 JPY (incl. tax)) that has a mild soup with roast pork, spring onions, and bean sprouts on top. The grated ginger resting on top of the roast pork gives accent to the taste of this ramen. The addition of ginger further draws out the deliciousness of the soup, and people wanting to drink the soup to the last drop just keep on coming to this place. You have to taste that flavor that warrants waiting in line.
3. Ramen Tetsuya Minami 7 Jo Main Branch
If you're someone that wants to enjoy eating soy sauce flavored ramen, then you have got to check out this famous chain Ramen Tetsuya that has six shops spread all over Sapporo. This restaurant has an extensive menu that includes miso ramen (842 JPY (incl. tax)) and shio ramen (810 JPY (incl. tax)), as well as spicy ramen. The recommended ramen is this restaurant's masterpiece shoyu ramen (810 JPY (incl. tax)). Its soup is a combination of its secret sauce and hot water, and the backfat that is spread on the surface adds to the rich flavor of this dish. The Wafu Tonkotsu Shoyu Sandaime Tetsuya Shoyu – Takumi – (918 JPY (incl. tax)), which uses this flavor as base and then adds fragrant oil and fish powder, is also popular. However, they only serve 20 bowls of each ramen during lunch and dinner, so it would be best to come early if you want to get what you want. Add the half-boiled egg (ajitama) (108 JPY (incl. tax)) from the toppings menu into your ramen to double its delicious taste! Now aside from this branch, there are five other branches of Ramen Tetsuya within Sapporo, so you can go check them out.
4. Ramen Sapporo Akahoshi
Ramen Sapporo Akahoshi is a cozy, little restaurant made up of counter seats only. Its name Akahoshi comes from one of the symbols of Hokkaido's development. This restaurant is particular about its taste and reasonable price of 500 JPY (incl. tax) that comes from its desire to have people freely eat delicious ramen. Its popular for the shio ramen that is characterized by its mild taste owing to the use of clams, and the shoyu ramen with its rich Japanese taste from fish stock. When the iwanori seaweed on top gets soaked in the soup, the soup has a stronger smell and deeper taste, which is bound to make you want to order a larger serving (an additional 100 JPY). Plus, you can also completely change the taste of your ramen with the homemade saba ninnikuko (mackerel-garlic powder) condiment placed on the table. You have to try their ramen!
5. Sapporo Ramen Musashi Main Branch
Sapporo Ramen Musashi is a restaurant that is known for its unique noodles and soup. Its noodles, which are made using its own manufacturing method that uses a special mix of flour of the highest quality and have a chewy texture that you can't find anywhere else. Meanwhile, its clear soup, which is cooked from Hokkaido-raised pork bones, pig feet, chicken bones, and a whole lot of vegetables, has a light flavor and deep body. With this soup as base, you can order three types of ramen in this shop: miso, shio, and shoyu. Of these ramen variants, the Jukusei Miso (820 JPY (incl. tax)) that has sesame seed and ginger added in the aged miso is the king of ramen that best represents Musashi. If you order ramen during lunchtime (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) on weekdays, you can have the tawara onigiri (rice ball in the shape of a sandbag) for free. So, satisfy your appetite here, fill your belly and then head on to your next destination.
Sapporo ramen is a ramen that is famous even among the local ramen varieties all over Japan. While miso ramen is the typical Sapporo ramen, note that Hokkaido, which is said to be a gold mine of food, is also home to delicious shoyu (soy sauce) and shio (salt) ramen. How about trying them all to find the one you like best?
*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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