Kyoto is a very competitive area for the ramen industry. Here are 5 selected restaurants that offer delicious ramen with unique special soups.
Araumado is famous for its appetizing ramen, with rich tonkotsu (pork bone) soup and potherb. Their tonkotsu soup has a gentle pork bone scent that has led to their popularity amongst a wide range of customers, as it can even be appreciated by people who aren't tonkotsu fans. The signature dish Arauma ramen (730 JPY (incl. tax)) has thick noodles with a strong texture and special soup. The recommended dish is tantanmen (900 JPY (incl. tax)). This ramen has sesame paste added that makes the soup creamier, and a spicy chili oil and Japanese pepper accent to induce cravings. The sesame paste matches perfectly the minced meat and noodles. With this dish you won’t be able to avoid drinking the whole bowl of soup dry.
2. Ramen Todai
This is a ramen restaurant where Tokushima ramen, a local specialty of Tokushima, can be enjoyed. It's main characteristic is the tonkotsu soup made over a number of hours with added sweet soy sauce. The signature dish, Tokushima ramen (700 JPY (incl. tax)), has toppings like pork rib, spring onion, and bamboo shoots. The recommended way to eat this ramen is by mixing the raw egg with noodles and toppings. The combination of raw egg and their sweet sauce creates a flavor similar to sukiyaki, which many customers find addictive. Additionally, rice is often ordered with Tokushima ramen. It is popular to mix raw egg (offered without charge) with rice and the soup of the ramen. This is definitely worth trying.
3. Kyoto Takabashi Honke Daiichiasahi
This is a ramen restaurant open from 5:00 am that is very popular. It is always full and has consistent lines. Theirs is an authentic Japanese ramen, with a simple but delicious soy sauce based soup and slightly thin noodles. Their signature ramen (650 JPY) is a hefty bowl with plenty of barbecued pork and Kujo spring onion (harvested in Kyoto). The well-seasoned barbecued pork adds extra flavor to the light soup, and Kujo spring onion is perfect to moderate the oiliness of ramen. This ramen is highly recommended for those who prefer a flavor not too rich, as it has a traditional mild soy sauce flavor reminiscent of Kyoto cuisine.
4. Kyoto Ramen Kenkyujo
Kyoto Ramen Kenkyujo offers ramen with tonkotsu soup, made using pork bones from Kyoto and without any chemical seasonings. Their signature dish is soy sauce tonkotsu ramen (680 JPY), and it's popular since the flavor naturally comes from its ingredients. The light yet delicious soup matches perfectly with the thin noodles, and is particularly popular with women. The softness of noodles, the quantity of spring onion and of oil, and the thickness of soup can be adjusted without any extra charge. This is a great restaurant that offers organic and tasty ramen in a very relaxing atmosphere.
5. Manpuku Kyoto Station Branch
This restaurant is known for its special barbecue pork. Their signature dish, chashumen (soy sauce) (900 JPY), has a pile of thick, soft barbecue pork atop its noodles. The combination of this with the generous portion of spring onion is too good to be true. The tonkotsu-based soy sauce soup has a rich flavor that goes nicely with the straight noodles. This is ramen that has been loved for more than 30 years. This restaurant is recommended for those looking for a big feast.
Ramen is quick and a great food to fill up on when you feel hungry while touring. Please consider the varying characteristics of each restaurant to find your own favorite kind of ramen.
*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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