This month, Oakland welcomed Shiba Ramen, which joins a dazzling array of noodle slingers in the East Bay. To help you narrow down your hot, steaming options, we've selected a few of the city's top-rated choices.
Store-bought instant ramen is packed with salt and preservatives, but these eateries make their own broth before adding fresh noodles and ingredients. The next time you have a hankering for comfort food, head to one of these places for a meal you can unashamedly slurp.
Ramen Shop (5812 College Ave.)
While Ramen Shop offers American fusion dishes like Georgia white shrimp and pork fried rice, it specializes in "artistic" and organic ramen. This dimly-lit restaurant has a full bar and features a constantly-changing menu with three daily options, including the popular veggie Meyer lemon shoyu ramen.
Sobo Ramen (988 Franklin St., #186)
Located on the ground floor of Pacific Renaissance Plaza, Sobo Ramen is another fusion shop, and sources its ingredients from local farmers. It offers vegan and gluten-free options, as well as a variety of broth flavors, including tonkotsu (pork bone), shoyu (chicken/fish broth), vegetarian miso, spicy miso and sobo.
Itani Ramen (1736 Telegraph Ave.)
Before opening Itani Ramen, chef Kyle Itani launched Hopscotch, an upscale diner that serves "American food with a Japanese sensibility." Gluten-intolerant diners can swap out wheat for yam noodles; all broths are vegetarian, so the menu has something for everyone.
Rikyu (5335 College Ave.)
Chef Tatsuya Koyake has had roughly 25 years of experience preparing authentic Japanese cuisine. His restaurant, Rikyu, is primarily a sushi bar, but its lunch menu includes tonkotsu ramen, made with pork and chicken broth, BBQ pork, bamboo, boiled egg and fish.
Noodle Theory Provisions (5849 San Pablo Ave.)
While Noodle Theory's sister location is more spacious than the original (6099 Claremont Ave.), both restaurants offer similar dishes, including the grilled Niman Ranch beef udon in a coconut-lime curry broth — the most popular option on the menu. (Udon noodles can be substituted for ramen.) Noodle Theory Provisions is also home to a full bar and a weekend brunch menu.
Ippo Ramen (multiple locations)
You can frequently catch Ippo Ramen at Independent Brewery (444 Harrison St.), Kensington Farmers Market (Colusa Circle) and Ale Industries (3096 E 10th St.) Headed by owner Steve Yee, this mobile noodlery offers three types of ramen: shoyu, shio or miso. Visit its Facebook page for location updates.
Judoku Sushi (3314 Piedmont Ave.)
You'll find a variety of Japanese eats at Judoku Sushi, from sushi to teriyaki to ramen. Yelpers particularly rave about the spicy ramen, which comes with slices of pork, enoki mushrooms, a soft-boiled egg and naruto swirls.
Did we miss your favorite ramen restaurant? Let us know in the comments.
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