Slurpable soup, chewy noodles, and mouthwatering toppings – there’s nothing that is quite like what the doctor ordered than a steaming and hearty bowl of ramen. So, without further ado, here’s the Secret London rundown of the best ramen in London!
1. Heddon Yokocho, Mayfair
If London’s ramen scene was worth shouting about before Heddon Yokocho arrived, it’s even more worthy of praise now. The team behind Japan Centre and Shoryu unveiled this noodle spot back in 2018, a retro ramen joint that harks back to the yokocho (alleyways) of 70s Tokyo in both design and menu.
You’ll be able to tuck into ramen from all across Japan, including Sapporo Miso – drawn from the snowy northern reaches of Hokkaido – and the classic Tonkotsu ramen, which has its origins in Kyushu.
Meanwhile, signature dish The Yokocho, a soy based chicken and pork broth ramen topped with BBQ pork, menma bamboo shoots, naruto fish cake, and whole nitamago egg, is definitely worth jumping on. Kick back with a highball or Japanese draft beer, tuck into ramen, karaage, gyoza, and more, all the while soaking up the splendid decor of retro signage and colourful lanterns.
There are two other branches of Yokocho – one in White City and one on Panton Street – and both are just as good. No wonder then that this cool spot is often labelled as having the best ramen in London.
You’ll find Heddon Yokocho at 8 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BU. Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
2. Shoryu, Various Locations
Shoryu’s menu is brimming with excellent dishes; all served with oodles of noodles, that can be cooked exactly how you like them. We thoroughly recommend going for one of their 12-hour pork broth ramen, aka Tonkotsu. They all come topped with char siu barbecue pork belly, plus all the trimmings.
Other things on the menu include the seasonal Miso Tonkotsu and the fiery kimchi seafood ramen – a taste sensation consisting of prawns, scallops, squid, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, nori seaweed, spring onion and seasoned bean sprouts.
You’ll find Shoryu at various locations in London. You can find out more here.
3. Monohon Ramen, Old Street
Founder Ian Wheatley fell in love with Japan whilst living in Osaka in the 90s, and channelled that passion into Monohon Ramen, which began as a pop-up back in 2015. The Shoyu Tonkotsu delivers a big umami hit, whilst cod roe is used to flavour the Mentaiko Cream Ramen. Of course, you could always opt for the largest option on the menu with The Big Boy Spicy Special complete with all the toppings, extra egg, and spicy miso pork mince.
The Vegan Tan Tan Men is a great choice for vegans and veggies, consisting of a creamy sesame flavoured soup with medium thick noodles, spring onions, beansprouts, pak choi, toasted seaweed and spicy miso-fried seitan. Now if that doesn’t qualify this place a spot on this list of the best ramen in London, then we don’t know what will.
You’ll find Monohon Ramen at 102 Old Street, EC1V 9AY. Nearest station is Old Street.
4. Tonkotsu, Various Locations
Tonkotsu is known for two things: ramen and whiskey. (Their Mare Street branch has over 60 whiskies behind the bar.) Choose anything from their namesake Tonkotsu with pork belly, to their vegetarian curried pumpkin and spiced corn ramen. Oh, and they actively encourage slurping, so don’t worry about seeming impolite.
There are currently 14 branches of this great spot dotted all about London – including in Selfridges Oxford Street and on Bankside – and you can get a set lunch on Mondays to Fridays. A bowl of ramen or hiyashi with a side of edamame beans, pork, ginger and garlic gyoza or shiitake mushrooms with bamboo shoots for under a tenner? Sounds good to us!
Find Tonkotsu in various locations across London. You can find out more here.
5. KOI Ramen Bar, Various Locations
High quality ramen at low prices is the aim of KOI Ramen Bar, who sport branches across Brixton, Tooting, Herne Hill and Elephant and Castle. Extra toppings let you customise your ramens, and if all that slurpable soup is making you anxious about the damage it can do to your outfit, you can opt for the soupless Naked Ramen.
The Old Skool Shoyu and Mellow Miso are also lip-smackingly good choices, and you can wash it down with ice-cold bottles of Asahi, Sapporo or even delicious Sake.
You can find Koi Ramen in various locations across London. You can find out more here.
6. Taro, Various Locations
Perhaps better known for their sushi and bento boxes, Taro makes our best ramen in London guide on the basis of their thinner, soy-based ramen. The Balham branch’s kimchi ramen adds an intriguing Korean twist to the classic dish, whilst the seafood ramens evokes the sense of being in a small fishing village.
The idea for Taro came all the way back in 1978, and the staff here really know their stuff. Literally translating to ‘an everyday dining room in Japan’, that is exactly the vibe that you can expect here. As well as ramen, they also whip up some incredible sashimi, hand-rolled sushi, udon and yummy bento boxes.
You can find Taro in various locations across London. You can find out more here.
7. Kanada-Ya, Various Locations
Kanada-Ya has a huge (and very well-deserved) reputation amongst ramen-loving Londoners, normally resulting in lengthy mealtime queues outside of its door. Don’t let this put you off. Pork bones are simmered for eighteen hours to create the rich and seriously smooth tonkotsu broth, whilst the toppings take the dish here to the next level. Founded first in Yukuhashi, Japan, before being brought over to London, this is as authentic, and tasty, as it gets.
Other things on the menu include chicken katsu curry, Japanese sour plum rice and seared chashu pork belly with yakiniku tare. Washed down with a bottle of Hitachino Nest Yuzu lager and you’re in for a real treat here.
You can find Kanada-Ya in various locations across London. You can find out more here.
8. Menya Ramen House, Holborn
London foodie guides and Tripadvisor are unanimous in their praise for one of London’s very best ramen restaurants. Miso ramen with pork belly collects the bulk of the plaudits, but visitors are also given the option to spice up their broth to sweat-inducing levels using fiery Korean ingredients. A spot by the British Museum certainly doesn’t hurt the foot traffic, either.
Menya Ramen House also is unique in that they simmer their pork and chicken broths for 48 hours – yep, you read that right – no wonder it tastes so darn good.
You’ll find Menya Ramen House at 29 Museum Street, Holborn, WC1A 1LH. Nearest stations are Tottenham Court Road and Holborn.
9. Ramo Ramen, Kentish Town
Another restaurant throwing authenticity by the wayside in favour of bold, experimental flavours, Ramo Ramen draws heavy inspiration from the Philippines. You wouldn’t usually find the likes of cumin mince lamb and lime in a traditional ramen, but the Lamb Tantanmen Ramen is well worth going off the map for – and you can wash it down nicely with a bubble tea!
Their Oxtail Kare Kare is another gem – consisting of peanut beef broth, pulled oxtail, Tokyo noodles, nitamago, menma, pea shoots, nori and spring onion shiitake – it’s a real winner of a dish. There’s also a branch in Soho too.
You’ll find Ramo Ramen at 157 Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town, NW1 8PD. Nearest station is Kentish Town West.
10. Bone Daddies, Various Locations
It’s been described as ‘the mother of all hangover cures’ by one Secret London writer, and frankly there’s no higher praise than that. A New York-inspired Japanese noodle joint, Bone Daddies hang their hats on gutsy, thick soup dishes that put fire in your belly and a spring in your step.
The spicy chicken Tantanmen lifts the spirits and features egg yolk so orange, it’s like sunshine in a bowl, whilst steamed chilli chashu pork buns are also the perfect antidote to Sunday-night-blues. A solid addition to this list of the best ramen in London we say.
Find Bone Daddies in various locations across London. You can find out more here.
11. Okan Ramen, Brixton and South Bank
In Osakan slang, ‘okan’ translates as ‘mum’, and founder Moto Priestman has brought the food of downtown Osaka to London and infused it with a little homecooked love. You can’t really go wrong with any of their three restaurants, but the Brixton East spot might be the best one for wonderful warming ramen.
As well as ramen, Okan Ramen also makes a mean donburi rice and a mouthwatering spicy miso udon pot. Add in cocktails and you’ve got yourself a real slap-up meal.
You’ll find Okan Ramen in three locations across London. You can find out more here.
12. Cocoro, Various Locations
Cocoro’s expansion from Marylebone was powered by the Kumamoto pork bone ramen, and whilst you might be swayed by the huge range of sushi, curries and izakaya-style dishes, a deep dive into the ramen menu is guaranteed to put a smile on that face. Trust us.
As well as Miso and Tonkotsu ramen, there are plenty of veggie and vegan options – the chef’s spicy sauce is well worth adding in too.
You’ll find Cocoro at various locations across London. You can find out more here.
13. IPPUDO, Various Locations
Three-time winner of the very prestigious Ramen King Finals awards, IPPUDO has an excellent reputation all over the world. Their beautiful bowls of creamy broth are all made with homemade noodles and carefully selected ingredients, and everything from the minute you enter the restaurant to the moment you leave is totally authentic.
The rich, filling stocks find perhaps their best companion in the Akamaru Modern, but again it’s very hard to go wrong here. There are three branches of this beloved restaurant dotted across London – one in Canary Wharf, one in Villiers Street and one in Central St Giles.
You’ll find IPPUDO at various locations across London. You can find out more here.
14. Seto, Camden
This cute, family-run spot is a legendary spot in Camden and specialises in shoyu and miso ramen. It’s incredibly affordable – warming bowls of ramen at lunch are just eight quid – and their fried gyoza are pretty much to die for.
The staff here are also lovely and are happy to adapt the menu to cater for any dietary requirements. Don’t miss the Kimuchi ramen – a delightful dish consisting of Korean-style pickles with chashu pork and noodle soup.
You’ll find Seto at 5-6 Plender Street, London, NW1 0JN. Nearest station is Mornington Crescent.
15. Nanban, Brixton and Seven Dials
The penultimate entry onto this list of the best ramen in London is Nanban, a great spot that was founded by chef Tim Anderson who won MasterChef back in 2011. Since then, he’s gone on to publish four books on Japanese cookery, covering regional specialities, Japanese home cooking, and vegan Japanese food.
Since moving into Brixton back in 2015, they began incorporating ingredients from the famous Brixton Market into their dishes, creating a Kyushu-Brixton fusion menu that featured flavours from the Caribbean, West Africa, Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Their six different ramen dishes are undoubtedly very popular – the spicy Lazy Goat Ragu-men and the vegan-friendly Aubergine and Courgette Tan Tan Men are both bloody fantastic.
You’ll find Nanban at 426 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LF and at Seven Dials Market, 35 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LD. Nearest stations are Brixton and Covent Garden.
16. Supa Ya Ramen, Dalston
Rounding off this list of the best ramen in London is Supa Ya Ramen on Kingsland Road. Once a cherished pop-up and supper club, they’ve now established their first permanent home. And thank god we say.
Let’s start with the pedigree behind these noodles; founder Luke Findlay carved out an impressive career at The Hand & Flowers, Berber & Q, and Patty & Bun before turning his focus to ‘traditionally inauthentic’ ramen. The menu is concise but packed with carefully-cooked ingredients – go for the Iberico pork fat and celeriac chashu noodles. Both are bloody delicious if we say so ourselves.
You’ll find Supa Ya Ramen at 499 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AU. Nearest station is Dalston Junction.
Also published on Medium.