Indoor dining has finally started to open in New York City after an unprecedented summer spent under the shadow of COVID-19, and that's good news for New York foodies who are bracing for winter weather's arrival. As the nights begin to turn cold and the sweaters come on, what better way to treat yourself than enjoying a hot bowl of ramen? It's one of the greatest comfort foods.
We've enlisted help from mentalist and food influencer Josh Beckerman (AKA The Foodie Magician) who treats his nearly 80,000 Instagram followers to a daily stream of standout dishes from the city's culinary hotspots. Combining sleight of hand with top-notch taste, Beckerman has managed to turn his love for fine dining into a lifestyle and has showcased his talents on The Today Show, Cooking Channel and The Late Show with Seth Meyers.
Beckerman has curated an exclusive list of the ten best ramen restaurants in NYC to satisfy all of your Japanese soup and noodle cravings. From truffle ramen dishes to Korean ramyun specialties, and even vegan ramen, there is truly something for everyone.
Serving “authentic Japanese soul food” since 2004, this East Village institution is a hidden gem. “Best spicy miso ramen in the city,” Beckerman says. “Perfect for a winter's day.” While Minca offers many different broth bases for their ramen, they also serve a specialty “Experimental Ramen” and several appetizers, including homemade pork gyoza and kimchi.
This Lower East Side spot favors spicy ramen plates, from their Spicy Stamina bowl, to their Spicy Cheese Chashu Tonkotsu dish. Beckerman encourages ramen fans to try every bowl here, as they’re all fantastic. “Don't sleep on their Vegan Ramen made with soy milk—it's kind of incredible,” he says.
132 W. 31st St., 374 Johnson Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11206 | Website
With locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, this place is great for the solo diner and claims to serve “the world’s first jubako bowl.” “You actually eat in your own ramen focus booth—just you and your broth, for maximum focus,” Beckerman says. “Add their original spicy red sauce to their aromatic tonkatsu broth and your night is complete.”
65 4th Ave., 24 W. 46th St., 321 W. 51st St | Ippudo
According to Beckerman, Ippudo is a fan favorite across the city, specializing in three pork broth-based ramen bowls and flavorful appetizers like steamed buns. “Their Akamaru Ramen is pure perfection,” he raves.
David Chang started this flagship restaurant in 2004 and his ramen empire has only grown stronger since then. With a menu serving everything from pork belly buns and garlic chicken ramen to Korean fried chicken, there’s no wrong way to order. “Start with their famous pork buns, then dive deep into their original Smoked Pork Ramen,” Beckerman says. “Absolutely delicious!”
Another Lower East Side ramen treasure, Ramen Ishida serves ramen noodle salads and bowls with either a shoyu or miso broth, but there is one dish in particular that Beckerman puts on a pedestal. “Their New Tokyo Style Ramen comes with chicken, truffle, and porcini, and is outstanding,” he says.
This Midtown ramen joint opened in 2010 and has been serving prime comfort food ever since. Totto allows customers to customize their own bowls with over 20 toppings to choose from, from fried garri to char siu chicken. “Their Chicken Paitan Ramen would make everyone's grandma proud,” Beckerman jokes.
Ivan Orkin made waves in the food space when he created his own vision of the perfect ramen bowl as a non-Japanese chef. Opening his New York flagship in 2013, Orkin began to serve a variety of Japanese-inspired dishes, from fried chicken to traditional noodle dishes, and, of course, a variety of ramen bowls. Variety is the name of the game here.
Jeju has been specializing in Korean-inspired cuisine ever since their more recent launch in 2017. Their version of ramen is called “ramyun,” which serves a richer broth to satisfy your senses. “You can splurge on their Wagyu Ramyun, a rich veal broth with raw miyazaki and wagyu brisket,” Foodie says. And don’t forget about their Ja Jang Style Ribs appetizer—yes, please.
Last but certainly not least is Nakamura, another Lower East Side ramen shop serving six different types of ramen bowls, including Truffle Miso, as well as their specialty rice boxes and tsukemen. “Don't skip their Mazemen—with steak, duck or lobster,” Beckerman advises.