A bowl of ramen is not hard to find in Taipei. In fact, there are Japanese and Japanese fusion restaurants everywhere. A good bowl of ramen, on the other hand, is something that may require some trial and error. To save you time, money and the inevitable disappointment of a bowl of watered down ramen, check out our guide to the best ramen in the capital and what sets each apart from the others.
Rakumenya is a popular destination for Kyushu-style ramen lovers. The experience is extremely customizable; you can pick your preferred saltiness and soup base down to the chewiness and thickness of the noodles. Furthermore, Rakumenya will add unlimited extra noodles for free. With its affordable prices, diverse sides and generous proportions, ramen lovers don’t need to worry about denting their wallets with this go-to spot to satisfy their cravings.
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A globally renowned chain, Ippudo’s reputation is upheld in Taipei. The restaurant introduces authentic Hakata tonkotsu pork soup-based ramen, supplemented by just-as-acclaimed delicious pork belly buns. The successful international chain is the masterpiece of Shigemi Kawahara, aka the Ramen King, and his more than 30 years of hard work. There are now over 40 stores in Japan and eight in Taiwan alone.
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Another popular chain store, Kagetsu is a great destination for garlic enthusiasts. The restaurant is best known for its garlic and pork soup ramen. If that’s still not strong enough for you, the shop has a garlic topping option, providing whole cloves that you can freshly mash onto your ramen to your heart’s desire. The shop provides other Japanese cuisines also, such as skillet-fried rice, gyoza and fried tonkatsu.
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Created by a renowned Japanese ramen connoisseur, this ramen shop in Taipei’s dongqu is one of just three locations in the world.The homemade-style shop opened in Taipei after its first two locations in Japan received critical acclaim and awards. This spot is perfect for those looking for more authenticity and diversity in their ramen. It’s popular for its soy-sauce and salt-based soup and paper-thin sliced chashu roasted pork. Also with free unlimited extra noodle upgrades, the generous proportions and hearty contents keep locals returning for more.
image via Johnson Wang
This small restaurant resembling the local ramen-yas of country-side Japan perhaps offeres the most unique types of ramen available. There are five main flavors on its menu: the original tonkotsu pork-broth ramen, spicy garlic chili ramen, calamari-ink and chashu ramen, olive oil and basil ramen and a daily special that changes every day. The ramen pictured above is one of the daily specials—truffle ramen. For those looking to experiment their taste buds, head to Nagi for its diverse and spicy options.
image via Johnson Wang
Located in Taipei’s hub of hot-springs, this ramen shop in Beitou is the spot to hit up after a nice long day of soaking in hot spring spas. The family-style shop serves affordable ramen in generous amounts, with a more Taiwanese-styled take to the traditional dish. Its available flavors are diverse —including pork broth, miso, chashu, corn, white soup, kimchi, seaweed and more options for the noodles’ soup base. It also serves sides at a fair price, including the “hot spring boiled” egg, fitting for the region.
image via Robyn Lee
This ramen shop located in Dongqu always sees long lines. And the hype is justified—the restaurant has an extensive menu, including miso dip noodles and Japanese-style fried goods, all at reasonable prices. The place is also known for its excellent customer service, providing even bibs and hair clamps for those who want to fully immerse in their ramen without getting too messy.
image via Tonchin
As the just-opened Taiwanese branch of the Sapporo favorite, this restaurant exposes its rich ingredients to 1,300 degrees of heat to create the perfect bowl of miso ramen. With a glass window looking into the kitchen, the eatery allows you to witness your ramen being freshly torched Hokkaido-style as you wait. Despite its extravagance, the bowls are still affordable at only about NT$260 each.
image via Sapporo Engine