Reader, we are not talking about packets of instant ramen that you cut open at 2 am for a snack, although those do have a special place in our heart. We are talking serious ramen—A Japanese dish consisting usually of hand-pulled noodles and a rich broth—the kind that makes your tummy warm and your soul happy.
Perfect for when you're extra cold or just have had a good cry, the umami-feel and steaminess of this dish has the potential to lift your spirits. So, no matter which major city you're based in, you have the option to drown your sorrows in a big comforting bowl of ramen. Check our list below for some handpicked recommendations.
This swanky eatery serves up three different kinds of ramen—a traditional miso broth that's all sorts of salty and soupy; a spicy Korean one that involves lots of kimchi; and a flavourful vegan variant, which is heavy on the greens. The best part is that you can pick your protein, so feel free to switch it up as you wish. Address: Halcyon Complex, St. Marks Road Cost: Rs 1,700 (for two)
One of the oldest Japanese restaurants in Bangalore, Harima has only got finer over time. If the Japanese text on the menu doesn't convince you that this place is dishing out authentic ramen, then what will? They have a Shoyu ramen that consists of a creamy, soy-based chicken broth, a spicy tantanmen with doubanjiang, which is a fermented spicy bean paste. And vegetarians fret not, they have a delicious soy-based option for you too. Address: Devatha Plaza, Residency Road Cost: Rs 2,000 (for two)
Ramen lovers in Pune, you're in for a soup-er time. This unsuspecting casual restaurant, whips up delicious ramen. They offer the Japanese favourite tonkotsu ramen, which consists of a fatty pork broth that is topped with slow-cooked pork, house-made fish cakes and a jammy, marinated egg. They also have a light and clear chicken broth option and a fiery Taiwan ramen. Their vegetarian option, a tomato-based broth with spicy miso, sounds like the perfect weeknight dinner. Address: Damodar Villa, Kothrud Cost: Rs 800 (for two)
Gong may be Pune's most exciting Asian restaurant yet. With fare from Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines, there's a lot to choose from here, but don't sleep on their ramen offerings. The chicken variant packs in a lot of flavour and the noodles are fresh. The tofu and veggies option is worth ordering even if you're not a vegetarian and just looking for something lighter. Address: Balewadi High Street, Baner Cost: Rs 1,700 (for two)
The Fatty Bao
This casual-dining spot with quirky decor serves up classics, including ramen, with fun twists. Can't decide between laksa and ramen? Get yourself a bowl of their chicken via Malaysia for an aromatic coconut-milk-based broth. The exotic mushroom is vegetarian and has truffle oil in it to give that earthy kick. And out of the classics, we like the tantanmen, which is made with a chicken and pork stock, roast pork, spiced pork mince and topped with sesame tare and a boiled egg. Address: Fort Knox Building, Camac Street Area Cost: Rs 1,500 (for two)
Ping's Cafe Orient
This Asian bistro focuses on farm-fresh ingredients and freshly ground spices to maximise flavour. While they offer only one type of broth—that they've truly mastered, consisting of smoked chicken, ginger, fried onions and scallions—there are plenty of protein options to choose from, be it vegetables and tofu to duck or seafood. Our mouths are watering already. Address: Middleton Row, Park Street Area Cost: Rs 1,500 (for two)
The popularity of Izumi is unmatched and we think it's because they really do give us a taste of Japan by using the highest quality of ingredients. With 14 ramen options to choose from, there's one for every mood. Keep it simple with shoyu chintan ramen, try something different and order the potato and almond ramen or fully indulge yourself with the seafood ramen, where the broth is made from slow cooked fish bone, kelp and bonito flakes. Yup, our plans are to go here 14 different times to try each of them. Address: Sunrise, Linking Road Cost: Rs 2,500 (for two)
No one knows Asian food better than chef Seefah Ketchaiyo and if her celebrated restaurant is serving up ramen, it's definitely going to be the ultimate. Try the roasted tenderloin shoyu ramen if you're looking for something light and warming. And if Japanese curry is your thing, they have a delicious bowl of curry noodles with chicken katsu too. And yes, this is a ramen listicle but don't forget to grab some Thai milk tea with your meal, you won't regret it. Address: Khan House, Hill Road Cost: Rs 1,800 (for two)
With a whole page of their menu dedicated to noodles, Kofuku just gets us. But their ramen options always stand out. Choose between a shoyu ramen consisting of a soy sauce and dashi broth and an earthy miso ramen. If you're feeling bold, upgrade to their spicy miso option, because some things in life are worth the spice and this ramen is one of them. Address: Ansal Plaza Mall, Khel Gaon Marg Cost: Rs 1,400 (for two)
The kitschy and fun decor pulled us in, but the ramen made us stay. The five mushroom suimono ramen here is packed with umami and is so satisfying, it tingles your tongue. They also offer a simpler vegetarian miso ramen, which is deemed as a must-try. The chicken one is special because the stock is simmered overnight and for those who want the OG, they have a fragrant chashu ramen made with pork broth that is simmered for 72 hours! Address: Main Market, Lodhi Colony Cost: Rs 3,200 (for two)
After graduating from USC and making the most of LA's food scene, Samika is now back in India and ready to explore the food in her own country. A culinary enthusiast, she spends a lot of time brainstorming dinner ideas, looking up new restaurants, listening to podcasts and has a special knack for churning her own ice cream.