Eat ramen. Eat all of the ramen, because there’s never a bad time to indulge. The good news for you is that ramen is no longer a novelty, and there are plenty of great options around. The bad news is everyone you know is apparently an expert and wants to share their “knowledge” on traditional Japanese cooking techniques. We have no such intentions, but we do know what tastes good.

These aren’t restaurants that happen to have a ramen on the menu, but rather places that are built around it. These are the best ramen joints in Chicago.

THE SPOTS

Ramen-san

River North
59 W. Hubbard St.

7.3

Ramen-San has very solid ramen, but the real selling point here is the vibe. It’s a cool space with brick walls that make it feel like a ramen club, and you can bet there will be hip hop along the lines of Tupac or Biggie playing loud enough that you’ll never lose track of it. Ramen, rap music, and a cold Asahi in a casual setting will help you get through the worst of days. It’s one of the few casual spots in River North if you’re looking to hang out and have a drink with friends.