The 20 Essential Ramen Shops in Chicago
Slurp on these oodles of noodles
Ramen is a Japanese specialty beloved by many and mastered by few. Chewy noodles in hot broth with a layer of pork, soft-boiled egg, nori, and spices are an artful combination that can be enjoyed at just about any hour of the day — it’s also a great hangover cure.
The following places have ramen down to a science, with some hand-making their own noodles and simmering the broth for days. It’s the closest Chicagoans will get to the real thing outside of Japan, and for those whose only ramen experience has been the prepackaged instant variety, these bowls will be a revelation. New additions to the list include Japanese-inspired pub Izakaya Mita, Canadian chain Kinton Ramen, and Bridgeport’s Shinya Ramen House.
Lettuce Entertain You’s dedicated noodle shop touts both traditional and unorthodox varieties. Open until midnight (or 1 a.m. on Saturdays), it’s the ideal spot for late-night fuel in the form of tonkotsu, shio, and kimchi and fried chicken ramen. For a midday meal, the $15 express lunch includes choice of ramen, rice plate, and small salad. Additional locations are in Fulton Market and Streeterville.