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 change their outlook forever. New additions to the list include The Izakaya at Momotaro and Iliana Regan’s Kitsune.
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s foray into the ramen game offers both traditional and unorthodox noodle varieties. Open until 12 a.m. (or 1 a.m. on Saturdays), it’s the ideal spot to drop in for late-night comfort in the form of tonkotsu and shio broths, plus a kimchi and fried chicken ramen. For a midday deal, the $15 express lunch offered between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. includes ramen, a rice plate, and small salad. Additional locations in Fulton Market and Streeterville.