If you were asked about Kyoto’s cuisine culture, most of what would come to your mind would be things like the foods (e.g. kaiseki) and sweets (e.g., wagashi) of traditional Japan.
However, there’s a lot of delicious ramen in Kyoto, capital of the west, and among the ramen here it’s the rich type that’s popular.
This time around, we’ll introduce 5 shops in the city, carefully selected from many, that we definitely want you to try if you visit Kyoto.
※The price of all ramen is under 1,000JPY.
If you’re talking about ramen, this is without a doubt the most popular shop in the city of Kyoto. With this popularity, even within the fierce battleground that is Kyoto’s Ichijoji area, its existence is a cut above. Their soup isn’t simply made from pork bone but uses a huge amount of chicken meat as well, making for a bowl of ramen you simply can’t have elsewhere, shockingly rich even as it has a clean, unfatty flavor without an unpleasant odor. As to be expected for such a famed shop, it’d be no exaggeration to say they’ve mastered poultry. Weekdays or holidays, it’s a popular restaurant that inevitably has a line up. That being said, if you’re coming to Kyoto, it’s exceptionally fashionable even in-city without being restrained by its “ramen” status, so its atmosphere is easy for a couple or even a single female diner to drop by.
Japanese notation：麺屋 極鶏
One of Kyoto’s valuable shops, here you can eat mixed Taiwanese noodles, a dish that’s lately had a surge in popularity even in Tokyo. Vegetables like garlic and Chinese chives, as well as toppings like fish meal, dried seaweed, and egg yolk, are added to spicy Taiwanese mince and combined with house-made noodles rich with the taste of flour. With big portions and a rather rich flavor, people might be divided on their preferences, but there’s no mistake that if you dig it, you’ll be hooked. To conclude the meal, it’s a good idea to put in the small portion of rice provided free and really savor to the last the mince and vegetables. For a milder flavor, we recommend their other signature dish, a poultry white stock ramen.
The selling point of this ramen, with a flavor unlike any other, is an extra-rich stock made from a long simmering of chicken and pork bone. There isn’t any unpleasant smell at all, and you can’t help but admire that they’ve managed to come this far making a flavor that doesn’t depend on seafood. In truth, the shop doesn’t have set hours, so in all honesty it makes it a bit hard to recommend, not knowing when it’ll be open. However, the flavor here really is fabulous. It’s unfortunate that this ramen can be rarely enjoyed, but perhaps precisely because of that it has become this popular.
Hours：By appointment only
Here’s the place if you find yourself craving Kyoto’s royal pedigree of pork bone seafood tsukemen (broth poured over noodles). The combination of extra-fat noodles in a rich and heavy animal seafood broth is really a standard among standards, but the level of perfection here is superb. Specifically, the thick and chewy extra-fat noodles have a rich flavor along with a delicate sweetness, too, so just with that you can probably eat a lot. Also, at this shop, don’t forget to ask for supu-wari (extra broth with the soup) at the end. They’ve a broth using kelp and dried sardines made just for supu-wari, and you’re sure to be surprised at the deliciousness, enjoying to the last its change in flavours as you drink your bowl dry.
Japanese notation：つけめん 恵那く
Hours：Mon. 11:30～14:30 / Wed.〜Fri. 11:30～14:30 18:00～20:30 / Sat. Sun. 11:30～15:30 18:00～20:30
Holiday：Tue. 3rd Wed.
In Kyoto, with many shops of the rich school, this is one of the few famed restaurants enjoying a good reputation while serving ramen with a light flavor. With a soup that creates an elegance in well-executed rich Japanese-style dashi (fish broth), this is surely the closest to the image that many people carry of Kyoto’s culinary culture. After taking just one bite of this ramen, made carefully bowl by bowl, you’ll forget any weariness from the line-up and be blown over by a sudden bliss.