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A Massive Japanese Noodle Chain Sets Its Sights on Houston

Marugame Udon has at least two Houston-area locations in the works

A bowl of udon in broth, garnished with a tempura shrimp Marugame Udon/Facebook
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Marugame Udon, a massive Japan-based chain known for its chewy, springy noodles, has set its sights on Houston.

An offshoot of the Japanese original that started in Tokyo in 2000, Marugame Udon USA is planning a massive expansion over the next five years, and Houston is on the list. Company president Mark Brezinski tells Eater that the chain is currently looking at two sites in the Houston area — one in Katy, another near the Galleria — though no leases have been finalized just yet.

As its name might indicate, Marugame Udon specializes in the classic Japanese wheat-flour noodle that’s thicker and less curly than ramen. At its other U.S. locations, Marugame serves its freshly made udon in tonkotsu and dashi broths and curry sauces, or as with the kama-age udon, alongside a hot and spicy sauce. Crispy fried tempura and skewers charred on a robata grill will also be on the menu, along with katsu sandwiches (or “sandos”) served on Japanese milk bread.

No timeline has been announced for Marugame Udon’s Houston debut. Stay tuned for more details on its arrival.