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A bowl of tonkotsu ramen with a seasoned egg, scallions and char siu.
Creamy, dreamy tonkotsu awaits at Ramen Tatsu-Ya
Ramen Tatsu-Ya/Facebook

15 Essential Houston Ramen Spots

Where to slurp Clutch City's best noodles

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Creamy, dreamy tonkotsu awaits at Ramen Tatsu-Ya
| Ramen Tatsu-Ya/Facebook

Even though Houstonians are obsessed with pho, ramen has a major foothold in Space City. Whether it’s the creamy broth, springy noodles, or endlessly-creative takes on this classic Japanese dish, Houston boasts many excellent bowls of noodles and broth.

In search of a classic bowl of tonkotsu, vegan and vegetarian options, or something a little more innovative? Houston's ramen scene has it, and with all the offerings, it’s hard to choose just one. We’ve updated the list, removing Nippon and the now-closed Cafe Kubo’s Sushi. But we’ve added Ninja Ramen, Tamashi, Naka Ramen, Toukei, and Rakkan Ramen — because the world needs more ramen, not less.

Here are 15 Houston ramen destinations that serve up some of the city's best bowls.

Is your favorite ramen haunt missing from this map? Don't be afraid to shout it out in the comments or drop your friendly Eater Houston staff a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Rakkan Ramen

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This Heights spot prides itself on its Dashi broth, a vegetable-based stock bursting with umami flavor. Among the offerings, the Amber ramen incorporates a soy sauce, while the Pearl uses a salt sauce complete with all the beloved toppings. Looking for a vegan option? Opt for shitake mushrooms stead pork, and tofu for the boiled egg.

Samurai Noodle

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Straight out of Seattle, Samurai Noodle offers a miso-based vegan option for those who eschew meat. Classic tonkotsu and shoyu broths poured over consistently good noodles and garnished with fresh toppings are equally solid. Definitely try the tsukemen, or ramen with broth served on the side.

A bowl of ramen, with wavy noodles and a red sauce drizzled on top. Samurai Noodle/Facebook

Soma Sushi

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Ramen gets a Texas twist at Soma Sushi, where a tonkotsu base is topped with barbecue pork belly, corn, shiitake, and more. Miso ramen is also on the menu, spiked with habanero and chili powder.

A bowl of ramen with a seasoned boiled egg, fish cakes, and springy noodles. Soma Sushi/Facebook

Ninja Ramen

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This late-night Japanese whiskey bar specializes in an Asahikawa-style ramen recipe that, according to its website, has been guarded for “2 million years” and has been made only more flavorful by its “free-range” noodles and eggs that have been serenaded, and delivered by mermaids. Their jokes aside, this spot keeps it simple and flavorful — offering two versions of no-broth ramen, and one with their traditional yet complex broth.

Izakaya

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The ramen options at this Midtown restaurant are abundant, ranging from a Mexican “menudo-style” noodle soup to traditional tonkotsu and vegetarian broth. Consider the inventive mazemen, served with garlic veloute and brandy-cured foie gras for a decidedly modern riff on the classic noodle bowl.

Ramen Bar Ichi

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For about $12, noodle enthusiasts can score a bowl of creamy tonkotsu or vegetarian ramen garnished with mushrooms, bamboo, char siu, and more at Ramen Bar Ichi. Looking for more green? Order for the ramen salad, with spinach noodles, a seasoned egg, shredded chili, and a sweet ponzu sauce with your choice of meat.

Tonkatsu ramen bowl with seaweed. Ramen Bar Ichi/Facebook

Ramen Tatsu-ya

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This Austin export has staked its place as one of the city's best ramen restaurants. Miso, tonkotsu, and more inventive broths are on offer, all of which can be amped up with a ton of toppings (like marinated bamboo, Parmesan, and mushrooms). Outside of the noodles, don't skip the Yodas, sweet and sour brussels sprouts tossed in apricot vinegar and curry spice.

Ellie Sharp/EHOU

Jinya Ramen Bar

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This California-based ramen chain is currently staking a bigger presence in Houston, but for now head to Midtown for a bowl of ridiculously creamy tonkotsu broth and springy, fresh noodles. Vegetarians can also chow down here on a veggie bowl packed with cauliflower, mushrooms, and asparagus.

A hot bowl of ramen topped with scallions and a paste. Jinya Ramen/Facebook

Teppay Japanese Restaurant

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For a quality bowl of noodles in an unassuming space, head to Teppay. The broth is creamy and full of flavor, and the noodles have a perfect springy texture.

the dining area of Teppay Japanese.

Ramen Jin

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Not to be confused with Jinya Ramen, Ramen Jin on Westheimer serves four different ramen broths (tonkotsu, shoyu, miso, and a vegetarian soy broth) along with a "dry" sesame ramen that's definitely worth a try. Be sure to save enough room to feast on a mochi platter (with six flavors) when all the noodles are gone.

Ramen Jin/Facebook

Kata Robata

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A Houston favorite for sushi, Kata Robata's ramen offerings should also be on your culinary bucket list. Go for the spicy soy broth, which makes for a perfect addition to a light sashimi course.

Kata Robata’s vibrant dining area. Kata Robata

Unwind and indulge at Toukei with Japanese whiskeys flights, sake, and top-notch ramen classics. Or, step outside of the norm with flavorful ramen concoctions like the truffle shoyu ramen and the spicy black ramen made with black garlic oil and a house chili bomb.

Tamashi

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At Tamashi, the ramen bowls are a work of art that beg diners to eat with their eyes first. A shrimp skewer calls from the bowl of the Tamashi’s Menn ramen, which is made with a shrimp broth, and the Curry Tsukemen — a coconut milk-based broth flavored with nine different herbs and spices — is topped with feathered-out fried crab sticks, char siu, cabbage, and a soft-boiled egg with noodles for dipping on the side. They also have the ramen classics, served at warm levels with varying levels of spice.

Tiger Den

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Tiger Den is an obvious choice for reliably good ramen from one of Asiatown’s most prolific restaurateurs. Shoyu, tonkotsu, and miso broths are on offer, in addition to a tantan sesame broth. Stick with the classic tonkotsu — it's nice and creamy and generously topped with tender pork.

the bustling dining room of Tiger Den. Tiger Den/Facebook

NAKA Ramen

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Try this new Missouri City’s ramen shop, which offers staples like bowls of tonkatsu, shoyu, and miso ramen. Spice it up with the Naka ramen with a pork bone kelp broth, or go meat-free with the vegan soy ramen with lotus root, wood ear, and bamboo root.

Rakkan Ramen

This Heights spot prides itself on its Dashi broth, a vegetable-based stock bursting with umami flavor. Among the offerings, the Amber ramen incorporates a soy sauce, while the Pearl uses a salt sauce complete with all the beloved toppings. Looking for a vegan option? Opt for shitake mushrooms stead pork, and tofu for the boiled egg.

Samurai Noodle

A bowl of ramen, with wavy noodles and a red sauce drizzled on top. Samurai Noodle/Facebook

Straight out of Seattle, Samurai Noodle offers a miso-based vegan option for those who eschew meat. Classic tonkotsu and shoyu broths poured over consistently good noodles and garnished with fresh toppings are equally solid. Definitely try the tsukemen, or ramen with broth served on the side.

A bowl of ramen, with wavy noodles and a red sauce drizzled on top. Samurai Noodle/Facebook

Soma Sushi

A bowl of ramen with a seasoned boiled egg, fish cakes, and springy noodles. Soma Sushi/Facebook

Ramen gets a Texas twist at Soma Sushi, where a tonkotsu base is topped with barbecue pork belly, corn, shiitake, and more. Miso ramen is also on the menu, spiked with habanero and chili powder.

A bowl of ramen with a seasoned boiled egg, fish cakes, and springy noodles. Soma Sushi/Facebook

Ninja Ramen

This late-night Japanese whiskey bar specializes in an Asahikawa-style ramen recipe that, according to its website, has been guarded for “2 million years” and has been made only more flavorful by its “free-range” noodles and eggs that have been serenaded, and delivered by mermaids. Their jokes aside, this spot keeps it simple and flavorful — offering two versions of no-broth ramen, and one with their traditional yet complex broth.

Izakaya

The ramen options at this Midtown restaurant are abundant, ranging from a Mexican “menudo-style” noodle soup to traditional tonkotsu and vegetarian broth. Consider the inventive mazemen, served with garlic veloute and brandy-cured foie gras for a decidedly modern riff on the classic noodle bowl.

Ramen Bar Ichi

Tonkatsu ramen bowl with seaweed. Ramen Bar Ichi/Facebook

For about $12, noodle enthusiasts can score a bowl of creamy tonkotsu or vegetarian ramen garnished with mushrooms, bamboo, char siu, and more at Ramen Bar Ichi. Looking for more green? Order for the ramen salad, with spinach noodles, a seasoned egg, shredded chili, and a sweet ponzu sauce with your choice of meat.

Tonkatsu ramen bowl with seaweed. Ramen Bar Ichi/Facebook

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Ellie Sharp/EHOU

This Austin export has staked its place as one of the city's best ramen restaurants. Miso, tonkotsu, and more inventive broths are on offer, all of which can be amped up with a ton of toppings (like marinated bamboo, Parmesan, and mushrooms). Outside of the noodles, don't skip the Yodas, sweet and sour brussels sprouts tossed in apricot vinegar and curry spice.

Ellie Sharp/EHOU

Jinya Ramen Bar

A hot bowl of ramen topped with scallions and a paste. Jinya Ramen/Facebook

This California-based ramen chain is currently staking a bigger presence in Houston, but for now head to Midtown for a bowl of ridiculously creamy tonkotsu broth and springy, fresh noodles. Vegetarians can also chow down here on a veggie bowl packed with cauliflower, mushrooms, and asparagus.

A hot bowl of ramen topped with scallions and a paste. Jinya Ramen/Facebook

Teppay Japanese Restaurant

the dining area of Teppay Japanese.

For a quality bowl of noodles in an unassuming space, head to Teppay. The broth is creamy and full of flavor, and the noodles have a perfect springy texture.

the dining area of Teppay Japanese.

Ramen Jin

Ramen Jin/Facebook

Not to be confused with Jinya Ramen, Ramen Jin on Westheimer serves four different ramen broths (tonkotsu, shoyu, miso, and a vegetarian soy broth) along with a "dry" sesame ramen that's definitely worth a try. Be sure to save enough room to feast on a mochi platter (with six flavors) when all the noodles are gone.

Ramen Jin/Facebook

Kata Robata

Kata Robata’s vibrant dining area. Kata Robata

A Houston favorite for sushi, Kata Robata's ramen offerings should also be on your culinary bucket list. Go for the spicy soy broth, which makes for a perfect addition to a light sashimi course.

Kata Robata’s vibrant dining area. Kata Robata

Toukei

Unwind and indulge at Toukei with Japanese whiskeys flights, sake, and top-notch ramen classics. Or, step outside of the norm with flavorful ramen concoctions like the truffle shoyu ramen and the spicy black ramen made with black garlic oil and a house chili bomb.

Tamashi

At Tamashi, the ramen bowls are a work of art that beg diners to eat with their eyes first. A shrimp skewer calls from the bowl of the Tamashi’s Menn ramen, which is made with a shrimp broth, and the Curry Tsukemen — a coconut milk-based broth flavored with nine different herbs and spices — is topped with feathered-out fried crab sticks, char siu, cabbage, and a soft-boiled egg with noodles for dipping on the side. They also have the ramen classics, served at warm levels with varying levels of spice.

Tiger Den

the bustling dining room of Tiger Den. Tiger Den/Facebook

Tiger Den is an obvious choice for reliably good ramen from one of Asiatown’s most prolific restaurateurs. Shoyu, tonkotsu, and miso broths are on offer, in addition to a tantan sesame broth. Stick with the classic tonkotsu — it's nice and creamy and generously topped with tender pork.

the bustling dining room of Tiger Den. Tiger Den/Facebook

NAKA Ramen

Try this new Missouri City’s ramen shop, which offers staples like bowls of tonkatsu, shoyu, and miso ramen. Spice it up with the Naka ramen with a pork bone kelp broth, or go meat-free with the vegan soy ramen with lotus root, wood ear, and bamboo root.

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