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Looking for best udon and ramen in NYC

I just got back from my first trip to Japan, where I also had my first intros to udon and ramen. Believe it or not, while I've always eaten Japanese cuisine in NYC, I'd never had udon or ramen until recently.

The best udon I had in Japan had vegetables, fishcakes and mochi. I want to find udon "just like that" in NYC if I can.

For ramen, I liked it with the thin slices of pork...

Any recommendations?


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  1. While I've never been to Japan, I usually go to Sapporo for Ramen.

    152 W 49th St
    Btwn 6th & 7th Ave

    1 Reply
    1. re: fooodie

      I second, very, very good ramen. Great gyoza, yakisoba, and sukiyaki, too!

    2. My favorite is Men Kui tei
      its a hole in the wall place but very good esp on chilly day-not fancy!!!

      for fancy place i really love the ramen at Gyu Kaku-2 locations one in Cooper Sq the othe on E 50th. Love the Cooper Sq location/atmospher better. Its a huge Korean/Japanese restaurant that has ramen as part of thier big deeeeeeeeelish menu. Lots of beef dishes to cook at table and a real fun spot w a group.

      1. Setagaya has been considered quite good for Ramen. For udon try sobaya.

        2 Replies
        1. re: banjolinana

          Minca is also a good ramen place, and I second Soba Ya (although the wait can be pretty lengthy depending on when you go). I had nabe yaki udon last time I went. Also, for a dish in the same ballpark, Suibi on East 53rd serves Okinawa soba. Nice, hot broth with great noodles and sensational three layered or spare rib pork.

          1. re: JSHAFT78

            As an FYI- "Okinawa soba" is actually not really "soba", as in buckwheat noodles, but closer to udon wheat noodles. They are doughy and slightly kinky. Kind of a cross between udon and ramen.

        2. Soba Nippon on 52nd by 6th Ave has really great soba salads (its the only thing I've eaten there, but they are addictive). Also, Donguri on 83rd is pretty great for an all around Japanese experience. Their noodles are yummy too.

          1. i've had ramen in japan and ever since [10 years ago] have been trying to find it here. i'd say the closest i've come to it is actually in edgewater, nj - at mitsuwa marketplace, at one of the eateries inside the food court, they have salt ramen with pork, it's a special with a big bowl of noodles in delicious pork broth with a separate plate of buttery sliced pork and other sides. they just added it to the menu recently and i get it every time!!!!! definitely worth the trip.

            before that i would go to menchanko-tei in midtown east but really nothing else compares. also for udon, i'd still go to mitsuwa. i've never seen the kind you had with mochi.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ciaobabie

              I think you might have to go to mitsuwa as well. If anything just to get the ingredients and make it yourself. It would be easy....I think the mochi you are thinking of is the traditional rice cake eaten on New years. If you go to any Japanese supermarket now, you should be able to find it. Also the fish cake etc will be available. I have been looking for this Ramen in NYC too, and have yet to find. There is a new ramen shop called Naruto that at least has the fishcake and pork down. It's on 3rd ave and 89th st.

            2. As a Japanese and with a mom who used to make the real thing, I can attest that Sapporo is good. In addition, Rai Rai Ken down on 10th Street near St. Mark's is a definite. It is absolutely tiny but worth it.

              I just went to Soba Totto (just opened and is apparently the same folks who own Yakitori Totto) near Grand Central Terminal and I wasn't a big fan of their soba. I have heard that the former soba chef from Honmura An is now at 15 East. Haven't tried but am hoping to.

              And apparently, there is another ramen shop opening right next to Setagaya. This new place is part of a Japanese chain (like Setagaya) and their specialty is the pork broth. Setagaya serves up shio (salt) broth and Sapporo is known for their miso broth while Rai Rai Ken does pork broth.

              Have actually never heard of udon with mochi (basically carbs on top of carbs) so must've been a seaonal/New Year's or regional thing. Not sure if you'll have much success finding it. You can always get the ingredients yourself at Sunrise Mart (also near St. Mark's) and make it. Have fun.

              1. i like the udon place that opened (replacing the japas on st. marks) almost a year ago. the noodles are so chewy, it's so fresh.
                LOVE sapporo.
                also love menchenko's tsuke men. to die for.

                1. I wonder if I'm one of the only folks who was disappointed by Rai Rai Ken? Maybe its that they didnt serve Hakata style Ramen, which seems pretty hard to find. Even at Menkuitei, they had tonkatsu ramen which seemed similar, but not as good as the version I used to get at this short-lived ramen franchise that was on 6th ave in the ville and 72nd st on the upper west side. It closed down.
                  Is there any good Hakata ramen in the downtown area?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: missinfo

                    Are you talking about Dosanko that used to be on the upper west side like in the 80s? I remember that one and used to go frequently.

                    1. re: missinfo

                      Not sure about downtown... But midtown, you can try Menchanko Tei's Hakata. During lunch, they have the combo set - hakata or the other soybased ramen with a rice bowl. Very good!


                    2. i just had some lovely pork ramen at tatany72 on third avenue