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Ippudo Ramen back-up plan?

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Im trying to get some delicious ramen at Ippudo but we cant be there right when they open at five (but will try to be there by/before 530). Will be on a time-sensitive schedule and cant afford an hour plus wait (this time) nor do we want to walk a million blocks for an alternative ramen option (ended up at setagaya when the wait at ippudo was 2+ hrs the last time, but thats a bit far for this mission).

Is there a chance we wont have an epic wait if we arrive by 530/545? Alternately, is there another good option for dinner within a few blocks (not neccessarily ramen but something hearty and appropriate for fending off winter weather).

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  1. Which Setagaya did you go to? There's a branch on St Marks Place, between 2nd and 3rd. It's about a 5 minute walk away.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      We must have gone to the one further east - is there another good option other than the (closer) setagaya?

      1. re: tex.s.toast

        There's also a Ramen Setagaya on University, which is a 5 minute walk in the other direction. Some people have mentioned Menkui Tei (sp?) as a passable ramen place, though I personally have not been there.

    2. you know, ippudo takes reservations in person...i do it all the time. reservations the day of...

      2 Replies
      1. re: sam1

        im sadly not close enough to do this, but its good to know if i can swing by in the future, thought.

        1. re: tex.s.toast

          Not Ramen, but Apiery is around the corner on 3rd Ave bet 10th & 11th and a solid backup plan.

          www.immaculateinfatuation.com

      2. soba ya on 9th - not ramen but great soba and udon

        menkui tai is decent ramen not too far from ippudo

        zen on st marks is kinda a hole in the wall but i like their garlic ramen

        1. Terakawa ramen on Lex between 22nd and 23rd. Not too far from Ippudo, also does tonkotsu ramen, and no line. Not as good as Ippudo either, but still better than most NY ramen options. Also, they make their noodles very 'katame' (al dente), but if you like it softer I'm sure you can ask for them to cook a little longer.

          1. Well we got there at 530 and despite the fact that there were people milling about in the bar area were seated promptly. I can totally understand why people wait for that tonkatsu ramen, as the guy next to me said "if it were appropriate id totally lick the bowl". we both thought the lettuce in the pork buns was a bit odd, if delicious (a reference to fast food sandwiches didnt deminish the tastiness). the broth, as everyone says, was fantastic, i thought the pork (both cha siu and belly) was just about perfect and those perfectly cooked soft seasoned eggs, i could have eaten a dozen.

            one seating note - it was busy the whole time we were there but in our 45 minute-1 hour stay no one was seated at the large booths against the wall opposite the kitchen. are these the tables that can be reserved in person same-day? im not talking about what appeared to be the communal table all the way in the back which was quite full but the three square u-shaped booths separated by the glass walls.