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Jan 1, 2011 11:56 PM


Where is the best place to eat ramen and udon in Seattle?

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  1. aloha ramen on greenwood and 81st or so has excellent hawaiian style ramen, highly recommended. at least as good as the much touted hamura's saimin on kauai that i've been to several times (and is also excellent, just for comparison.) nb aloha is only open for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ericlutzker

      i went to aloha ramen for the first time a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised. the shoyu ramen was the clear, lighter broth instead of the thick fatty broths that are so popular now. the second visit was also just as satisfactory. my only complaint is the noodles are too soft for my taste. i read somewhere to ask for the noodles to be cooked al dente, did so, and they were still soft. the noodles are not a deal breaker for me but the broth would be if that were the case, and aloha delivered for me.

    2. Every says Samurai for ramen, which is bo doubt very good and might be the right call.
      But I just found Yoe's noodles near Crossroads, which I think does it even better. Might be worth checking out.

      3 Replies
      1. re: GreenYoshi

        How is Yoe's? I walked in a few weeks ago and walked out because I didn't want to wait. It looked suspiciously like those Hong Kong cafe-type places that just uses instant ramen (albeit more expensive brands) and adds a bunch of colorful meats and veggies. Was anyone actually making noodles in the back?

        1. re: HungWeiLo

          Don't know if they're house-made or not, but they were good.

        2. re: GreenYoshi

          You know, actually I have been to Yoe's. It is run by Chinese people, so it's not exactly Japanese ramen. It is pretty good, but if you look at their specials board, they'll sometime have some hidden Chinese gems. I got some duck kidney skewers that were just like the meat on a stick I found in China. Not the greatest ramen ever, but still pretty decent.

        3. Tsukushinbo in ID has the best ramen ... only on Friday's at lunch. But better get there by 10:45 as they sell out EVERY Friday.

          Fu Lin's tonkotsu ramen is a close second.

          Samurai Ramen has gone south.

          515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

          Fu Lin
          512 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

          5 Replies
          1. re: Dalilahshair

            Agree Fu Lin -- this place is kind of under the radar, but has not only decent ramen, but also very good Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

            I'm historically a fan of Samurai, but will agree, has become uneven...I hope they get it cleared up, as they will soon be opening a CapHill branch.

            I have had good ramen at Kaname, an izakaya-ish place on Jackson in the ID.

            I've been less impressed by the ramen at Boom & Kushibar, though Boom has improved a bunch since they first opened and have moved from blech to passable.

            Fu Lin
            512 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

            1. re: pusherman

              I too have noticed that Boom Noodle has been getting better and better. My first experience there was so bad I did not plan to ever eat there again but because a friend had purchased a Groupon deal and took me I had a chance to taste a marked improvement. I've been back again and it seemed to have again been improved.

              Boom Noodle
              1121 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

              1. re: pusherman

                i liked the miso ramen at boom in bellevue. i did not care for the boom in seattle.

              2. re: Dalilahshair

                Samurai ramen is absolutely terrible. I've found the best ramen lies about 2 hours north of Seattle in Vancouver at Kintaro (there are a few other places nearby that are nearly as good as well) other than that I haven't found any Ramen in the PNW thats even close to acceptable quality. Though i haven't been to Tsukushinbo in the ID on fridays but will have to give it a try.

                515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

                1. re: Psiweaver

                  i was pleasantly surprised by samurai on capitol hill. 7 years prior, i ate at samurai in the ID and i did not care for it at all.

              3. I thought I'd bump this post up due to recent activity in the ramen arena over the past 2 years. Now open are Kukai in Bellevue and 4649 in Wallingford, which has ramen for lunch service. Here is a recent round-up article on available ramen.


                I had read someone that 1 or 2 additional Japan-based chains are planning to open in the area soon.

                Re: udon, the U:Don joint in the U-District serves house-made noodles and seems to be favorably reviewied.

                2 Replies
                1. re: equinoise

                  I will say that the clams in shiso butter I had at 4649 are the best clams I have ever had in my life.

                  1. re: equinoise

                    Visiting from OC and had the tonkotsu shoyu ramen on a super windy day last week (enough to cause power outages in the area), so it was a great day for ramen. We also had the takoyaki (delish), chicken wings (a bit on the sweet side), geso karaage (delish), and onigiri (solid).

                    Will have to revisit to try yuzu shio ramen which sounds utterly interesting.

                  2. I have been told by someone I regard as a Japanese food expert (she teaches Japanese cooking, has a Japanese food blog, etc) that the ramen at 4649 (aka Yoroshiku) in Wallingford is absolutely the best in this area, no contest. Full portions only available at lunch. Half portions available at dinner, but they sell out fast. I haven't yet had the opportunity to try it. Best udon is :U:Don on the Ave--they make their own fresh noodles in house--big fat chewy ones. Many different variations of udon available--hot, cold, in soup, in sauce, in curry,with egg, with fried tofu, with grated daikon, etc., with lots of sides available. For the best tempura udon with noodles that are not homemade, Tsukushinbo.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: PAO

                      i will backup 100% all the recommendations Pao has made. I went last friday to 4649 and I only wanted more after a half portion. They also serve a miso ramen during lunch as well.

                      1. re: shaolinLFE

                        I went to 4649 today at lunch and got the Sapporo miso ramen with extra cha su, soft-boiled egg and mushrooms. Excellent broth, good noodles. I am hardly an expert in ramen, and I couldn't say whether the noodles were housmade, but I greatly enjoyed this. The price was basically comparable to Samurai Noodle (although the styles available there are different). Also, my co-worker, who used to live in Japan, had the spicy miso and thought it was the best he has found in SEA. I would definitely return.

                        1. re: equinoise

                          I also tried out 4649 last Friday after all the laudatory comments. I have to agree! Even though I'm usually more of a tonkotsu ramen person, the spicy miso ramen was excellent. I loved how the (optional) soft-boiled egg was perfectly cooked. Only slight issue is I prefer my noodles a bit firmer; next time I'll see if they can adjust that for me.

                          I'd rate this above both Kukai and Samurai Ramen right now.

                          1. re: DiggyK

                            I tried Kukai this weekend. Both the menu as a whole and ramen styles are very different from 4649, which specializes in shio and miso flavored ramen. Kukai also has a larger number of small plate/izakaya items, which included the gyoza and fried chicken wings I tried, both very good. The agedashi tofu was excellent. I had the shoyu ramen which was quite light in consistency; this came with bamboo shoot, scallions, one slice cha su and nori, to which I added egg and mushrooms. The pork was less tender than Samurai or 4649 IIRC(perhaps owing to reported char-grilling?)

                            As far as presentation, noodles and overall appeal, I would say it clearly exceeded Samurai. It is difficult to compare with others such as 4649 or highly regarded Ippudo in NYC because of divergent style samples.

                            The place was very crowded and service was slow as a result, but otherwise was competent. They were "out" of the yuzu-flavored broth and also larger format beers which seemed odd, but others have commented on previously:

                            Price was very comparable with 4649, and I would defintitely return to Kukai over 4649 if geographic location was equidistant or at dinner due to 4649's limited menu.

                            1. re: equinoise

                              We went this weekend too. I thought it was solid. Borderline worth driving from W Sea in the future. Actually, I take that back... the eggs are wroth driving for. They were incredible. I had the tonkatsu and the wife had the shoyu. Mine was pretty tasty and very filling. The shoyu was lighter and decent. We both thought the noodles were great. The char sui was odd as it's cut thin and appears to be grilled or something before hitting the bowl. Not really tender. We also had the gyoza and takoyaki. Both were fine. Not much tako in the takoyaki... like very little. Did I mention the eggs!?

                              1. re: tykapfh

                                I saw this rail-thin young woman order an extra 3 of those soft-boiled eggs with her bowl of noodles, then scarfed them down one by one.

                       be young and have a Stomach of Steel (tm) again...

                              2. re: equinoise

                                i prefer 4649 over kukai. i see no reason to return to tanaka san for their ramen.
                                the miso ramen at 4649 was one of the better miso ramens i have had here. kukai's shoyu ramen has an odd sweetness that i did not care for. tanaka san's shoyu ramen reminded me of Biwa's broth. way too strong meaty and porky.
                                all noodles were good at all three locations. you get a choice of straight, curly and wheat(?) noodles at tanaka san.
                                inspite of everything, the capitol hill samurai noodle's shoyu ramen is one of my currrent favorites.

                        2. re: PAO

                          Just to update this thread a bit, we've eaten at 4649 Yoroshiku in Wallingford several times (it's fortunately near our place up here), and I have found it to be excellent each time. The quality of their food is why this is one of the few Japanese places I like up here in Seattle (we lived in Japan for a couple of years, so I may be too picky now). We had several dishes the other night (spicy miso ramen, daikon salad, tonkatsu (pork cutlet)) and all were uniformly high quality, plus very friendly service. And I find it reasonably priced for both quality and portion size.