Here are 5 amazing places for AOMORI RAMEN. These are all in Aomori City – from miso curry milk ramen to the local favorite, (fish) niboshi ramen!
Aomori City is Aomori prefecture’s largest and most important city. It’s at the Northern tip of Honshu, Japan’s biggest island. While this distant area is most famous for high-quality apples and the colorful Nebuta festival, they take their ramen very seriously too!
1. Top Ranked Aomori Ramen – Hirakoya
Hirakoya (中華そば ひらこ屋) is probably the most well-known ramen shop in ALL OF Aomori. They specialize in the local favorite…niboshi (dried sardine) ramen. Choose from a lighter or heavier (pictured) ramen style.
In the heavier ramen, they mix in pork bones with the niboshi fish, allowing for a richer flavor. But the soup is still gentle tasting, powered by various shoyu (soy sauce) and a delicately crafted niboshi oil.
Furthermore, they don’t scrimp on quality for the toppings or noodles either. They make their thick, udon-like noodles in-house.
2. Spicy and Syrupy Ramen – Asari
Asari (あさ利) is a hidden gem of a ramen shop. It’s the kind that only locals know about. Pictured is their “negi ramen”, negi being spring onions. The huge chunks of wok-fried negi contributing sweetness to an already sweet and syrupy broth.
Also note that the broth can get spicy! We’re talking Thailand level spicy. Choose your spice level – “half level” is pictured and it’s one level right below the spiciest. They don’t mess around. You will be sweating.
The chashu pork are peppery and with their long shape are like logs added to an already brightly burning fire. This is an amazing bowl – just make sure you’re prepared for the heat!
3. Curry Miso MILK Ramen – Aji no Sapporo Onishi
You read that correctly. This unusual ramen concoction was the brainchild of a ramen chef from Sapporo and local Aomori high school students. It’s like eating a milder and milkier curry ramen with a little bit of miso flavor.
Just like in Sapporo miso ramen, you’ve got thick and wavy yellow noodles, stir-fried bean sprouts, wakame seaweed, menma (bamboo shoots), chashu pork, and a big slab of butter.
In short, this bowl at Aji no Sapporo Onishi (味の札幌 大西) is hearty and a lot a fun to slurp!
4. Habanero Niboshi Ramen – Tsuji
Here’s another spicy bowl! Ramen shop Tsuji (つじ製麺所) is best known for their niboshi (dried sardine) ramen, like entry no. 1 Hirakoya. But with this particular niboshi ramen, they’ve added habanero peppers!
It surprisingly works well, with that bitter niboshi flavor still being strong enough to go toe-to-toe with the hanabero. Choose your spice level from 1 to 3 (3 being the spiciest, as pictured).
Tsuji makes their own noodles too. High-quality, they’re relatively thick and somewhat soft.
5. Historical Ramen – Kudo
The ramen at Kudo (くどうラーメン) is as classic as it gets, going back to 1948! It features a clear soup that’s powered by a salty and slightly sweet shoyu (soy sauce). Of course there’s niboshi (dried flying fish) as well, sourced from nearby Tairadate.
However, the soup is also chicken bones, from the local Shamrock breed of chicken. The classic toppings include menma (bamboo shoots), negi (spring onions) and chashu pork. The pork are the on the drier, tougher side – just like you’d see back in the day.
This ramen is a piece of Aomori history.
Video reviewing the same shops:
BONUS: Legendary Niboshi Ramen – Takahashi
Ramen shop Takahashi (たかはし中華そば店) is in Hirosaki (not Aomori City), Aomori’s third largest city. It has the respect of ramen shops across Aomori and Japan. A niboshi (dried sardine) ramen trailblazer, they’ve been around since 1982.
In their “chukasoba”, the niboshi steals the show. But it’s backed up by a shoyu (soy sauce) seasoning and a fairly rich pork bone soup. While the niboshi fish flavor is gritty and intense, it still tastes deliciously clean. It has classic toppings and thicker, somewhat soft noodles.
This is an awesome bowl that represents Aomori ramen like no other.