These 3 Kyoto ramen shops have much history! Since as early as 1938, they’ve been serving loyal Kyoto customers delicious shoyu (soy sauce) ramen.
1. Shinpuku Saikan (新福菜館 本店)
Shinpuku Saikan was there before them all. 1938, to be precise. Their trademark dark shoyu ramen is boldly salty and even a bit bitter. It grabs your attention immediately and doesn’t let go.
The bowl’s relatively thick noodles are a treat and really soak up that broth. If you get all toppings, enjoy thick slices of chashu pork and a wonderful addition of raw egg.
For reference, there’s an area in Japan where raw eggs are the signature ramen topping!
2. Honke Daiichi Asahi (本家第一旭)
This ramen shop is right next to Shinpuku Saikan. Can you believe it? It must be a cordial relationship, as Honke Daiichi Asahi has been there since 1953.
They serve another perfect example of classic Kyoto ramen. The bold, dark soy sauce flavor is there. But the broth overall is somewhat richer than that of their next door neighbor.
Their noodles are also slightly firmer, thinner and rounder. In terms of similarities though, they also give you a mountain of Kyoto negi (special spring onions).
3. Masutani ()
Rounding out the list is Masutani. They’ve been delighting Kyoto locals since 1947 with their even fattier ramen. They get this by employing a generous layer of seabura (pork back fat).
It’s rumored that this seabura idea was suggested by a Kyoto University professor. The idea literally stuck and this seabura makes for an oilier but still deliciously pleasant broth.
Of the 3 Kyoto ramen shops, Masutani might feel the most local. It’s like time has stopped in there.
In summary, all 3 ramen shops incredibly showcase classic Kyoto style ramen.