For the tastiest ramen in Kawagoe, it has to be Yoshikawa (寿製麺 よしかわ 川越店). Their chicken ramen is out of this world.
King of Kawagoe Ramen
Yoshikawa has a few shops in Saitama (prefecture above Tokyo) and one in Tokyo. But their Kawagoe, Saitama branch might be the most famous.
The fittingly named “Kawagoe Ramen” is only available in Kawagoe. They use a local soy sauce to hold up a beautifully flavored chicken and duck soup. The chicken makes it sticky rich and the duck adds some wildness.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the niboshi ramen. In it, a softer white soy sauce (shiro shoyu) politely clears the way for 4 types of niboshi (dried fish). This is my go-to bowl here and at their other branches.
Niboshi generally lends a sharp, bitter flavor to any ramen soup. But the bitterness in this bowl is quite restrained. Yoshikawa presents the niboshi is a gentle, more refined manner. Excellent.
Toppings and Noodles
This excellence is carried over to the toppings and noodles. Whether the paper thin, silky slices of pork or the succulent pieces of chicken breast, the meats will blow you away.
The niboshi ramen has refreshing mizuna while in the chicken ramen, it’s a hill of green negi (spring onions). They use bottom half bamboo shoots in the chicken ramen and top half bamboo shoots in the niboshi ramen.
The noodles are first-class, chewy from start to finish. In addition, they’re blended with some whole grain wheat.
All in all, for ramen in Kawagoe, Yoshikawa should be at the top of your list.
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 2:30 pm / 5 pm ~ 8:30 pm (11 am ~ 8:30 pm on Sat, closed on Sun)