Tokyo Miso Ramen – consider this is your ULTIMATE list, the best 10 shops in all of Tokyo! From spicy to refined miso ramen, let’s dive in!
As per usual, I’m excluding any ramen shop featured on a Tokyo Ramen Tour.
1. Santora (三ん寅)
We’re starting strong – Santora might be my favorite Tokyo miso ramen shop. They do a mean bowl of Sumire style miso ramen, a style you’ll be seeing a lot here. But Santora’s ramen is arguably even more refined than Sumire’s.
On top of a white miso base, they prepare a complex soup that is pork bones, kelp, katakuchi niboshi (high-grade dried sardines), mackerel flakes, and shiitake mushrooms. All these ingredients make for an insanely delicious bowl.
2. Ren (らーめん蓮)
Ren in South Tokyo (Kamata) does miso ramen and miso tsukemen (dipping ramen). Between the two, I’m a sucker for the latter. Miso tsukemen is already hard to come by….Ren’s version is unforgettable.
The soup is super thick and rich – a beautiful blend of red and white miso, chicken bones, pork bones, and veggies. But there are also subtle hints of fish (dried sardines and mackerel flakes). One word – AMAZING.
3. Do Miso (ど・みそ 京橋本店)
Do Miso has branded itself as a purveyor of Tokyo style miso ramen. Sapporo style miso ramen (like entry no. 1 / Sumire style) is most famous. So what is Tokyo style? For one, there’s a good amount of pork back fat (seabura).
This gives Do Miso’s soup a sweeter, smoother flavor. The soup includes everything from ginger to five types of fish….you’re probably seeing a pattern here (complex soups). The mountain of corn further sweetens the pot.
4. Kikanbo (鬼金棒)
Kikanbo is on every tourist’s ramen radar in Tokyo. This is for good reason – they do an excellent spicy miso ramen. Choose from levels 1-5 for both spice (kara) and numbing pepper. 5 for both means Oni (Devil) Level!
Be warned – Level 5 is no joke. But Kikanbo is a whole lot more than spicy. For instance, they use Shinshu miso fermented in wooden barrels. This is just the seasoning. The soup is just as elaborate.
5. Oshima (大島)
For many, Oshima is at the very top of any Tokyo miso ramen list. Like Santora (entry no. 1), the owner worked at Sapporo miso ramen powerhouse Sumire. Oshima has all the markings of Sumire, including a thick layer of pork lard.
But their miso ramen is slightly softer in flavor vs Sumire. Furthermore, they’re more generous with toppings. This includes crunchy bamboo shoots and negi (spring onions), grated ginger, and a big chunk of juicy chashu pork.
6. Yadoya (八堂八)
Yadoya is located in Tokyo’s trendy Naka-meguro neighborhood. It’s no wonder that they also serve a gentler tasting miso ramen, one with wider hipster appeal. They’re secretive about what goes into their homemade miso.
But all you have to know is that the miso is delicious when combined with a cauldron hot soup made up of ingredients from Hokkaido (where Sapporo style is from). Between their standard and spicy bowls, I go with spicy.
7. Hook (味噌っ子ふっく)
Hook will surely hook you. Horrible jokes aside, Hook does a Hanamichi style of miso ramen. Hanamichi is a well-respected Tokyo miso ramen shop that does thick and rich soup. Hook mimics this, but adds its own spin.
While Hook’s rendition is indeed rich and thick, it has a certain refined quality. The stir-fried bean sprouts and smoky pork are a real treat. The standard bowl is great. But I recommend the chili oil-charged, spicy miso ramen.
8. Ishiguro Shouten (濃厚蟹みそらーめん 石黒商店)
We’re switching miso ramen gears for this one. Ishiguro Shouten blends its miso with 2 types of crab, creating a unique, savory crab soup. They’re not messing around – the crabs are shipped directly from Hokkaido.
But the crab flavor isn’t as strong as you’d think. This is a well-balanced bowl. Do enjoy the colorful array of toppings, including corn and red raw onions. The shop owners actually trained at Do Miso (entry no. 3).
9. Fukurou (福籠)
Located close to Tokyo’s historical Asakusa neighborhood, Fukurou is another Sumire style miso ramen specialist. It’s more similar to Oshima (entry no. 5) than it is Santora (entry no. 1).
What I mean is that there’s a certain mildness and politeness in how it tastes and is presented. In summary, it’s a fantastic bowl. On a separate note, they have a big TV on the wall and will sometimes air baseball games.
10. Hanamichi (花道)
We have Hanamichi to thank for miso ramen heavyweights like Hook (entry no. 6). Hamamichi paved the way with their thick, salty but full-flavored miso ramen.
Uber thick noodles, stir-fried veggies and minced pork – what more could you ask for? The owner actually trained at a few spicy ramen shops in Tokyo. This said, Hanamichi’s spicy miso ramen is a great option too.
BONUS: Asahi Chounaikai (あさひ町内会)
How many Sumire-influenced shops have we had on this list? I’ve lost count. Asahi Chounaikai is yet another one. The masterchef here uses 4 types of white miso as a flavor foundation.
This white miso, along with plenty of ginger, makes for a sweeter and sharper miso ramen. The noodles are sent directly from Sapporo and he adjusts their thickness depending on the season.
BONUS 2: Miso Aji Matador (みそ味専門 マタドール)
I’ve saved the heaviest one for last. If Fukurou (entry no. 7) is about refinement, Miso Aji Matador’s miso ramen goes in the opposite direction. The thick beef bone soup is superbly creamy and super salty.
But there are a lot vegetables to offset this intensity. In particular, whole tomatoes add a nice jolt of contrasting acidity. However, the massive chunks of pork and beef tendon are sobering reminders of the high calorie count.
There you have – the best of the Tokyo miso ramen scene!