These are the very best Waseda ramen shops! From unique tuna (maguro) ramen to soupless ramen with super thick noodles, Tokyo’s Waseda neighborhood has it all.
With hungry hordes of students at nearby Waseda University, there are plenty of delicious ramen choices in Waseda.
1. Maguro (Tuna) Ramen at Gantetsu
Gantetsu (ラーメン巌哲) is one of Waseda and Tokyo’s most unique ramen shops. Their shio (salt-seasoned) ramen uses dried maguro (tuna). The maguro gives the soup a refreshing, delicate flavor and Shiga area chickens add some punch.
While the slab of pork is fantastic, the maguro steak topping (bottom left) is a star among stars. The rest of the toppings compound the fresh flavors – forest green Kujo negi (spring onions), negi oil, Japanese spinach, and bamboo shoots.
2. Pure Chicken Ramen at Yamaguchi
In Yamaguchi‘s (らぁ麺やまぐち) signature ramen, the soup is 100% chickens. They combine Aizu and Date breed chickens to create a sticky, collagen-heavy flavor that clings to your lips. This tasty soup is held up by a bold and slightly sweet shoyu (soy sauce) seasoning.
It’s not just the soup – everything is high-level. For example, the thin and flat noodles include five types of wheat flour! In addition, the pork toppings are from Spain’s Galicia region. The list goes on and on.
3. Buttery Soupless Ramen at Abura Gakkai
Musashino Abura Gakkai (武蔵野アブラ学会 早稲田総本店) slings a popular and affordable style of ramen…abura soba, or soupless ramen! This more than makes sense in Waseda, as there are plenty of hungry university students around.
The soy sauce seasoning in their abura soba is bold – a blend of Kyoto and Kawagoe soy sauces, pork meat and veggies. But next to this there’s a buttery, garlicky flavor from pork lard that sticks to the extra thick, chewy noodles. On a site note, the interior here has a lot of fun memorabilia!
4. Tasty Tsukemen at Toshioka
Toshioka (自家製中華そば としおか) has a cult-like following and being only open for lunch, that means you’ll have to wait. But it’s quite the experience. The owner here trained at famous Tokyo ramen shop Benten. His ramen and tsukemen reflect this.
The tsukemen (dipping ramen) is a popular choice. The soup isn’t that thick. However, it’s packed with flavor – it’s sweet, salty, sour and a tad spicy all at the same time. I personally like ordering a lot of extras here, including their special bamboo shoots (menma) and chili powder condiment.
5. Meaty Ramen at Junibunya
Junibunya (十二分屋 早稲田店) is right across the street from entry no. 2, Yamaguchi. They have an awesomely big menu. But many of their ramen are about showcasing different types of shoyu (soy sauce).
Pictured is the house special, a ramen employing the beautiful Kiji Mari shoyu. The soup itself is relatively light, being hamaguri clams, kelp and chicken bones. It’s hard to ignore the pork chashu floral pattern. While the pork is thinly sliced, it’s only ¥930 for everything in the photo!
BONUS: More Soupless Ramen at Menchitei
Bonus Round! One more ramen shop that does superb soupless ramen (abura soba) is Tokyo Menchintei Honpo (東京麺珍亭本舗). Like soupless entry no. 3, they have a few branches in Tokyo too. Their abura soba has a similar flavor to no. 3. But it’s less lardy.
Meat lovers will rejoice because you get a LOT of meat, including free meat on the day sometimes! The runny egg topping makes up for any loss of creaminess from the pork lard. From all the entries, you get the most bang for your buck here.
Waseda Doesn’t Mess Around
In summary, Waseda is a ramen-heavy neighborhood. No matter where you are in Waseda, there’s sure to be an excellent ramen restaurant nearby!
Video Review of the above Ramen Shops: