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Best of Toronto

The Best Ramen in Toronto

Posted by Jason Finestone / May 29, 2013

Ramen TorontoThe best ramen in Toronto is a product of the influx of Japanese eateries that opened in this city over the past year. 2012 was the year when ramen shops all across the city began to pop up faster than it takes to finish a bowl of tonkotsu, and frankly that's not something that seemed to bother many. With most of the establishments taking up relatively little space, offering up speedy and affordable edibles, and taking an understated segment of Japanese cooking to the forefront of everyone's minds, the only thing left to see is how long some of these noodle shops will last.

As dozens of ramen shops now dot the landscape around Toronto, it's important to educate oneself on who among them are worthy of the title of Baron of Broth or Knight of the Noodles.

Here is the list of the restaurants that make the best ramen in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Japanese Restaurants in Toronto
The Best Wonton Soup in Toronto

Sansotei Ramen

Sansotei Ramen

The owner of Sansotei Ramen in Old Chinatown studied at the Yamato Ramen School in Japan where he honed his recipe for the richest tonkotsu broth, the most scintillatingly slurpable noodles and the most complimentary toppings imaginable. With four types of ramen on offer (tonkotsu, shio, miso, and tonkostu shoyu) as well as thick or thin noodles and your choice of doneness, Sansotei appeals to even the most discerning of palates. More »

Santouka Ramen

Santouka Ramen

A Japanese original dating back to 1988, Santouka has set up dozens of international outposts including this one just steps from Yonge Dundas square. Their signature Toroniku char-siu pork has separated them from their neighbors time and again. Using only the "rarest of the rare" pork jowl, the tender, succulent meat is served as a dry side to their tonkotsu broth and noodles. The depth of their broths are excellent the toppings are simple and delicious. More »

Kinton Ramen

Kinton Ramen

One of the first ramen shops to surface in Toronto, Kinton Ramen has established themselves as the bonafide best bowl of ramen in Baldwin Village since they opened last summer. The masterminds behind the famed Guu empire were smart to strike when the soup was a-simmering. Open seven days a week, Kinton Ramen's spicy garlic ramen is one of the main draws. It's a fiery, nuclear coloured broth with bean sprouts, scallions, and fresh shaved garlic. More »

Raijin Ramen

Raijin Ramen

It seemed as though it took a little while longer for Raijin Ramen to really get rolling, but after playing second-string-soup to the nearby Santouka Ramen when they launched, it seems as though they've begun to pick up steam, literally. Serving a more alkaline broth and leaner pork than many Toronto ramen shops, Raijin also boasts a large, beautifully designed 70 seat space at Yonge and Gerrard, though, they still don't take reservations. More »

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Torontonians seemed to swoon for Momofuku as soon as news broke that revered New York chef David Chang was setting up shop in the Shangri-La Hotel. Just one element to the four-tiered Momofuku brand in Toronto, Momofuku Noodle Bar has managed to capture the love of snarky stomachs all over the city, despite being met with less than unanimous praise at the time of its inception. Some less traditional offerings like smoked chicken ramen and Chinese style dan dan mein can be found at this star's soup shop. More »

Kenzo Ramen

Kenzo Ramen

With four Toronto locations to choose from and now an incumbent Mississauga establishment, Kenzo Ramen is one of the most convenient and longstanding ramen shops around Toronto. That said, they've been able to maintain their success and justify their growth due to the quality of the product they pump out. Their broth is a blend of fish stock as well as pork and chicken bone stock that offers up a balanced richness alongside their thin, texturally terrific noodles. More »

Ajisen Ramen

Ajisen Ramen

Another longstanding staple for ramen in Toronto, Ajisen might just garner the greatest selection of soups in the city. With over 17 varieties to choose from, Ajisen does everything from traditional Ajisen Shoyu Ramen, to a spicy Tom Yum Deep Fried Seafood Ramen, as well as ramen with kimchi, lamb teppanyaki, curried pork cutlet, and beef shank. You can spend an eternity on the menu alone, but I guarantee it won't take long to down your dish once it does arrive. More »

Niwatei

Niwatei

A modest selection of ramen makes up the menu at Niwatei, a tiny spot nestled into J-Town complex near Steeles and Victoria Park. Everything from the noodles to the condiments are made in house and their broth has a smoky and satisfying saveur. Plus, prices here can't be beat. Bonus that after your meal you can shop for some Japanese groceries and baked goods at the shops only a few feet away. More »

Discussion

26 Comments

Brandon / May 29, 2013 at 03:03 pm
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Kinton FTW!
Have a laugh / May 29, 2013 at 03:23 pm
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let the angry comments commence!
TJ / May 29, 2013 at 03:37 pm
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I love Ramen but I'm feeling more and more that I am getting ripped off. $10-13 plus tax and tip for a (decent sized) bowl of Ramen with 1-2 slices of meat with half an egg or other miscellaneous fixings? So you're out $14-16 just for a bowl of noodles?
HGG / May 29, 2013 at 04:03 pm
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Ryoji should be on this list.
duder replying to a comment from Bobby / May 29, 2013 at 04:05 pm
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Do agree that Kingyo has a great ramen, though I strongly disagree that the rest of the menu sucks. Their kimpira, karaage and sushi is all tops. Went with a gang of Japanese people and they all thought it was one of the better J-restaurants in the city.
Mikey replying to a comment from Have a laugh / May 29, 2013 at 04:07 pm
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Well, this list was CLEARLY voted on by folks who have not experienced ALL of their Toronto options ;)
Vanessa replying to a comment from Bobby / May 29, 2013 at 04:18 pm
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Ryoji's ramen is really good! I usually have the pork-bone soup based ones. You can add extra toppings like an egg, spicy miso paste, garlic oil, and they do noodle refills for $1.50 I think.
The rest of their menu isn't all bad though. I really like their carpaccio and the sashimi has been really good when I go. They do some traditional Okinawan dishes. There's a dish with bitter melon that I like... I also like the grilled pork neck (I've never really not liked pork neck anywhere though...it's a fave of mine.)
They get a little creative with some of their dishes...like the mashed potato takoyaki and the balsamic reduction they drizzle over their version of a rainbow roll.
The house sake's really good, we usually drink it chilled.
They've got a patio too! And the place is really pretty inside.
duder replying to a comment from duder / May 29, 2013 at 04:24 pm
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Woops, I was talking about Kingyo, but you were referring to Ryoji. I agree it ain't great.
fred replying to a comment from SimonsMom / May 29, 2013 at 07:15 pm
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I do.
Nicky replying to a comment from Seth / May 30, 2013 at 03:42 am
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Here it is again and just for you Seth:

Last time me and my girlfriend went to kinton BOTH of us had the runs the next day! I had the spicy garlic and she had the chees ramen.
Anna / May 30, 2013 at 09:36 am
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I visited Kinton Ramen last year, and have been back 4 times since (I recommend the Cheese Ramen with butter). Each time, the ramen was delicious, served steaming hot, the service was fast (excluding any line-ups) and the price, in my opinion, was reasonable (considering that the portions are substantial, very rich, and very filling--food coma guaranteed!) The atmosphere was bustling and cozy, and the guests sitting around us were practically inhaling their bowls in sloppy, slurping bliss. We have ordered Gyoza (hot and savory) and Ikura Don as appetizers, both tasty (although next time we won't order apps, since the actual portions of the meal demand a huge appetite to finish them).

I've eaten very well at this establishment,and, 4 of out 4 visits, I've left 100% satisfied.

V / May 31, 2013 at 01:21 pm
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Ryoji and Santouka are the best so far.
Anna / June 2, 2013 at 05:03 pm
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It's only $10-$15 a bowl because the noodle houses made their own noodles. I'm sure it takes a lot of prep time and man power to bust out pounds and pounds and noodz.
Ramenitis replying to a comment from Anna / June 2, 2013 at 09:02 pm
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Actually, none of the restaurants on this list - except A-OK apparently - make their own noodles.
KC / June 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm
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$10-15 for a bowl of noodles? I'll stick to pho
Toronto on a Budget / July 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm
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Kinton is almost a regular occurrence if we are downtown. Atmosphere is great, ramen is great, broth is very rich. Watching the slabs of fat being dumped into the pork broth just gives you that warm feeling, knowing your bowl should be ready any time. Momofuku was by far the biggest ripoff. Overpriced, over-hyped (even for ramen standards), and the product just very bland. Hurrah for Kenzo opening in Mississauga, thanks for the heads up. It will become the regular now simply by convenience.
alex / December 25, 2013 at 07:00 am
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Kinton is awesome
Allen / January 6, 2014 at 08:06 pm
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Kinton is the worst.
cheKo replying to a comment from Ramenitis / January 6, 2014 at 09:04 pm
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Are you serious? Can you prove that only one makes their own noodles? That's pathetic! And people pay how much?? ... That story would actually be important and actually make a good story...
Will / January 6, 2014 at 09:29 pm
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A-Ok is closed - might want to update this considering there are many more ramen joints that have opened up in the past half year.
Gavin / January 6, 2014 at 09:33 pm
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RYUS noodle bar have outstanding ramen too. their regular and dipping noodle are both good, with their 5 home made sauce on the side for change of flavour. They are one of the few ones that uses fish as their base soup, I think you really missed out on that one.
gupp / January 6, 2014 at 09:35 pm
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Ryu's Noodle Bar is by far the best. They have the richest soup, and unlike most other Toronto options, their noodles blend in with the soup really well. Try it once and you'll be hooked. In fact, I think they're the only Toronto ramen shop that I think would succeed in Japan as well.
Shane Zeagman / January 10, 2014 at 04:37 am
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Kenzo Ramen is gross. I've eaten at the Bloor Street location three or four times now and I've NEVER had a good bowl despite people praising it otherwise. I much prefer the Konichiwa on Baldwin for their ramen. However I've yet to try all of the places on this list so I can't agree or disagree with full numerical placement except for Kenzo which imo shouldn't be on this list, and the fact that I'm surprised the Konichiwa isn't.
Paul / January 20, 2014 at 02:05 am
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I love ramen. However i think it's overpriced. A bowl of decent ramen cost $12-14. Basically i am paying for the quality and not the Quality. I must agree they don't give enough meat.
Alex / February 18, 2014 at 11:18 pm
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I think Gupp and Gavin work for Ryus...went tonight with a friend...both of us have been pretty much everywhere on the list above and Ryus was nowhere near something like Kinton...neither of us would ever return to Ryus...just not good.
Ruby / June 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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I'm glad Sansotei got 1st place, well deserved. I don't agree with Momofuku though... I ordered the $15 deluxe ramen and it was the worst ramen I've ever tasted. Ryu's Noodles is better than 5 through 8.

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