best ramen chicago

These seven bowls reveal where to find the best ramen in Chicago


he best ramen is more than just a meal—it's an art form. Made with springy noodles, bathing in steaming hot broth, garnished with tender pork, a perfectly soft-boiled egg, sheets of nori, and an array of tantalizing spices.

Whether as a cure for the wildest hangovers or an inviting canvas for vegan and vegetarian variations, the allure of a hearty ramen bowl is undeniable. But finding that authentic, soul-warming bowl in Chicago can be a quest, one that takes you through neighborhoods and cuisines, from traditional tonkotsu to experimental fusion variations.

In the windy city’s ever-growing ramen scene, a handful of establishments have mastered this art, and their dedication is a testament to the dish’s allure. From traditional toppings to creative innovations like fried chicken karaage and mussels, our Wadjuers are giving you all the best options to find that perfect bowl—but if you think you know better, tell everyone on the dish rating app Wadju, downloadable on the App Store or with Google Play.

Slurp up the best ramen in Chicago with these seven bowls

best ramen chicago ramen san
The 10-Hour Tonkotsu / Photo by Ramen-san Chi / Instagram

This spot is a fixture in Chicago with multiple locations that has evolved to meet the growing demand for diverse ramen experiences.

Their 10-hour tonkotsu ramen is a standout dish; featuring traditional broth, tender chashu, and a molten egg that creates an explosion of flavors.

While Ramen-San honors the essence of traditional ramen, they aren’t afraid to innovate – offering Chinese-style mantou buns and other specialities that set themselves apart.

But that soup? Outstanding! Their dedication to customer service and a deep understanding of Chicago’s evolving ramen scene make their 10-Hour Tonkotsu (and almost everything else on their menu) a must-try.

best ramen chicago strings- ramen
The Kuro Bata Miso Ramen / Photo by @dlmpd / Instagram

Strings Ramen Shop – with locations in Chicago’s Chinatown, Lakeview, and Hyde Park – is a mecca for ramen enthusiasts.

Their miso ramen is the ultimate indulgence, boasting a trio of miso flavors and a base made from chicken and turkey bone stock.

Topped with a plethora of decadent ingredients including bean sprouts, corn, menma, scallions, nori, and a choice of succulent pork belly or pork loin, this dish is an exquisite fusion of flavors.

What sets Strings apart is their commitment to using fresh, handcrafted noodles, prepared daily with a unique Japanese dough.

With affordable options and the opportunity to customize your ramen, Strings Ramen Shop is a haven for both traditionalists and those looking to elevate their ramen experience.

best ramen chicago kizuki ramen izakaya
The Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen / Photo by Kizuki

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya is on a mission to bring the most authentic Japanese ramen experience to diners outside of Japan, and their garlic tonkotsu shoyu ramen serves as an excellent ambassador.

The shoyu-flavored pork broth is infused with an abundance of garlic – creating a perfect base for this rich, fragrant, and deeply flavorful bowl.

This spot takes the traditional Japanese approach to preparing their broth – roasting the bones before boiling, resulting in a broth that is unparalleled in depth and aroma.

Kizuki goes the extra mile to replicate the essence of Japanese ramen- even importing some of their ingredients directly from Japan.

From their meticulously designed outlets to their caring service and attention to detail, Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya is nothing short of outstanding.

best ramen chicago furious spoon
The Furious / Photo by Furious Spoon

Furious Spoon has quickly established itself as a go-to destination for ramen enthusiasts and hip hop lovers in Chicago.

Among their exceptional offerings, “The Furious” stands out as a true masterpiece.

This bowl features a spicy miso pork broth, complemented by house-made chashu pork, steamed chicken & pork dumplings, garlic relish, marinated mushrooms, signature fury sauce, and a poached egg.

The restaurant’s unique blend of hip-hop culture and Japanese cuisine has won the hearts of many, and their quest for excellence in both flavor and experience has made “The Furious” one of the best ramen bowls in the city.

best ramen chicago high five ramen
The Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen / Photo by Dining Chicago

High Five Ramen has redefined Chicago’s ramen scene with its exceptional tonkotsu ramen.

Their signature dish boasts a rich and creamy pork and miso broth that envelopes every noodle, creating a tantalizing harmony of flavors.

Their secret lies in their 20-hour broth- which is a treasure chest of collagen-rich pork leg and neck bones, chicken backs, chicken feet, and an array of spices.

With the added touches of black-garlic oil, leeks, bean sprouts, tender slices of braised pork belly, and a perfectly warm soft-boiled egg, the final bowl is a sensory masterpiece.

By the time you reach the bottom, you’ll feel like you’ve ventured deep into the earth to savor a garlic bouquet. And you’ll be ready for a nap, too!

best ramen chicago ramen wasabi
The Original Tonkotsu Ramen / Photo by Wasabi Chicago

Ramen Wasabi offers a unique dining experience, combining traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine with an authentic approach to ramen.

The standout dish is their tonkotsu ramen, which showcases their dedication to quality and flavor.

Made from boiling 100% Heritage Berkshire Pork bones for up to 45 hours, their broth is rich, creamy, and sets the perfect stage for an array of delectable ingredients.

Topped with tender pork belly, a soft-boiled egg, marinated bamboo shoots, scallions, sesame, black wood ear mushrooms, and a drizzle of garlic oil, the tonkotsu bowl is a masterpiece that keeps customers coming back for more.

best ramen chicago umai ramen
The Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen / Photo by Daniel Food Diary

Umai, located in the South Loop, expertly merges above-average, classic Japanese cuisine with a modern ambiance.

The restaurant is a master of diverse offerings – serving a range of dishes including sushi, udon, katsukarē, and, most notably, ramen.

Among their delightful ramen creations, the Spicy Roasted Garlic Pork ramen shines as the top pick.

This delectable bowl is packed with homemade spicy miso ground pork, menma, wakame seaweed, fish cakes, a perfectly soft-boiled egg, Japanese leeks, chashu pork belly, and a generous topping of garlic chips.

It’s a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that makes it Umai’s best dish.

If you think you know not only where the best ramen in Chicago can be found, but what people need to order there too, you need to let everyone know: Download Wadju on the App Store or with Google Play, and start rating bowls of ramen today. It’s free and easy to use!