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An 18-inch “Super Basebowl” ($38) for two comes with 8 ounces of ribeye, jumbo shrimp, bean sprouts, corn, seaweed, purple cabbage, sugar snap peas, agaric mushrooms, and a tableside pour of broth.
An 18-inch “Super Basebowl” ($38) for two comes with 8 ounces of ribeye, jumbo shrimp, bean sprouts, corn, seaweed, purple cabbage, sugar snap peas, agaric mushrooms, and a tableside pour of broth.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

13 Essential Ramen Bars Around D.C.

The best bowls to chase away the chill in the D.C. area

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An 18-inch “Super Basebowl” ($38) for two comes with 8 ounces of ribeye, jumbo shrimp, bean sprouts, corn, seaweed, purple cabbage, sugar snap peas, agaric mushrooms, and a tableside pour of broth.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Homestyle Japanese cuisine hasn’t always been easy to find in the District, When it comes to ramen though, D.C. has really made a name for itself. With long-running noodle bars, newcomers making a name for themselves, and global chains touching down, D.C. has a bit of everything.

Add to that creative takes on ramen, like the birria ramen at Little Miner Taco, and younger ramen shops making waves (notably Kaiju Ramen), and D.C. is a vibrant representation of the ramen landscape.

The restaurants on this list are the most reliable around—having served chewy noodles swimming in rich, hearty broths for long enough to stand on firm footing with a proven track record.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Ren's Ramen

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This small, longstanding shop just outside the Beltway specializes in hearty, Sapporo-style ramen suitable for a whole meal (or two). The ambiance is special with handwritten menus on the walls and a floor crowded with two-top tables. Ren’s is cash-only, so hit the ATM first.

Qu Japan

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College Park’s Qu Japan dishes generous ramen bowls fit for students. The signature Qu Ramen features tonkotsu broth filled with roast pork, chicken, shrimp, and fish cake to go with bean sprouts, bok choy, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, corn, scallions, egg, and nori.

Qu Japan [Official Photo]

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

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This massive chain out of Japan touched down in Tysons only a couple years ago, but its pearly white broth served in a cozy, brick-lined dining room has been around since the 1980s when the Santouka was founded in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. The specialty is the white tonkotsu soup.

Akira Ramen & Izakaya DC

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Serving traditional Japanese fare including ramen, udon, and buckwheat soba noodles, locals love the okonomiyaki, a shrimp and bacon-laced pancake made with rice flour, eggs, and cabbage, and topped with a cream sauce.

Sakuramen

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This basement restaurant in Adam’s Morgan has become a staple that’s known for melding different styles of ramen that command lines out the door. Sakuramen has a whopping 12 ramen bowl options, including a signature veggie-broth variety, a Korean bowl with bulgogi, and a spicy red tonkotsu—and optional toppings like bacon, kimchi, and cheese.

Going Out Guide On Sakuramen Restaurant In Washington DC
A ramen bowl from Sakuramen
Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Shibuya Eatery

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This relative newcomer to the D.C. ramen scene ladles patiently prepared, steamy bowls of ramen in a small wood-flanked dining room with bright splashes of red in lanterns, paint, and movie posters. Choose from six broths (tori chicken, tonkotsu pork shank, shoyu soy dashi, and others). Then choose the substance (pork belly, chicken, or cauliflower) and toppings ranging from crunchy rayu to smoked garlic oil.

The sibling restaurant to Daikaya in Chinatown, Haikan has become a go-to for clear, delicate chintan broth. The vegetarian ramen is particularly popular here, and small plates like Old Bay crab rangoons or mapo tofu poutine make for great appetizers. Haikan’s location next-door to Atlantic Plumbing Cinema also makes it a popular stop for pre- or post-movie meals.

Chaplin's Restaurant

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This ramen bar with a 1930s vibe has an option for gluten-free noodles and sources pork that was humanely and organically raised at Catoctin Mountain Farm in Maryland. The patio here is packed with outdoor diners, even in the winter.

Ramen from Chaplin’s
Ramen from Chaplin’s
Chaplin’s [official]

Ramen by Uzu

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Chef-Owner Hiro Mitsui heads up this Union Market based ramen shop with flavorful broths and perfectly cooked noodles. Uzu’s toppings are on point: chile threads, spinach, and eggs with perfectly soft yolks. Specials sometimes include vegan ramen and the clam ramen pictured here.

Ramen by Uzu [Original Image]

Toki Underground

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Toki Underground bills itself as D.C.’s original ramen house. It serves one of the most famous bowls of ramens in town, a Taipei curry bowl with fried chicken, among more classic dishes.

Taipei Curry Chicken ramen from Toki Underground
Taipei Curry Chicken ramen from Toki Underground
Toki Underground [official]

Daikaya

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Since opening in 2013, Daikaya has remained a go-to for ramen lovers in D.C. The fast-paced shop on the first floor doles out traditional broths with salty shio, shoyu (dark soy sauce), and white miso bases. Upstairs, an adjoining izakaya offers experimental small plates and grilled skewers. Meanwhile, over on G Street Daikaya Group retrofitted an old Burger King for Bantam King, a poultry-centric ramen bar that has roasted chicken quarters as an add-on. There are also boiled chicken gyoza and a fried chicken plate that adds Chinese flavors to the Nashville hot style.

A bowl of ramen from Daikaya Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post via Getty Images

Gaijin Ramen Shop

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Worth the drive to Arlington, Gaijin is one of the only places to find spicy black miso broth. Owners Nicole Mazkour and Tuvan Pham serve house specialties like spicy tonkotsu volcano bowls and fried chicken Southern Comfort ramen bowls. Note: As of this update, Gaijin is closed for dine-in and only open for carry-out and delivery.

Basebowl Ramen

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Steps away to Nationals Park, Basebowl’s claim to fame is an 18-inch bowl of ramen brimming with eight ounces of ribeye, jumbo shrimp, bean sprouts, corn, seaweed, purple cabbage, sugar snap peas, and agaric mushrooms. It’s a two person dish to share. The spot has plenty of more standard size options as well, like wonton ramen. Extra toppings cover all the bases, from ghost pepper to shrimp tempura.

Ren's Ramen

This small, longstanding shop just outside the Beltway specializes in hearty, Sapporo-style ramen suitable for a whole meal (or two). The ambiance is special with handwritten menus on the walls and a floor crowded with two-top tables. Ren’s is cash-only, so hit the ATM first.

Qu Japan

Qu Japan [Official Photo]

College Park’s Qu Japan dishes generous ramen bowls fit for students. The signature Qu Ramen features tonkotsu broth filled with roast pork, chicken, shrimp, and fish cake to go with bean sprouts, bok choy, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, corn, scallions, egg, and nori.

Qu Japan [Official Photo]

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

This massive chain out of Japan touched down in Tysons only a couple years ago, but its pearly white broth served in a cozy, brick-lined dining room has been around since the 1980s when the Santouka was founded in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. The specialty is the white tonkotsu soup.

Akira Ramen & Izakaya DC

Serving traditional Japanese fare including ramen, udon, and buckwheat soba noodles, locals love the okonomiyaki, a shrimp and bacon-laced pancake made with rice flour, eggs, and cabbage, and topped with a cream sauce.

Sakuramen

Going Out Guide On Sakuramen Restaurant In Washington DC
A ramen bowl from Sakuramen
Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images

This basement restaurant in Adam’s Morgan has become a staple that’s known for melding different styles of ramen that command lines out the door. Sakuramen has a whopping 12 ramen bowl options, including a signature veggie-broth variety, a Korean bowl with bulgogi, and a spicy red tonkotsu—and optional toppings like bacon, kimchi, and cheese.

Going Out Guide On Sakuramen Restaurant In Washington DC
A ramen bowl from Sakuramen
Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Shibuya Eatery

This relative newcomer to the D.C. ramen scene ladles patiently prepared, steamy bowls of ramen in a small wood-flanked dining room with bright splashes of red in lanterns, paint, and movie posters. Choose from six broths (tori chicken, tonkotsu pork shank, shoyu soy dashi, and others). Then choose the substance (pork belly, chicken, or cauliflower) and toppings ranging from crunchy rayu to smoked garlic oil.

Haikan

The sibling restaurant to Daikaya in Chinatown, Haikan has become a go-to for clear, delicate chintan broth. The vegetarian ramen is particularly popular here, and small plates like Old Bay crab rangoons or mapo tofu poutine make for great appetizers. Haikan’s location next-door to Atlantic Plumbing Cinema also makes it a popular stop for pre- or post-movie meals.

Chaplin's Restaurant

Ramen from Chaplin’s
Ramen from Chaplin’s
Chaplin’s [official]

This ramen bar with a 1930s vibe has an option for gluten-free noodles and sources pork that was humanely and organically raised at Catoctin Mountain Farm in Maryland. The patio here is packed with outdoor diners, even in the winter.

Ramen from Chaplin’s
Ramen from Chaplin’s
Chaplin’s [official]

Ramen by Uzu

Ramen by Uzu [Original Image]

Chef-Owner Hiro Mitsui heads up this Union Market based ramen shop with flavorful broths and perfectly cooked noodles. Uzu’s toppings are on point: chile threads, spinach, and eggs with perfectly soft yolks. Specials sometimes include vegan ramen and the clam ramen pictured here.

Ramen by Uzu [Original Image]

Toki Underground

Taipei Curry Chicken ramen from Toki Underground
Taipei Curry Chicken ramen from Toki Underground
Toki Underground [official]

Toki Underground bills itself as D.C.’s original ramen house. It serves one of the most famous bowls of ramens in town, a Taipei curry bowl with fried chicken, among more classic dishes.

Taipei Curry Chicken ramen from Toki Underground
Taipei Curry Chicken ramen from Toki Underground
Toki Underground [official]

Daikaya

A bowl of ramen from Daikaya Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post via Getty Images

Since opening in 2013, Daikaya has remained a go-to for ramen lovers in D.C. The fast-paced shop on the first floor doles out traditional broths with salty shio, shoyu (dark soy sauce), and white miso bases. Upstairs, an adjoining izakaya offers experimental small plates and grilled skewers. Meanwhile, over on G Street Daikaya Group retrofitted an old Burger King for Bantam King, a poultry-centric ramen bar that has roasted chicken quarters as an add-on. There are also boiled chicken gyoza and a fried chicken plate that adds Chinese flavors to the Nashville hot style.

A bowl of ramen from Daikaya Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post via Getty Images

Gaijin Ramen Shop

Worth the drive to Arlington, Gaijin is one of the only places to find spicy black miso broth. Owners Nicole Mazkour and Tuvan Pham serve house specialties like spicy tonkotsu volcano bowls and fried chicken Southern Comfort ramen bowls. Note: As of this update, Gaijin is closed for dine-in and only open for carry-out and delivery.

Basebowl Ramen

Steps away to Nationals Park, Basebowl’s claim to fame is an 18-inch bowl of ramen brimming with eight ounces of ribeye, jumbo shrimp, bean sprouts, corn, seaweed, purple cabbage, sugar snap peas, and agaric mushrooms. It’s a two person dish to share. The spot has plenty of more standard size options as well, like wonton ramen. Extra toppings cover all the bases, from ghost pepper to shrimp tempura.

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