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

13 Essential Ramen Bars Around D.C.

Our favorite bowls around the District

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

Homestyle Japanese cuisine isn’t always easy to find in the District, but when it comes to ramen, D.C. has really made a name for itself.

The restaurants on this list serve chewy noodles swimming in rich, hearty broths that make up an entirely different category than instant, packaged ramen. In D.C. proper, Toki Underground and the Daikaya Group — which just opened its fourth ramen shop, Hatoba, in Navy Yard — have built loyal followings on their ramen bowls. Out in the Maryland suburbs, Ren’s Ramen stands out as an OG option in Wheaton.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ren's Ramen

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11403 Amherst Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20902
(301) 933-3725
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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.

2. Qu Japan

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7406 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
(240) 467-3332
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Qu Japan adds to College Park’s growing dining scene with 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]

3. Sakuramen

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2441 18 St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 656-5285
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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. —Gabe Hiatt

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

4. Haikan

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805 V St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 299-1000
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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. —Gabe Hiatt

5. Chaplin's Restaurant

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1501 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 644-8806
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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]

6. Ramen by Uzu

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1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

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. They have a few featured dishes, too, including vegan ramen on Fridays and a rotating specialty menu, like the clam ramen pictured here.

Ramen by Uzu [Original Image]

7. OKI Bowl DC & Sake

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1817 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 750-6703
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There are some really fun twists on ramen at Oki Bowl. For example, there’s a delicious blend of Japanese and Thai broths with their Tom Yum bowls (spicy, or not) and the galanga bowl, which features coconut milk steamed with galanga root. An Oki Curry ramen comes with the option of adding a chicken cutlet, fried prawn, or pork belly.

A soft-shell crab bowl from Oki bowl
A soft-shell crab bowl from Oki bowl
Oki bowl [official]

8. Toki Underground

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1234 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 388-3086
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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. Toki has been open since 2011, and founding chef Erik Bruner-Yang isn’t involved with the group anymore, but it’s still tough to snag a table. So either make reservations or settle in for a long wait downstairs at the Pug.

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

9. Daikaya

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705 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 589-1600
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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.

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

10. Bantam King

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501 G St NW
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 733-2612
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Daikaya Group retrofitted an old Burger King for this 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.

Chicken ramen from Bantam King
Chicken ramen from Bantam King
Missy Frederick/Eater D.C.

11. Gaijin Ramen Shop

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3800 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 566-9236
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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 fried chicken Southern Comfort bowls.

12. Hanabi Ramen

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3024 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Add crushed garlic to any order of ramen for free here. It’s probably not the best idea for a first date, but it’s strongly recommended otherwise.

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Tonkotsu Negi #ramen #noodles #goodfood #clarendon

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13. Tanpopo Ramen House

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4316 Markham St
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 354-4938
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It seems like there’s a Korean restaurant on every block in Annandale, but Tanpopo gives the neighborhood a standby for ramen, too.

1. Ren's Ramen

11403 Amherst Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

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.

11403 Amherst Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20902

2. Qu Japan

7406 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD 20740
Qu Japan [Official Photo]

Qu Japan adds to College Park’s growing dining scene with 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.

7406 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740

3. Sakuramen

2441 18 St NW, Washington, DC 20009
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. —Gabe Hiatt

2441 18 St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Haikan

805 V St NW, Washington, DC 20001

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. —Gabe Hiatt

805 V St NW
Washington, DC 20001

5. Chaplin's Restaurant

1501 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
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.

1501 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

6. Ramen by Uzu

1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
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. They have a few featured dishes, too, including vegan ramen on Fridays and a rotating specialty menu, like the clam ramen pictured here.

1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

7. OKI Bowl DC & Sake

1817 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036
A soft-shell crab bowl from Oki bowl
A soft-shell crab bowl from Oki bowl
Oki bowl [official]

There are some really fun twists on ramen at Oki Bowl. For example, there’s a delicious blend of Japanese and Thai broths with their Tom Yum bowls (spicy, or not) and the galanga bowl, which features coconut milk steamed with galanga root. An Oki Curry ramen comes with the option of adding a chicken cutlet, fried prawn, or pork belly.

1817 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036

8. Toki Underground

1234 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
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. Toki has been open since 2011, and founding chef Erik Bruner-Yang isn’t involved with the group anymore, but it’s still tough to snag a table. So either make reservations or settle in for a long wait downstairs at the Pug.

1234 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

9. Daikaya

705 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
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.

705 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

10. Bantam King

501 G St NW, Washington, DC 20003
Chicken ramen from Bantam King
Chicken ramen from Bantam King
Missy Frederick/Eater D.C.

Daikaya Group retrofitted an old Burger King for this 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.

501 G St NW
Washington, DC 20003

11. Gaijin Ramen Shop

3800 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

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 fried chicken Southern Comfort bowls.

3800 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207

12. Hanabi Ramen

3024 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Add crushed garlic to any order of ramen for free here. It’s probably not the best idea for a first date, but it’s strongly recommended otherwise.

3024 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

13. Tanpopo Ramen House

4316 Markham St, Annandale, VA 22003

It seems like there’s a Korean restaurant on every block in Annandale, but Tanpopo gives the neighborhood a standby for ramen, too.

4316 Markham St
Annandale, VA 22003

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