12 Bowls of Ramen: A Culinary Quest
“Beyond Green Lake” is our occasional column that covers happenings outside the neighborhood that are relevant to people who enjoy the Green Lake lifestyle.
In 2013, my husband and I went to Japan and had one of my favorite meals of all time… a hot bowl of ramen.
Many Americans think of ramen as the dry-bag variety, often consumed by college students, and coming in at under a buck. For the rest of the world though, it’s quite different. We were introduced to ramen after a 10 hour flight to Kyoto. The comforting bowl of soup greeted us with open arms and will forever be my favorite comfort food. Upon our return I started a mission to find ramen closer to home and launched a little side project I called 12 bowls of ramen. This became my quest to find the best bowls of ramen in the city.
Unfortunately Green Lake’s go-to for ramen (Aloha Ramen) moved from Greenwood to Lake City Way in 2014. Despite Aloha moving, all Greenlakers should experience ramen (really good ramen!) at some point. So here’s my go-to list with a few recommendations starting with the closest locations to Green Lake:
Aloha Ramen Japanese Noodle Try the Tan Tan noodles. I found them to be flavorful and the pork was perfect. We tried both locations (the previous, now closed Greenwood restaurant and the new outpost in Lake City) and found the food was exactly the same – delicious! The new dining room, although slightly bigger than the previous location is still very small. Expect a line.
Location: 3004 Northeast 127th Street, Seattle, WA 98125. Phone: (206) 838-3837
Yoroshiku 4649 open for lunch and dinner. The lunch menu focuses almost entirely on ramen while the dinner menu includes it and several other larger entrees. My favorite here is the Shoyu (with extra ramen noodles).
Location: 1913 North 45th Street. Phone: (206) 547-4649
Ramen Man While this location has quite a few fans, I’m sorry to say I’m not one of them. The ramen was a bit too creamy and salty. The upside: free unlimited hard boiled eggs for all!
Location: 1616 North 45th Street. Phone: (206) 258-2959.
Miyabi 45th Also on 45th, I went there for ramen but found an amazing bowl of soba noodles. They do have ramen pop-up nights, which is still on my list to try (and soon!). Sight sticker shock alert: This is definitely the most pricey of the ramen restaurants in Seattle.
Location: 2208 N 45th Street. Phone: (206)632-4545
Kukai I have tried several bowls of ramen at both locations (Bellevue and Seattle) and have found that I like the Seattle location a bit better. Their spicier ramens tends to be my favorite because it is still flavorful with a nice kick.
Locations: Northgate: 319 NE Thornton Pl, Seattle. Phone (206) 946-6792
Eastside: 15600 NE 8th St. Bellevue. (425) 243-7527
(Capitol Hill is slated to be the 3rd location for this restaurant later this year.)
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Hands down my favorite ramen in the greater Seattle area. Every bowl of ramen I’ve had here has been flavorful and the perfect temperature. Just know that you will be sitting in line with dozens of other ramen fans… but it’s worth it!
Location: 103 Bellevue Way, NE, Suite 3 Bellevue. Phone: (425) 462-0141
Jinya Ramen Bar Want ramen in the summer? Try the dipping noodles. They are served with cold noodles and a small bowl of hot broth. They offer low sodium too, which was a nice departure from some of the saltier broths. Sit at the bar if you have one or two guests and you can watch all of the ramen action in the kitchen.
Location: JINYA Ramen Bar 15600 NE 8th St. Phone: (425) 590-9548
If you have a few ramen favorites, please share! In my opinion, you can never have too much ramen.