This is an updated version of the 2013 AFBA City Guide to Ramen. Leave me a comment and share your favorite dishes with readers. What’s hot (and spicy!) for 2014?
There’s no stopping the ramen trend in Austin! The city can’t get enough of the hearty steaming bowls of rich broth and bouncy alkaline noodles. Those initiated into the ramen scene (and it is very much a scene, baby) are addicted to the umami, the toppings and the slurping. The uninitiated just need to give it a try.
If you need more convincing, check out local filmmaker Christian Remde’s Culinary Equation fantastic video all about ramen.
A great option for first-timers, Ramen Tatsu-ya provides a quirky guide on what to order, how to eat, and definitions for all the unfamiliar terms and ingredients. They offer classic toppings and fun flavors bombs, so you can customize every bowl.
In addition to the spectacular ramen, they have delicious appetizers and sides including katsu sliders and the world’s greatest Brussel’s sprouts.
Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 5-10. Lunch is served Tuesday-Friday 11-2 and Saturday-Sunday 12-3.
Location: 8557 Research Blvd, Ste. 126, Austin, TX 78758
*Pro-tip: Get there before 5:00 or after 8:45 to avoid the long line. Or just show up whenever and stand in line chatting with fellow ramen-heads, letting the anticipation build. Also, check out the cool bathrooms.
9070 Research Blvd.,#305, Austin, TX 78757
Ramen is but one subject in a textbook of food. The ramen is served in different sizes and uses paitan, a light, milky chicken broth.
11920 Domain Drive, Austin, TX 78758
Austin’s newest Whole Foods boasts a number of fabulous amenities, a ramen bar being one of the most popular. The Texas ramen gives shoppers a taste of Japanese ramen with a twist. Barbecue!
The ramen groundbreakers of Austin, Michi Ramen started in a truck, took a break, and reopened in brick and mortar. They are the only game in town to offer a choice of broth thickness like old-school traditional places in Japan. The noodles are slightly thicker than other places and the broth tastes like love.
Included in the large selection of sides and add-ons is a barbecue-lovers delight, Chashu Don, burnt ends, bonito flakes and green onions over steamed rice.
Michi is the most comfortable establishment to sit and enjoy ramen, with plentiful tables and a cozy waiting area.
Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11-2, 5-9.
Location: 6519 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78752
*Pro-tip: Leave room for dessert! The mochi, 2 for $3 is shipped frozen from Hawaii and just heavenly.
10000 Research Blvd #139, Austin, TX 78759
Offering a variety of broths and toppings, this Arboretum hole in the wall is popular with lunchers in a hurry.
Known for their wide array of fresh and delicious sushi, Komé also makes a kickass ramen. Their efforts will only improve when their ramen-only location, Daruma Ramen, opens on East 6th. Being the most southern ramen-ya will surely earn them an instant following.
Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Monday-Friday 11-2, 5-10 and Sat-Sun 12-3, 5:30-10
Location: 4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751
*Pro-tip: Ramen is only available during lunch hours.
612B E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Sister restaurant to Komé, Daruma is fully dedicated to ramen. The tiny 6th Street shop brings in big crowds for its vegan ramen. The complex broth is steeped with veggies and fruit. Very interesting, and different than what anyone else is doing.
11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Ste 402, Cedar Park, TX 78613
The reputable sushi spot has an acceptable ramen offering, too, pleasing customers with a decadent seafood ramen as well as traditional tonkatsu and shoyu.
2538 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
Paul Qui’s ramen offerings are inventive and fun. Especially delicious is the Chicken Tortilla Ramen, a perfect fusing of Japan and Austin. Recent experimentation resulted in a bacon beer ramen that the combines everyone’s favorite two loves.
Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Monday-Friday 11am-Midnight, Saturday 4pm-midnight
Chi’Lantro offers occasional ramen specials, delighting post-bar snackers with their Korean fusion ramen. Check the website for locations and hours of ramen offerings.
Banzai Sushi and Grill has nontraditional ramen offerings like meatball and tofu. Hours are Mon-Sat, 11am-9:30pm, Sun 12-9.
Location: 3914 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
Should you stray from the sushi menu at Musashino Sushi Dokoro you can order from a variety of ramen flavors during lunch hours only.
Hours are Tues-Fri 11:30-2, 5:30-10, Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30
Location: 3407 Greystone Dr., Austin, TX 78731