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A Handy Guide to the Twin Cities' Best Ramen

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Like pizza from Italy, tacos from Mexico, and pad thai from Thailand, ramen, a Japanese noodle soup, has undeniably become a component of American cuisine. Unfortunately, most of us know ramen not as the simple and sophisticated brothy soup it can be, but the cheap instant noodle late night munchies fix that litters college dorms rooms.

But as the bitter cold of winter approaches, it is time to forget everything you know about that prepackaged square of hard noodles and indulge in the salty broths and hand-made noodles of well-made bowls of ramen. So, without further ado, we present a handy guide to the best ramen in the Twin Cities, to help get you slurping away.

Did we miss your favorite ramen? Let us know in the comments.


Theresa Swaney

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. moto-i

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2940 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 821-6262
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The only restaurant in the Twin Cities with ramen in its name, Moto-I Ramen and Sake House has the widest selection of ramen in town. Their eight different options range from a classic pork ramen to an out-of-the-ordinary miso tempura shrimp ramen. Vegetarians looking to enjoy the warmth of ramen should look no further; Moto-I’s menu includes a vegetarian option that combines tofu, bok choy, corn, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and red cabbage in a spicy vegetable broth.

2. Zen Box Izakaya

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602 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 332-3936
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At Zen Box Izakaya, owner John Ng and Linda Goh give you a taste of Japan's colorful quirkiness with numerous trinkets scattered throughout the restaurant. Stare in wonder at them as you eat an honest-to-goodness bowl of ramen. Choose from three different varieties, all served with noodles, pork belly, bamboo shoots, a soft-boiled egg, and a house-made broth.

3. Masu Sushi & Robata

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330 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 332-6278
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If there is one thing you can count on in life it is the thick, fatty, and salty goodness of pork belly. Luckily for us, the chefs at Masu Sushi & Robata decided to throw this perfect food into a bowl of ramen for an out-of-this-world taste sensation. Masu Sushi & Robata also have a traditional miso ramen, curry ramen, and clam ramen, but why would you eat anything other than pork belly? Seriously.

4. Obento-Ya

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1510 Como Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 331-1432
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A small neighborhood eatery at the corner of Como Ave and 15th Ave, Obento-Ya has an extensive menu of Japanese favorites, including ramen. Executive Chef Mie Winters’s signature ramen is a delicate mixture of seasoned broth, noodles, and ginger pork. With Obento-Ya’s sleek and sophisticated styling, you are easily transported to the land of the rising sun as you slurp away.

5. One Two Three Sushi

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318 14th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 208-1341
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Known for its pick-your-own sushi rolls, this trendy, contemporary restaurant also serves up a variety of ramen bowls for a mere $8.99. From pork belly to beef shortrib to vegetable, all of One Two Three’s ramen comes with a soft poached egg, seaweed, a fish cake, scallions, and chili spices. With three different locations, two in downtown and one in Dinkytown, and the ability to take your ramen to go, One Two Three is a great option to satisfy your ramen cravings.

6. United Noodles and UniDeli

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2015 E 24th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 721-6677
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There is no way around it, Unideli is a fun place to be. This quick service eatery is located inside United Noodles, an expansive Asian grocery store in South Minneapolis, and serves up a wide range of cheap and delicious Asian dishes. Order their miso ramen with roast pork, only $8.50, and peruse the nearby shelves of unrecognizable products as you wait.

7. 3 Tiers

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5011 34th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55417
(612) 746-1767
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For a slight twist on traditional Japanese ramen, head down south to the unassuming 3 Tiers Bakery Bistro in Nokomis and get a bowl of kim chee ramen. While you can order it with beef, chicken, or pork, this bowl of noodles is really all about chef and owner Sarah Herr’s homemade kim chee. If you are there for dinner, or heck, even lunch, be sure to enjoy your ramen with one of their unique red or white wines on tap.

8. Tanpopo Noodle Shop

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308 Prince St
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 209-6527
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The casual atmosphere and sophisticated yet simple cooking of Tanpopo Noodle Shop in St. Paul’s Lowertown draws a crowd every Monday during their weekly ramen night. Typically offering a pork ramen with a hard-boiled egg and spinach, Tanpopo begs you to break out of the mold and start your week with an evening out. If Monday isn’t your style, they always have a cold pork ramen on the menu.

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1. moto-i

2940 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
The only restaurant in the Twin Cities with ramen in its name, Moto-I Ramen and Sake House has the widest selection of ramen in town. Their eight different options range from a classic pork ramen to an out-of-the-ordinary miso tempura shrimp ramen. Vegetarians looking to enjoy the warmth of ramen should look no further; Moto-I’s menu includes a vegetarian option that combines tofu, bok choy, corn, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and red cabbage in a spicy vegetable broth.
2940 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

2. Zen Box Izakaya

602 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415
At Zen Box Izakaya, owner John Ng and Linda Goh give you a taste of Japan's colorful quirkiness with numerous trinkets scattered throughout the restaurant. Stare in wonder at them as you eat an honest-to-goodness bowl of ramen. Choose from three different varieties, all served with noodles, pork belly, bamboo shoots, a soft-boiled egg, and a house-made broth.
602 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415

3. Masu Sushi & Robata

330 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
If there is one thing you can count on in life it is the thick, fatty, and salty goodness of pork belly. Luckily for us, the chefs at Masu Sushi & Robata decided to throw this perfect food into a bowl of ramen for an out-of-this-world taste sensation. Masu Sushi & Robata also have a traditional miso ramen, curry ramen, and clam ramen, but why would you eat anything other than pork belly? Seriously.
330 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

4. Obento-Ya

1510 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
A small neighborhood eatery at the corner of Como Ave and 15th Ave, Obento-Ya has an extensive menu of Japanese favorites, including ramen. Executive Chef Mie Winters’s signature ramen is a delicate mixture of seasoned broth, noodles, and ginger pork. With Obento-Ya’s sleek and sophisticated styling, you are easily transported to the land of the rising sun as you slurp away.
1510 Como Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

5. One Two Three Sushi

318 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Known for its pick-your-own sushi rolls, this trendy, contemporary restaurant also serves up a variety of ramen bowls for a mere $8.99. From pork belly to beef shortrib to vegetable, all of One Two Three’s ramen comes with a soft poached egg, seaweed, a fish cake, scallions, and chili spices. With three different locations, two in downtown and one in Dinkytown, and the ability to take your ramen to go, One Two Three is a great option to satisfy your ramen cravings.
318 14th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

6. United Noodles and UniDeli

2015 E 24th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404
There is no way around it, Unideli is a fun place to be. This quick service eatery is located inside United Noodles, an expansive Asian grocery store in South Minneapolis, and serves up a wide range of cheap and delicious Asian dishes. Order their miso ramen with roast pork, only $8.50, and peruse the nearby shelves of unrecognizable products as you wait.
2015 E 24th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404

7. 3 Tiers

5011 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417
For a slight twist on traditional Japanese ramen, head down south to the unassuming 3 Tiers Bakery Bistro in Nokomis and get a bowl of kim chee ramen. While you can order it with beef, chicken, or pork, this bowl of noodles is really all about chef and owner Sarah Herr’s homemade kim chee. If you are there for dinner, or heck, even lunch, be sure to enjoy your ramen with one of their unique red or white wines on tap.
5011 34th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55417

8. Tanpopo Noodle Shop

308 Prince St, Saint Paul, MN 55101
The casual atmosphere and sophisticated yet simple cooking of Tanpopo Noodle Shop in St. Paul’s Lowertown draws a crowd every Monday during their weekly ramen night. Typically offering a pork ramen with a hard-boiled egg and spinach, Tanpopo begs you to break out of the mold and start your week with an evening out. If Monday isn’t your style, they always have a cold pork ramen on the menu.
308 Prince St
Saint Paul, MN 55101

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