Attention, currently cold people: it's ramen season. And there are plenty of new bowls of it to eat.
It's hard to beat places like Ippudo and Momofuku Noodle Bar, but if you want to add some variety to your ramen routine, consider making your way to one of these newer spots. From matcha green tea ramen to a place that tops its noodles with uni and bacon, here are eight new (and new-ish) soup shops to check out this winter.
Another day, another Lower East Side ramen shop that's famous in Japan. This one's known for its soy sauce-based shoyu bowls, which come in such exotic flavors as shiso, ginger, and white soy. The pork belly in the soups here is excellent, but you can also top your noodles with chicken (or get chicken broth) if you're not into the porcine. There are vegetarian options, too.
Some restaurants ask you how spicy you want your food - this one asks you how fatty you want your broth. Another popular import from Japan, Zundo-Ya will ask you whether you want your soup light, regular, or rich. Unless you plan on going to sleep and/or raising your cholesterol significantly immediately after, we have to endorse going with the light option.
Located on a quiet little street of the West Village, Ramen By MEW is a ramen-focused extension of an izakaya in Koreatown. The place has what can only be described as a "backstage at a concert" theme, with tables supported by repurposed amp cases, and a wall that looks like a recording studio. Points for originality, and also points for really good ramen.
Jun-Men Ramen Bar249 9th Ave
Jun-Men Ramen managed to grab some attention upon opening by putting fairly absurd broth-less uni/bacon/mushroom/parmesan ramen on its menu. It's good, but we actual like the more traditional pork bone ramen and kimchi ramen better. If you spend time in Chelsea, you'll want Jun-Men in your rotation.
Okonomi150 Ainslie St.
By day, Okonomi is a tiny Williamsburg cafe serving Japanese breakfast. It's awesome, and if you're reading this during the day, you should get up from where you're sitting and go there immediately. On weeknights, it turns into Yuji Ramen, with an always-rotating menu of delicious hot noodles.
Mu Ramen1209 Jackson Ave.
Mu Ramen definitely serves the best ramen in Long Island City, but it also serves some of the best Japanese food in the city overall. Mu strains a lot of the fat out of its soup, resulting in a lighter (but still pretty rich) flavor. Beyond that, the rest of the food - referred to as "Treats" on the menu - is great as well.
Do you want to enjoy ramen, while also fulfilling your fantasy of immersing yourself in something that looks like Nickelodeon Slime? Mentoku in Hell's Kitchen makes a matcha green tea ramen. If you prefer your broth in a more standard tan color, that's available too.
Ramen Lab70 Kenmare St.
Ramen Lab wowed us when it first opened, and we'd definitely like to eat the shoyu ramen they made when they were getting things started. These days, they operate as a venue for various ramen pop-ups with noodle shops from around the world setting up residencies for a few weeks at a time. The good news is that Ramen Lab pretty much always has a new ramen - the next pop-up starts in early February.