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The Best Ramen In Austin

From chicken shoyu to pork tonkotsu, these are the best bowls of ramen in town.

Austin might be built on breakfast tacos, brisket, and Lone Stars. But when the sun goes down and the temps drop just a little bit—or there's even the threat of a raindrop—it's ramen that fuels the city. Fortunately, Austin is home to some excellent bowls of ramen. From chicken shoyu to pork tonkotsu, these are the best ramen spots in Austin.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Raphael Brion

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8.4

Sazan Ramen

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Sazan is a ramen shop that should be on the radar of everyone with even a passing interest in noodles, broth, or Japanese whiskey. And if you’re into all three? Well, there are some apartments nearby you might want to consider. The specialty here is paitan ramen—a rich and creamy broth made from boiling bones for a long period of time. But unlike other popular spots in town that specialize in tonkotsu (pork bones), Sazan uses a mix of chicken and pork, resulting in a broth that’s just a little bit lighter, but no less satisfying. And as much as we love their original, the spicy and black garlic versions here are our favorites. Oh, and that Japanese whiskey selection we mentioned? It’s large, and they offer flights that you can pair with whatever bowl you end up with.


There aren’t a lot of things that motivate us to make the drive from Central Austin to Cedar Park, which is what puts a meal at Ramen512 and a Spurs game at the H-E-B Center in very unique company. This is ramen at its best—nearly every component is expertly made in-house—with bowls composed beautifully enough to make even the ramen emoji jealous. And grumble as we may about the drive, we’re still out here making it. There are a lot of ramen styles here, so whether you’re doing a tonkotsu tasting tour of Austin or just in the mood for a delicate chicken-and-dashi shoyu bowl, you have a reason to make the trip, too.  


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Komé might be best known as a semi-casual spot to get some great sushi, but by day they also offer a pretty extensive menu of excellent ramen. Some options include a phenomenal and well-rounded miso (with an umami mushroom base, chili oil, and chili threads), a vegetarian miso (topped with fried tofu skin), a more subtle tonkotsu that won’t bonk you over the head, and a delicate but meaningful shoyu. The ramen menu is currently only available for dine-in during lunch, which just means you need to be strategic about how you plan your morning and afternoon meetings if you want to escape for a quick noodle adventure.


There was a time when the Tatsu-Ya name was synonymous with ramen in Austin. Because prior to 2012 when it opened, there really wasn’t anywhere else to get it, unless you were painstakingly making it yourself, or trying to convince yourself that the little plastic package of crunchy noodles in your pantry was “basically the same thing.” All these years later, and there’s still a line snaking around the building, at all of their four locations (North, East, Zilker, and South Austin), for a bowl of their signature pork tonkotsu. Between the long lines, and the soundtrack that could only have been picked by a DJ-turned-ramen chef (true story), getting into Ramen Tatsu-ya feels like you just walked into Austin’s hottest club. 


Marufuku is the only Austin-area outpost of the San Francisco-based ramen mini-chain, now with eight locations across three states. The specialty here, like many other ramen spots in town, is tonkotsu broth, but there’s also a creamy chicken paitan and a plant-based option available for those in search of something a bit lighter. And if you get there early (they only make 15 each day), you can even get your chicken paitan ramen with a sweet and sticky grilled chicken leg on the side, served hot on a sizzling platter.


There are around a dozen different options for ramen at EurAsia, with little to no opportunities for customization, making everything feel very intentional and composed. They also use two types of noodles (straight and curly), which certainly means this place takes their ramen seriously. Our favorite bowls are the “Back 2 Basic” ramen with a delicate and light chicken broth, and the richer black tonkotsu signature ramen with black garlic oil. The spicy chicken ramen with a creamy broth and tender grilled chicken is good, too. There are two locations of EurAsia Ramen, one in Cedar Park, and the other in Allandale on Burnet Road.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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7.9

Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen

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Lucky Robot might be best known for their classic nigiri and their inventive menu of Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) small plates—both of which they do very well—but scroll through the large menu for long enough, and you’ll see a tiny section of broth-based dishes. That’s where you’ll find the Robot Ramen–a bowl made with a light-ish pork shoyu broth, topped with a perfectly marinated egg, green onions, bean sprouts, and pork belly. If you’re used to the miky-white broth more common around Austin, this will be a welcome change of pace for you. 


Kanji Ramen’s specialty is a pork bone-based tonkotsu broth, with salt and spicy miso variations. Our favorite is their signature ramen—a shoyu ramen that comes with black garlic oil and smoky grilled corn that makes it all come together rather nicely. While we’ve seen some consistency issues when they get a little busy, the ramen at Kanji is rich, flavorful, and balanced, and if we lived nearby, we’d probably eat here pretty regularly.


Michi Ramen’s claim to fame is that you can totally customize every part of your ramen bowl— essentially it’s a choose your own adventure, except with hot soup. You can pick the type of broth (including shoyu tonkotsu, miso tonkotsu, shio chicken, and a shiitake vegetable) and the broth thickness (light, regular, or stout). You can even pick the protein and toppings. You might think that this degree of customization might lead to a substandard product, but they’ve been at this for years and have somehow figured out how to deliver a consistent and solid bowl of ramen, down to the perfectly cooked ajitama and onsen eggs, even for takeout. There are three locations of Michi: The Highland and South Lamar locations are open for takeout and delivery, and their Spicewood Springs inside Asia Market is also open for dine-in.


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