We’d like to take this opportunity to shed light on a serious, serious subject. People of Chicago - you need to eat alone more. Do it. It feels good. And we’re going to start this movement with the help of High Five Ramen, because eating here solo is the best way to do it.
High Five Ramen is the tiny hidden ramen shop by Brendan Sodikoff and crew hidden in the basement of Green Street Smoked Meats. And we mean that literally. Head towards the door of Green Street but instead pop into the first door on your left and walk downstairs. This basement ramen bar is dark, loud, and has about 15 seats. And that’s why we encourage you to eat here alone. Getting side by side seats in a 15 person ramen bar that’s generally buzzing is tough to do, so why bother waiting forever for a quick ramen? Answer - you shouldn’t. Eat alone.
Write your name on the first grade-style sign in sheet if there’s a wait, which there most likely is going to be. High Five is only open from 6pm ’til 1am Tuesday through Saturday, so there aren’t off-hour times to come. If you’re not going solo, one other person is ok, but any more than that starts to get complicated. If a group is your move, then plan on making a night out of it and hit Green Street upstairs for beers both before and after your meal. You’ll need a Sapporo with your ramen too, because the go-to ramens at High Five are hot. Spicy hot. There are a few options that aren’t, but some sort of spice level is the way you want to go.
The good news is nobody will judge you when the sweat starts trickling down your forehead - you shouldn’t be eating with anyone else you know.
This should be the baseline ramen if you’re a normal human. It comes with excellent sliced pork belly, a perfectly poached egg, black garlic, scallions, and sprouts. Really good stuff with a solid but not overbearing amount of heat.
Same as above but pretty damn spicy.
You get the drill. Hints of sweet miso in here too.
Kanobo Spice is for those who want to prove they are tough or an idiot. Don’t take our word for it though, here’s what’s written on the menu - “Tonkotsu with increased face numbing, tear jerking, belly warming, unbearable spice. There is no relief. Kanobo style is too spicy for most to enjoy. Please don’t order without careful consideration.”
A seafood based ramen instead of meat. Shrimp broth, blue prawns, shrimp dumpling, and garlic oil. If you’re going to share with someone, or eat here a bunch, then give this a try. But don’t order this until you try the Half Spice or High Five style.