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photo credit: Veda Kilaru

Kajiken image

Kajiken

JapaneseRamen

Chinatown

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerDining Solo

There are plenty of places to get ramen in Chicago, but not nearly as many to get abura soba. That's the specialty at Kajiken in Chinatown, a Japanese mazesoba bar serving brothless ramen bowls with toppings like sukiyaki, keema curry, and shrimp. There’s a real DIY feel to a meal here, thanks to customizations, tableside accompaniments, and directions like “stir your noodles for 20 seconds before eating.” Be prepared to eat quickly, since the noodles (which are tasty) cool down fast without broth as insulation. The sparse dining room only has a few tables, and the ambiance doesn’t invite you to stay long anyway, but there are a handful of wooden booths for small groups. And like many ramen spots, solo diners are welcome—Kajiken will put up a temporary partition on a communal table so you can slurp your noodles semi-privately.

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