photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Mensho Tokyo image

Mensho Tokyo



$$$$Perfect For:Dining SoloCasual Weeknight Dinner
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Ever heard of Mensho? Of course you have. The Tokyo-based spot in the Tenderloin is practically synonymous with “best ramen in SF.” While it’s been noodle royalty since 2016, when they opened, they continue to draw a perpetual line. And the line is completely justified. The creamy broth and housemade noodles are nothing short of phenomenal.

Mensho Tokyo image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Once you make it to the front, past the Mensho-branded noren, and step into the casual space, it’s time to go to town on the bowls this place is known for. The chicken-based broth alone will single-handedly make you black out the memory of those 45 minutes you spent standing outside—it’s intensely creamy (the consistency of gravy), and just as velvety rich. In every one of the 12-ish bowls on the menu, wheat noodles are springy and boiled until impeccably chewy. Soup clings to each strand like an overbearing ex, minus the text bricks. Get anything with their slow-cooked pork chashu, which basically falls apart if you poke it with a chopstick. Or go for the GKO (Garlic Knock Out) with five types of garlic and curls of crispy fried carrots. 

Mensho Tokyo image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Mensho Tokyo image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

This ramen demands your full attention. You’ll be laser-focused on crafting perfect bites from your bowl of ramen and barely look up during a meal. That’s fine—there’s not much to see inside anyway, save for a TV playing chashu-making videos and walls full of ramen facts. It’s all the more reason to wait, have your life changed by a single bowl, and leave. And hop back in line next week.

Food Rundown

Mensho Tokyo image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Toripaitan Ramen

A high-bar-setting bowl of noodles. The thin slices of pork chashu are so soft—you can barely pick up a piece without them falling apart.


If you’re someone who uses an entire head of garlic to cook single-serving portions, you’ll love this. It involves four types of garlic, fried, and is topped with a breath-ruining drizzle of black garlic oil.
Mensho Tokyo image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Spicy Lamb Miso Ramen

This is an umami-loaded situation. The orange-tinted broth packs just the right amount of heat, and ground lamb mingles with chili oil and diced red onion.

Mochi Miso Ramen

Mensho’s mochi noodles are advertised on the menu as “extra chewy,” but in reality, they’re a little mushy. Skip these and focus on the standard ramen noodles.

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Suggested Reading

The Best Ramen In San Francisco image

The Best Ramen In San Francisco

The 11 best bowls of ramen in the city.

24 Great Walk-In Only Restaurants For When You Didn’t Make A Reservation image

Forgot to make plans for tonight? Try one of these spots that don’t take reservations anyway.

Marufuku Ramen image

Marufuku in Japantown nails the art of Hakata-style ramen.

13 Great Noodle Soups In SF  image

These delicious bowls will keep you warm.

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