This post may contain affiliate links, which help us generate revenue so that we can keep producing awesome content for you. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for using our links and giving us the opportunity to share a sliver of this great big world with you.
If you told me I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, I’d probably choose ramen. Chicago has seen a growth in ramen shops over the last few years, and I’ve made it a point to sample as many as I can. Here is my roundup of the top five best ramen shops in Chicago that you have to visit on your next trip to the Windy City.
1. Ramen Wasabi
If you only have time to visit one ramen shop in Chicago, make it Ramen Wasabi. While some ramen shops specialize in one type of ramen, it seems that Ramen Wasabi specializes in all types. Their broth is a pork bone broth that simmers for up to 45 hours, which is what gives it such a rich flavor. This is also one of the few ramen shops in Chicago where you can find tsukemen (dipping noodle), and it is one of the best. Overall, Ramen Wasabi makes the best ramen in Chicago.
Address: 2101 N. Milwaukee Ave. (Logan Square)
2. Ramen Takeya
Ramen Takeya comes in a close second for best ramen in Chicago. For those who like lighter flavors, Ramen Takeya’s signature paitan broth will satisfy every craving. Made from cage free, no hormone, no antibiotic chicken bones, the paitan broth is full of collagen and flavor without feeling overpowering. Make sure you try the classic Chicken Paitan Ramen or the Spicy Chicken Paitan Ramen if you’re looking for a little extra spice in your life.
I would recommend skipping the tsukemen here, as I was not impressed by it. If you’re craving tsukemen, check out Ramen Wasabi or Umai.
Address: 819 W. Fulton Market (Fulton Market District)
3. High Five
On the opposite side of the spectrum from the light and airy Ramen Takeya is High Five Ramen. Located in the basement of Green Street Meats, High Five Ramen packs more heat and intensity into a bowl of ramen than you ever could have imagined to be possible. Their menu is simple: there are only four types of ramen (tonkotsu, shio, shoyu, and maitake) and five levels of spice (no spice, 1/4 spice, 1/2 spice, full spice, and kanabo spice) to choose from.
The spice levels at High Five Ramen are no joke. As someone with a pretty decent spice tolerance, the maximum spice level I can handle at High Five is 1/2 spice. Do not even attempt the kanabo spice unless you have expert level spice tolerance or a serious masochistic tendency toward causing yourself severe bodily harm at ramen shops.
Address: 112 N. Green St. (West Loop)
Umai is so much more than just ramen, but their ramen is something to write home about. I always complain about how difficult it is to find good tsukemen in Chicago, so I was very pleasantly surprised when the tsukemen I ordered at Umai came packed with flavor. This is the perfect place to go with friends when you’re the only one in the group craving ramen.
Address: 730 S. Clark St. (South Loop) & 1217 W. Fullerton Ave. (Lincoln Park)
5. Friends Ramen
One thing I miss the most about Japan is the izakayas (you can read more about izakayas here), or informal bars that serve alcohol and tapa-sized snacks. Luckily, we have Friends Ramen in Chicago. Here, you can order small bowls of ramen and traditional Japanese drinks in a small, cozy bar. I usually order two bowls of ramen and a snack, or on the rare occasion three bowls of ramen when I’m starving. For snacks, I highly recommend the takoyaki, which is the most authentic takoyaki outside of Japan that I have found.
Address: 808 N. State St. (River North)
Price: $6.25-6.75 (izakaya-style small bowls)
There are many ramen shops in Chicago, but I’m sure you want to try other types of food on your next trip to Chicago as well. If you make it to any of these top five best ramen shops in Chicago, let us know how you liked it in the comments below!
Looking for more places to eat and drink in Chicago? Then you might want to check out these posts:
- A Local’s Guide to the 35 Best Restaurants in Chicago
- 25 Most Instagrammable Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes in Chicago
- 11 Best Chicago Coffee Shops According to a Local
- A Local’s Guide to the 15 Best Breweries in Chicago
Like it? Love it? Pin it!