9 Places to Get the Best Ramen in San Francisco (Plus One in Oakland)
With the constant onslaught of new and expanding ramen joints, San Francisco finally joins New York and L.A. in the veritable ramen revolution. And since we all know nothing’s quite as satisfying as piping-hot ramen when we’re feeling stressed, we’ve rounded up some of the best bowls around town. From internationally recognized chains to tried-and-true local favorites, here’s where to find the best ramen in San Francisco.
Diners who come to Ippudo are very serious about their ramen, and for good reason. The wildly popular international chain—notorious for its house rules against taking ramen to-go—now has takeout and delivery options, plus limited-capacity indoor dining. Come hungry and ready to slurp its signature tonkotsu-style ramen with rich creamy broth, hand-pulled noodles, and chashu pork.
18 Yerba Buena Lane; ippudo-us.com
2. RAMEN SHOP
If you’re looking for a delicious bowl of noodles with an upscale twist, head to Ramen Shop in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood. The local favorite was started by Chez Panisse alums and serves up a seasonally focused ramen menu that rotates daily and includes everything from miso ramen to classic shoyu to ramen kits that you can whip up at home. Currently open for pickup and delivery only.
5812 College Ave., Oakland; 510-640-5034 or ramenshop.com
3. MENSHO TOKYO
Only the most patient among us have had the luxury of enjoying a bowl from Mensho, where lines usually run down the block all day, every day. Now, the Tenderloin outpost is offering up ramen meal kits to-go, plus ready-to-eat versions of its soupless soba noodles, for pickup and delivery. Now’s your chance to see what everyone’s been raving about.
672 Geary St., 415-800-8345 or mensho.tokyo
4. IZAKAYA SOZAI
This tiny local favorite serves up a solid menu of izakaya-style snacks, but everyone really comes for the ramen. The restaurant’s classic tonkotsu is the creamy, pork-heavy broth of our dreams. Izakaya Sozai is currently open with limited outdoor seating, but we say order to-go and put together your bowl at home (the restaurant packs the broth separately from the noodles, chashu and toppings, of course).
1500 Irving St., 415-742-5122 or izakayasozai.com
5. MARUFUKU RAMEN
There’s no shortage of ramen shops in Japantown, but Marufuku stands out with its signature Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen that’s a little more subtle than its rich, creamy counterparts in the neighborhood. Its famous chicken paitan (chicken ramen with white broth and a chicken leg) is also available on the takeout menu, and we highly recommend giving it a try. The SF location is now open for limited-capacity indoor dining, takeout and delivery.
1581 Webster St., 415-872-9786 or marufukuramen.com
6. IZA RAMEN
Originally a pop-up at Blowfish Sushi in the Mission, Iza Ramen finally graduated to its own standalone spaces in the Lower Haight and SoMa. Expect rich broth and perfectly textured noodles from the restaurant’s classic bowl. And for fun, add takoyaki (creamy balls of fried octopus topped with nori and delicious sauce) to your order. Both locations are currently open for takeout and delivery.
Various locations; izaramen.com
7. HINODEYA RAMEN BAR
If you’re looking for ramen that’s a little different from your standard miso, shoyu and tonkotsu variety, Hinodeya is your spot. The SF mainstay is known for its whole-wheat noodles and fish stock-based dashi broths with the perfect amount of umami. The vegan “zen” ramen made with a white soy sauce broth is equally light and delicious. The SoMa location is currently closed, but you can still order takeout from the FiDi and Japantown locations.
1737 Buchanan St., 415-216-5011 or hinodeyaramen.com
8. ORENCHI BEYOND
Orenchi is known to have the best ramen in the Bay Area, and with its SF outpost (now open for takeout, delivery and limited-capacity dine-in), you don’t have to drive all the way to Santa Clara for your fix of traditional tonkotsu pork perfection. Once you’ve had the classic, go for the tsukemen dipping noodles with pickled Japanese vegetables instead.
174 Valencia St.; 415-431-3971 or orenchi-beyond.com
9. RAMEN YAMADAYA
Look closely or you might miss Ramen Yamadaya, a spacious, 2nd floor ramen shop on Japantown’s charming cobblestone block. You’ll come here for the rich, creamy, 20-hour tonkotsu broth that the restaurant is known for, although their chicken- and fish-based shoyu broths are equally tasty. Whichever you choose, you really can’t go wrong. Currently open for takeout and delivery only.
1728 Buchanan St., 415-795-4164 or ramen-yamadaya.com
10. RAMEN UNDERGROUND
Anyone who’s ever worked downtown knows the familiar lunch crowd at Ramen Underground. Now that most of us are working from home, it’s more important than ever to support this beloved local restaurant by ordering a bowl to-go (they also have a few tables set up on the sidewalk outside). What we love most about this spot is the customizable menu—add habanero to your soy sauce broth for some serious heat or ask for kimchi with your bowl.
356 Kearny St., 415-999-2503 or ramenunderground.com