Your Official Boston Ramen Calendar
Here's how to eat a steaming bowl of Japanese noodles three times a day, seven days a week, and never repeat yourself.
Over the past couple of years, Boston has been morphing from a ramen desert into a city teeming with bowls of hot broth, chewy noodles, and tender pork. For this, we can thank a combination of new specialistsâ€”like Yume WoKatare, Snappy Ramen, and, soon, Totto in Allstonâ€”as well as some enterprising non-traditionalists, like Newtonâ€™s Sycamore and Fenwayâ€™s Sweet Cheeks, that are all putting their own creative spins on the Japanese comfort food. Weâ€™ve reached a ramen saturation point where itâ€™s actually possible to slurp the stuff three times a dayâ€”for lunch, dinner, and late night*â€”for a full week, without ever doubling up on locales. But how, you ask? Herewith, our unofficial Official Boston Ramen Calendar. â€“Panicha Imsomboon
Hidden inside of the Super 88 food court in Allston, this small ramen shop offers three kinds of soup: shoyu, shio, and miso. Toppings for the homemade noodles are varied, but basic ones are sliced pork, corn, wakame, nori, and scallions.
Ramen starts at $7.99, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m., 1 Brighton Ave., Allston; 617-789-4818, pikaichiboston.com.
Sweet Cheeks, Fenway
Plan far ahead of time to try this barbecue destinationâ€™s take on ramenâ€”although itâ€™s served between 9 and 10 p.m., lines tend to form around 8 p.m. Ramen styles change often, and you can call the restaurant in advance to inquire whatâ€™s in store (past iterations have included fried chicken and duck).
$15, Monday 9 p.m.-10 p.m., 1381 Boylston St., Boston; 617-266-1300, sweetcheeksq.com.
If you start at Sweet Cheeks early, thereâ€™s still time to zoom over to Sycamore for one final bowl. The Newton bistro serves its own scratch-made tonkotsu-style ramen (complete with Berkshire pork chashu, chicory kimchi, and seaweed butter) on its Monday-only â€śBig Trouble in Little Sycamoreâ€ť nights, which goes from 9 until 11 p.m.
$15, Monday 9 p.m.-11 p.m., 755 Beacon St., Newton; 617-244-4445, sycamorenewton.com.Â
Myers + Chang, South End
This South End staple added shrimp, fermented tofu, and quail egg ramen to its menu a little over a year ago. Pro tip: the number of available bowls varies from day-to-day, so arrive early to guarantee that you get one.
$13, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., 1145 Washington St., Boston; 617-542-5200, myersandchang.com.
Snappy Ramen, Davis Square
Having converted from â€śSnappy Sushiâ€ť to â€śSnappy Ramenâ€ť last year, the place is one of the only (if not the only) places in the area that currently sells tsukemenâ€”a style of ramen that separates the broth and noodlesâ€”on the menu. Chef Youji Iwakura, an alum of Uni and Yakitori Zai, also offers dashi assari ramen, which has a tonkotsu base.
Ramen starts at $9, 5 p.m.- 10 p.m., 420 Highland Ave., Somerville; 617-625-6400.
Myung Dong 1st Avenue, Allston
If the thought of ramen isnâ€™t enough to keep you up late, consider Myung Dong’s Korean-style ramen served alongside giant fruity soju bowls. This Allston bar specializes in soju cocktails and a heartier style of ramen with components like rice cakes, pork dumplings, and cheese.
$6.99, 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m., 90 Harvard Ave., Allston; 617-206-3229, myungdong1stave.com.Â
Blue Dragon, Fort Point
Ming Tsaiâ€™s Fort Point restaurant serves a lunch-only, miso-based ramen topped with roasted pork, pickled daikon, soft-boiled egg, and a handful of watercress.
$12, Monday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 324 A St., Boston; 617-338-8585, ming.com/blue-dragon.htm.
East by Northeast, Inman Square
On Wednesday nights, this modern Asian spot in Cambridge serves hand-cut noodles in a pork broth topped with smoked pork confit and monkfish liver butter. Yes, you heard right: monkfish liver butter.
$12, Wednesday 5 p.m.-10 p.m., 1128 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-876-0286, exnecambridge.com.
At this Brighton izakaya, start your meal with a few skewers of smoky grilled yakitori and a glass of sake, and end it with a pork broth-based ramen topped with two slices of chashu pork and chopped scallions.
$8, 5:00 p.m.-11 p.m., 1414 Commonwealth Ave., Allston; 617-608-3630.
With a variety of ramen optionsâ€”including a chilled hiyashi chukka version and pork-topped shoyu-style ramenâ€”this Brighton Ave. storefront was a welcome addition to the Allston neighborhood last year.
Ramen starts at $8.95, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., 72 Brighton Ave., Allston;Â 617-562-1668.
Back Bar, Somerville
Plan on an early dinner â€”between 4 and 6 p.m., that isâ€”of ramen comprised from overnight-cooked pork broth, and toppings like pork belly, soft-poached eggs, black garlic oil, nori, bamboo shoots, and add-ons like kimchi and bacon.
$14, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. (and on Mon.-Tue., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.); 7 Sanborn Ct., Somerville; 617-718-0249, backbarunion.com.
The Sinclair, Cambridge
Alongside the small plates and bar fare at this music venue-meets-restaurant, there is also ramen with a decidedly southern twist, thanks to toppings like butter-braised collards, brisket, egg, and a jalapeno-sofrito.
$15, 5 p.m.-11 p.m., 52 Church St., Cambridge; 617-547-5200, sinclaircambridge.com.
Fugu Truck, BU West
This season, the Asian food truck has introduced two new ramen bowls: hot shoyu ramen topped with thick slices of pork belly and chilled hiyashi chuka ramen topped with soy-ginger sauce.
$9 for shoyu ramen and $8 for hiyashi chukka ramen, 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., BU West; 646-309-6841, fugutruck.com.
Itadaki, Back Bay
Beer lovers will rejoice for Itadakiâ€™s ramen combo deal, where you can pick your bowlâ€”choose from varieties like miso ramen and shoyu ramenâ€”and it will come alongside gyoza and a Kirin draft beer.
Start at $12, 11:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m., 269 Newbury St., Boston; 617-267-0840, itadakiboston.com
Uni Sashimi Bar, Back Bay
Uniâ€™s ramen is the latest of the late night optionsâ€”you canâ€™t order it until Â 11 p.m, on Fridays and Saturdays only. Options consist of traditional, veggie, and squid ramen.
$10, 11 p.m.-1:30 a.m., 370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston; 617-536-7200, unisashimibar.com.
Sapporo Ramen, Porter Square
Located at Cambridgeâ€™s â€śLittle Japan,â€ť (more commonly known as the Porter Exchange Market) Sapporo Ramen offers both miso and shoyu-style ramen. If calories arenâ€™t an issue, add a cube of butter on topâ€”itâ€™s a game-changer.
$9.95, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m., 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 617-876-4805.
Yume Wo Katare, Porter Square
Check Yume Wo Katareâ€™s website before making the trek to Porter Square, because they arenâ€™t always open. But if they are, youâ€™re here for one thing only: super rich jiro-style ramen, with chewy wheat noodles, and toppings of chashu pork, pork fat, and garlic. Canâ€™t finish your bowl? Youâ€™ll get a â€śgood jobâ€ť from the staff. Slurp every last drop of the stuff? Youâ€™ll get a beyond-satisfying â€śperfect.â€ť
$12, 5 p.m.-11 p.m., 1923 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 617-714-4008, yumewokatare.com.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Abby Lane, Theater District
This proves that you can truly find ramen everywhere in Bostonâ€”from a food truck to a Theater District spot like Abby Lane, which charges a cool $24 per bowl. What does this get you? A bowl of noodles with toppers like baby bok choy, a two-hour egg, and a side of Chinese-style boneless spare ribs.
$24, 11:30 a.m.-12:00 a.m., 253 Tremont St., Boston; 617-451-2229, abbylaneboston.com.
Pop Ramen, Porter Square
This sporadic veggie miso ramen pop-up is only served for lunch on Sundays, when its host, Yume WoKatare, is closed. Keep a close eye on their Facebook page for updates.
$10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 1923 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; Â facebook.com/popramencambridge.
Blue Ginger, Wellesley
Blue Ginger launched a series of â€śSunday Night Specials at the Loungeâ€ť earlier this year, and the first item in this series is ramen. As a result, miso ramen, spicy-kimchi-broth ramen, and Sichuan-style-mala-broth ramen will be served throughout April.
$13, Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m., 583 Washington St., Wellesley; 781-283-5790, ming.com/blue-ginger.htm.
Vegetarians can get in on the noodle action with vegetable ramen, served in a spicy broth. Not a vegetarian? Try the kurobuta pork ramen (which, weâ€™ll add, also contains vegetation in the form of seasoned mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, and broccoli ).
$14, 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 1338 Boylston St., Boston; 617-262-1338, bashosushi.com.
BONUS RAMEN ROUND:
In case 21 bowls of ramen in a week wasnâ€™t quite enough, itâ€™s now possible to try ramen in its more outlandish forms: 1) Coiled into a burger bun at Ki Bistro in Allston; and 2) Stuffed into spring roll wrappersâ€”along with pork belly and scallionsâ€”and deep fried for the brand-new â€śramen spring rollsâ€ť served at Davioâ€™s.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/blog/2014/04/14/ramen-calendar/