Ramen Yamada known for the Tonkotsu Kotteri, a black garlic oil broth. Ask for fresh garlic to ground in for additional flavor. Although it is not listed in our top 5 bowls, it would make the top 6. The broth is slow cooked and not for the faint of heart. Experienced ramen eaters only!
Ramen noodle houses are the go-to spot for a quick meal served up in a hot and savory bowl. While the meal in itself is fast, some diners will go to great lengths to wait in line for a particular craving. Be it the broth, toppings or the texture of the noodles themselves, here are San Diego’s top 5 ramen houses.
1) Tajima Ramen House (4681 Convoy St @Engineer Road in Kearny Mesa)
Die hard fans line up for their fresh noodles available in thin or thick and for the flavorful house Tonkotsu broth. Other broth options include the curry, miso, and soy sauce. The soup comes with BBQ Pork, Boiled Egg, Japanese Seaweed, Green Onion, and Sesame Seeds but anything else is extra. With lunch specials, discounts for students and happy hour pricing, there is no surprise that Tajima Ramen House is a top choice for ramen.
2) Yakitori Yakyudori Ramen (4898 Convoy St @ Raytheon Road in Kearny Mesa)
Known for their Shoyu or Soy Sauce broth, diners love the buttery albeit fatty pork slices. The bowl comes with bamboo shoots, egg, spinach and green onions. Garlic lovers can request to have some crushed garlic to add into the broth for added flavor.
3) Santouka Ramen (4240 Kearny Mesa Road inside of the Mitsuwa Food Court in Kearny Mesa)
Their house broth is the salt one or Shio and comes with medium sized noodles, cha-shu pork, bamboo shoots, sesame seeds, jelly ear mushroom, a slice of fish cake, green onions, and a pickled plum. This spot is cash only but there is an ATM nearby.
4) Underbelly (750W Fir St @ Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy)
A hip twist on a traditional idea, Underbelly has diners placing their order and taking a number. A good tip is to take a seat at the bar should you want to enjoy more than one craft brew or keep a bar tab open when there are long lines. Basic toppings include egg, bean sprouts, ginger, green onion, sesame seeds, and seaweed. The noodles are thicker and soaked in a more oily broth. They are best known for the Underbelly and the Belly of the Beast combos.
5) Izakaya Masa (928 Fort Stockton Drive @ Goldfinch Street in Mission Hills)
Izakaya Masa’s version has thin cut style noodles and fans come to order the Hakata ramen. They do not offer soft boiled eggs but do include pork, seaweed, fried garlic bits, and red ginger. Half portions are available should you want to try out more of the menu.