clock menu more-arrow no yes

Vancouver's Top 10 Try Before You Die Ramen

View as Map

Vancouver is blessed with a huge variety of ramen shops. We asked food blogger Christina Tsang to create a must-eat list.
shutterstock_158371706.jpg
[Photo Credit: Shutterstock]

Oh ramen, how you captivate us. With just a simple combination of noodles, intense broth and a few toppings, you have charmed us Vancouverites into fitting you into our diet year round. You give us a warm embrace during our endless grey fall, winter, and spring. In summer, your starchiness provides us with the energy to do our Yoga, paddle boarding and sometimes even Yoga on our paddleboards.
There's a ramen for everyone in Vancouver. Whether one loves thicker noodles, curly noodles, thin noodles, deep and complex soup, or even broth that's light and sweet, the city's ramenyas have us all sated. Out of these unique and must-have ramens, which one matches you the best?
Got a suggestion for a spot you think deserves to be added? Drop us a line or leave a comment. And YES we know - one is in Richmond but it was too good to leave out.


Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gyoza Bar

Copy Link
622 West Pender Street, Vancouver
BC V6B 1V8, Canada
Kaisen Tomato Ramen: This deftly fuses French Bouillabaisse with Japanese Ramen, resulting in an item that has impactful flavours yet retains the comforting quality both iconic dishes are renowned for. Chef Kazuya Matsuoka utilizes saffron, seafood and tomatoes to create a complex soup brimming with umami taste. The distinct broth is perfectly paired with chewy medium width in-house made noodles, a bounty of expertly cooked seafood, and extremely tender and juicy sous-vide chicken chasu. This elevated ramen is in a class of its own in Vancouver and is a new ramen experience that must be tried.

2. Harvest Community Foods

Copy Link
243 Union St, Vancouver
BC V6A 2B2, Canada
(604) 682-8851
Visit Website
Pork Shoulder Ramen: The non-vegetarian ramen served at Harvest Union combines traditional elements with more modern Western touches. The thin wavy noodles bathe in a clear salty broth that is best described as a shio broth. The well executed egg served can rival more traditional ramenya’s version. The more unusual components include the well seasoned and fork tender pork shoulder in lieu of chasu. Radish and salad greens provide an appetizing colour to the dish. Although the leafy vegetables wilt somewhat in the hot soup, they still provide a crunchy contrast to the noodles. Speaking of crunch, did I mention this ramen also comes with a crispy strip of BACON!

3. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火

Copy Link
1690 Robson St, Vancouver
BC V6G 1C7, Canada
(604) 681-8121
Visit Website
Toroniku Ramen: The toroniku (pork cheek) chasu served at Santouka is melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. It is served on a separate plate to prevent the heat of the soup from liquefying the fat in the pork cheek. When you are ready to enjoy this wonderful ramen, place the well-marinated slow-cooked toroniku slices in the broth to allow the heat to release its fatty flavor and soften the meat. Santouka deploys a slow boiled cream coloured smooth and decadent tonkotsu broth. The ramen is completed with thin white noodles which doesn’t have too much of a kansui taste and as such takes a secondary role to stars of this dish: the broth and Toroniku chasu.[Image via Yelp]

4. Kintaro

Copy Link
788 Denman St., Vancouver
BC V6G 2L5, Canada
(604) 682-7568
Miso Ramen (Medium Broth & Fatty Cha-su): One of the original purveyors of ramen in Vancouver, Kintaro still serves a fantastic bowl of ramen that gives their customers customizable options. You can choose from a light, medium and rich broth and either fatty or lean chasu. Out of all the options available their Miso Ramen with a medium broth and fatty chasu is a tasty combination. The sweet and salty miso stands out when you first sip the soup and then a complex and rich flavour follows through. The fatty chasu is tender and flavourful; much better the stringier lean chasu. This robust and deep flavored ramen keeps the people lined up at Kintaro after all these years.

5. Marutama Ra-men

Copy Link
780 Bidwell St, Vancouver
BC V6G 2J6, Canada
(604) 688-8837
Visit Website
Marutama consistently produces the best Ajitsuke Tamago in the city. This perfect egg always features a gooey and creamy yolk. The mirin soy marinade used not only permeates the outer layers of the egg but also reaches the runny yolk; a rare feat! This fantastic egg is only one of four standout features of the Tamago Ramen. Marutama use a unique appetizing chicken broth which is light yet has an intense umami taste. The flavor of the broth is further elevated with the addition of the salty Aosa seaweed. Even Marutama’s noodle are distinct as they are the thinnest ramen noodles used in the city which complements the lighter chicken broth used by the ramenya.

6. Motomachi Shokudo

Copy Link
740 Denman St, Vancouver
BC V6G 2L5, Canada
(604) 609-0310
Charcoal Ramen: This distinct pitch black ramen is unique to Motomachi Shokudo. Despite its colour the flavor of the charcoal is handled deftly by the chef’s at this ramenya. The soup is well balanced to allow the eater to taste and enjoy the flavour of the charcoal without it overwhelming the umami component of the broth. Complete with an ajitsuke tamago, pork chasu, bamboo and green onion slivers, this solid and innovative ramen is a perfect break from the traditional noodles served in town.

7. Ramen Jinya

Copy Link
270 Robson St., Vancouver
BC V6B 0E7, Canada
(604) 568-9711
Visit Website
Tonkotsu Black Ramen: Utilizing black garlic oil and fried shallots, Jinya’s Tonkotsu Black ramen is beyond aromatic. You can smell the fragrant ramen before you see it. The black garlic oil is drizzled across the top of Jinya’s rich tonkotsu broth, allowing it to get entwined in every curly yellow noodle one pulls out of the soup yielding a sweet and nutty mouthful. In addition to the pungent dark oil, Jinya’s tonkastsu soup is a flavor monster that cannot be ignored. Jinya’s cloudy beige broth has unique sweetness and slight collagen aftertaste. This intoxicating and full body ramen cannot be missed.

8. Taishoken Ramen

Copy Link
515 Abbott Street, Vancouver
BC V6B 0J9, Canada
(778) 737-3805
Tsuke-men with Pork Belly Cha Su: Taishoken is a Japanese chain that claims to have invented the Tsuke-men style of ramen in Japan. Also known as dipping ramen, cold curly noodles are served separately on a plate paired with a bowl of sweet and savoury soup. As one can guess from the name, to eat this dish, take the noodle and dip them into the soup, allowing the umami rich and soy sauce sweetened soup to coat each strand. Two key features make this Tsuke-men great. The pork belly chasu is seasoned well and super tender. Secondly, staff will bring out a thermos of plain broth so you can adjust the flavour of the soup to your liking, enabling you to slurp up every last drop.

9. Takayama Ramen

Copy Link
203-1610 Robson street, Vancouver
BC, Canada
White Sesame Ramen: This extremely aromatic ramen is reminiscent of Chinese Dan Dan noodles due to use of ground sesame in the broth. As a result, the broth is fairly thick and each sip has a sweet nuttiness that is balanced with touch of spiciness. The well-seasoned pieces of chasu are tender and generously sized. The two pieces of pork cover combined cover the entire surface of the bowl. This novel ramen served from a second floor food court is a must try.

10. Yah-Yah-Ya Ramen

Copy Link
#1423 - 8388 Capstan Way
V6X 4A7, Canada
(604) 285-5113
Shoyu Ramen (Hard, Normal, Normal): Tucked away in one of Richmond’s many restaurant-packed strip malls, Yah Yah Ya is the only ramenya in the Lower Mainland serving the city of Yokohama’s signature ramen: Le Kei Ramen. The broth, called Le kei, is a slow simmer soup similar to Tonkotsu but includes soy sauce and sometimes chicken bones. The version at Yah Yah Ya has impactful light sweetness that makes you want to drink every last drop of the soup. In addition to the distinguishing Le Kei broth, eaters get to customize the firmness of the noodles, heaviness of the broth and how much oil, (traditionally chicken oil) is desired for the bowl of ramen. Lastly, this Le Kei steeped ramen is traditionally paired with spinach which provides a contrasting texture but its ferrous flavour also works well with the intense soup and imparts some of flavour to the soup. If the name of this ramenya doesn’t put a smile on your face, then its shoyu ramen will.

Loading comments...

1. Gyoza Bar

622 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1V8, Canada
Kaisen Tomato Ramen: This deftly fuses French Bouillabaisse with Japanese Ramen, resulting in an item that has impactful flavours yet retains the comforting quality both iconic dishes are renowned for. Chef Kazuya Matsuoka utilizes saffron, seafood and tomatoes to create a complex soup brimming with umami taste. The distinct broth is perfectly paired with chewy medium width in-house made noodles, a bounty of expertly cooked seafood, and extremely tender and juicy sous-vide chicken chasu. This elevated ramen is in a class of its own in Vancouver and is a new ramen experience that must be tried.
622 West Pender Street, Vancouver
BC V6B 1V8, Canada

2. Harvest Community Foods

243 Union St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2B2, Canada
Pork Shoulder Ramen: The non-vegetarian ramen served at Harvest Union combines traditional elements with more modern Western touches. The thin wavy noodles bathe in a clear salty broth that is best described as a shio broth. The well executed egg served can rival more traditional ramenya’s version. The more unusual components include the well seasoned and fork tender pork shoulder in lieu of chasu. Radish and salad greens provide an appetizing colour to the dish. Although the leafy vegetables wilt somewhat in the hot soup, they still provide a crunchy contrast to the noodles. Speaking of crunch, did I mention this ramen also comes with a crispy strip of BACON!
243 Union St, Vancouver
BC V6A 2B2, Canada

3. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火

1690 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C7, Canada
Toroniku Ramen: The toroniku (pork cheek) chasu served at Santouka is melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. It is served on a separate plate to prevent the heat of the soup from liquefying the fat in the pork cheek. When you are ready to enjoy this wonderful ramen, place the well-marinated slow-cooked toroniku slices in the broth to allow the heat to release its fatty flavor and soften the meat. Santouka deploys a slow boiled cream coloured smooth and decadent tonkotsu broth. The ramen is completed with thin white noodles which doesn’t have too much of a kansui taste and as such takes a secondary role to stars of this dish: the broth and Toroniku chasu.[Image via Yelp]
1690 Robson St, Vancouver
BC V6G 1C7, Canada

4. Kintaro

788 Denman St., Vancouver, BC V6G 2L5, Canada
Miso Ramen (Medium Broth & Fatty Cha-su): One of the original purveyors of ramen in Vancouver, Kintaro still serves a fantastic bowl of ramen that gives their customers customizable options. You can choose from a light, medium and rich broth and either fatty or lean chasu. Out of all the options available their Miso Ramen with a medium broth and fatty chasu is a tasty combination. The sweet and salty miso stands out when you first sip the soup and then a complex and rich flavour follows through. The fatty chasu is tender and flavourful; much better the stringier lean chasu. This robust and deep flavored ramen keeps the people lined up at Kintaro after all these years.
788 Denman St., Vancouver
BC V6G 2L5, Canada

5. Marutama Ra-men

780 Bidwell St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2J6, Canada
Marutama consistently produces the best Ajitsuke Tamago in the city. This perfect egg always features a gooey and creamy yolk. The mirin soy marinade used not only permeates the outer layers of the egg but also reaches the runny yolk; a rare feat! This fantastic egg is only one of four standout features of the Tamago Ramen. Marutama use a unique appetizing chicken broth which is light yet has an intense umami taste. The flavor of the broth is further elevated with the addition of the salty Aosa seaweed. Even Marutama’s noodle are distinct as they are the thinnest ramen noodles used in the city which complements the lighter chicken broth used by the ramenya.
780 Bidwell St, Vancouver
BC V6G 2J6, Canada

6. Motomachi Shokudo

740 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L5, Canada
Charcoal Ramen: This distinct pitch black ramen is unique to Motomachi Shokudo. Despite its colour the flavor of the charcoal is handled deftly by the chef’s at this ramenya. The soup is well balanced to allow the eater to taste and enjoy the flavour of the charcoal without it overwhelming the umami component of the broth. Complete with an ajitsuke tamago, pork chasu, bamboo and green onion slivers, this solid and innovative ramen is a perfect break from the traditional noodles served in town.
740 Denman St, Vancouver
BC V6G 2L5, Canada

7. Ramen Jinya

270 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6B 0E7, Canada
Tonkotsu Black Ramen: Utilizing black garlic oil and fried shallots, Jinya’s Tonkotsu Black ramen is beyond aromatic. You can smell the fragrant ramen before you see it. The black garlic oil is drizzled across the top of Jinya’s rich tonkotsu broth, allowing it to get entwined in every curly yellow noodle one pulls out of the soup yielding a sweet and nutty mouthful. In addition to the pungent dark oil, Jinya’s tonkastsu soup is a flavor monster that cannot be ignored. Jinya’s cloudy beige broth has unique sweetness and slight collagen aftertaste. This intoxicating and full body ramen cannot be missed.
270 Robson St., Vancouver
BC V6B 0E7, Canada

8. Taishoken Ramen

515 Abbott Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0J9, Canada
Tsuke-men with Pork Belly Cha Su: Taishoken is a Japanese chain that claims to have invented the Tsuke-men style of ramen in Japan. Also known as dipping ramen, cold curly noodles are served separately on a plate paired with a bowl of sweet and savoury soup. As one can guess from the name, to eat this dish, take the noodle and dip them into the soup, allowing the umami rich and soy sauce sweetened soup to coat each strand. Two key features make this Tsuke-men great. The pork belly chasu is seasoned well and super tender. Secondly, staff will bring out a thermos of plain broth so you can adjust the flavour of the soup to your liking, enabling you to slurp up every last drop.
515 Abbott Street, Vancouver
BC V6B 0J9, Canada

9. Takayama Ramen

203-1610 Robson street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
White Sesame Ramen: This extremely aromatic ramen is reminiscent of Chinese Dan Dan noodles due to use of ground sesame in the broth. As a result, the broth is fairly thick and each sip has a sweet nuttiness that is balanced with touch of spiciness. The well-seasoned pieces of chasu are tender and generously sized. The two pieces of pork cover combined cover the entire surface of the bowl. This novel ramen served from a second floor food court is a must try.
203-1610 Robson street, Vancouver
BC, Canada

10. Yah-Yah-Ya Ramen

#1423 - 8388 Capstan Way, V6X 4A7, Canada
Shoyu Ramen (Hard, Normal, Normal): Tucked away in one of Richmond’s many restaurant-packed strip malls, Yah Yah Ya is the only ramenya in the Lower Mainland serving the city of Yokohama’s signature ramen: Le Kei Ramen. The broth, called Le kei, is a slow simmer soup similar to Tonkotsu but includes soy sauce and sometimes chicken bones. The version at Yah Yah Ya has impactful light sweetness that makes you want to drink every last drop of the soup. In addition to the distinguishing Le Kei broth, eaters get to customize the firmness of the noodles, heaviness of the broth and how much oil, (traditionally chicken oil) is desired for the bowl of ramen. Lastly, this Le Kei steeped ramen is traditionally paired with spinach which provides a contrasting texture but its ferrous flavour also works well with the intense soup and imparts some of flavour to the soup. If the name of this ramenya doesn’t put a smile on your face, then its shoyu ramen will.
#1423 - 8388 Capstan Way
V6X 4A7, Canada