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There’s nothing better than a bowl of ramen. Its savoury broth, chewy noodles and endless choices of toppings make it one of the most popular soups on the planet. Known for its versatile yet classic range of broths like shio (salt-based), shoyu (soy sauce-based) and miso ramen, this often pork-bone broth is beloved for its rich umami flavour and its slurpable quality that people can’t get enough of.

Japanese ramen houses are known for being a quick and easy place to stop off for a quick meal, but here in North America, ramen has become so popular that hungry diners will line up around the block to get their hands on a steaming bowl of brothy noods. With hundreds of Instagram reels and TikToks showcasing this Japanese phenomenon, we at NEXT thought it was only fair to share our tips for the best ramen in our NEXT Three Cities.

Where to Score Great Ramen in Your Town


Shiki Menya
824 1 Ave. NE

From old classics to new traditions, this hip ramen spot is taking over in Bridgeland. Father-and-daughter-run, Shiki Menya is a hot commodity. Only preparing enough ramen for 150 daily this trendy spot almost always sells out. The O.G bowls are an homage to the well-known ramen served in most ramen shops across the globe while the new-school bowls are filled with creative creations, like the hazy chicken shoyu topped with chicken fat, A5 Miyazaki wagyu chashu and truffle salt.

Wakado Ramen
907 10th Ave. SW

Located in Calgary’s Beltline Area, Wakado has been slinging out hot bowls of ramen since 2018. The noodles at Wakado are made daily to preserve the tender and chewy texture. You can watch while you wait as the staff prepare the noodles by hand in their glass-encased noodle room. Wakado is known for its chicken-and-pork-based broth. Silky and salty, this balanced broth is made better when topped with Wakado’s specially marinated chashu pork. Its specialty ramen are guaranteed divine.

Boom Boom Ramen House
1817 Centre St. N.

This ramen house is one of Calgary’s hidden gems. Tucked away in a strip mall, Boom Boom is serving up authentic Japanese ramen at affordable prices. Layered with flavour and texture, Boom Boom’s signature ramen is in an umami-loaded tomato broth with fresh noodles and topped with chashu pork, seasoned egg, corn, Tokyo onion and kikurage (wood-ear mushroom) and spinach. Its Hell’s Chili ramen is also a big hit. Made with a chicken broth, this spicy soup is the perfect way to warm up on a winter’s day.


Konjiki Ramen
5051 Yonge St.

Known for their Michelin star-awarded clam, pork and chicken ramen, Konjiki is one of the hottest ramen spots in Toronto. First opened in Japan in 2006, Konjiki was an eight-seat shop in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighbourhood before chef Atsushi Yamamoto brought this concept to Canada. The ramen here is no joke. With fresh noodles made daily and a broth rich in flavour yet light in body, this could be one of the best bowls of ramen outside Japan.

Ramen Isshin
421 College St.

This College Street staple is common ground for ramen lovers in Toronto. Always busy, Ramen Isshin is pumping out hundreds of its black sesame tan tan, tsukemen and wok-fried miso ramen every day. Translated to “One Heart Ramen,” Ramen Isshin is dedicated to bringing authentic Japanese ramen to the City of Toronto with one bowl of love at a time. Its White Sesame miso is a must-try.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
91 Dundas St. E.

Popular across Canada, Santouka’s ramen is some of the best white tonkatsu available anywhere. Starting their ramen journey in Japan in the ’80s, Hitoshi Hatanaka and his family have created one of the biggest ramen empires across the globe. Their tokusen toroniku (or tsukemen-style ramen) is the dish that started it all. This bowl of plain pork broth and chewy ramen noodles is served with all its toppings on the side for dipping and is a favourite during Japanese summers. But, if you’re looking for winter-season warmth, Santouka’s shio ramen, made from a rich tonkatsu base, is a must-order for first-timers.


Motomachi Shokudu Ramen
740 Denman St.

Walking into Motomachi ramen feels like entering a ramen shop in the heart of Tokyo. The wood-lined walls and counter service are akin to the traditional ramen spots all over Japan. And it’s not only the ambiance that makes you feel like you’re in Japan. The ramen at Motomachi is very authentic. Using only the most traditional ingredients, these bowls of ramen are the real deal. Choose your style of ramen and then build your bowl. Whether you want shoyu, miso or black miso, spicy, classic or deluxe, you’ll never leave Motomachi unsatisfied.

The Ramen Butcher
223 E. Georgia St.

Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen is The Ramen Butcher’s signature dish. The pork-bone broth is simmered to perfection, coaxing out all the savoury flavours to get the umami-rich broth The Butcher is known for. With chefs trained in Japan by The Ramen Butcher’s parent company, Menya Kugi Group, this spot is dedicated to giving its customers a taste of real Japanese ramen. Everything here is handmade daily. Highlights from the menu include the orange-miso ramen with pork broth and miso-marinated ground pork as well as the tsukemen cold noodles served with hot pork and fish-based broth for dipping.

Kintaro Ramen
788 Denman St.

Opened in 1999, this is one of Vancouver’s top ramen spots, located in Vancouver’s West End and it’s a no-frills restaurant. The soup speaks for itself, so the atmosphere here is not as trendy as some of our other list dwellers, but what Kintaro lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in top-tier ramen. The miso ramen is a standout: Made with its secret 12-spice blend and soy-bean paste, this ramen is stacked with corn, seasoned eggs, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, green onion and Kintaro’s BBQ pork.