This is the twenty-seventh post in the Around the World Birthday Extravaganza Series. Please scroll to the bottom to see all the other posts in this series.
Anyone who wants to try the most famous ramen shops in Tokyo will undoubtedly visit Ramen Street.
This is where eight of the city’s top ramen places – in a row – serve swoon-worthy bowls of noodles at one of the most convenient intersections of the entire city. For a ramen-seeker, it’s a dream come true. Forget trekking around the city to random out-of-the-way places just to seek out ethereal bowls of noodles. Now they are all conveniently in one location.
Once you arrive, you'll quickly see lines forming around the most popular places. Invariably, the one place with the longest line is Rokurinsha, a super popular tsukemen (dipping noodle) place with several locations in Tokyo. Be prepared to wait at least an hour during peak times, if not more.
The last time I went, I waited at least an hour. I remember feeling crazy hungry during that wait. Never did a bowl of noodles taste so satisfying after such a long wait.
But there's a little known, secret way of avoiding the line. It's a bit weird, but if you don't like waiting, it works quite well.
Have ramen for breakfast.
Rokurinsha opens for breakfast between 7:30AM and 10:00AM (last order in by 9:45AM). They then close for an hour before opening again at lunch. There is still a line for breakfast, but it's more like 15-20 minutes max.
The broth used for breakfast is a lighter, less intense version of the lunchtime broth. It still has all of the same beautiful flavors, but it won't knock you out with its rich intensity. The noodles are the same, and overall it's still delicious.
The tonkotsu (pork bone) and dried fish-based broth is stewed for over 13 hours, resulting in a deeply flavorful broth brimming with umami.
The noodles are thick and chewy, like udon. The egg is cooked just enough resulting in that bright yellow, slightly gelatinous center that is characteristic of eggs used in ramen.
Slurp slurp slurp (you are totally encouraged to make slurping noises while eating noodles in Japan!).
If you still have room after breakfast, you can stick around and try any of the other seven ramen places at Tokyo Ramen Street. I've only been to Rokurinsha and Ramen Honda, and they were both excellent. I'm sure they are all very, very good!
All Posts In This Series
Around the World Birthday Extravaganza
Alba White Truffle Fair
Osteria Dei Sognatori - A Traditional Piedmontese Dinner
Italy Wine Tour - Barbaresco
Lunch at Donna Selvatica in Neive, Italy
Dinner at a Truffle Hunter's Inn - Tra Art e Querce
Trattoria Della Posta in Montfort D'Alba
Nighttime Truffle Hunting with a Dog in Alba
Osteria della Arco - last dinner in Alba
Stunning Images of La Morra and Barolo, Italy
First Day In Bordeaux, France - Une Cuisine en Ville
Chateau Haut-Brion Tour in Bordeaux France
Restaurant Le St. James
Touring Bordeaux Wineries - Day 1 - Left Bank
La Tupina, Bordeaux (traditional French dinner)
Cos d'Estournel Tour
Touring Bordeaux - Pauillac, Chateau Lynch-Bages
A Different Paris
Le Relais de l'Entrecote
Hiking at Mount Takao in Japan