The Best Ramen Restaurants In Soho

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With a thriving Japanese community of over 33,000 residents in Greater London as of October 2022, it’s no surprise that the city has become well-regarded for its Japanese food, both delicious and experimental. And it’s in the latter camp that the country’s beloved noodle soup ramen tends to tumble…

Whilst so much of Japanese food follows a rigid, quasi-religious formula, ramen is often the outlier, interpreted any which way the chef wants, leading to a unique personality from each individual purveyor of the good stuff, from Tokyo to Toyota and all the way to London. 

Here in the capital, Soho has emerged as the go-to neighbourhood for ramen lovers, offering a variety of options to satisfy all of your salubrious and sordid cravings, whether you’re seeking a bowl of comfort after a hard day at the Central London office, or a brunch-time hangover cure after a night on the tiles.

Today, we’re exploring the top ramen restaurants in Soho, showcasing the diverse range of flavours and styles available. With this expression of personality through broth and noodles firmly in mind, here are our 5 IDEAL picks for the best ramen restaurants in Soho, London. 

Shoryu Ramen

The moment you step into Shoryu Ramen, you’re greeted with the warm, inviting aroma of their signature tonkotsu broth. Their rich, creamy pork bone soup is simmered for over 12 hours, resulting in a velvety texture that clings lovingly to the Hakatu version’s signature thin, straight noodles.

For those living beneath a soy sauce marinated egg, Shoryu Ramen is a popular Japanese ramen restaurant chain totalling 9 in London as well as outposts in Oxford and Manchester, and was founded by Tak Tokumine, a native of Fukuoka city and a man with bone broth seemingly running through his veins. 

Along with his partner Kanji, the duo are dedicated to championing their hometown’s local specialty, Hakata tonkutsu ramen, which is thick, rich and heavily porcine in its delivery, and hard to find outside of Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. Or was hard to find…

Tokumine’s passion for ramen led him to open his first restaurant in 1980 within the Brewer Street building that also housed Mark Hix’s Soho flagship before its sad closure in 2020, with expansion quickly following.

Today, its Soho homes are in Kingly Court and Denman Street. There’s also one a gyoza’s throw away in Covent Garden, and the inaugural Shoryu also close to chopstick-clutching hand on Regent’s Street. You can even buy their famous ramen in take-home kits from the The Japan Centre on Leicester Square. Tokumine, incidentally, serves as CEO of both Shoryu Ramen and that famous cultural hub for all things Nippon. 

His ambition is undeniable; the name “Shoryu” translates to “rising dragon,” reflecting the founders’ lofty aim to elevate the ramen experience for London customers and bring the beloved noodle soup to the masses. And we’re so glad they did…

Don’t miss their Miso Tonkotsu ramen, which comes with tender slices of soy marinated braised kakuni pork belly, nori seaweed, and a perfectly jammy soft-boiled egg. Heaven.

Their Spicy Goma Tan Tan, a plant-based ramen, is a rich and deeply flavoured tonyu soy milk affair, its sesame and miso broth topped with soya mince marinated in garlic and chiu chow chilli. It’s lip-smackingly good.

Almost of equal billing – almost – is Shoryu’s supporting act gyoza – delicious, fried dumplings. The finest found here are filled with pork, further enhancing the piggy credentials of this must-try ramen joint.

Now, where did that hangover go?

Address: 3 Denman St, London W1D 7HA, United Kingdom

Website: shoryuramen.com


Kanada-Ya

If you’re searching for superb soup slingers in Soho, then look no further than Kanada-Ya. This ramen joint was originally founded in 2009 in Yukuhashi, Japan, by Kazuhiro Kanada, an ex-cyclist who became a ramen chef after a paralysing accident.

The London outpost, which opened in September 2014 under the stewardship of Aaron Burgess-Smith and Tony Lam, has been serving authentic Tonkotsu ramen to the delight of Londoners ever since, the 18 hour pork bone broth giving extra-meaty oomph, the noodles silky smooth. 

Burgess-Smith and Lam have played a significant role in the brand’s international expansion, taking chef Kanada’s comforting bowls well beyond both the original branch in Yukuhashi and England’s capital city. With their dedication to maintaining the authenticity of the dishes, Kanada-Ya continues to win the hearts of ramen lovers across the globe, with outposts in Spain and Hong Kong, and more reportedly in the pipeline.

Back in Soho (on the outskirts of Covent Garden, if you’re looking for a verbal pin drop) the top order is their Authentic Tonkotsu Ramen, which features springy noodles and succulent chashu pork belly in a rich, umami-packed pork and chicken broth. Customise your bowl by choosing your preferred noodle firmness (‘hard’ is spot on, in our view) and level of spice. With monthly specials keeping things interesting and us coming back, we can’t wait to see where Kanada Ya crops up next.

Address: 28 Foubert’s Pl, Carnaby, London W1F 7PR, United Kingdom

Website: kanada-ya.com


Bone Daddies

Bone Daddies undeniably serves some of Soho’s most captivating and creative bowls of wheat noodles in broth. The restaurant is the vision of Australian chef Ross Shonhan in 2012, who wanted to revolutionise London’s casual Japanese dining scene, introducing some of the more grungy, graffiti-led elements of Tokyo’s backstreet ramen-ya.

That aim was realised aptly, with Shonhan building a dining experience that combined delicious ramen with a lively, rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. The restaurant quickly gained popularity for its ‘dialled up to eleven’ ethos, both in the tunes playing and, more importantly, for its homemade broth, chewy noodles, and a great line in fried chicken, to boot.

Although Shonhan announced his departure from the group in 2020, Bone Daddies continues to thrive, staying true to its original mission of serving high-quality, accessible Japanese cuisine in a vibrant and energetic setting.

With its rocking vibe and inventive menu, Bone Daddies has become a Soho institution somewhat in keeping with the area’s cultural heritage of (it was in Soho that the first rock club in all of Europe opened, as well as it hosting The Golden Mile of Vinyl), with its aim to infuse Japanese ramen joints with a ”Western twist” very much realised.  

Their T22 Ramen, named after the legendary chicken shop in Austin, Texas, that ”tumbles” its chicken a spicy coating 22 times, features a soy-based broth with tender pulled chicken, marinated soft-boiled egg, and bamboo shoots.

For something even more punchy, try their Curry Ramen, which pairs fried chicken with padron peppers and a spicy curry-infused broth that will leave your taste buds dancing and your lips tingling. Oh, and the Daddies also do crazy collaborations producing even crazier concoctions – think cheese ramen that uses award-winning Village Maid Cheese. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Address: 31 Peter St, London W1F 0AR, United Kingdom

Website: bonedaddies.com

Read: Where to eat vegan food in Soho


Tonkotsu

Next up, we’re heading to Tonkotsu, whose namesake noodle dish is one of the finest in the city, let alone just Soho.

Opened in 2012 by co-founders Ken Yamada and Emma Reynolds, the restaurant is the result of the duo’s painstaking (and futile) search for great ramen in London. Because, as the ancient Japanese proverb intones, ‘’if you want something done properly, do it yourself, innit?’’.

Prior to opening Tonkotsu, Ken and Emma ran a series of pop-up ramen events at their sushi and katsu joint, Tsuru, for six months. Their dedication to authenticity led them to make their own noodles in-house, setting them apart from other ramen shops. Today, the successful Tonkotsu brand has expanded to multiple locations across London, Brighton (one of our favourite bowls of noodles in the city), and Birmingham.

The team at Tonkotsu takes pride in their homemade noodles, which are crafted daily using their custom-made noodle machine and a precision pH level that’s top secret. Their Classic Tonkotsu Ramen is, of course, the must-try here, with its silky pork bone broth, slices of fatty but tender roast pork belly, and noodles cooked for 32 seconds. Yep, this is meticulous work indeed, but it’s still a bowl that bears plenty of its soul; the perfect balance, we think.

Keep an eye out for the restaurant’s guest chef collaborations, usually released to celebrate Tonkotsu’s birthday in the capital. Recent rippers have included Jose Pizzaro’s Iberico pork ramen with piquillo peppers, served with a shot of sherry, and, last year, chef John Chantarasak’s ramen/khao soi mash-up.

Address: 63 Dean St, London W1D 4QG, United Kingdom

Website: tonkotsu.co.uk


Ramo Ramen Soho

Ramo Ramen Soho, a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the heart of London, is the brainchild of Omar Shah and Florence Mae Maglanoc. Along with chef Budgie Montoya of Sarap and the excellent supperclub LUTO, the dynamic duo are helping change perceptions of Filipino food in the city by introducing a unique fusion of Filipino and Japanese flavours through their innovative ramen dishes.

A standout here is the Chicken Sopas – a traditional Filipino breakfast dish whose broth incorporates both dairy and chicken fat is given the ramen treatment to magnificent effect, its base intensely savoury and rich, its pulled chicken tender and giving. Crispy chicken skin and jammy eggs top it all off because, well, why not?

We’re arguably even more enamoured by the heady and intoxicating Sinigang Ramen here, its rust-coloured, properly pert tamarind base given extra heft via roasted tomatoes. The whole grilled king prawns almost feel like window dressing before you squeeze their head juices into the broth and stir. Then you know…

With its innovative menu, stylish ambiance, and central location, Ramo Ramen Soho has quickly become one of the most interesting restaurants in Central London, and a fine purveyor of ramen to boot. And that’s why you’re here, after all.

Address: 28 Brewer St, London W1F 0SR, United Kingdom

Website: ramoramen.com

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