A steaming bowl of ramen is perhaps the most comforting and filling food we can think of! San Francisco ramen restaurants are on another level when it comes to quality, creativity, and authenticity. We decided to see where San Franciscans get their ramen fix, so we asked our Instagram followers for their favorite ramen restaurants in SF. Here are their best recommendations.
1. Marufuku Ramen
Marufuku Ramen had the most recommendations by far, and we would be remiss not to include it. This legendary San Francisco ramen spot is to die for, and the sleek dining room makes it worth a dine-in experience. Popular ramen dishes include their Hankata Tonkotsu, Hankata Tonkotsu DX with delicious braised pork belly and seaweed, and Chicken Paitan.
Location: 1581 Webster St, Suite 235
2. Mensho Tokyo SF
Our second-most-highly-recommended ramen restaurant is Mensho Tokyo, a chain with beloved restaurants all over the world. Popular dishes include the Tori Paitan Ramen, Vegan Tantanmen, Spicy Lamb Ramen, and Organic Shoyu Ramen.
Location: 672 Geary St
The origins of this ramen bar go all the way back to 1885, when it opened in front of Hasuda train station in Saitama, Japan. The restaurant was passed down through generations of the Kuribara family, and finally opened in San Francisco in 2016. It quickly rose in popularity here in SF, and some of the best ramen dishes include the Hinodeya Ramen, Creamy Ramen, Tori Paitan, and Zen Ramen.
Locations: 1737 Buchanan St, 680 Clay St
4. Kaiju Eats Ramen & Izakaya
Enjoy both sushi and ramen at this unique spot! Favorite ramen dishes are the Spicy Miso Ramen, Karaage Ramen, Kaiju Curry Ramen, and Katsu Curry Ramen.
Location: 3409 Geary Blvd
This award-winning ramen chain has an innovative view on ramen dishes while also going above and beyond to preserve tradition. Favorite dishes include Karaka Spicy Ramen, Shiromaru Classic Ramen, Shoyu Ramen, and Akamaru Veggie Ramen.
Location: 18 Yerba Buena Ln
6. Ushi Taro Ramen
Ushi Taro Ramen specializes in ramen broth made only with beef bone, meaning most orders come with the physical bone so as to bring all that flavorful marrow into your ramen. Favorite dishes include Spicy Ramen, Original Shio Ramen, Traditional Paitan Ramen, and Vegan Ramen.
Location: 1382 9th Ave
7. Saiwaii Ramen
This no-nonsense ramen restaurant in San Francisco also plates up lovely sushi rolls, and its most dedicated customers truly swear by it. Must-try dishes include Tonkotsu Ramen and Miso Ramen, both of which you can get with spicy garlic.
Location: 2240 Irving St
8. Iza Ramen
Blowfish To Die For’s executive chef Ritsuo Tsuchida started Iza Ramen with his legendary ramen recipe in 2013. Since then it has drawn ramen lovers from all over the Bay. Favorite dishes include the Iza Ramen Noodle, Iza Tsukemen, and Vegetarian Miso Ramen.
Location: 237 Fillmore St
This highly-reviewed vegan sushi and ramen spot brings all the flavor, without the meat! They’re especially well-known for their vegan sushi, but the ramen really holds its own. Options are Shio, Shoyu (soy), and spicy garlic miso, each of which comes with bean curd chashu, bamboo shoots, tempura mushroom, grilled mushrooms, nori, and green onion.
Location: 370 14th St
10. Nojo Ramen Tavern
SF ramen lovers truly rave over this place, which brings a unique perspective to their dishes. No matter what you order, be sure to get a Spice Bomb, which adds a burst of extra flavor and spice to any dish. Their Paitan broth is exceptional, and favorite dishes include Soy Sauce Paitan with Chicken Leg, Tan-Tan Spicy Miso Paitan, and Veggi Miso Ramen.
Location: 231 Franklin St
Enjoy creative and flavorful ramen at this sleek and comfortable shop in Japantown. The black garlic tonkotsu might be one of their more popular dishes, but the spicy Tantanmen ramen is another crowd favorite.
Location: 1638 Post St
12. Ramen Yamadaya
Yamadaya delivers on its simple yet satisfying ramen menu, as well as its selection of other dishes including sushi, bento, bowls, and appetizers. Not only do they have a solid vegan ramen option with miso and cashew butter, but the Yamada-Ya ramen offers some delicious tender pork belly.
Location: 1728 Buchanan St
13. Coco’s Ramen
Although Coco’s diverges a bit from traditional ramen, it certainly brings the flavor thanks to a fun and simple menu that’s been perfected over time. Consider getting the black garlic add-on to pump up the flavor of your tonkotsu, curry, or miso ramen.
Location: 3319 Mission St
Following its successful run as a ramen truck operated by 3 best friends, Torraku opened two brick-and-mortar locations in SF. The made-to-order ramen is delicious thanks to organic pork-chicken broth slow-cooked over 15 hours, but their vegan miso options are also quite popular for plant-based customers.
Locations: 300 De Haro St Suite #338 and 1449 Lombard St
Ramenwell is a popular neighborhood spot with a colorful interior and hearty ramen servings. The pork ramen is delicious, but their vegetarian mushroom lover ramen and vegan ramen are just as popular. Don’t forget to order some rice pudding or soft serve for dessert.
Location: 3378 18th St
Taishoken began as a ramshackle restaurant in Tokyo in 1951 and quickly grew to prominence. They eventually opened their first U.S. storefront in San Mateo and later an additional one on Valencia Street in SF. Both the spicy and vegetarian ramen options deliver on flavor, and it’s worth taking a peek at the cold dipping noodles while you’re at it.
Location: 665 Valencia St
17. Fumi Curry & Ramen
Get your curry and ramen fix at this small cafe in SF. You can build your own ramen bowl from their easy-to-follow menu, or try their special ramen options including California ramen with crab leg meat and avocado or spicy Tan-Tan ramen with ground pork.
Location: 3303 Mission St
Nute’s is a best-kept secret in Bernal Heights with cute décor and some seriously flavorful options. After eating your way through their small ramen menu, you can get started on their Saturday lunch specials.
Location: 903 Cortland Ave
19. Izakaya Sozai
This Inner Sunset spot specializes in creative yakitori and small bites, but that creativity and attention to quality comes through just as much in their ramen options. Try the tonkotsu or veggie ramen with a side of bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms.
Location: 1500 Irving St
Take a seat alongside the Golden Gate Bridge mural at this fun, casual ramen spot in Embarcadero Center. Supplement your order with a Japanese beer, wine, or sake from their solid drinks menu.
Location: 3 Embarcadero Ctr
Honorable Mention: Ramen Nagi in Palo Alto
All right, we’ll bite… this massively popular ramen spot in Palo Alto was recommended so many times on our Instagram poll that we knew we had to give it a little shoutout, even if it’s not in SF! After this chain’s success in Japan, it established its first U.S. locations in California and we’re lucky to have two of them just down the 101 in Palo Alto and Santa Clara. The ramen is customizable and made-to-order, so you can keep going back and trying new combinations.
Location: 541 Bryant St, Palo Alto and Westfield Valley Fair, Santa Clara
Featured image: Photo by David Hunter on Unsplash