Since its official opening just over a week ago, Toronto’s Momofuku Noodle Bar has (as expected) been drawing block-long lunch time lineups. Eager to find out why so many people are making a fuss over noodle soup, but can’t be bothered with the waiting? Here are your options for a stellar bowl of piping-hot ramen:
This ever-expanding Toronto institution, open for nearly a decade, now has four locations spread across the city. Each eatery attracts a different cross-section of the people—from students and City workers to homesick expats and condo-dwellers—coming in at lunchtime for a big bowl of the King of Kings ramen, with sliced pork and a rich, spicy broth. $7–$9 per bowl.
138 Dundas St. W., 416-205-1155, kenzoramen.ca.
372 Bloor St. W., 416-921-6787.
522 Yonge St., 647-340-2112.
4860 Yonge St., 647-345-1871.
The three Toronto outposts of this Japan-based chain stick close to the format of the original, providing a fast food–style experience featuring ramens, rice sets, and small snacks. The BBQ pork ramen and the spicy pork ramen are both favourites. $7–$8 per bowl.
332 Spadina Ave., 416-977-8080, ajisen.ca.
5229 Yonge St., 416-223-0618.
7010 Warden Ave., 905-470-6318.
A welcome addition to Baldwin Village’s restaurant row, Kinton (part of the Guu family) has quickly established itself as the city’s go-to spot for ramen. The small menu has seven different types of the noodle soup, like the aromatic Spicy Garlic Ramen, with chili pepper, pork shoulder, and fresh garlic and the Miso Ramen, with soybean paste, slices of pork shoulder, and charcoal garlic oil. $9.50–$10.80 per bowl.
51 Baldwin St., 647-748-8900, kintonramen.com.
Opened just two weeks ago, Sansotei is already getting rave reviews from the online community, with some calling it the best ramen in town. There are only five kinds of ramen on the menu, with the signature being the tonkatsu, topped with thin slices of pork belly and a soft-boiled egg. $8.50–$9.50 per bowl.
179 Dundas St. W., 647-748-3833, sansotei.com.
But wait there’s more:
In the coming months, a few new ramen joints will be opening, adding some more competition to the market:
—Santouka Ramen, a Japanese chain with locations in Vancouver and the US was supposed to open this summer at 91 Dundas St., but is still under construction.
—The owners of Vancouver’s popular Daiji Matsubara have plans to open a ramen shop called Raijin in a space on Gerrard just east of Yonge.
—Yours Truly cook Chris Jang is hoping to open a ramen place near Queen and Ossington, though details at this point are scarce.
Photo: Aaron Lynett/Toronto Star