Ramen shop

A ramen shop is a restaurant that specializes in ramen dishes, the wheat-flour Japanese noodles in broth. In Japan, ramen shops are very common and popular, and are sometimes referred to as ramen-ya (ラーメン屋) restaurants. Some ramen shops operate in short order style, while others provide patrons with sit-down service. Over 10,000 ramen shops exist in Japan. In recent times, ramen shops have burgeoned in some cities in the United States, such as New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.


A ramen shop typically specializes in ramen dishes, and may provide other foods such as gyōza. In Japan, ramen shops are sometimes referred to as ramen-ya restaurants.[1][2] Some ramen shops prepare all of their foods in-house "from scratch", including the soups, broths and ramen noodles,[3] while others use prepackaged prepared noodles and other prepared ingredients.[4] As of 2016, over 10,000 ramen shops exist in Japan.[5]

Ramen dishes are very popular in Japan and are a significant part of Japanese cuisine, and ramen shops are very common and popular throughout the country.[6][7] In Japan, television shows devoted to ramen shops, their fare, finding the best shops, and local specialties are popular.[7] In the 1990s in Japan, corporate restructuring led to increased employment layoffs and cuts, and during this time articles were published in various magazines about starting up a ramen shop as a means to generate income and become a self-employed entrepreneur in attempts to offset the job layoffs and cuts.[8]

In the United States, ramen shops exist in several cities and states, and in recent times have burgeoned in cities such as New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.[4]

Japanese ramen-ya shops specialize in ramen dishes and exist throughout Japan.[lower-alpha 1][7] Many ramen-ya restaurants have limited seating, and some only have a bar with stools for patrons to eat at.[10] At some ramen-ya establishments, patrons place their order and remit payment at a ticket machine located in front of the shop, and then wait in line for their food.[10] When a seat becomes available, patrons give the server their ticket and then wait for their food.[10] This system can serve to keep the line moving in an expedient manner.[10] Other ramen-ya shops provide sit-down service whereby patrons are provided with a menu and order fare from a server.[10]

Notable shops

The following is a list of notable ramen shops and restaurants.

  • Ajisen Ramen – a Japanese restaurant chain of fast food restaurants selling Japanese ramen dishes, it has over 700 stores[11]
  • Ichiran is a Japanese restaurant chain that originated and is based in Fukuoka.[12] The chain specifically specializes upon tonkotsu ramen.[12]
  • Ippudo – a Japanese ramen restaurant chain that is well known for its tonkotsu ramen, it has been described as "the most famous tonkotsu ramen shop in the country".[5]
  • Ivan Ramen – a ramen restaurant with two locations in New York City[13]
  • Jinya Ramen Bar – a restaurant chain based in Los Angeles, California[14]
  • Muteppou – a Japanese ramen noodle restaurant chain
  • Ramen Street – an area in the underground mall of the Tokyo Station railway station's Yaesu side that has eight restaurants specializing in ramen dishes.[15][16][17][18]

The Japanese film Tampopo involves a premise of the characters encountering difficulties in attempts to create the best noodle shop in Japan.[7] The film Blade Runner has scenes where the main character is served ramen at an outdoor sit-down shop in futuristic Los Angeles.

See also


  1. "Ramen is served in ramen-ya — shops that prepare only that dish... Customers stand in line in front of renowned ramen-ya, waiting for their turn to go inside."[9]


  1. Elsey, T. (2003). Let's Go Japan 1st Ed. Let's Go Japan. St. Martin's Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-312-32007-2. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  2. Chang, D.; Ling, L. (2016). Lucky Rice. Crown Publishing Group. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-8041-8668-1. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  3. Hachisu, N.S.; Miura, K. (2012). Japanese Farm Food. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-4494-1829-8. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  4. 1 2 McKeever, Amy (July 22, 2014). "Inside Sun Noodle, the Secret Weapon of America's Best Ramen Shops". Eater.
  5. 1 2 From the Source – Japan. Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet Publications. 2016. pp. pt384–386. ISBN 978-1-76034-311-8. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  6. Wu, D.Y.H.; Tan, C.B. (2001). Changing Chinese Foodways in Asia. Academic monograph on Chinese food culture. Chinese University Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-962-201-914-0. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Kaneko, A. (2007). Let's Cook Japanese Food!: Everyday Recipes for Home Cooking. Chronicle Books. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-8118-4832-9. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  8. Solt, G. (2014). The Untold History of Ramen: How Political Crisis in Japan Spawned a Global Food Craze. California Studies in Food and Culture. University of California Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-520-27756-4. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  9. Keys to Japan: its language and its people. Aruku. 1989. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 Kimoto-Kahn, A. (2016). Simply Ramen: A Complete Course in Preparing Ramen Meals at Home. Simply. Race Point Publishing. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-63106-144-8. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  11. Curry, Judy (February 8, 2017). "Restaurant Review: Ajisen Ramen on Clairemont Mesa". San Diego Free Press.
  12. 1 2 Feldmar, Jamie (May 16, 2017). "Japan's and China's Hottest Food Franchises Have Diners Lining Up in NYC". Village Voice. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  13. Wells, Pete (August 5, 2014). "Restaurant Review: Ivan Ramen". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  14. Gold, Jonathan (July 22, 2010). "Jinya: Ramen Freaks and Noodle Geeks". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  15. Russell, Michael (April 20, 2013). "A walk down Tokyo's Ramen Street". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  16. Rosenbloom, Stephanie (October 30, 2015). "Solo in Tokyo". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  17. "Tokyo Ramen Street's Rokurinsha Makes A Mean Bowl of Tsukemen Noodles". Serious Eats. February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  18. "Navigating Tokyo 'Ramen Street': 8 Great Ramen Stops, All in One Place". Serious Eats. February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
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