10 Must-Visit Ramen Shops
When there's a chill in the air, it's the perfect food.
Craving something to warm your insides on a raw day? The traditional Japanese noodle dish is easy to customize, with tons of fresh toppings and spice levels. But the broth and noodles take time and expertise to master, so it’s worthwhile to go in search of authentic preparations. Try these local ramen spots for your next curly noodle fix.
This compact storefront, which opened in 2015, earned a Best of Arlington nod for Best Ramen in 2018. Gaijin only serves noodles Thursday through Sunday; the broths are made inhouse on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Specialty ramens are the stars here, including the Bam Bam—a chicken broth base topped with bulgogi beef, mushrooms, bean sprouts and a soft boiled egg—and Sumo Mama, made with a creamy tonkotsu broth, pork belly, bok choy, egg and black garlic oil. Gaijin offers housemade wheat noodles, plus rice noodles and soba noodles, and toppings ranging from pork dumplings and fried chicken to kimchi and avocado. During the daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m., guests get $2 off sake, beer, wine and appetizers like soft shell crab buns and Tater Takoyaki—fried potato balls with shredded pork, spicy mayo, sweet soy and green onions. //3800 Lee Highway, Arlington (Cherrydale)