11 Must-Visit Ramen Shops

Beat the winter chill with options ranging from traditional pork tonkotsu to vegan miso. And pile on those toppings. 🍲
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Kusshi is one of several spots around Arlington serving ramen, the warm and comforting noodle soup ideal for cold weather. (Photo courtesy of Kusshi)

It’s always a good time for ramen, but it’s hard to beat the winter time. The traditional Japanese noodle dish features plenty of fresh toppings, add-ons and spice levels, making it easy to customize to your taste. Just as important, it’s warm and satisfying on a frigid, gray day. For a cold-weather pick-me-up, look no further than these local shops.


This Westpost eatery opened in 2022 and serves oysters (including the eponymous Kusshi oyster), gyoza, sushi, teriyaki and a host of noodle dishes. Find five types of ramen, including tonkotsu (pork broth, braised pork belly, fish cake, lava egg and veggies) and a vegan ramen featuring kale noodles, tofu and bok choy. They’ve also got three varieties of udon noodle soup. If you prefer your noodles sans broth, try the Kusshi noodles: stir-fried udon noodles with chicken, shrimp, and beef in a spicy drunken noodle sauce, spritzed with orange. // 1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington (Westpost)


Kura has a revolving sushi bar and serves four ramen options, including tantanmen. (Photo courtesy of Kura)


It’s got a revolving sushi bar. Beverage-bearing robots. And more than 140 items on the menu, including spicy scallop hand rolls, soy milk donuts and ramen. This Japanese food emporium in Tysons serves four ramen options—all of which include braised pork, boiled egg, green onion and sesame. But each starts with a different type of broth at its foundation: miso (soybean paste-based), shoyu (soy sauce-based), tantanmen (creamy spicy miso) or tonkotsu (creamy pork). // 8461 Leesburg Pike Suite C, Tysons

Maneki Neko

Named for the “beckoning cat” that symbolizes good luck in Japanese culture, this Falls Church eatery has been dishing out sushi, donburi and ramen for more than 20 years. In addition to traditional ramen, the kitchen also dishes up an assortment of harder-to-find choices, such as duck ramen (duck, baby bok choy, duck broth) and tom yum seafood ramen, which packs scallops, shrimp, squid and noodles into a hot-and-sour Thai soup base. Like your ramen dry? The eatery also serves two types of “cold ramen,” with braised pork belly or duck. //238 W. Broad St. Falls Church


Along with ramen, Toryumon offers sushi, hibachi dishes and several Japanese small plates. (Photo courtesy of Toryumon)

Toryumon Japanese House

This D.C.-based Japanese eatery opened its second location in Rosslyn in July 2020. Don’t miss the house ramen, which features bacon and pork chashu in a homemade tonkotsu broth with a silky texture. Guests can control the level of pork oil and add house-made tantan paste (a mix of peanuts, sesame and chili oil), miso paste or hot chili oil to any ramen order. Toryumon also offers an extensive sushi menu, hibachi dishes and several Japanese small plates. Try the gyoza, fried octopus, soft shell crab and okonomiyaki, which is a savory pancake made with bacon, shrimp and cabbage. The restaurant seats 70 inside and has limited space on its patio when the weather is warm. // 1650 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Rosslyn)

Boru Ramen features more than a dozen ramen variations on its menu. (Photo courtesy of Boru Ramen)

Boru Ramen

The Columbia Pike eatery offers more than a dozen styles of ramen, including bowls topped with crab, fried tofu-edamame balls and shrimp tempura. The pork broth base of Boru’s bestselling hakata tonkotsu takes 24 hours to make, and is then poured over chewy noodles, pork chashu, seaweed, bamboo shoots, egg and green onions. Don’t miss the boruballs appetizer, which are panko-crusted pork meatballs seasoned with soy, garlic, black pepper and rice, served with spicy mayo, powder seaweed and pickled radish. A sushi menu includes special and traditional rolls, nigiri and sashimi. // 2915 Columbia Pike, Arlington


Hanabi’s Champon ramen is served in a pork-and-scallop-based broth. (Photo courtesy of Hanabi Ramen)

Hanabi Ramen

Hanabi, which opened in 2017, offers ramen soups, as well as “dry ramen” dish known as tsukemen. In tsukemen, noodles are served separately from the broth, and the broth is used more for dipping than slurping (until the end). A newcomer to the menu is champon ramen, which finds noodles, vegetables, pork, shrimp and squid in a pork-and-scallop broth. Hanabi is best known for its tan tan men ramen, a spicy miso-pork broth flavored with sesame paste and filled with ground pork, cabbage, bean sprouts, seasoned egg and bamboo shoots. Plump pork gyoza, udon noodles, donburi rice dishes and yakisoba are also on the menu. The tiny shop has only a few dozen seats, including several with a front-row view of the open kitchen. // 3024 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)

Jinya opened a new location in Ballston in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Jinya Ramen)

Jinya Ramen Bar

The tonkotsu black ramen is the top draw at the Mosaic outpost of the national Jinya Ramen Bar chain, which also opened a Ballston location in 2022. The comforting dish features a pork-based broth with pork chashu, kikurage mushrooms, green onion, nori, garlic chips, garlic oil, fried onion, spicy sauce and thin ramen noodles, and it’s topped with an egg that’s been seasoned for two days in soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil. If you like garlic, ask about the off-menu cha cha cha, with a garlic-infused pork broth. // 2911 District Ave. #140, Fairfax (Mosaic District) and 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston)

Kimen makes its pork and chicken broths daily. (Photo courtesy of Kimen Ramen)


This tiny Annandale spot, which opened in 2019 near The Block food hall, is known for its house-made pork and chicken broths, made daily. One of its best-sellers is the spicy tantanmen ramen, with minced pork, egg, bok choy, red pepper and peanut sauce in a pork broth. You can also indulge in plenty of fried appetizers, such as tempura, karaage (fried chicken with spicy mayo) and takoyaki (fried octopus with kewpie mayo and umami-packed okonomiyaki sauce). //4217 John Marr Drive, Annandale

Kizuna makes all of its broths and toppings in-house. (Photo courtesy of Kizuna Ramen)

Kizuna Sushi & Ramen

Open since 2015, Kizuna makes its pork and chicken broths in-house, along with all of its ramen toppings. That list includes toro chashu—pork belly that’s marinated in soy sauce, mirin and sake, then braised for seven hours, wrapped, chilled, sliced, torched and charbroiled. The expansive Tysons Corner restaurant goes through more than 700 pounds of pork belly a week, with much of it going into its best-selling toro chashu ramen, with red pickled ginger and bean sprouts. Add an order of monster dumplings—kaiju gyoza filled with pork, cabbage, chives and garlic—or its other fan favorite, chashu-topped tater tots. The restaurant has a small patio, open in warmer months. // 8221 Leesburg Pike, Tysons


Santouka is known for its signature tonkotsu broth. (Photo courtesy of Santouka)

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

The first D.C.-area outpost of this acclaimed Japanese chain opened in August of 2020 in The Boro Tysons. Santouka is known for its signature tonkotsu broth, made by simmering pork bones for nearly 24 hours. The broth is the base for its best-selling shio ramen, and can also be used for its savory toro-niku ramen—made with pork cheek—as well as a half-dozen other bowls. Along with inside dining, Santouka offers limited outside seating. Order warm sake and bring the restaurant’s custom-made blue porcelain bowl outside to slurp.  // 1636 Boro Place, McLean (Tysons)


Ichiban has three ramen options. (Photo courtesy of Ichiban)


Ichiban is good for groups seeking a little of everything. The pan-Asian eatery in Shirlington offers a sprawling sushi menu, as well as three ramen options: miso (spicy or plain), soy broth and house-made kimchi. And the patio is open in warmer months. // 4251 Campbell Ave., Arlington (Shirlington)

Categories: Food & Drink