Updated: July 16, 2019
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Top 3 tantanmen restaurants in Shinjuku


The Japanese-style tantan noodles are really a nice twist to Chinese cuisine. The soup and toppings are just amazing! Here are the top three tantanmen restaurants in Shinjuku you just have to try!

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1. Niku Soba Warafukuro

The store looks very retro, and the name 'Warafukuro' translates to the laughing owl, so notice the owl on the sign if you can't read kanji.
There's an explanation in the shop that says that their ramen is from Yamagata prefecture and began in the Taisho era. It's apparently one of the famous dishes of Kawamachi.
This time I ordered the spicy noodles. The soup is cooked with chicken. It's a little sweet and has a strong umami taste. The noodles have a little bit of a powdery taste, and are rather on the hard side. The whole dish is quite spicy so it's very nice to have on a hot summer day. This is really good tantanmen!

2.Mokotanmen Nakamoto

You might recognize this brand because their spicy ramen was so popular that they made instant ramen out of it. The place is called Mokotanmen Nakamoto and is on a basement floor.
Looking at the ticket machine's menu is almost overwhelming because there are so many choices and you might be confused by the colour code so here's a simple explanation. The top part in red is the "hot foods" selection. The middle part in blue is "cold foods" selection an also includes some side dishes and extra toppings. The two bottom lines of buttons are for bento boxes.
I ordered Mongolian noodle soup which is the spiciest dish in the shop with a value of 5 on the Spicy Index. This is not recommended for people who don't like hot foods but remember that you can choose to lower the spiciness to the level you want, so adapt it to your taste if you want to try it but can't handle the heat.


"BANKARA TANTANMEN", which is located near Shinjuku Kabukicho, is very popular recently. After entering the Kabukicho Street, you can see this restaurant on the right-hand side. Because it is in this downtown area, it is often necessary to wait in line to get in so better avoid peak lunch and dinner hours if you want to get in quickly.
This is really the most refined tantanmen there is! As soon as you walk into the shop you'll smell the sesame and the mix of pepper, nuts and spices comprised in the dish. The presentation is also beautiful. This is an exquisite bowl of tantanmen!
The dishes are spicy but you can choose your level of spiciness here too. The spiciness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the fresh vegetables.

In closing...

Tantan noodles have exploded in popularity in recent years to the point that it has become somewhat a new Japanese staple dish even though it's originally from China. If you're new to tantan noodles or already a fan, these three shops will absolutely not disappoint. Give them a try next time you're in Shinjuku.

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