Updated: August 15, 2019
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Only 4 Ramen Shops in Japan Have a Michelin Star. Here They Are:

From among the thousands and thousands of ramen restaurants around Japan, just four have earned the special honor of a Michelin Star. In case you're curious, we've introduced those four shops below!

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Michelin Ramen

Ramen is probably the most popular of all Japanese foods. However, the iconic Japanese noodle soup dish isn't a very fancy or sophisticated meal by any means. Most bowls of ramen are less than ¥1,000 and are eaten quickly at a small counter as a quick meal; hardly fine dining. Indeed, despite the thousands of delicious ramen restaurants around Japan, only 4 have managed to earn the recognition of the Michelin Guide and be awarded a star. Those restaurants are presented below.

Note: There are quite a few ramen shops now listed in the Michelin Guide as 'Bib Gourmand' or 'Michelin Plate' awardees, but this article is restricted to the four shops that have earned an actual star.

Sobahouse Konjikihototogisu (Sobahouse 金色不如帰)

Soba House Konjikihototogisu is the newest member of the Michelin-starred ramen club (as of 2019). The shop is located in Tokyo's Shinjuku, next to Shinjuku Gyoen (the 'Central Park' of Shinjuku). The shop's signature dish, shown above, is a salt ramen with sea bream clam base. The toppings include incredible chashu, white truffle oil, and porcini mushrooms in a berry sauce. The noodles are handmade and incorporate a mix of stone-milled Japanese wheat.
The shop operates normally on weekdays, but has a ticket system on Saturdays and holidays. Lunch tickets are available from 10 am, and dinner tickets from 3:30 pm.
Don't miss this bowl while you're in Shinjuku!

Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta (Japanese Soba Noodles 蔦)

The Master Chef Onishi Yuki opened Tsuta in Tokyo's district of Sugamo in January 2012. Since opening, Tsuta received various awards and was adored by famed food critics and writers, both far and wide. Then in 2015, the Japanese Soba Noodles restaurant was awarded one Michelin Star. This made Tsuta the world's first ramen restaurant to ever receive a Michelin Star.

The Shoyu Ramen uses soy sauce that has been matured for 2 years from a speciality brewer in Wakayama prefecture in Japan's south-west. Combining both chicken and asari clams, Chef Onishi has been able to create a broth full deep flavour profiles. The signature dish at Tsuta is the truffle oil-blended Shoyu Ramen - the star of the show. If you are unsure what to get, this should be your first choice!
To eat a Tsuta, there is a bit of a process. First, you need to get there early and get time-slot tickets, then come back at your allotted time for your ramen. When you come back at your time, you are given your deposit back, then you can purchase the ramen via the ticket vending machine. Ramen dishes range from 1000 - 2000 yen depending on the one you choose, along with toppings etc.

Gachi Soba Dojo (ガチ麺道場)

Gachi Soba Dojo is the only Michelin-starred restaurant outside of Tokyo. It is located in Aichi Prefecture, in a small town called Toyokawa. It's definitely a bit more difficult to access than the other shops on this list but is well worth the visit. The chef is a master of dashi and concocts an irresistible broth from chicken and fish that is delicious as salt or soy sauce ramen. The restaurant is only open for lunch and is quite popular, so plan accordingly if you intend to pay a visit.

Sosakumenkobo Nakiryu (創作麺工房 鳴龍)

NAKIRYU is a small ramen shop that opened in 2012 in Otsuka, Tokyo. They received a Michelin star in 2017, becoming only the second Michelin starred ramen shop. Their signature "tantan men" (担々麺), a kind of spicy ramen, is famous and extremely delicious. If you're okay with a little spice, this is definitely the recommended item to try. Once you take your first slurp, the noodles will blow your mind... you won't be able to stop eating! The homemade thin noodles have a perfect texture, smooth and slightly chewy. The soup is spicy yet creamy and unbelievably flavorful with various spices and ingredients. For those who don't like spice, the soy sauce ramen is also excellent.

The store is extremely famous and crowded, so expected to wait over an hour when you visit. Luckily, the shop lets those waiting in line borrow an umbrella in case of inclement weather!

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

    I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

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