Updated: January 15, 2020
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10 of the Most Interesting, Unique, and Wacky Bowls of Ramen in Tokyo


Tokyo is ramen heaven, with more ramen shops than anywhere else in the world. Among all the ramen, there are a few bowls that stand out for various reasons. Here are 10 of the most interesting bowls of ramen in Tokyo!

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1. Coffee Ramen at 'Aroma'

Located in the east end of Tokyo, near the Ohanajaya Station, you'll find Aroma cafe which serves arguably one of the most bizarre kind of ramen in Japan: coffee ramen. The impactful menu item contains the most unlikely combination of ingredients; you'll find in it some bananas, eggs, and ice cream just to name a few things. As for the broth, it's not pure coffee, but a mix of salty broth with some coffee in it. Coffee ramen is not everyone's cup of tea but apparently, there are some fans that love the combination of the bitterness of the coffee and savouriness of the soup stock.

2. Lemon Soba at 'Torisoba Kotobuku'

You know what they say: when life gives you lemons, make an awesome bowl of ramen!
Torisoba Kotobuki is a ramen shop near Ikebukuro Station that is famous for its unique ramen topped with many slices of lemon. The soup is "Tori Paitan" which is made from chicken broth. It is a bit thick and tastes rich and creamy.
So how does lemon work in a ramen bowl? It actually adds some good sourness and a fruity flavor to the rich soup, which creates an amazing combination. The more you squeeze the lemon, the more refreshing the ramen becomes. It's definitely unique and worth trying!

3. Boob Ramen at 'Ramen Bar'

Most people know about ramen culture in Japan, however, a little-known area of Japanese nightlife is "snack" culture. A "snack" is essentially a little bar or izakaya usually run by one person, a woman. Her customers will usually call her "mama" and is an endearing term used by regulars.

The "mama" at this place is named Takako. She runs it by herself and seems to be a popular personality in the area by the seemingly hoards of customers heading her way for the ramen... *cough* boobs *cough*.

4. "Omu-Ramen" at 'Kami no Te'

'Kami no Te' is a unique ramen restaurant in West Tokyo's Koenji neighborhood. The shop serves a variety of inventive ramen bowls that are exciting and unconventional. One of the most interesting was the 'Omu-ramen,' which features an omelet atop a bowl of fragrant tomato bazil ramen!
Unlike most ramen shops that focus on offering a quick, in-and-out meal, 'Kami no Te' operates more like a "ramen izakaya," and offers a variety of drinks and side items that can be enjoyed while relaxing late into the evening. Many people end up going to eat a bowl of ramen after drinking anyway, but here, you can do both in the same place! The shop is closed on Tuesdays, but otherwise is open until 2:00 am every night except for Sunday, when it closes at 12:30. It's an awesome place to hang out, get some drinks, and eat some delicious ramen!

5. Flaming Hot Ramen at 'Yagura Tei'

Yagura Tei is a ramen restaurant located 7 minutes away from Hatsudai station on the Keio New Line running from Shinjuku station. They are most famous for their flaming hot ramen, named both from its spiciness and the actual flame burning on the top as it is served. It's one of the spiciest ramens in the world and most who attempt to finish a bowl can't make it past the first few bites.
The soup is based from a pepper called the 'Red Savina,' which formerly held the world record as the hottest pepper in the world. The red pepper is cut into small pieces and a huge amount is put into the soup. In addition, Savina pepper paste is put into the ramen noodle dough, giving them an extra spice as well. If you think you can handle it, good luck! For the rest of us, the shop also serves a normal bowl of spice-free ramen that is very tasty.

6. Lava Ramen at 'Sekki Ramen'

At most ramen shops, the soup is heated on the stovetop before being ladeled into the bowl and served to the customer. At Sekki Ramen, however, the stone bowls are first heated to over 300 degrees Celcius (570 Fahrenheit) before the soup is added and quickly comes to a rapid boil in front of your eyes. You definitely don't need to worry about your soup getting cold before you can finish it here!
Sekki Ramen specializes in Tonkotsu ramen, and their classic bowl is the spicy garlic tonkotsu shoyu 'Sekki Ramen,' shown above (¥750). The ramen has a pleasant but not overly strong spice to it that is quite tasty. For those who prefer spicier ramen, there are several other varieties to try including the numbingly spicy (from sansho peppercorn) 'Mammoth Ramen,' or the extra spicy garlic soy sauce 'Caveman Ramen,' each of which has a spicy level of 3.

7. Veggie Tsukemen at 'Gotsubo'

The concept of this creative tsukemen restaurant is 'tsukemen with vegetables,' something which is a bit uncommon for the genre. The recommended item has to be the 'Vege Tsukemen,' shown above which is probably the most beautifully presented tsukemen in all of Tokyo. The plate of noodles and toppings shown above comes with your choice of thick toripaitan 鶏白湯(chicken broth) soup, or shrimp tomato soup for dipping.

8. Lamb Ramen at 'Hito To Yo'

Hitsuji Soba 'Hito To Yo' (ひつじそば 人と羊) is a newly-opened ramen shop in Jimbocho, Tokyo that offers a very unique bowl of ramen: lamb ramen. There are countless chicken, pork, and fish-based ramen shops around Japan, but lamb-based ramen is quite rare.
The pictures shows the shop's standard bowl of "Hitsuji Soba" (Sheep Soba). Thin noodles rest beneath the surface of a clear, golden soup and pieces of lamb chashu, cilantro, purple onion, Moroccan green bean, and roast tomato adorn the top.

It's quite a fragrant bowl of ramen, and lamb lovers will instantly become enchanted by the distinct scent of lamb that wafts off the soup. Give it a try if you're curious!

9. Green Ramen at 'Rokando'

Both the taste and appearance of the ramen at Ikebukuro's 'Rokando' are fresh and green! This ramen lets you enjoy the beautiful, fresh fragrance of yuzu and crisp texture of the mitsuba. The noodles are homemade and include euglena, green-colored algae that are loaded with more than 59 nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and DHA! It's a superfood that helps to make the noodles, the least-healthy part of the ramen, a bit healthier.
Surprisingly, the inclusion of the algae doesn't add any bitterness or strange flavors to the noodles, and they taste just like typical ramen noodles! When we think of ramen, the image of a delicious but very unhealthy bowl of noodles usually comes to mind. The ramen at 'Rokando' in Ikebukuro, however, breaks the mold in this regard. The ramen here is much healthier than most other ramens, but it is healthier without sacrificing anything that makes it "ramen." If you're craving a refreshing bowl of noodles that is filled with flavor, give this place a try.

10. Lucky 'Twins Egg' Ramen at 'Yoroiya'

Yoroiya is Asakusa's most famous ramen shop, and there is almost always a line of hungry customers waiting outside.
One of the secret specialties of Yoroiya is this 'Futago Tamago Ramen' (Twins Egg Ramen).
Apparently, there's a special breed of chicken from Iwate Prefecture that produces these rare eggs. The shop boils and then pickles them in flavoring overnight.
Twin eggs are normally quite rare and are considered to be lucky, but you're guaranteed to get one when you order this bowl of ramen!

In Closing

This has been 10 of the most interesting and wacky bowls of ramen in Tokyo. For more ramen, check out this article on the fanciest bowls of ramen in Tokyo:

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

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