Wednesday, January 1, 2020



tl;dr: Here's a list of great Osaka ramen

Welcome to Friends in Ramen, the mad ramblings and reviews of a ramen-obsessed New Yorker who has somehow found himself in Osaka.  I've created this blog for foreigners in Osaka who want to eat good ramen, English speakers abroad who want to eat vicariously in the great east, or anyone else who wants to stop by.

I've tried to keep my ramen shop reviews in a consistent format; there's locational information along with a photo of the outside of the shop, and tags describing the style and location.  If you're looking for something particular, give it a search, or otherwise browse with pleasure!

If you're still reading this and haven't scrolled down to the wonderful pictures of rich salty broth below, here are some good places to get started on the blog:

Best Ramen in Osaka - A list of my favorite shops in Osaka, sorted by type and location
The ramen map - a (near) exhaustive list of the ramen shops I've eaten at in Japan
The Beginning - My first post, and my entrance into Osaka
Who Writes This Thing, Anyway? - More of me talking about myself!
Ramen Glossary - A list of terms that are often used in my posts, in case ramen is new to you

Enjoy Friends in Ramen!

ラーメンの中毒があるなんとなく大阪にいちゃったニューヨーカーが書いている「Friends in Ramen」というブログにようこそ!元々外国人のためにブログを作りましたけど、日本人もラーメンが好きな外国人の意見に興味あるかなと思っていたので、日本語も書くようにしています。日本語はけっこうむずいので、ミスとかあればすみません。いろいろな店で食べたことあるので、もし「こんなスープを飲みたいな」と考えたら、タグとかで検索してください。あとは、適当に楽しんでください!


大阪のベストラーメン:大阪の一番好きなラーメン屋さん。場所と味でソートしています ラーメン地図:今までに全国の食べたことあるラーメン屋さん
The Beginning:大阪のデビュー

Friends in Ramenを楽しみましょう!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Taiyo no Tomato

The Bowl
It's been a while since my first trip, but the classic tomato-and-cheese ramen hasn't changed, and why should it? Soupy pasta, and, because I couldn't hold myself back, risotto afterwards. It may not be pushing the boundaries on what tomato ramen can be, but I wouldn't ask them too either.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?
It's a good one for anyone who wants to discover what tomato ramen is.



Monday, August 19, 2019

Tsukemen Marubushi

Tsukemen with Indo-bon, a bit of rice with curry powder at Tsukemen Marubushi in Tengachaya.


The Bowl
This was your standard gyokai tonkotsu, and a solid rendition of it. The soup wasn't too thick, but had a good, syrupy consistency that matched the square, fat noodles. The Indo-bon's curry flavoring didn't really match the broth, but I'm glad to have participated in that experiment.


Would I Go Again?
Maybe, if I'm in the area.


Should You Go?
It's a nice stop for anyone who lives in Nishinari.


つけ麺 まるぶし

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Karakuchi Abura Niku Soba Hirudora

Hirudora, a spicy ramen shop, has appeared and disappeared from Nipponbashi, but a version in Tsuruhashi appeared recently. I went by shortly after opening, and ordered this shop's specialty: the spicy shoyu niku soba.


Opening orchids from Kinsei

From Mugiyu and Buta Kong

From Dogyan

From Wasshoi

The Bowl
As promised, this bowl was full of spice. It was covered in oil too; the whole thing smelled and tasted of hot pepper. The noodles were thick and square strands of pepper, essentially. Not to be bested by the oily soup, there was tons of fatty pork, too. There was a piece of juicy stewed pork, in addition to some thin but tougher pork rib. In fact, the whole thing was covered in pork back fat, which tempered the spice and oil of the soup.


Would I Go Again?
I might, if I'm feeling a little spice and a lot of oil.


Should You Go?
I would recommend Hirudora for anyone making the rounds on the spicy ramen circuit.


辛口炙り肉ソバ ひるドラ

Monday, July 29, 2019


Most of the ramen shops I visit are in Osaka, but I do every once in a while try to make a trip. Two of Hyogo's famous ramen shops are seafood-specialty shops each called Nagomi, one the original and one run by a disciple of the first one. I made the trip to Mukonoso Amagasaki to try the second shop, and I ordered the Niboshi Black.


The Bowl
The soup was cloudy and insistingly brown, both appearing and tasting strongly of the dried fish that's part of the broth. The base was shoyu, though, and that rounded out the soup in a way that preserved the seafood flavor, but made it drinkable the whole way through. The noodles were short and medium-thick, a good form to drink up the soup. And if that wasn't enough, there were a couple of baguette pieces for an alternate interesting way to take in the broth. The chashu, too, was delicately balanced: they came in thin slices with just the right amount of chew, but still plenty of juice.


Would I Go Again?
Yes, just looking for an excuse to go that far and wait on line.


Should You Go?


らーめん専門 和心

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Tantanmen × Yume azito

In Kyoto without a ton of time, I looked for a place where I could get good bowl on my way to where I was going. I found Tantanmen x Yume azito, a basement shop hidden away not far from Shijo Station. I ordered the tantanmen, but not just any tantanmen: the white sesame soymilk tantanmen.


The Bowl
This was one thick bowl. The soymilk gave the broth a creamy feel, and it was almost like eating noodles soaked in a sesame paste gravy. The noodles themselves were in thin bunches that brought the milkiness of the broth with them. The soup was covered by ra-yu, too, which allowed it to become thinner and more drinkable as it went on, even if by the end it was mostly salt.


Would I Go Again?
I enjoyed the wacky bowl but I don't make it to Kyoto enough to merit another visit, even if the place hadn't closed for good.


Should You Go?
If it were still open I would recommend it for anyone who likes thick ramen with a bit of spice.



Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Tori Shio Ramen Hippo

A ramen shop called Hippo has appeared in a few areas of Osaka. With a name like "hippo", you might think it's some kind of super-thick ramen, but what Hippo serves is quite the opposite: light shio. I went with the chicken shio ramen.


The Bowl
The broth was clear yellow, simple with an almost citrus-like tanginess. The noodles came in thin white strands: a style that fit the soup well. Instead of chashu, there were meaty pieces of chicken. They were tasty, and kept the light theme of the bowl.


Would I Go Again?
I would, maybe to one of their other branches.


Should You Go?
It's a good stop for something light.


鶏塩ラーメン Hippo