Five Must Try Best Ramen Spots In Boston Metro

Here are five must try ramen / noodles spots in Boston Metro to warm you up during the cold New England winter!

Alright everyone, now that winter is in full spring in Boston, ya’ll know what that means… let’s talk ramen!

This popular noodle dish has many regional variations in Japan, each with its own unique flavor, base broth, and toppings. And that spirit carries over to the Boston Metro Area, with most neighborhoods featuring at least one if not more amazing options to try. 

The truth is there are SO many great ramen and noodle places around, so narrowing this list down wasn’t easy. Keep in mind this is not exhaustive by any means – but they are all places I have tried and can be visited by public transportation.

So no matter where you are or where you plan to go, you’ll find somewhere to grab a cozy bowl.

⭐️ Ganko Ittetsu – Coolidge Corner, Brookline

Ganko Ittetsu is my personal #1 spot and a low-key hidden gem in the heart of Brookline. Nestled in the historic Coolidge Corner Arcade, Ganko Ittetsu’s selection of broth options and extra toppings makes it a great location for ramen lovers with different tastes. They don’t master any single type of broth but instead do a few really well. My go-to is the spicy miso, an absolute must if you enjoy a little kick in your food. An added bonus is right across the way they opened a sister eatery called Gantetsu-ya which specializes in takoyaki (fried octopus fritters). 

Due to the small space and COVID restrictions, wait times are pretty gnarly here. They do offer take-out but if you’re looking to snag a seat, reservations are highly recommended.

ProTip: Study the menu ahead of time, as often the hostess will offer to take your order while you wait for a seat to get your food to you faster. 

Santouka – Back Bay, Harvard Square, Coming Soon to Coolidge Corner

Santouka is another great option if you’re looking for a spot that has consistent, reliable, and good ramen. Out of the options in this post, I would say Santouka has the least memorable in terms of flavor or uniqueness, but by no means bad. The food is absolutely delicious, and they have the second-best takoyaki I’ve had in the area to date (#1 would be Ittoku Izakaya in Porter Square). 

Santouka is the ramen spot you go to if you want the extras, and I love how everything is served on the side so you get to enjoy putting your meal together. I’m a creature of habit so I got the spicy miso here too, and it’s worth every drop, I promise. Dumplings were delicious as well, but if you had to choose one or the other for an app, go for the takoyaki. Trust me on this. 

ProTip: The Harvard Location is going to be your best bet if you want access to the larger menu and, well, seating. The tiny Back Bay location is extremely charming and has an authentic backstreet Japan feel, but can fit maybe 8 people at a time and almost always has a line out the door. 


Yume Wo Katare – Porter Square, Cambridge

If you’ve already done some research, you’ve likely seen this name pop up a few times already. And with good reason. Yume Wo Katare is likely the most famous and loved Boston ramen spot, known for its in-house-made noodles. It has a unique eating experience and delightfully simple menu – garlic, or more garlic! Pork, or more pork! And that’s about it. Yume’s whole idea is to specialize in one thing and master it. 

Before COVID the scene was this: Wait in line forever. Put in your order when you’re close to the front. Take a seat right next to a stranger and down your massive bowl of ramen. If you’re one of the stalwart few who can finish your entire bowl, you can opt in to stand up in front of your comrades and speak your dreams. 

Right now this place is open for take-out only due to the tight space within. Still worth a buy? Absolutely. But once we get back to “normal” you can’t miss out on this unique and fun experience.

ProtTip: Yume Wo Katare has a sister restaurant, Yume Ga Arukara tucked away in the Porter Exchange building, an indoor stretch of shops and eateries also sometimes called Restaurant Row. Both spots are crazy busy, but worth the wait. 

Sapporo Ramen – Porter Exchange, Cambridge

Porter Exchange is a tucked-away gem of Japanese food spots, including the above-mentioned Yume Ga Arukara. Sapporo is located here as well, and an underdog ramen spot that should absolutely be checked out. 

Sapporo feels a lot homier, with a larger menu of options and different broths to try. It has my favorite vegetarian ramen that’s loaded up with mushrooms and veggies (note: uses butter, so not vegan). Because of the offerings, Sapporo is a great spot to bring friends with varying tastes because there will be something for everyone! I love the home-kitchen feel of the place, with veggies and noodles everywhere, a small drink fridge in the corner, and bustling staff. 

ProTip: Porter Exchange is a great location in general for good Japanese food, so go hungry!

TsuruTonTan – Kenmore Square

I’ll admit this one’s a little bit of a cheat because this is an udon joint rather than ramen. But, hear me out. If you’re looking for an amazing noodle spot in the heart of everything and right outside the Kenmore T Stop, absolutely go here. For one, the servings are huge. Truly, the spoon you get is the size of a human hand (no joke). Two, the appetizers are incredible. My favorite are the blistered shishito peppers, but they are also known for their karage fried chicken. Three, the broth options are varied so if you’ve got a party with varied tastes

My go-to main course is the US Wagyu Truffle Dashi, which is a delicious savory-sweet broth with tender beef strips, mushrooms, and thick udon noodles. Absolutely try this if you’re unsure what to start with. 

I have one qualm with Tsuru, and it’s the drinks. The cocktails I’ve had always seem to be really light on the alcohol, so unless you’re getting something canned, I’d skip it. 

Pro-Tip: Tsuru Ton Tan has insane BOGO deals if you use delivery – most of their popular bowls and a few of their apps, like the karage chicken, are buy-one-get-one free on most of the popular odering apps (confirmed on GrubHub and DoorDash as of this writing.) So if you’re in the mood for good noodles in the comfort of your own home, you’ll be getting a lot of bang for your buck here. 

There will definitely be a Part 2!

Not included in this list are a lot of spots that are highly rated among locals, but I haven’t had a chance to go myself. Now that it’s winter, I’m definitely going to be making the trek out to some of these to do my part two before the cold weather ends, so make sure to follow on my socials to find out when that comes out!

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