Where to Get Ramen in Sacramento
Ramen is so much more than dried noodle blocks and salt-laden flavor packets. Traditional ramen has taken the greater Sacramento area by storm, and locals are now appreciating the nuances of this staple of Japanese cuisine. Winter is the best time to enjoy a hot bowl of noodle soup; add in sliced pork, boiled egg, dried seaweed and green onion, and you’ve got the makings for a steaming bowl of soul-warming goodness. The greater Sacramento area has dozens of places where you can get a traditional bowl of Japanese ramen — after all, it’s not called Sac-RAMEN-to for nothing!
Ramen House Ryujin | Midtown
This popular midtown noodlery has an expansive menu with all the classic flavors: shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt) and miso (soy bean paste). They also have spicy versions, including the popular tan tan men, served with ground pork and minced shiitake mushrooms. House specialties include kuro tonkotsu ramen, with black mushrooms and black garlic oil.
Koshi Ramen Bar | Natomas & Elk Grove
Photo courtesy Koshi Ramen Bar
With locations in both Natomas and Elk Grove, Koshi is a good bet for Japanese comfort food! The selection is expansive, with house-made broths coupled with seafood, roasted pork, tofu, grilled chicken and all types of vegetables. They also serve traditional Asian sides such as fried octopus balls, lumpia and kimchi.
T-Kumi Ramen & Rice Bowl | Davis
At this no-frills eatery in Davis, you can build-your-own bowl of ramen. First, you choose a broth, then you add your proteins and toppings. Choices include the traditional sliced pork, egg and fish cake, as well as Spam, calamari and soft-shelled crab. They also serve a cheesy tonkotsu ramen with parmesan cheese.
Shoki Ramen House | Midtown
Photo courtesy Shoki Ramen House
Shoki was one of the original ramen houses in the Sacramento area, with plenty of options to choose from. In addition to regular noodles, they also have whole wheat organic noodles and gluten-free shirataki, made from yam. They also have a gluten-free broth and vegetable-based broth. You can also choose your spice level. But by far the most popular dish bowl is the tan tan men, made from white sesame seeds and grass-fed minced beef.
Thai Noodle Express | Placerville
Yes, “Thai” is in the name. But this fusion eatery in downtown Placerville also serves cuisine from other parts of Asia, including Japan. In fact, ramen is one of their specialties. They have all the classic varieties — shoyu, shio, spicy tonkotsu — as well as a Thai-style tom yum shrimp ramen.
Kodaiko Ramen & Bar | Downtown
Photo courtesy Disrupt Marketing/Kodaiko
Sister restaurant to East Sacramento’s Kru, Kodaiko specializes in two types of broth: tonkotsu, a cloudy pork-fish broth, and mushroom paitan, a clear vegetarian broth. Dishes include such mix-ins as mustard greens, cashew cream, fermented sambal and wagyu beef fat. You can also add soft-cooked egg, cured pork collar and sake-marinated chicken breast for the perfect bowl.
Jinme Ramen & Sushi Bar | Auburn
You don’t have to drive all the way to the city to get traditional Japanese ramen. Jinme has all the classic selections, including tonkotsu ramen with pork and tempura shrimp, and spicy ramen with braised pork belly. They also serve udon, a similar soup with thick noodles, sushi and bento boxes.
Kansai Ramen & Sushi House | Tahoe Park
Photo courtesy Kansai Ramen
Kansai is a small neighborhood restaurant with an impressive menu. Ramen options the usual shoyu and shio as well as creative additions such as braised pork belly, fried ahi, curry chicken and brisket. They also serve sushi and rice bowls.
NOMA Sushi & Ramen | Rocklin
Rocklin’s NOMA is an Asian fusion eatery that offers a range of flavors in its popular ramen bowls. There is the traditional shoyu, miso and tonkotsu as well as spicy beef ramen, spicy yasai (vegetable) ramen and kimchi ramen with Korean spices. They also serve sushi, bibimbap (Korean rice bowls) and teriyaki.
*Featured photo courtesy Shoki Ramen House