The Best Ramen & Noodles in the Greater Sacramento Area
There’s nothing like slurping up a steaming hot bowl of noodles on a cold winter’s day. Throw in some fresh veggies, tender meat and flavorful seasonings and you’ve got the making for the perfect cold-weather meal. While many of us grew up with the classic chicken noodle soup, there are many other varieties with global origins. Some of the most popular in the Sacramento area include the following:
- Ramen. While many of us are familiar with the dried noodle packets of store-bought ramen, homemade ramen is a world apart from the dried bricks found in the cupboards of poor college students. There’s an art to making the perfect noodle, and a skill in making the richly complex broth in which it’s bathed. Add toppings like eggs, fish cakes and sliced pork and the dish is hardly recognizable!
- Udon. Udon is a Japanese dish starring a thick wheat noodle and a mild dashi-based broth and topped with various meats, veggies and even tempura. A bit of trivia: in Japan, it is not considered impolite to slurp your noodles, and sipping broth directly from the bowl is perfectly acceptable.
- Pho. Another popular dish in the Sacramento area is pho (pronounced fuh). This Vietnamese soup dish features thin rice noodles in a fragrant broth, often topped with thinly sliced rare steak and garnished with cilantro, mint, bean sprouts and mint.
So, get to slurping and check out some of the following spots to get ramen and other noodle soups in the greater Sacramento area:
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
Koshi is a good bet for Japanese comfort food in the Natomas area. 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.
Huku Bistro | Davis
This sleek bistro in Davis is known for its modern approach to traditional Japanese cuisine, but they also have a large udon and ramen selection. Udon includes varieties with mixed seafood such as clams, scallops and squid as well as beef, chicken and tempura. They also serve yaki udon, a stir fry dish with noodles, meat and veggies.
Pho Hang | Roseville
Pho Hang is a family-run spot in Roseville that offers traditional pho. You can choose your preferred cut of beef, such as flank or brisket, as well as meatballs, shrimp or tofu. They also have won ton soup and udon, as well as other Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls and bánh mì (baguette sandwiches).
Coriander Vietnamese Restaurant | East Sacramento
The menu at this popular spot in East Sacramento may be compact, but it packs a punch. Several Vietnamese-style soups are offered, including beef pho with thin-sliced rare rib-eye, braised brisket and meatballs. They also have a chicken version as well as a Vietnamese udon with free-range chicken and shrimp.
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
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.
Akebono | South Land Park
This traditional Japanese eatery in South Land Park has all the traditional delicacies: sushi, rice bowls, tempura and bento boxes. But they also have an expansive noodle menu, which includes numerous varieties of ramen with toppings ranging from black garlic to butter corn, as well as beef udon and tempura udon.
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. Note: Thai Noodle Express is moving to another location in downtown Placerville and is scheduled to reopen Jan. 2, 2021.
Kodaiko Ramen & Bar | Downtown
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. Located in Auburn, 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
This small neighborhood restaurant in Tahoe Park has 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.