If the first thing that usually comes to mind when you hear the word “ramen” is the sad little packets of salty noodles that college students are famous for buying in bulk, you have to check out some of the ramen dishes available in Boulder restaurants. A good bowl of ramen is art, made up of more than just what the noodles and powder are capable of. An authentic bowl of ramen is a soup with a meat- or fish-based broth, full of wheat noodles. Depending on the region the dish it originates in, it may contain pork, green onions, seaweed and kamaboko, which is cured seafood. Unless you’re taking cooking classes in Boulder and can get on these following professionals’ level, ditch the insta-noodles and grab a good bowl of ramen.
My Ramen & Izakaya
3280 28th St., Unit 2, Boulder
Yelp Stars: 5/5
This new spot in town has been open less than a month and Boulder folks are loving it so far. My Ramen is owned by the owners of Udon Kaisha, a favorite in Lafayette. With vegetarian and gluten-free options, nobody has to miss out on a ramen experience. My Ramen’s soup base is less oily than the typical ramen, made with pork bone and chicken bone, unless the base is in a vegetarian dish.
Flower Pepper Restaurant
2655 Broadway St., Boulder
Yelp Stars: 4.5/5
There’s debate about whether ramen originated in Japan or China. Flower Pepper’s noodle dishes are inspired by Chinese ramen entrees. This authentic Chinese joint offers noodle and rice dishes, in addition to handmade dumplings and a large selection of teas. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options, and delivery is available.
2014 10th St., Boulder
Yelp Stars: 4/5
Sushi Tora offers soyu ramen, miso ramen and tonkotsu. With its great sushi track record, it’s obvious that the owners took their ramen menu seriously, wanting to make it as fresh and authentic as possible. On the weekends, the sushi bar is converted to a ramen bar and patrons can watch their ramen be prepared before their eyes.
1221 Spruce St., Boulder
Yelp Stars: 3.5/5
Sushi Zanmai offers vegan Yasai Yaki Udon and chicken Nabeyaki Udon in addition to extensive sushi and sake menus. While the food is fantastic, Sushi Zanmai’s claim to fame is its karaoke on Fridays from 10 p.m. to midnight. What goes better with noodles than someone who’s had one too many sakes’s rendition of “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake?