The culinary arts scene is full of hungry, chopstick-wielding noodle fans, and Austin is no exception. Noodle-lovers can take their pick of style and ingredients and find their very own ramen heaven in the “Live Music Capital of the World.” We suggest you try these noodle restaurants, Texas culinary arts school students. Take notes on your favorites and maybe you, too, can make a great bowl of noodles one day.
8557 Research Blvd. #126
?This noodle joint was nominated for Bon Appetite’s Best New Restaurant in America in 2013. The tables here come with a 101 guide, illuminating the Tatsu-ya world for new diners with explanations of what is in each broth and how the ingredients are marinated, cooked, etc. Slurping is the preferred method of eating here, as it aerates the broth and enhances the flavor. Menu items include spiced and plain edamame bites, and ramen of the “Ol’ Skool” or vegan varieties. Toppings range from naruto maki fish cakes to nori and menma, marinated bamboo shoots. Yes, you can add extra garlic. No, you can’t combine a negi side bowl (scallions tossed in pork fat with garlic on rice) with a ramen bowl. It’s too much. It’s too good. You know? We recommend the Mi-So-Hot, a miso-based tonkotsu noodle soup with ajitama egg, bean sprouts, napa cabbage and ground pork. It’s spicy. If you’re not into that, try the Mi-So-Not.
Kome Sushi Kitchen
4917 Airport Blvd.
The chefs/owners of Sushi-A-Go-Go moved their food truck-style cuisine to a brick-and-mortar operation with Kome Sushi Kitchen. Here you will find Japanese comfort food that reflects flavors from New Orleans, Austin and Japan. On the menu are the usual Japanese staples: edamame, seaweed salad, miso soup and a variety of sushi. They also have touches of Austin’s barbeque scene in the Tori-Teba Nagoya-Style (chicken wings covered in caramelized soy and shichimi) and Dynamite Chicken (fried spicy chicken drumsticks). Noodle lovers should check out the Ten Zaru, cold soba noodles with shrimp tempura, ginger, wasabi, daikon and quail egg. It’s amazing how a food truck can evolve into a restaurant with such an expansive, flavorful menu when given the space.
6519 Lamar Blvd.
Your ramen options here have some seriously colorful titles, from the simple broth and noodles dish to Texas Ramen, Jungle Ramen, and Taiwan Summer Ramen. Texas Ramen consists of smoked barbeque pork ribs, red onions, vinegar cole slaw, tomato tonkotsu and mayu oil with a side of Texas toast with jalapenos, a pickle spear and spicy barbecue sauce. It’s like a backyard barbeque thrown into a bowl with broth. Each broth comes in three levels of thickness; light, regular and stout. Sides include curry rice, tatsuta age, gyoza and the ever-squishy squid salad. Ever wonder what happens to the pork shoulder that doesn’t make it into your soup? You can find it under “sides” as “burnt ends.” Tea lovers enjoy their seven hot and six cold brews. Good news for Austin residents not looking to leave their homes in search of noodles: Michi Ramen delivers.
With all those (ingredient) choices and so much potential for success, the noodle dishes as these restaurants are a perfect example of the American dream in food form. Austin has some pretty delicious noodle joints to introduce you to both new and old flavors. Don’t take our word for it – get out there and try them yourself.