Sodium-filled, crunchy noodles that used to come in foam containers and that cost less than a can of soda. That would be the ramen noodles “Gen Y” kids made famous over the last couple of decades. Yes, the poor college kid making their dinner of choice. Just add water and you have a meal in a coffee cup.
It’s a shame in some ways, because the actual ramen that brings it back to it’s Japanese roots is about the most comforting, delicious and filling noodle meal this side of chicken noodle soup. Rich, flavor-filled and ubiquitous on the other side of the globe, Minneapolis and St. Paul now has a bevy of places looking to show you the way.
So while we slip and slide through yet another winter blast, let’s lean over a steaming bowl of Ramen together, breathe in the goodness and warmth that makes this noodle dish so standard across the Pacific. Here are Dara’s Top 5 Ramen dishes in the Twin Cities!
One Two Three Sushi
Marquette Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
One Two Three Sushi is a fast-casual place in downtown Minneapolis known for their Sushi. But Dara likes the ramen better. You can get it to go, take it back to your desk and slurp it up over your keyboard (careful, we speak from experience). They have several ramen options such as braised pork belly, beef ramen, vegetarian ramen, and more. Great menu and great ramen at One Two Three Sushi!
Zen Box Izakaya
602 Washington Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55415
We’ll start with definitions. An “Isakaya” is a traditional Japanese drinking establishment. Like the French have wine bars and Germans have beer halls, the Japanese have Isakaya’s. Think after work, casual and small plates of good food. Now that this is out of the way, let’s talk Ramen. On Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, Zen Box offers three kinds of Ramen. You can get Tonkutzu Tonzen which is a bone broth with seaweed and ginger or a miso-based Ramen with bean shoots and corn. Dara’s favorite is the Kimchi which is spicy and sure to warm you up!
2015 E 24th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Unideli is actually located inside an Asian Grocery Store called United Noodles located in the Seward neighborhood of South Minneapolis. It’s the largest Asian grocer in the Midwest and the deli aside, is a fabulous stop for unique food shopping. You’ll find things here you didn’t know existed. The deli itself serves up a mean ramen too. The Miso Ramen is savory and salty, yet sour, with pickled cabbage and more flavor then you can imagine in a bowl.
Masu Sushi & Robata
330 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
There are actually two Masu locations, one in NE Minneapolis and one at the Mall of America. They have five varieties of Ramen. Dara has two favorites. The Tonkatsu Curry Ramen has a full-on fried pork cutlet on it! Can we rename it Wiener-Ramen? Also try the Pork Belly Ramen that is so rich and fulfilling you won’t call it soup. Make a trip to Nordeast or the next time you trek out to the Mall of America, skip the regular fast-food and refuel with some ramen!
2940 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Number one on Dara’s list is Moto-i, a place that has already graced her top 5 (for fried chicken no less). Moto-i is a Sake House and Brewpub but now they’ve “redubbed” themselves as a Ramen and Sake House. I guess they’re taking that seriously. They have eight (!!!) kinds of ramen including classic pork, vegan ramen and as far as we know, Minnesota’s only “Shio” ramen, a delicate, clear and salty broth that is very good. Moto-i really has talent in the kitchen and is a great stop for the best ramen in town!