Ramen Dojo (credit: R. Del Rosario/CBS Local)

Being the ultimate comfort food, just about every culture in the world has their own delicious version of hot soup. Steaming Japanese ramen can satisfy even the hungriest of diners with its savory combination of broth, noodles, meat and toppings. Many locals know that quality ramen can be a difficult find in the Bay Area. We have made the search easy with our updated “Bay Area Ramen Roundup” list. Check out these 5 top Bay Area ramen spots.

Ramen Dojo
805 S. B St.
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 401-6568

Much like Santa Clara’s Orenchi, ravenous ramen lovers line up at Ramen Dojo before the restaurant is even open. Although small on the inside, snappy service at Ramen Dojo makes for shorter-than-expected wait times. The garlic pork broth is extremely popular. Topping selections include corn, soft-boiled quail egg, and kimchee. Be forewarned there is a heavily enforced $10.75 minimum per person.

Orenchi Ramen
3540 Homestead Rd.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 246-2955
www.orenchi-ramen.com

Sister restaurant to Orenchi Ramen SF, the Orenchi in Santa Clara is arguably one of the best South Bay ramen spots. Locals flock here daily even before the restaurant opens in order to slurp up limited quantities of everything from traditional tonkotsu to seasonal black sesame tan tan ramen. The menu offers a diverse variety of appetizers ranging from fried calamari legs and spicy edamame to Okonomiyaki style French fries and deep fried chilled eggplant. Topping choices include fish cake, Toyko leek, mushroom, and spicy bamboo shoot. Plan to arrive early to avoid long lines or score a wider selection of dishes.

Santouka Ramen
Mitsuwa Marketplace
675 Saratoga Ave.
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 446-1101
www.santouka.co.jp/en

Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Santouka Ramen is located in the Mitsuwa Marketplace, just off 280. Like most decent area ramen spots, lines to get in the door can be quite considerable so plan to arrive early. The shop serves up a variety of ramen including salt flavor, soy sauce, and pork. Toppings are restrained and frequently include fish cake and dried seaweed. Santouka accepts cash payments only.

Ramen Shop
5812 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 788-6370
www.ramenshop.com

Oakland’s Ramen Shop is a bit on the steeper side, with prices starting at $16.50 per bowl. The menu includes three styles of ramen, including spicy garlic miso, shoyu, and a vegetarian shoyu meyer lemon. Make sure to sample one of the exciting appetizers such as the house-cured ikura or a black sesame ice cream sandwich. The restaurant also offers a well-rounded selection of local and imported beers, wine, and sours.

Yokohama Iekei Ramen
32136 Alvarado Blvd.
Union City, CA 94587
(510) 489-9990

Located conveniently off of Alvarado Blvd. in Union City, Yokohama Iekei Ramen is renowned for having some of the spiciest ramen broth around. Diners may choose from several levels of intensity, and even heat lovers may find themselves satisfied with the level 1 Jigoku Spicy Ramen. Topping portions are generous and choices vary from quail egg to mushrooms. For those not in love with fiery hot ramen, make sure to sample the black garlic broth.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


 

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