A Tour Of the Best Ramen in San Diego
Although San Diego never truly gets cold, some months are certainly cooler than others here. And when the air is a bit more brisk than usual, there’s not much that soothes the soul more effectively than timeless comfort food. And for aficionados of Japanese cooking, that means Ramen — the huge, steaming bowls of rich broth, noodles, meats, and endless savory satisfaction aficionados love. Thanks to San Diego’s melting-pot culture, there’s no shortage of amazing places to get your umami on. Check out our picks for the best Ramen in San Diego.
UnderBelly Ramen (5.7 miles)
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering UnderBelly is the ultra-hip, neon-lit cyberpunk aesthetic of the joint. Then, the aroma of the slow-simmered broth hits — and you know the folks here left their “messing around” pants in the closet. Here, you’ll find respect for tradition in some bowls, and out-of-the-bento-box irreverence in others. What you WON’T find? A single bad thing on the menu. Don’t pass up the inventive cocktail program full of imported Japanese sake, whiskey and spirits, either. It’s a massive winner.
750 W Fir St, San Diego, CA 92101
Nishiki Ramen (6.5 miles)
The Ramen at Nishiki is as authentic as it gets. Every bowl here is prepared “Tokyo Style”, a specific variety prized for its supremely satisfying variety of ingredients — designed to give busy urban commuters a fast, complete meal perfect for fueling a busy day. Nishiki also makes their noodles in-house daily, offers flavor combinations you won’t find anywhere else (such as the Smoke Bomb Black, with roasted black garlic), and even mushroom broth-based vegetarian options. Don’t leave without a home ramen kit!
1040 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Tajima Ramen (7.2 miles)
Tajima is synonymous with “Ramen” for many San Diegans, and for good reason. For more than two decades, their kitchens have been serving bowl after bowl of Japan’s signature soup — every one equal parts authentic and delicious. When you go, don’t pass up their house special Spicy Sesame, with generous amounts of perfectly seasoned ground pork in a traditional tonkotsu broth. It’ll keep you warm long after it’s gone.
901 E St, San Diego, CA 92101
(Bonus tip: After opening several locations in and around the city the last few years, Tajima is débuting a new spot just across the bay from The Dana, at 3784 Ingraham St.)
Mike’s Red Tacos (7.8 miles)
We know what you’re thinking. “Wait, a TACO shop? For Ramen?!?” But we didn’t forget where we were going, here. Mike’s specializes in Birria — a spicy, savory Mexican stew that’s arguably analogous to Ramen’s place in Japanese culture there. And since San Diego is a mouthwatering melange of complimentary cuisines, Mike’s Birria Ramen serves as a delicious dichotomy of fusion flavor that only a place like “America’s Finest City” could produce. So don’t knock it until you try it. We’re sure you’ll be back.
4310 Genesee Ave Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92117
DAO Fu Noodle House (8.1 miles)
DAO Fu is a long-running Normal Heights favorite, locally renowned for its from-scratch menu and friendly service. And when we say “from scratch”, we mean it. The chicken is free-range. The tofu is made in-house. And you’ve never had noodles this fresh. Insider tip — the portions are legendarily huge. Maybe that’s why a line typically starts to form out the door a lot of nights, and especially on weekends. It’s always worth the wait.
3332 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
BESHOCK Ramen (8.3 miles)
The name of this East Village hot pot spot was derived from a Westernized take on the Japanese word bishoku (美食), which translates as “beautiful dining”. And it couldn’t be a better descriptor of the experience. There are no shortcuts in BESHOCK’s kitchen — bone-based tonkotsu broth is slow-cooked for hours. Vegetables are all locally grown. And it all comes together to create bountiful bowls that are the stuff dreams are made of.
1288 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101
Getting hungry? We don’t blame you. San Diego has long been known as a foodie paradise, and these scrumptious soup stops fit right in. Luckily, The Dana on Mission Bay is exquisitely appointed, exceptionally comfortable, and convenient to every location on the list. After warming up with your Ramen, why not cozy up in one of our outdoor hot tubs, or grab a beverage and get toasty by one of our fire pits? Check out our Special Offers page, and plan your stay today!