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Where to Slurp Ramen in New Orleans

It’s a challenge, but can be done (deliciously)

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| Mint Images RF (Getty)

The ramen craze had a slow start in this city that thrives on pho and yaka mein as its primary noodle soups. But the scene’s been quietly and slowly growing, with more ramen options on Japanese restaurant menus and a couple restaurants completely dedicated to the soup.

Next up for New Orleans is Union Ramen, from former Kin chef Nhat “Nate” Nguyen, due in the Lower Garden District any day now.

If we’ve left off your favorite ramen in town, we want to know. Comment below or send the info via email.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wei Dao Asian Cuisine

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5024 W Esplanade Ave
Metairie, LA 70006
(504) 888-4288
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This welcoming Metairie gem in a strip mall on West Esplanade serves its ramen loaded up to the brim with fresh pickled vegetables and nicely-cooked meat. There’s a focus on tonkotsu, including a black garlic, creamy, and spicy version, as well as a solid vegetarian broth. It’s not the cheapest option on the map, but with fast and friendly service and an excellent “secret” Chinese menu, it’s worth checking out.

2. Izakaya Little Tokyo Restaurant

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4704 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70006
(504) 885-6125
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This is one of the Little Tokyo empire’s newest locations, going for a hip vibe with a focus on ramen, yakatori, and shabu shabu. It serves a variety of ramen soup: tonkotsu and spicy tonkotsu with a pork broth; shoyu, seasoned with soy sauce; and miso flavored. Also available and handy in the heat is the cold ramen option, which is more a cold salad using all the ramen ingredients and no broth.

3. Little Tokyo Small Plates and Noodle Bar

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1340 S Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 861-6088
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This spot has recently revamped with new management and provides a solid selection of ramen. Like its sister restaurant Izakaya Little Tokyo in Metairie, miso, tonkatsu, shoyu, and cold ramen is on the menu, but there are some intriguing iterations available as well. Yaki ramen is more of a noodles and sauce variation, while the Italiano features a tomato based broth and mozzarella cheese. There’s a spicy corn ramen as well as several options for extra toppings.

4600 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 304-8557
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Kin converted its ramen for lunch/fine dining for dinner model to all ramen, all the time, and that is a very good thing for the city of New Orleans. The chefs use pork and beef bones for the pork and brisket bowls, respectively, and whole chickens to make the chicken broth. They also make their noodles in house, which is pretty rare. Kin also offers a vegan ramen on its regular menu. Every bowl of ramen that comes out of Kin’s tiny kitchen rates as of some of the most thoughtful bowls of soup in town.

5. The Drifter Hotel

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3522 Tulane Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 605-4644
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The Drifter Hotel doesn’t have a kitchen, but it does have access to the Hong Kong Market on the Westbank. That’s where the bar staff goes and collects a variety of authentic, high-end instant soups with input from the Hong Kong Market staff. At the hotel, they add hot water and spruce it up with a couple of fresh ingredients like basil or jalapeno and sell it to the pool party clientele for 7 bucks.

6. Nomiya

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4226 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

This tiny, communal ramen joint on Magazine Street serves one ramen broth: the creamy, pork-based, traditional tonkotsu. Spice it up with the geki-kara version, or add a charred garlic oil for the kuro variation. There’s no vegetarian ramen here yet, but the kitchen is working on it. Besides the various permutations of tonkotsu ramen, the menu includes three other items: pork bun, edemame, and mochi for dessert.

7. Rock-n-Sake

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823 Fulton St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 581-7253
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Open only at night (except for Friday lunch), Rock-n-Sake offers one ramen bowl on the menu among the sushi, small plates, and sashimi. It’s made with a traditional pork broth and also includes fresh ramen noodles, pork belly, enoki and shiitake mushrooms, kale, and a poached egg. This downtown spot has a informal vibe for ramen slurping, and Rock-n-Sake has several other locations throughout Louisiana.

8. Royal Sushi & Bar

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1913 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 827-1900
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This spot right off of Frenchmen Street offers a build-your-own ramen bowl from start to finish. Five meats, and one vegetable option to start, then choose a broth: tonkotsu/spicy tonkotsu, a chicken-based shoyu spinach, or the seaweed-soy yasmin konbu. Then there’s a choice from three noodly types: udon, ramen, or rice noodles. And of course, the optional toppings, like corn, kimchi, crab stick, nori, or BBQ pork.

1. Wei Dao Asian Cuisine

5024 W Esplanade Ave, Metairie, LA 70006

This welcoming Metairie gem in a strip mall on West Esplanade serves its ramen loaded up to the brim with fresh pickled vegetables and nicely-cooked meat. There’s a focus on tonkotsu, including a black garlic, creamy, and spicy version, as well as a solid vegetarian broth. It’s not the cheapest option on the map, but with fast and friendly service and an excellent “secret” Chinese menu, it’s worth checking out.

5024 W Esplanade Ave
Metairie, LA 70006

2. Izakaya Little Tokyo Restaurant

4704 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70006

This is one of the Little Tokyo empire’s newest locations, going for a hip vibe with a focus on ramen, yakatori, and shabu shabu. It serves a variety of ramen soup: tonkotsu and spicy tonkotsu with a pork broth; shoyu, seasoned with soy sauce; and miso flavored. Also available and handy in the heat is the cold ramen option, which is more a cold salad using all the ramen ingredients and no broth.

4704 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70006

3. Little Tokyo Small Plates and Noodle Bar

1340 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

This spot has recently revamped with new management and provides a solid selection of ramen. Like its sister restaurant Izakaya Little Tokyo in Metairie, miso, tonkatsu, shoyu, and cold ramen is on the menu, but there are some intriguing iterations available as well. Yaki ramen is more of a noodles and sauce variation, while the Italiano features a tomato based broth and mozzarella cheese. There’s a spicy corn ramen as well as several options for extra toppings.

1340 S Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118

4. Kin

4600 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70125

Kin converted its ramen for lunch/fine dining for dinner model to all ramen, all the time, and that is a very good thing for the city of New Orleans. The chefs use pork and beef bones for the pork and brisket bowls, respectively, and whole chickens to make the chicken broth. They also make their noodles in house, which is pretty rare. Kin also offers a vegan ramen on its regular menu. Every bowl of ramen that comes out of Kin’s tiny kitchen rates as of some of the most thoughtful bowls of soup in town.

4600 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70125

5. The Drifter Hotel

3522 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

The Drifter Hotel doesn’t have a kitchen, but it does have access to the Hong Kong Market on the Westbank. That’s where the bar staff goes and collects a variety of authentic, high-end instant soups with input from the Hong Kong Market staff. At the hotel, they add hot water and spruce it up with a couple of fresh ingredients like basil or jalapeno and sell it to the pool party clientele for 7 bucks.

3522 Tulane Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

6. Nomiya

4226 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

This tiny, communal ramen joint on Magazine Street serves one ramen broth: the creamy, pork-based, traditional tonkotsu. Spice it up with the geki-kara version, or add a charred garlic oil for the kuro variation. There’s no vegetarian ramen here yet, but the kitchen is working on it. Besides the various permutations of tonkotsu ramen, the menu includes three other items: pork bun, edemame, and mochi for dessert.

4226 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

7. Rock-n-Sake

823 Fulton St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Open only at night (except for Friday lunch), Rock-n-Sake offers one ramen bowl on the menu among the sushi, small plates, and sashimi. It’s made with a traditional pork broth and also includes fresh ramen noodles, pork belly, enoki and shiitake mushrooms, kale, and a poached egg. This downtown spot has a informal vibe for ramen slurping, and Rock-n-Sake has several other locations throughout Louisiana.

823 Fulton St
New Orleans, LA 70130

8. Royal Sushi & Bar

1913 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

This spot right off of Frenchmen Street offers a build-your-own ramen bowl from start to finish. Five meats, and one vegetable option to start, then choose a broth: tonkotsu/spicy tonkotsu, a chicken-based shoyu spinach, or the seaweed-soy yasmin konbu. Then there’s a choice from three noodly types: udon, ramen, or rice noodles. And of course, the optional toppings, like corn, kimchi, crab stick, nori, or BBQ pork.

1913 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116

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