We recently sat down with one of our concierges, Tom Nguyen, and he gave us some insight on the best places to have a delicious bowl of Ramen in the Boston area. Tanoshimu!
Alright, Tom, if I’m looking for Ramen near the hotel where am I going?
Santouka Hokido Ramen. This shop is right down the street and they are the first hokido style that came to Boston. It’s a city in Japan famous for seafood and toncastu broth. When I was in Japan, I met a friend who was from Boston and he actually was a Ramen Chef. He said that what makes Santouka great, is that when they train their chefs, they fly people in from Japan.
The best way to describe it is as a slow simmer pork bone-based ramen. And they make their noodles in house! It’s definitely the most authentic bowl of Ramen within walking distance of The Lenox.
If I’m up for going a little further away from Back Bay where would you go?
I’m definitely going to this spot called Ganko. It’s inside of a historic building and it’s the most Japan-like Ramen shop. They actually hold a lot of special events over the summer where they will have different ramen shops fly in and they make like 60 bowls for the day and that’s it! The unique thing about Ganko is that they are a Sapporo style ramen, which means it is cooked in a wok so all of the spices and aromatics go in first. Sapporo style ramen flavors hit harder. Definitely worth it!
How did you first discover this place?
I was always drawn to it based on its location. Because right next to it is a great Japanese marketplace. It’s a really densely Japanese part of Brookline. And it’s in the historic Arcade Building, which has a bunch of small shops and businesses.
Any other spots that are worth checking out? Something unique or super popular with the locals?
There is another Ramen shop that has grown in popularity over the last decade – Yume Wo Katare in Porter Square.
Is this the place that always has the line out front?
The line is always crazy but I never let anybody get discouraged by the line because it’s a very fast paced restaurant. What they are known for is Jiro style. This style is not based on a location or anything. It’s actually based on a chain in Japan. Jiro translates to pork bone and soy sauce based ramen. And they are famous for big portions and homemade noodles.
The name translates to “speak your dreams.” The concept is that they encourage diners to share their dreams after they finish their meal. The restaurant is on the smaller side, again, it only has about 20 seats and you are sitting in a classroom-style layout. When you are done with your bowl of Rame, they go one by one and ask you to share your dreams. You then stand up and share with the whole room or you can write it down and hang it on the wall.
Sounds kinda wild. I’m sure this is not for everyone?
It’s really not the type of place where you are going to sit down and mingle. There is no alcohol, there is none of that, but there is something unique about sitting with 20 strangers and everyone is eating together and sharing their dreams. It’s an interesting and warm way that Ramen brings people together.
These are just a few of the many ramen spots you can find in Boston. Each place has its own unique style and flavors, so feel free to explore and find your favorite!