The Best Ramen Restaurants in Manila That You Haven't Tried Yet
Now that we’ve identified the essential places for your Japanese ramen fix, it’s high time to zoom in on low-key options across Manila that honor this coveted dish. If there’s anything to note about Esquire’s underrated ramen restaurants, it’s that each one shows promise for offering key variants that highlight the right ratio of broth, noodles, and toppings. This mix has, time and again, remained central in a typical ramen episode, and these places, though under the radar, know this all too well.
Each place in this unranked round up deserves plus points for going beyond their lifeblood—bestselling ramen varieties—and venturing into culinary creativity, exceptional customer service, and a value-for-money slurping experience.
1| Tongara Ramen
Ramen master Makoto Okazaki is to thank for Tongara Ramen, which is best known for tongara, a unique ramen recipe that marries torigara (chicken bone) and tonkotsu (pork bone) into a tantalizing sweet-savory broth. It was in 2013 when the ramen house was first established in Shinjuku, Tokyo, before it found its way to Philippine territory, first in Cebu, and now, in Marikina. Aside from the glorious collection of ramen bowls, Tongara carries the Dojo Dairy Japanese Ice Cream line, which includes flavors such as black sesame, miso sake, nori, and red bean.
- Tongara Ramen
- Tantan Ramen
- Tongara Paco Ramen
Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Santo Niño, Marikina City
Find this humble stall tucked in Powerplant Mall’s The Grid Food Market, which has been earmarked as a default option for quick, no-fuss, but promising food selections. While Tsuke-men’s menu is compact and straightforward, it comes ready with steady favorites including karaage, soba, katsudon, tempura, and of course, ramen. It's quite known for its selection of tsukemen, or dipping ramen, but its take on the tonkotsu ramen may be worth a try too.
- Gyokai Tsukemen
- Ebi Tsukemen
- Tonkotsu Ramen
The Grid Food Market, Second Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
3| Tan Tan Men House
True to its name, people flock to this Makati hole-in-the-wall for its bestselling tantanmen, offered at prices that won’t break the bank (you won’t spend over P220 on a single dish). Patrons rave about the place’s affordable dinner spread, most notably its use of a special peanut sauce that leave a rich and flavorful aftertaste after each slurp. For an added boost in flavor, fans usually pair their ramen fix with gyoza, but you can also opt for extra helpings of pork belly or egg on the side.
- Tan Tan Chashu Men
- Tan Tan Men
- Shoyu Chashu Ramen
The Zone, 7224 Malugay Street, Bel-Air, Makati City
4| Mensakaba Geishu
You ought to be lucky to get a seat at Mensakaba Geishu, another gem in the South that serves quality ramen to only 12 diners at a time. A husband and wife tandem run the modest izakaya, personally preparing and serving eight kinds of ramen—each one you can have made to your liking. If it is your first time at Mensakaba Geishu, do make room for its take on the classic tantanmen. Many have said this particular ramen is one of the better ones of its kind in Manila, and we’re inclined to agree.
- Tantanmen (Red/ Black)
- Chashu Men
- Ebi Wantanmen
Southland Apartelle, Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
5| Sigekiya Ramen
Sigekiya Ramen is your piece of Yokohama in Manila. Everything about the Muntinlupa ramen joint takes after the flagship store, from the ambience, to the menu lineup, to the kitchen staff’s well-noted technique. It's ramen master Mamori Sugizaki’s trademark ramen broth that makes Sigekiya special: it’s made from seasoned boiled pork chashu meat and flavored by imported (top secret!) ingredients from Japan. Sigekiya’s ramen is a bit on the thicker and spicier side (the spice level of the bowls can be adjusted for free up to level 10, then you would have to add a little extra to go higher up the spice scale), but as in almost all ramen joints, the owners are more than willing to tweak your bowl so you can have a dining experience unlike any other.
- Sigekiya Ramen
- Gyokai Tsukumen
Commercenter, 1780 Commerce Corner Filinvest Avenue, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City
6| Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar
Ohayo started out as a sushi and maki kiosk in Tomas Morato, and shortly after, the owners decided to set up a full-fledged restaurant that now also offers ramen. We thank the heavens for this welcome move, as this unassuming restaurant serves what might just be among the richest and more flavorful ramen broths in the Metro. Its full-bodied broths are made from a medley of pig parts and chicken skin and simmered for 24 hours, so you already know that from the first slurp, only amazing things are coming your way.
- Tonkotsu Ramen
30 Granada Avenue, Villa Ortigas II, Valencia, Quezon City
7| Yummy Tokyo
On your next Maginhawa food trip, make it a point to check out Yummy Tokyo, which offers generous servings of authentic ramen varieties at affordable price tags. The folks behind this ramen joint are also known for the #UnliRamenChallenge, which challenges foodies to finish five different ramen bowls within two hours. The reward? You can get the bowls for free and be included in the Wall of Fame. If you come up short though, you pay only P399. And, at Yummy Tokyo, you can get DIY ramen kits to go so you can enjoy quality ramen at the comfort of your own home. Each kit includes handcrafted ramen noodles, signature broth pastes, chashu slices, and cutlery.
- Curry Ramen
- Tonkotsu Ramen
103 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City
8| Ramen Kuroda
Everything you will find in Ramen Kuroda aligns with its vision of serving only quality ramen made from a special method where umami is carefully extracted from pork bones. The ramen bowls are celebrations come to life, each one a delightful interchange of homemade noodles and carefully curated ingredients and seasonings. We’re definitely adding brownie points for the free bowl of extra noodles that come with each ramen bowl. If that isn’t enough, you can take your ramen bowl as part of a set, which can come with gyoza pieces, rice toppings, or traditional bento offerings.
- Kuro Ramen
- Aka Ramen
9| Hakata Ikkousha
This popular ramen joint, which translates to “happy place”, was established in Hakata, Kyushu, Japan, in 2004, by ramen master Kousuke Yoshimura. His goal? To spread happiness among the hungry and at the same time introduce the heritage of Hakata-style ramen through a special tonkotsu base made from simmered pork bones. Hakata Ikkousha adopts the yobimodoshi method for its ramen broths, which entails a constant (read: daily) layering of the stockpot until the output is rich, creamy, and smooth. For its specialty ramen, Hakata Ikkousha has received multiple accolades, and has merited resounding praise from patrons all over Asia, Australia, the USA, and now, in the Philippines.
- Special Tonkotsu Ramen
- Black Tonkotsu Ramen
Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City
10| Tomo Japanese Dining
Tomo is one of those Japanese restaurants with a bevy of food items to choose from that it becomes difficult to pin down dishes to try. We’ll help you out and let you in on a secret: beyond crowd favorites (baked oysters, salmon aburi, and teppanyaki), Tomo makes a mean ramen bowl, too. Our favorites include the tantanmen, the restaurant's version of the thick, spicy ramen that remains filling through and through, and the tonkotsu, a creamy alternative that finishes off lighter and smoother on the tummy.
- Chashu Tonkotsu
137 Araullo Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City
11| Oedo Japanese Restaurant
This neighborhood restaurant may be known for other Japanese specialties, but its ramen lineup proves it has a fighting chance. Oedo has a satisfactory collection of ramen varieties, but it’s the following gems that we’re keen on: the Ankake, a rich noodle soup with vegetable and meat toppings, and the Hiyashi Chuka, a Chinese-inspired dish adorned with colorful toppings. To enrich your dining experience, do pair your ramen bowl with a helping of the bestselling sashimi, maki, or okonomiyaki. For more filling options, Oedo has a comprehensive assortment of teppanyaki and kushiyaki to choose from.
- Ankake Ramen
- Hiyashi Chuka
105 Sto. Domingo Avenue, Scout Oscar corner M. Alcaraz Street, Quezon City