The Best Spots For Ramen In Denver, According To A Local

There's something about ramen that people are undeniably drawn to. It may be because it evokes images of instant cups guzzled down in college or the fact that the gourmet version is bursting with flavors and textures. Denver is home to a collection of fantastic ramen restaurants, as well as a few that don't measure up. Some offer homemade noodles and a wide selection of toppings and broths, while others seem to take a more of a backseat approach to this beloved dish. If you want to ensure you never waste your time and money at a sub-par place again, this list of the best spots for ramen in Denver has you covered.

I've lived in Denver for over 20 years, and while I haven't always been a ramen fanatic, my interest in the city's ramen scene has grown over the past decade. My personal experiences at these restaurants helped me compile this list, although recommendations from fellow ramen lovers and friends also played a role in deciding where I should visit. These are some of the spots in the Mile High City you have to stop at for a steaming hot bowl of springy noodles and flavorful broth.

Ramen Star

Ramen Star is my all-time favorite place for ramen in Denver. It has a laid-back vibe, a small, cozy space, excellent service, and unbeatable food all around. The menu isn't enormous, but everything served is undeniably top-notch. Ramen Star proudly makes its noodles and broths in-house. The shop utilizes a special Japanese noodle press and allows its savory broths to cook for days. This craftsmanship shows in every dish that comes of out the kitchen.

One of the best things about Ramen Star is its ability to cater to various dietary preferences. It offers satisfying options for vegetarians and has super unique toppings you won't find anywhere else in the city. For example, several of the ramen bowls come with a homemade potato pierogi on top. I mean, come on! It doesn't get more creative than that. The menu also features a sweet and umami chocolate ramen bowl you won't find anywhere else.

I always order extra noodles in my bowl because they are simply that good. The buns, which come in various flavors, are also beyond drool-worthy. Just remember to make a reservation if you plan on visiting during peak hours, as space is limited.

(303) 455-3787

4044 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211


If you ask most people what the best place for ramen is in Denver, Uncle will be likely at the top of their list, or at least very close. In fact, some would even suggest it belongs in a list of the best ramen restaurants in America. I prefer Ramen Star because it has a more laid-back atmosphere, but Uncle takes ramen to a whole new level with its gourmet ingredients and superior quality standards all around. I love coming here for date nights.

When I first went to Uncle, I was blown away by the elevated culinary creations it serves. The menu features lots of familiar Japanese dishes, including various signature ramen bowls. Each dish is created with the utmost attention to flavor and texture. You'll have to pay a bit more than other places, but once you get a taste of each bowl, you'll see why. The duck ramen, spicy chicken ramen, and veggie khao soi are fan favorites. I also love the buns, and people rave about the two different kinds of ribs available as a shareable appetizer. 

Uncle started as a gourmet spot in the Highlands neighborhood, but due to its overwhelming popularity, it now has a location in the West Wash Park area as well. Even so, you should expect it to be busy. The Highlands location doesn't take reservations either, so be prepared to wait for a table. Still, it is more than worth the extra time.

Multiple locations in Denver

Sukiya Ramen

Sukiya Ramen is my absolute favorite place to grab takeout ramen. I've eaten in its sleek, small dining room before, but the hassle-free ordering and takeout option hits the spot when I'm in the mood to get something quick and take it home. I seriously can't get enough of this ramen — including its fresh ingredients and tasty signature broths. 

The menu at Sukiya Ramen features various types of ramen from different regions around Japan, so everyone is sure to find what they want and more. The servings are pretty large, too. So, while I like to get extra noodles at many places, one serving at Sukiya is more than sufficient. 

I am admittedly a bit picky when it comes to some ingredients, so I tend to ask for certain elements to be left off my order when I'm eating at a restaurant. Sukiya Ramen allows me to easily customize my DIY ramen bowl and hand-pick broths, noodles, and toppings. This is a great feature for folks who have dietary restrictions. Of course, the pre-designed bowls here are also exceptional, but I always choose to build my own — and it hasn't let me down yet.

Multiple locations in Denver

Jinya Ramen Bar

Jinya Ramen Bar serves slow-cooked ramen that Denverites can't get enough of. It features broths that simmer for upwards of 20 hours, which leads to complex flavors and special bowls you're unlikely to find anywhere else. You'll discover several tonkotsu ramen recipes on the menu, three vegan options, a couple of wonton ramen bowls, and more. There's something for everyone here, whether you enjoy spicy, creamy, or unique ramen. One of my favorite things is the crispy fried onions topping on the vegan bowls. I also love the tempura Brussels sprouts as an appetizer.

Jinya Ramen Bar serves its delicious menu in an ultra-modern space that is both contemporary and approachable. It's the kind of setting you'd feel comfortable in regardless of whether you wear athletic or cocktail attire (I've done both). Regardless, the attention to detail and expert level of customer service are superb.

When I visit other cities, I don't normally go to restaurants I can enjoy at home, but Jinya Ramen Bar is one of my exceptions to this rule because I love its food. It has various spots across North America, and no matter which one I visit, it always exceeds my expectations.

Multiple locations in Colorado

Ajinoya Ramen

If you're in the Glendale or Cherry Creek area, make a pit stop at Ajinoya for lunch or dinner. It has a no-frills vibe and quick, friendly service. Plus, the ramen is excellent. The rich, savory broths paired with fresh, classic toppings and ingredients sum up what traditional ramen is all about. My favorite things on the menu are the veggie ramen because it is light and fresh and the tomato ramen because its creamy broth with a touch of Parmesan cheese is uniquely flavored in all the right ways.

My friends love Ajinoya's karaage fried chicken and tasty takoyaki (fried mashed potato and octopus balls). Aside from yummy shared plates and delectable ramen, Ajinoya also offers a range of poke bowls, donburi, and fried rice dishes. I've admittedly never tried them because I can't bring myself to stray from the ramen, but I've heard good things.

I typically get takeout from Ajinoya because it is super close to where I live, and it has a counter-ordering system that makes things convenient. However, the dining room is cute and casual, perfect for all kinds of groups and a laid-back meal. It also features a small bar area with disco balls hanging overhead where you can grab sake or a cocktail.

(720) 638-8678

1390 S Colorado Blvd #120, Denver, CO 80222


You may not have thought chef-driven ramen in a comfortable setting was possible, but Menya makes it a reality. From the use of family recipes and exceptional quality standards to a casual ambiance, it's got it all. It has two convenient locations in the downtown area (and another in Colorado Springs), so it's a fantastic place to get a quick bite before a game at one of the stadiums or any other time you are exploring the heart of the city.

Menya's menu contains a wide selection of ramen with amazing flavors and textures. You'll find thick and classic ramen noodles, just about any kind of broth you could want, and fantastic topping combinations. I love the spicy broths and thick noodles the best, but the entire menu really is delicious. I also order the veggie egg rolls every time I go. While this isn't really a traditional ramen restaurant menu item, Menya's egg rolls are super yummy, so I can't resist ordering a side of those too. In addition to ramen, Menya offers a wide range of tasty Japanese small plates and poke, including a build-your-own bowl option.

Multiple locations in Colorado

Osaka Ramen

Osaka Ramen blends traditional and inventive ramen styles in a way that accommodates almost any type of eater. Plus, it makes its ramen with fresh noodles, and in my opinion, that is what truly makes a bowl exceptional. Some of the most popular items on the ramen menu include spicy chicken, spicy miso, tonkotsu, and vegetable with a Thai green curry broth (just the sound of it makes me hungry).

If you want to try something adventurous, the green chile and chorizo ramen expertly combines Japanese and Colorado culinary influences into a dish you're unlikely to find anywhere else. The menu also features a broad selection of small plates, bento boxes, desserts, and more.

Osaka Ramen, which is located in the trendy RINO neighborhood, is close to fun breweries, distilleries, bars, and more. Admittedly, I have not had a chance to visit Osaka Ramen yet (probably because there are so many phenomenal restaurants in RINO). Rather, a few of my friends have recommended it to me on several occasions — which means that I will have to make a special trip to try it.

(303) 955-7938

2611 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205

Dragonfly Noodle

Dragonfly Noodle specializes in fresh, house-made noodles made by a machine in the front window. Watching it do its thing is almost hypnotizing and makes you excited to sample the rest of the stuff on the menu. It may not have the largest selection of ramen compared to my other top spots, but its super savory broths paired with the springy, fresh noodles make the bowls something you won't soon forget. I've only been here once, but I'll definitely be returning in the near future.

Dragonfly Noodle offers several miso ramen broths, including black tonkotsu and butter lobster — which have received high praise from my friends. I had the miso veggie ramen here and loved it. This broth can be made vegan or gluten-free, which makes it excellent for eaters with dietary restrictions. 

If you are dining with someone who isn't super into ramen but still wants to satisfy a craving, Dragonfly Noodle also offers yummy pho soups, bao buns, and more. You can also order fresh ramen noodles to take home and make however you like. I bought some the last time I went and made them the next day. They cooked up super quickly and tasted almost as good as at the shop, but my seasonings didn't compare.

Multiple locations in Colorado

Katsu Ramen

While not technically in Denver proper, Katsu Ramen in Aurora is worth the drive for next-level ramen and is, by far, the best place in the city for it. Maybe it is because the shop has a Japanese chef from Osaka, or perhaps it's the traditional recipes paired with the super chill, casual vibe, but either way, I keep coming back. The comparatively low prices certainly don't hurt, either.

My friends and I have tried every ramen option on the menu at Katsu, and we have yet to encounter one we didn't enjoy. The savory, spicy, and perfectly balanced broths are what really make each bowl shine. The yummy toppings are great, too, but the broths are much more drool-worthy. You won't want to leave a single drop behind on your bowl. The menu also includes ongiri, rice bowls, poke, and a few appetizers, but I haven't explored these selections. The ramen is just too good. 

I'm not the only one who loves Katsu Ramen, so you don't have to take my word for it. It has exceptional customer reviews as well. I highly recommend trying it the next time you are in the area.

(303) 751-2222

1930 S Havana St #4, Aurora, CO 80014

Sera's Ramen Enclave

Sera's Ramen Enclave has a funky hip hop vibe and phenomenal pan-Asian cuisine with Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese influences. As the name suggests, it specializes in ramen, but the menu also features rice bowls, drool-worthy appetizers, and more. I don't make it to the Highlands neighborhood that often, but when I do, Sera's is at the top of my list of places to get a bite. Not only is the food at this family-run spot amazing, but it also has a fun dining room and quirky patio space perfect for warm days and nights. The prices are reasonable, too.

Some of Sera's best ramen bowls include the Flavorsome ramen with slow-simmered broth, the Saigon curry ramen, and the sesame pork belly ramen. The black ramen, which is served without broth, is also a favorite. From my experience, you really can't go wrong with anything on its menu. Sera's also offers a range of refreshing beverage options, both with and without alcohol. I personally enjoy the fruit-infused limeades.

It's important to note that Sera's is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so plan your visit for another day of the week.

(303) 455-2858

3472 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211


Ototo is run by the same folks who operate the highly acclaimed Sushi Den and Izakaya Den, so you can expect high-quality fare. While I would consider it fine dining, it has a warm, welcoming vibe and a beautifully designed space that instantly puts you at ease.

When you visit Ototo, you can expect to find nothing but the best. From the authentic preparation styles to the use of the freshest ingredients possible, it is basically a master class in how to make Japanese food at the absolute highest caliber. The menu includes robata-style tapas, raw bar selections with whole fish, sashimi, amazingly delicious noodles, and more. Only three ramen are listed on the menu: tonkotsu, chicken chashu, and pork kimchi. I know this is a limited selection, but these ramen are ultimately made so well that you won't miss a lengthy menu.  

Unfortunately, Ototo doesn't have a vegetarian ramen option, but other menu items ensure no one goes hungry, regardless of dietary restrictions. I haven't tried Ototo myself (yet), but I've been to the sister restaurants many times, and I've heard nothing but high praise about it. It may have a smaller ramen menu than other places on my list, but it is definitely a Denver favorite.

(303) 942-1416

1501 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210


I used to be one of those misinformed people who thought all ramen was like the instant stuff you get from the store, so why would anyone bother paying gourmet restaurant prices for it? However, I had a life-changing bowl of ramen in Vancouver, and ever since then, I've been on a search to find the best ramen in my home city of Denver. Over the last decade, I've explored spots across the Mile High City to discover my favorite places. This list is primarily populated based on my attempts and experiences.

I have visited most of the spots on the list but also relied on recommendations from friends and reviewers to supplement my selections. I factored in the menu selection, as well as the quality and flavor of broths, noodles, and toppings at each location. I also examined each shop's unique offerings and its ability to accommodate different dietary preferences. No matter which place you try first, be prepared to be blown away by what's in your bowl.