Noodling Around

Ten great bowls of ramen we're craving right now

Slurp's up! We roamed the city's ramen-yas and tasted our way through dozens and dozens of bowls of toothsome noodles and tender pork bellies in slick, savory broths to narrow it down to ten favorites. And yes, it was really tough. In no particular order, here they are:

? Stamina ramen, Ganso ($14) 
Harris Salat's downtown Brooklyn ramen-ya makes a lovely broth with chicken bones, then makes it even lovelier with a float of house-made chile oil. It comes with wood ear mushrooms, seasonal greens, garlic chives and scallions.

? Roasted garlic mazemen, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop ($13)
The intensity of Ivan Orkin's Gotham West Market mazemen--the thin, frizzy noodles are dressed in a little broth plus mashed roasted garlic, chicken and pork fat--is almost (almost!) too much to bear. 

? Spicy tonkotsu ramen, Jin Ramen ($13)  
Shuichi Kotani's springy noodles might steal the show if it weren't for the wonderfully creamy pork-bone broth, spiked with an umami-rich chile-garlic paste, and wobbly chashu

? Spicy basic ramen, Minca ($12)
Sure, a lot of great ramen shops have opened since we first fell for Minca, but this tiny LES spot still has its charms, among them the deeply garlicky broth, excellent pork belly with tender fat and totally unfussy counter service. 

? Korean ramyun, Hanjan ($16)
Inspired by instant, but infinitely better, Hooni Kim's late-night special involves a rich broth made with fish, chicken and pork bones and stained with chiles, plus excellent noodles coming in from New Jersey.

? Akamaru Modern ramen, Ippudo ($15)
Count on this Japanese chain for some of the most reliably delicious bowls (and longest lines) in the city. The Akamaru's incredibly creamy, fatty tonkotsu broth has a secret: a scoop of deep red miso that slowly melts away. 

? Original ramen, Takashi ($16)
Takashi Inoue is a serious beef-offal enthusiast, so it's no surprise that his excellent broth is made from beef bones--simmered for 24 hours with aromatics, sticky with collagen--and topped with fried small intestines and beef belly.

? Tondaku green curry ramen, Bassanova Ramen ($15)  
In ramen, as in love and war, everything is fair game. Even this sweet-savory, deeply satisfying bowl featuring halved okra and fried garlic, a pork broth thickened with coconut milk and bright with green curry paste. 

? Chicken paitan ramen, Totto Ramen ($9.75)
This little counter in Hell's Kitchen still makes one of the best (and cheapest!) bowls in town: a rich chicken broth, excellent house-made noodles and great toppings including chashu that's torched before your eyes.

? Vegetarian ramen, Chuko ($13)  
Seasonal vegetables in a deep bowl of kombu-dashi broth seasoned with miso and garlic-scallion oil, plus a pile of lovely noodles, make this veggie ramen nearly as rich and just as satisfying as its meaty brethren. 

Ganso 25 Bond St. Brooklyn NY 11201 718-403-0900 Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop 600 11th Ave. New York NY 10036 Jin Ramen 3183 Broadway New York NY 10027 646-559-2862 Minca 536 E 5th St. New York NY 10009 212-505-8001 Hanjan 36 W 26th St. New York NY 10001 212-206-7226 Ippudo 65 4th Ave. New York NY 10016 212-388-0088 Takashi 456 Hudson St. New York NY 10014 212-414-2929 Bassanova Ramen 76 Mott St. New York NY 10013 212-334-2100 Totto Ramen 366 W 52nd St. New York NY 10019 212-582-0052 Chuko 552 Vanderbilt Ave. New York NY 11238 718-576-6701


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