Bowl of ramen

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July 7, 2016

Best Bowls of Ramen in San Francisco

To many San Franciscans ramen is their version of comfort food. It is the perfect companion to working from home or watching movies all day. And tucking into one of the local ramen parlors is equally calming, if the proliferation of ramen shops is any indication. A hot bowl of steaming ramen, silky noodles swirling at the end of your chopsticks - it's all good as they say. 

Katana-Ya (430 Geary St., Union Square)
Located in the heart of the Theater District on Geary sits a ramen shop with small tables, bar seats and questionable decor. Add up the line out the door and the delicious ramen inside and you'll feel like you've been transported to Japan. What makes this an “Only in San Francisco" experience? The deep-fried chicken ramen.

Ramen Underground (355 Kearny St., Financial District)
Ramen Underground is technically not underground, but without the daily lines, it would be hard to recognize. Sitting on the Union Square/Financial District border, Ramen Underground is one of the new kids on the block that is getting rave reviews about authenticity. Looking for a place with a soft-boiled egg? This is the place.

Tanpopo (1740 Buchanan St., Japantown)
If you want options, you need to head over to Japantown and step into Tanpopo. The have 13 different bowls of ramen combinations and countless more sushi options. The favorite bowl among the bunch: Karamiso, ramen with spicy miso broth.

Ken Ken Ramen (3378 18th St., Mission District)
Located around the corner from 18th Street and Mission, Ken Ken Ramen is another new ramen shop that is quickly gaining a following. Birthed from the minds of Ramen Chef Takahiro Hori, Stefan Roesch and Robert Patterson, Ken Ken, like so many new restaurants, started out as a popup. Since the beginning, they have been serving super fresh, super clean and delicious ramen. Adding to the lore, they never take reservations and always seem to run out of ramen from time to time.

Izakaya Sozai (1500 Irving St., Sunset)
This place is all about the pork, never overly fatty and always full of flavor, and it's the Ritsu Tonkotsu ramen that you'll want to order. However, it doesn't stop at ramen as they have an extensive menu of Japanese tapas, too.

Sawaii Ramen (2240 Irving St., Sunset)
You put spicy, garlic, miso ramen on the menu and our heart is yours. Plus when Karl the Fog rolls in, Sawaii is located in the Outer Sunset and there's nothing better than ramen to fight off the chill (we still love you Karl).

Mensho Ramen (672 Geary St., Union Square)
A few blocks down from Katana-Ya, Mensho is the new ramen darling in San Francisco. Because this is the first American outpost of the Tokyo favorite, you can expect three things: a deceivingly long line (it moves fast), someone complaining about the line on Yelp and an insanely delicious bowl of ramen. Plus the bowls all come with kale. How more San Francisco can you get?

Halu (312 Eighth Ave., Richmond)
Head to the Richmond neighborhood for the most authentic Japanese experience. At Halu, you'll find the walls dripping with Beatles memorabilia and 60s paraphernalia celebrating the decade. Along with the kitsch, you'll find yakitori (meat on a stick), okonomiyaki (savory pancake) and karage (fried chicken) ramen. Once you step through the door, you'll feel like you've been transported to a Japanese Izakaya in Tokyo.

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