Places to go in Montréal for an authentic bowl of ramen
This article was updated on March 13, 2019.
In recent years, Montréal has been blessed with a blossoming ramen scene that has proliferated from non-existent to having places that specialize in regional Japanese specialties. If you’ve never had ramen before, it’s a humble dish of fresh wheat noodles swimming in a broth (that has most likely been simmering for hours) topped with meat and vegetables. This quintessential Japanese comfort food has been growing in popularity as more and more noodle shops and ramen houses pop up around town. Here are some of the best places to go for an authentic bowl of ramen.
Located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood, Yokato Yokabai specializes in authentic Hakata Tonkotsu style ramen - which is a pork bone-based soup. Its menu is a check list that you fill out at your table. Its tongue-twisting name is a literal translation of a Japanese term that means, “I like it.” Order the extra salty pork bone tonkotsu with extra scallions and half an egg and I guarantee you’ll love it.
This popular downtown izakaya is known for lineups that stretch down the street that and start as early as an hour before the doors open. Known for their its remastered classic izakaya dishes, Restaurant Kazu also serves up a mean bowl of ramen. Homemade noodles in a silky-smooth miso broth topped with braised pork belly and scallions will leave you craving for more. Try to grab a seat at the bar for a great view of the action of the open kitchen.
Ramen Misoya is a ramen chain with over 30 locations worldwide that has been recognized in the New York Michelin guide for 3 years in a row. Its broths are miso based and come in three different concentrations: shiromiso, komemiso and mamemiso. The classic bowl is delicious but try the curry ramen - a rich curry miso broth that’s topped with 3 pieces of chicken katsu (fried chicken cutlet), beansprouts, corn and fried slices of potato.
Schlouppe Bistrot Nakamichi
Schlouppe Bistrot Nakamichi specializes in tori paitan style ramen, a rich creamy soup made with chicken bones and rendered chicken fat that produces the most impossibly luscious broth and literally clings to every strand of noodle. The menu is straightforward and simple. You have a choice of three ramen bowls – including a vegetarian option. The menu also consists of great side dishes and salads. Get the combo special, which includes a side dish and homemade green tea ice cream with your ramen.
Expect a traditional bellowing of “irrashaimase” (welcome in Japanese) the moment you walk through the door. Not only does Kinka Izakaya serve classic Japanese pub grub like takoyaki (grilled octopus balls) or chicken karaage (fried chicken), but its ramen is popular as well.
As a part of the Kinka family of izakaya-style restaurants and pubs that invite patrons to explore Japanese cuisine beyond sushi, Kinton Ramen hit the ground running when it arrived in early 2016. Its official ramen challenge has patrons slurping every noodle and soup down to the last drop. Clean your bowl and you’re an official Kinton Bowler – prizes and bragging rights up for grabs.
There’s nothing like freshly made ramen and, when I say fresh, I mean homemade noodles coming out of a specialty ramen noodle machine imported from Japan. Ichifuku’s testament to quality starts from its meticulous soup making process, which boasts no M.S.G. (monosodium glutamate) and six kinds of noodles of different diameters, which pair differently with their signature broths.
Ramen-ya is considered the pioneer of the ramen scene in Montréal. Keeping it simple with its ramen offerings, this spot satiates cravings with its house special chashu tonkotsu, served with thick-sliced roasted pork belly. Also on the menu are a spicy beef ramen called the “gyu” and a veggie option for non meat eaters.
Kumamato Ramen is hitting all the right notes with diehard ramen eaters. It is on trend with the Japanese ramen shops that offer diners the choice to eat in solitude and avoid distractions while enjoying their steaming bowl of tonkotsu. Solo patrons are seated in stalls where they order and are served through a bamboo curtain with minimal human interaction.
Located on the renowned Saint-Hubert Plaza - known for bridal shops and consignment stores, Ramen Plaza is a noodle oasis for the locals of the Petite-Patrie neighbourhood of Montréal. Tonkotsu, double broth (chicken based) and spicy miso available.
This boisterous izakaya has been lighting up the ramen scene for years. With a tonkotsu, kare-miso and vegetarian option made with shiitake mushrooms and kombu, Imadake gets creative with its noodle offerings. Toppings like buttered corn, grilled rare beef (think pho) and marinated soft-boiled eggs are sure to whet your appetite.
A pop-up ramen shop takes over the Saint-Henri favorite ice cream shop Dalla Rose during the winter months, singling three ramen options; a basic ramen, a chili ramen and a signature “Dalla Rose” bowl are all vegan. Yes, vegan ramen. Classic ramen accoutrements like pork and eggs are all available as add-ons.
A newcomer on the Main, Tsukuyomi specializes in a the classic tonkotsu ramen - thick luscious pork-bone broth topped with your choice of pork or chicken. Vegan broth available as well.
This Japanese bistro offers unique takes on traditional ramen. Its classic pork and soy broth ramen are topped with roasted charshu pork, corn and marinated eggs. The “Very Spicy Noodle” is made with Porchetta, egg, yu choi, bean sprouts, enoki, red pepper confit and spicy oil.
The original ramen option in Chinatown, SUMO RAMEN has been offering slurpable Japanese soup noodles for years. Pick from a choice of three different broths, pepper, shoyu and miso as well as three types of noodles:, the options are endless. Great vegetarian options available as well as other tempting menu dishes like yakitori and okonomiyaki.
Jason Lee, blogger
Jason is a food eater and picture taker. As the blogger behind Shut Up and Eat, he covers everything food, from recipes to reviews. Jason has vowed that he will not stop until he has officially eaten his way across Montréal. It’s a big claim, and it’s one he’s making.