Where to Find the Best Ramen in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO/December 25, 2017 (STL.News) – Ah ramen! That dehydrated puck of wavy noodles and its powdered sauce packet was and continues to be a college dormitory mainstay. Ramen is as popular today as it’s ever been, with ramen shops popping up all over the U.S., including in St. Louis. But the ramen served in restaurants is very different from the instant stuff on which penny-pinching college students subsist. The broth is meatier, the noodles fluffier, the whole experience more elegant, and delicious. Instead of a Styrofoam cup of wrinkled noodles in a thin broth, restaurant ramen is served in bowls filled with a rich, savory broth made by slow-simmering pork or chicken bones (or a combination of the two) and flavored with shio (salt), Shoyu (soy sauce), or Miso (fermented bean paste). The noodles are cooked separately and added to the broth along with a combination of pork or chicken, vegetables, seafood, or seaweed, and frequently Ajitama (a soy sauce seasoned, soft-boiled egg). No matter the variety or style, restaurant ramen is a satisfying soup that bears little resemblance to the instant kind.
There are dozens of restaurants in the St. Louis area that do ramen right. According to customer reviews, Christine Meyer’s and Michael Miller’s Kounter Kulture has the best ramen in St. Louis. Kounter Kulture is the brick-and-mortar location for Kitchen Kulture, the popular Tower Grove Farmers Market vendor Meyer and Miller started in 2012. They opened their Lindenwood Park carry out restaurant in 2016, offering many of the dishes that made their Farmer’s Market stand so popular. Kitchen Kulture’s rotating, seasonal menu features Asian and Asian fusion cuisines. At various times you’ll find dishes from Korea, Japan, Thailand, China, and Vietnam—each made with farm fresh, seasonal produce and sustainably raised proteins. The menu changes regularly, but generally includes ramen in some form.
No matter where you are in the St. Louis area, there is a restaurant nearby offering a warm, delicious bowl of ramen. Here are the top 10 places to find the best ramen in St. Louis, according to customer reviews:
1. Kounter Kulture (4.88 stars/120 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3825 Watson Road, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 781-4344.
2. Sapporo 2 (4.43 stars/132 reviews) Midtown, 3043 Olive Street, Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 899-0698.
3. Sushi Station (4.28 stars/169 reviews) Downtown Webster Groves, 29 North Gore, Webster Groves, MO 63119, (314) 733-5511.
4. Nudo House STL (4.26 stars/117 reviews) Creve Coeur, 11423 Olive Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63141, (314) 274-8046.
5. ZEN Thai & Japanese Cuisine (4.17 stars/226 reviews) Crestwood, 9250 Watson Road, Saint Louis, MO 63126, (314) 842-0307.
6. MaTaNe Japanese Dining (4.16 stars/69 reviews) Chesterfield Plaza, 13419 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63017, (314) 786-5778.
7. The Rice Bowl (4.12 stars/66 reviews) St. Peters, 7895 Mexico Road, Saint Peters, MO 63376, (636) 279-1507.
8. Fin Japanese Cuisine (4.08 stars/145 reviews) Chesterfield, 1682 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield, MO 63017, (636) 536-4228.
9. Vista Ramen (4.08 stars/156 reviews) Benton Park West, 2609 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, MO 63118, (314) 797-8250.
10. Everest Cafe & Bar (4.06 star/311 reviews) The Grove, 4145 Manchester Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 531-4800.
With so many great ramen shops, it was impossible to limit our list to just ten. We wanted to share a few more suggestions. These restaurants all offer delightful ramen and other specialties, but didn’t quite make the top 10 list. So, to these restaurants, we offer Honorable Mentions:
Toasty Subs (4.66 stars/38 reviews) Maplewood, 3001 South Big Bend Blvd, Maplewood, MO 63143, (314) 833-3277. Fresh ramen, handmade sushi, and hot, toasted sub sandwiches. This Maplewood sandwich shop opened earlier this year offering a little something for everyone, and everything is delicious. That includes the four varieties of ramen: tonkotsu, miso, seafood, and veggie.
Hiro Asian Kitchen (3.92 stars/299 reviews) Downtown, 1405 Washington Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 241-4476. Their big bowl ramen will satisfy any appetite. They offer three classic varieties: traditional pork (Hiro), spicy seafood, and tofu. They even do a breakfast ramen with shiitake mushrooms, house bacon, a poached egg, wheat noodles, and their delicious bone broth.
Midtown Sushi and Ramen (3.84 stars/158 reviews) Midtown, 3674 Forest Park Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63108, (314) 328-2452. Midtown offers authentic Japanese cuisine in a sleek, beautiful setting. The restaurant’s recipes draw from the traditions of Kyushu, Japan’s southwestern most island and the home of Hakata-style ramen, with a rich, milky, pork-bone tonkotsu broth and rather thin, non-curly, resilient noodles.