Winter is coming (sorry, ladies, Jon Snow is not… until April 2019), so I thought it would be a good time to venture out and find the best places to slurp ramen around the Charlotte region.
But first, here are some pointers on how to eat ramen like a pro:
(1) Begin by using chopsticks to taste the noodles. Don’t try and gulp the entire bowl of noodles at once. (I know it’s tempting.) Take a small amount of noodles and dunk them into the broth prior to eating.
(2) Slurping is necessary, so don’t be shy if you’re on a first date. Dunk, slurp, chomp, repeat. Fun fact: In Japanese culture it’s insulting to the chef to eat your ramen quietly. The louder you are, the better.
(3) Do not, I repeat, do not stir toppings into soup. The meat and egg are meant to be enjoyed separately. Think of these as side dishes floating around in your broth. Remember that it’s OK to take a bite and put it back in the bowl.
(4) Eat your bowl quickly. Do not sit and indulge in the sight and smell of your flawless ramen bowl. Ramen is meant to be a quick meal that’s enjoyed while it’s still piping hot.
Now here’s where to get the good stuff.
Recommended Ramen: Masa Ramen – Drunken pork belly, shoyu egg, corn, bean sprouts, wakame, scallions, and crispy garlic served in a tonkotsu broth. miso chili per request (do it).
3629 N. Davidson St.
Recommended Ramen: Ramen Short Ribs – Ramen noodles, slow cooked short ribs, boiled eggs, bok choi, scallions and cilantro.
222 E Bland St.
Recommended Ramen: Buta Bowl – Chicken and dashi broth, double noodle, pecan smoked pork belly, onsen egg, duck confit, spicy pork, ona chili sauce, sweet white corn, leek, scallion, cayenne pepper threads.
10110 Johnston Rd.
Recommended Ramen: Ton-Kotsu Ramen – Real Japanese egg noodle topped with seaweed, slices of pork, marinated bamboo shoot and scallions in a rich pork-stock based stock.
2440 Park Road.
Recommended Ramen: Kyushu Gomoku Champon – Chuka egg noodles in piping-hot soy ramen soup that is topped with calamari, scallops and shrimp.
1324 Central Ave.
Recommended Ramen: Spicy miso ramen – Spicy miso broth, chashu (pork), nori, sesame seeds, scallions, menma, seasoned egg and fishcake. I like adding bean sprouts as well.
2173 Hawkins St.
Reccomended Ramen: Miso – ground pork, veggies, moyashi, corn and egg.
1508 S. Mint Street
Recommended Ramen: YUME Special Vegan – Special homemade black garlic infused vegetable broth with gluten free rice noodles and selected toppings.
Lake Norman and Cabarrus
8625-C Lindholm Drive, Huntersville
Recommended Ramen: Curry Kick – Coconut curry broth, chicken, herbs and string beans.
360 Exchange St. NW, Concord
Recommended Ramen: Miso Ginger Pork Ramen Bowl: Miso ginger broth, Napa cabbage, tender pork slices, onions, carrots, scallions and topped with a fresh fried egg.
16925 Birkdale Commons Parkway, Huntersville
Recommended Ramen: Tonkatsu – Ramen noodles, smoked pork belly, soy marinated egg, steamed bok choy, housemade pickles, enoki mushroom, scallions and microgreens.
694 Brawley School Rd. Mooresville
Recommended Ramen: Shiso Veggie (vegan optional) – Brown rice miso & oyster mushroom broth that’s topped with charred veggies, crispy tofu, oyster mushrooms, roasted corn, scallions and aromatic shiso sweet potato oil.
Seoul Food Meat Co has a Ramen Mac and Cheese that’s equally delicious as it is adventurous.