My favorite bowls in Tokyo, 2016.
らぁ麺 やまぐち 辣式 - Yamaguchi Ratsushiki
Tokyo, Koto-ku, Toyo 4-6-3
Yamaguchi's second shop differs greatly from the main shop in Takadanobaba. The soupless tantanmen here is just spicy enough, with excellent noodles to match.
志奈そば 田なか Second - Tanaka Second
Tokyo, Chioda-ku, Sotokanda 3-4-1
Unfortunately, this bowl of kakisoba (noodles and soup with no toppings) is no longer. It was made with Japanese spicy lobster, abalone, and ark shell. The shop changed it's menu. Lucky for those headed to Akihabara, though, the new menu is just as good. Go for the tsukemen made with seafood from Chiba Prefecture.
麺や 七彩 八丁堀店 - Shichisai
Tokyo, Chuo-ku, Hatchobori 2-13-2
Shichisai goes above and beyond in the noodle game. Noodles are made fresh to order. The noodle maker rolls out dough, kneads it, and cuts it in front of customers. The soup is heavy Kitakata-style, and a steady stream of limited bowls means you can always try something new.
Homemade Ramen 麦苗 - Muginae
Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku, Minami Oi 6-11-10
Unconfirmed rumors say that Muginae was slated to receive every award they were eligible for; best new shop, best shoyu, best in Southern Tokyo. Those rumors also say that Muginae refused it all, including any press coverage. People in the know love this one for their well-crafted shoyu ramen.
煮干しつけ麺 宮元 - Miyamoto
Tokyo, Ota-ku, Nishikamata 7-8-1
Tonkotsu gyokai tsukemen is nothing new, but Miyamoto can easily be recommended as a top shop in the field. Beautiful, thick noodles and an equally intense soup.
Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Kasuga 1-15-9
Just north of Tokyo Dome.
Chocolate ramen? Every year, for the past seven or eight, MENSHO has done a limited edition Valentine's Day ramen. This year was a lamb bone based soup with spices and bitter chocolate. Sure, this one is long gone, but keep in mind that this is an annual thing, so keep February 1st-14th free.
真鯛らーめん 麺魚 - Mengyo
Tokyo, Sumida-ku, Kotobashi 2-8-8
Since opening, they have moved across the street.
Snapper soup blended with creamy chicken broth. If that wasn't enough, it's topped with smoked pork and an egg that gets infused with dashi broth. Rookie of the year ramen.
らぁめん小池 - Koike
Tokyo, Setagaya-ku, Kamikitazawa 4-19-18
Two kinds of light ramen and two kinds of heavy ramen, plus a limited bowl make this one a repeater. The thick 濃厚ラーメン is a must-slurp for niboshi fans, while the thinner ones satisfy the masses.
麺や金時 - Kintoki
Tokyo, Nerima-ku, Kotakecho 1-2-7
Simple chicken ramen and an in-your-face soupless tantanmen make Kintoki a repeat, or a candidate for a double bowl.
青竹平打ち中華そば 麺壱吉兆 - Kiccho
Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku, Higashi Oimachi 5-6-6
This mega-old school spot makes their noodles using the equally old school method of bamboo kneading. This is chukasoba worth lining up for.
銀座 風見 - Kazami
Tokyo, Chuo-ku, Ginza 6-4-13
Kazami in Ginza uses sake lees to flavor the broth. Similar to miso in taste, with quite a bit of sweetness.
中華ソバ 伊吹 - Ibuki
Tokyo, Itabashi-ku, Maenocho 4-58-10
Ibuki is Tokyo's king of niboshi ramen. There are some options for soup thickness, but in all honesty, they are all intense.
本格博多豚骨ラーメン豚野郎 - Butayaro
Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Nakano 1-41-45
Creamy tonkotsu ramen is quite common in Tokyo, so it's nice to see one that breaks from the norm. Butayaro (lit. Pork Dude) serves a set with an extra bowl of rice to add into the leftover soup. A nice break from the normal kaedama (extra noodles) that most tonkotsu shops serve.