My favorite bowls in Tokyo, 2016.

らぁ麺 やまぐち 辣式 - Yamaguchi Ratsushiki

東京都江東区東陽4-6-3

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.

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志奈そば 田なか Second - Tanaka Second

東京都千代田区外神田3-4-1

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.

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麺や 七彩 八丁堀店 - Shichisai

東京都中央区八丁堀2-13-2

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.

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Homemade Ramen 麦苗 - Muginae

東京都品川区南大井6-11-10

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.

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煮干しつけ麺 宮元 - Miyamoto

東京都大田区西蒲田7-8-1

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.

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MENSHO TOKYO

東京都文京区春日1-15-9

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.

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真鯛らーめん 麺魚 - Mengyo

東京都墨田区江東橋2-8-8

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.

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らぁめん小池 - Koike

東京都世田谷区上北沢4-19-18

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.

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麺や金時 - Kintoki

東京都練馬区小竹町1-2-7

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.

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青竹平打ち中華そば 麺壱吉兆 - Kiccho

東京都品川区東大井5-6-6

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.

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銀座 風見 - Kazami

東京都中央区銀座6-4-13

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.

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中華ソバ 伊吹 - Ibuki

東京都板橋区前野町4-58-10

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.

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本格博多豚骨ラーメン豚野郎 - Butayaro

東京都中野区中野1丁目41番45号

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.

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