I probably ate at more top-level ramen shops in Japan in 2021 than any other year. I’m happy to say I’ve crushed ramen at most of the best shops in Tokyo. Of all the lists (Tabelog, Michelin, Ramen Walker) I’ve tried everything that the other ramen critics rave about. That doesn’t mean things have slowed down. On the contrary, excellent ramen shops are opening monthly in Japan’s capital. Here are 11 of my favorites for 2021.

ラーメン二郎八王子野猿街道店2 - Ramen Jiro

八王子

Hachioji

One of the top Jiro shops in Japan. Be prepared to wait. You want garlic in that?

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らぁ麺や 嶋 - Ramen Shima

西新宿

Nishi-Shinjuku

Rookie of the year ramen shop for what seemed like 99% of the ramen magazines and critics.

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中華そば 西川 - Nishikawa

世田谷

Setagaya

Deep niboshi ramen and interesting limited fish ramen bowls.

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白河手打中華そば 一番いちばん - Ichiban Ichiban

町田

Machida

A celebrated Kitakata-style shop with smooth soup and springy noodles.

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中華そば うお青 - Uosei

日野

Hino

Lighter-than-expected niboshi ramen out in the western reaches of Tokyo.

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キング製麺 - King Seimen

王子

Oji

The Koike Group's third shop now makes their own noodles. The wontons are something special.

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麺処 ほん田 - Honda

秋葉原

Akihabara

Ramen OG Honda's new location is just as good as before, with access in Akihabara being a breeze.

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純手打ち だるま - Daruma

中野

Nakano

A style reminiscent of Kitakata, but wholly their own.

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ラーメン二郎 神田神保町店 - Ramen Jiro

神田

Kanda

One of the top Jiro shops in Japan. Be prepared to wait. You want garlic in that?

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寿製麺 よしかわ 西台駅前店 - Yoshikawa

西台

Nishidai

Tokyo residents are blessed with the third branch of this Saitama legend shop.

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宍道湖しじみ中華蕎麦 琥珀 - Kohaku

蒲田

Kamata

Shijimi littleneck clams are the highlight of this elegant bowl.

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