Looking for an upgrade from your regular two-minute noodles? Wanting to explore more Japanese cuisine besides sushi and tempura? A hearty bowl of ramen might be the perfect thing for you.
Even if ramen is already one of your favourite dishes, and you’re on the hunt for the perfect bowl in town, you’ve landed in the right place. Whether it’s takeaway, casual dining or a nice restaurant, Canberra is home to many high-quality restaurants serving up delicious bowls of ramen. So where do you start?
In this article, we’ve put together a helpful guide to some of the top-rated ramen joints in town to help you on your search. Let’s get into it.
What makes a great ramen restaurant?
Ramen itself is simple enough, but with so many choices available to you finding the best venue might get complicated. Here’s a few things to look for in a great ramen joint:
- Authenticity. Ramen is a traditional Japanese noodle soup, and while it’d be hard to find truly authentic ramen anywhere outside of Japan, only the restaurants who are dedicated to preparing the dish properly will be serving up the best ramen in town.
- Quality ingredients. As is the case with any dish of any cuisine, a meal is only as good as its ingredients. Look for restaurants that are using fresh, locally sourced products in their dishes, including fresh vegetables, local meat products and house-made broths.
- Variety. There are many different version of ramen dishes. There are different kinds of broths that can be used, like pork bone or miso, as well as different proteins such as pork, chicken, and tofu, plus all the different toppings and noodle types to choose from. Great ramen joints will offer up many kinds of ramen bowls, to make sure that there’s something available for everyone.
- Affordable. No one wants to pay an arm and a leg for a decent meal, and with ramen you shouldn’t have to. The ingredients used in ramen are cheap and easy to find, so make sure you pick a restaurant that is charging reasonable prices for their ramen (without, of course, losing out on quality!).
The best ramen restaurants in Canberra
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Ramen O is a small family business in Belconnen, dedicated to bringing love and comfort to Canberra’s restaurant scene along with Japanese authenticity. The minimalist interior is decorated with traditional ikebana and nihonga décor, while the kitchen serves up 9 different ramen bowls to choose from, along with gyoza and a kids’ menu.
As ‘Local Guide’ Tom Courtney writes on Google, “Terrific Ramen! There are only a handful of places in Canberra that can make a really good ramen, and this is definitely in the top 2. Generous serving, the broth is packed with flavour, and the pork in the Ramen Wow had an excellent texture and flavour.”
Ramentic is a dedicated ramen bar, with a slick interior of black tiles and pale wooden benches and stools, plus a few tables and heaters outside. The menu is all about quality over quantity, as they keep it simple with a few classic ramen dishes - choose from their classic ramen dish, their spicy ramen, their chicken ramen and their vegetarian-friendly option.
As Google reviewer Emilia Tan writes, "Amazing broth. I enjoy the thickness of it and the lotus chips are great combination for the sake. It is the best ramen broth I had after Melbourne. I think the quality of food and service are delivered."
Recently opened in Manuka, Ohsama Ramen is headed up by Tokyo-born head chef Yuji Takeda who is dedicated to serving authentic Japanese dishes. There are four ramen soups to choose from, and the noodles are hand-made in house with a state-of-the-art Japanese noodle-making machine.
As Facebook user Toni Pallamountagne writes, “The atmosphere, the decor and of course the food was amazing. The noodles made the dish, and the flavours were well balanced.”
A true hidden gem and local favourite, White Chaco is mastering the art of Asian fusion cuisine and cosy dining, all at an affordable price. Their unique blend of Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese cuisine yields one of the most intriguing and undeniably delectable menus in Canberra right now. On their extensive menu of share plates and rice bowls are a few delicious ramen options, from a classic pork ramen to the luxurious and warming truffle ramen, all of which are prepared fresh in house daily.
As happy customer Nicholas Eichner writes in their Google review, "Finally international quality ramen in Canberra. Tonkotsu ramen is great and the red ramen was outstanding for those who like a kick of spicy."
Located in the Verity Lane Market food hall, Ramen Daddy is presenting Japanese-French fusion dishes with a modern twist. They offer five different ramen dishes to choose from, two of which are plant based, along with a delicious selection of snacks – all at an affordable price.
‘Local Guide’ Jasmine Lui tried their ramen and left the following Google review, “The broth is rich and a bit creamy, slightly sweet too. The noodles have a nice bite and the pork is delicious - truly aesthetically pleasing yet presents deep flavours with each bite.”
Your experience with ramen restaurants in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you been to any of the ramen restaurants listed above? Did we miss your favourite? Share your thoughts and feedback below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ramen made from?
Ramen is made from a meat or fish-based broth, often flavoured with miso or soy sauce, and served with noodles, proteins and vegetables. The proteins could be anything from pork belly to fried chicken or fish, and topped with shredded nori, mushrooms, boiled egg, and many other options.
Is ramen healthy?
Ramen consists of lots of fats and carbohydrates, but there is nothing in the dish that could be considered particularly unhealthy. It's a noodle soup of hearty broth, meat and vegetables, so as long as the ingredients are of good quality and it is eaten in moderation, ramen is definitely a healthy meal.
What cuisine is ramen from?
Ramen is a traditional Japanese dish, but it has cousins in many other cuisines - pho, ramen and laksa are all other variations of broth noodle soups found in Vietnamese, Thai, Korean and other south-east Asian cuisines.
Is ramen vegetarian-friendly?
It can be! Traditionally, ramen is made from a bone or fish broth and served with meat, but it would be very easy to substitute make the broth from vegetables and top the dish with tofu and other vegetables instead. In fact, many ramen restaurants do!
Can I make ramen at home?
Absolutely. Ramen can be as complicated or as simple as you like - there even packets of instant ramen available at most grocery stores. However, it's just as easy to make your own broth and select your own toppings if you want to go the extra mile - and the leftovers will keep in your fridge for a few days too.