The Rose City is becoming a hotspot for traditional ramen shops.
Ramen has become all the rage in the United States in recent years, and Portland has become a hotspot for traditional shops straight from Tokyo. It makes sense if you think about it: What’s better on a cold, rainy day than slurping a bowl of savory noodles in rich broth? And anyone who’s been to Portland knows there’s a lot of cold, rainy days here.
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From tonkotsu to shoyu, meat-based to vegan, these 10 shops are putting Portland on the ramen map.
Another Tokyo transplant, Afuri, opened its doors to the hungry Portland public in 2016. If you’re wondering why so many Japanese shops are opening up in the Rose City, Afuri’s website gives a great explanation: “Portland’s ecosystem produces nearly identical beautiful water to that of our Japan locations. This water quality combined with the bounty of Pacific Northwest local farms & producers, allows us to create the highest quality ramen and Japanese cuisine available.” If that doesn’t convince you to give this place a try, maybe the tonkotsu tantanmen with spicy sesame miso tare, pork broth, garlic bok choy, leek, white soy shiitake mushroom, sesame chili oil, and garlic ginger pork crumbles will. Are you drooling yet?
For those who like their ramen with a side of sushi, Mirakutei is the spot. Though billed as a sushi restaurant, the east side establishment serves up some slurp-worthy soup as well. The shop offers vegetarian ramen for the herbivores and the popular genki ramen in white miso broth and tonkotsu with roasted black garlic oil for the omnivores.
It doesn’t matter what part of Portland you’re in, there’s probably a Boxer Ramen somewhere close by. With four locations throughout the city, you’re able to get ramen from the founders of Blue Star Donuts and Little Big Burger on both the East and West sides of town. Dubbed as “hipster ramen,” Boxer offers the traditional fare (tonkotsu, miso) as well as a light vegetarian (vegan also available) shiitake shoyu and vegan veggie curry soups.
In 2017, Nama brought quality ramen to the Sellwood neighborhood and quickly became one of the best shops in the city. The restaurant specializes in shoyu and miso ramen varieties, and also offers a veggie bowl and gluten-free noodle options. Aside from delicious ramen, Nama boasts an impressive poke and izakaya menu.
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