If you're craving comfort food, noodles always make for a slurp-er good supper. And on O‘ahu the number of great ramen shops constantly bowls us over. While you may not be able to noodle your way over to each one in just one visit, this list should give you a head start on the dining itinerary for your next island escape!
Our top ramen recommendations include...
If spicy soup is your thing, (1) Agu Ramen is sure to boil to the top of the list. This ramen hot spot has distinguished themselves from other O‘ahu noodle shops with their specialty soups and thin, Fukuoka-style noodles. Here, their broths are sincerely spicy. In fact, we'd recommend starting out at a level two even if you want to be adventurous. Trust us, this place is hot stuff.
If you don't want to venture too far from Waikiki, (2) Marukame Udon is creating crowds with their bowls of simple and tasty, fresh, house-made udon noodles. Feel free to "splurge" and help yourself to a large bowl (for $6.25 a pop), which comes with seven different soup options. Our personal favorite is the zaru udon (perfect for a Hawaii's hot humid days) with a side of kakiage (thinly diced vegetables and tempura) and a soft-boiled egg. Grab a tray and get it udon!
Despite a number of new ramen shops steaming up O‘ahu's noodle scene, to kama‘aina connoisseurs (3) Yotekko Ya Kyoto Ramen still noodles out the competition. Rolling out bowls of ramen so good you'll feel like you've been transported to Kyoto, this cozy ramen shop is known for their popular Paitan broth and fresh noodles which you can choose to order "local style" (softer) or "Japanese style" (chewy). For those who like to pig out on pork, we'd recommend ordering their Kakuni Ramen - Yotekko Ya's version of chashu but so soft, it almost melts in your mouth.
When the Hawaiian Islands experiences a rainy day nothing hits the spot quite like a steaming bowl of (4) Ramen Nakamura's noodles. If you're looking for something filling, the Ramen Nakamura ox tail ramen is nothing to wag your tail at. We like to get to order the full combo set, which at $18.99 may seem a little pricey but includes a bowl of oxtail ramen, small plate of fried rice and three pieces of gyoza.
Anytime the temperature in Hawai‘i dips, our craving for ramen steams up. And (5) Kiwami's new location on Ke‘eaumoku (pronounced kay-ay-ah-moh-koo) Boulevard is the perfect place to dry out over a lunch of tsukemen ramen. Pronounced tsooh-keh-men, this ramen is known as their "dipping ramen" where the noodles and concentrated dipping sauce are served separately. At just under $10 for a bowl of noodles and a complimentary bowl of char siu and rice, a meal here will warm your belly and keep your wallet full.
Entrée your Downtown experience with a lucky lunch at (6) Lucky Belly. Grab at table and fill your opu (belly) with this O‘ahu restaurant's edited menu including their popular Belly Bowl (which includes belly, smoked bacon and Kurobuta sausage) and their Pork Belly Bao (pork belly sandwiched between a super soft bao bun with sake hoisin and pickled cucumbers).