The Best Ramen in Sydney

Updated 1 week ago

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Few noodle dishes have captured Sydney’s imagination like ramen. But when Ryosuke Horii opened his now-legendary shop back in 2003, barely anyone outside of Sydney’s Japanese community knew what ramen was. And those who did would have certainly struggled to find it. Today the city is packed with options, from tiny joints with big Tokyo energy to outposts by international chains. Hit this list for some of our favourites around town.

  • The OG and reigning heavyweight champion of tonkotsu ramen in Sydney. If you’re a fan of gravy-thick, gut-busting pork soups that’ll transport you to Japan (Kyushu, specifically), seek out this buzzing counter inside the Eating World food court.

  • Owner Keita Abe might defer to tradition with regards to his yakitori, but creativity reigns supreme when it comes to ramen. His four signature bowls are standouts in a crowded scene: chilli-coriander, yuzu-scallop, fish salt and “fat soy”. Also in Bondi.

  • Sydney's first ramen joint is still delivering the goods: bowls of curly noodles bathing in smashable broths, dressed with pork, bamboo shoots, boiled eggs, prawn mince balls or sesame seeds. Not necessarily all together. Watch for the queues – they start from the second Ryo’s opens and curl away down the block.

  • One of Japan's most famous ramen chains has outposts all over Sydney. At each you’ll find the signature ramen, the Akamaru Shinaji, which hinges on a 25-year-old tonkotsu recipe topped with blended miso paste, garlic oil, pork belly chashu, black fungus and bean sprouts.

  • The chef behind a cult Sydney ramen is dialling up the izakaya energy at this buzzy north-shore diner. Come for the signature soup at lunch, or roll in at night for yakitori skewers, spicy tuna tacos and matcha churros.

  • The Nakano Darling Team’s ramen shop is unlike anything in Sydney – but exactly like one you’d find in Japan. Punch your order into the ticket machine, hit the tatami dining room and hoover your soup at a low table. Tokyo dreams are made of this.

  • The first Sydney location for the global ramen chain. Come for 10 takes on the Japanese noodle soup – from a signature tonkotsu with 12-hour pork bone broth to the spicy, choose-your-own-heat-level “God Fire”.

  • Japanese with a side of jazz? Hit this smooth diner, where legit musos play most nights of the week. Jazzed up ramens and Japanese favourites have been served here for more than 20 years.

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  • The duck yuzu ramen – featuring duck consommé, duck meatballs and a citrusy yuzu kick – is the one that put this Darlo favourite on Sydney’s ramen map.

  • A close rival to Gumshara for the title of heaviest tonkotsu in town – though there are distinctions to be made. It’s a capacious two-storey affair, with a noodle-making machine on display in the front window on street level. The staff (plus many customers) wear t-shirts printed with Yasaka’s credo: "No Ramen, No Life."

  • Rara’s owners are the guardians of a top-secret ramen recipe passed down from two Japanese masters and consultants. And the thin, Hakata-style noodles deployed in each bowl are made in-house at the Redfern branch. One of the first places in Sydney to pair the unctuousness of ramen with the acid-driven funk of natural wine.

  • An offshoot of Ippudo, famous for its kogashi-style ramen. Meaning “charred” in Japanese, the method involves overheating lard in a wok, then adding a special miso or soy base, followed by chicken broth. The results are intensely fragrant and umami-packed – but if you’re craving the classics, you can get them here, too.

  • Named after the vast stock pots ramen masters use to boil their broths, this fast-casual spot serves its unctuous, pork-based soups with a Tokyo-style twist. Otherwise, it’s beer-friendly snacks, donburi and comforting Japanese curries.

  • A small, walk-in ramen joint bowling up modern takes on the genre – backed up by a tight list of cheffy, izakaya-inspired snacks. Go for the chicken soup spiked with roasted wing tare and chunky chicken oil, then topped with chashu (pork and chicken), tarragon and seasoned bamboo. This place is all about lo-fi wines and local beer, too.

  • Run by a husband-and-wife duo on a leafy harbourside street, this cosy ramen shop does soups in a way Sydney has never seen before. Come for the show, plus handmade Wagyu gyoza and a drinks list that’ll transport you to Japan.

  • The unlikely pairing of ramen and motorcycle repairs produces some pretty spectacular results at this casual all-day diner. Come for one of four signature ramens (including an outstanding breakfast number), izakaya snacks and lo-fi wines.

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  • A former Gumshara and Yasaka chef is making ramen with soul at this tiny, unassuming cafe. The menu is ever-changing – but you can always expect a light, chicken-based soup alongside rotating specials such as tsukemen. Plus, a roll-call of Japanese standards and flavourful Columbian coffee.

  • One of the earliest players in Sydney’s ramen scene, this buzzing spot is known for its signature “long name” ramen featuring a complex chicken-and-pork shoyu broth. Be warned – you may have to queue for it. But the wait time is worth the reward.

  • This bustling spot next to Kinokuniya serves every kind of ramen under the sun. The Tokyo-style number sits high on the list for a reason – it’s super light, which means room for an extra beer and a side of gyoza afterward.

  • This sleek izakaya comes from the chef behind now-closed, Ichibandori, one of the city’s most innovative ramen joints. The menu here is just as thoughtful, and consists of elevated takes on a tonkotsu, plus a kombu-tomato number for vegetarians.

  • Tomoharu Shono's Michelin-starred chain has arrived in Sydney. Hit this “farm to bowl” spot for a signature chicken soup – featuring house-made noodles made from Australian wheat varieties.