No food has captured the imagination of Earth’s student population quite like ramen. Since the cheap, humble noodle soup made its way to Japan from China somewhere between the 17th and 20th century (it was called shina soba back then), it’s spread to pretty much every corner of the world.

In Sydney it started with Ryo’s Noodles. When Ryosuke Horii opened his restaurant in 2003, barely anyone outside of Sydney’s Japanese community knew what ramen was. Those who did had no idea where to get it.

Now anyone vaguely interested in food has a favourite bowl. Debates about who makes the best, thickest and cheapest bowls are almost unavoidable. But it’s not just thick, rich bowls anymore. The reign of vein-clogging, collagen packed, pork-bone tonkotsu has been usurped by a new era, favouring regional variety and lighter broths. From Canterbury to Crows Nest you can find broths made from burnt-miso, blended whole chicken, tuna bones, coriander and salt, mushrooms, anchovies and more.

Truth is, there is no best. Whether you prefer a chicken base or an umami-packed gyokai tonkotsu (made with fish and pork), this guide will help you find your favourite.

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Finding the Right Ramen For You

Chaco Ramen

These huge, tasty soups sold here are unlike anything else in Sydney. And they’re guided by a sustainable ethos.

238 Crown Street, Darlinghurst

Lonely Mouth by RaRa

Tasty, unctuous ramens and izakaya-style snacks.

275 Australia Street, Newtown

Gaku Robata Grill

Lunchtime ramen from the lauded former Blancharu chef.

132 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst


An upmarket cousin of Ippudo, famous for its innovative burnt-miso ramen.

52-54 Albion Street, Surry Hills

RaRa Ramen

In-house noodle making, flame grilled chashu (pork belly) and natural wines. Beware the weekend queues.

60B Regent Street, Redfern

Sekka Dining

This Japanese diner is headed up by Sydney ramen royalty, chef Hideto Suzuki.

SHOP 1, St Leonard's Square 480 Pacific Highway, St Leonards

Ippudo CBD

One of Japan's most famous ramen chains, now in Sydney.

Level 5, Westfield Sydney 188 Pitt Street, Sydney

Ramen Megumi

Try its take on tonkotsu.

4 4-8 Waters Road, Neutral Bay

Gumshara Ramen

The OG and current heavy weight champion of thick pork ramens.

Shop 211 25-29 Dixon Street, Haymarket

Ryo’s Noodles

Sydney's first ramen is still delivering the goods.

125 Falcon Street, Crows Nest

Yasaka Ramen CBD

A close rival to Gumshara for the title of thickest tonkotsu in town.

126 Liverpool Street, Sydney

Spanish Sakaba

Have you ever tried Hawaiian ox tail ramen?

537 Willoughby Road, Willoughby

Rising Sun Workshop

One of the only places you can get a good ramen with a good drink.

1c Whateley Street, Newtown

Ichi Ban Boshi

One of the first ramen restaurants in Sydney, and still one of the most affordable.

Level 2, The Galeries 500 George Street, Sydney