The Locals Have Decided: Fukuoka’s Very Best Tonkotsu Ramen
When talking about Tonkotsu ramen, the delicious pork bone based broth style of noodle soup that so many people are in love with, one has to talk about Fukuoka, the birthplace of this particular ramen style. Naturally, the prefecture has so many pork bone style ramen restaurants to offer, choosing the right shop can become quite an ordeal without some sort of overview. Knowing this, we’ve consulted with local ramen lovers to find the best of the best, the kings and queens of tonkotsu ramen that serve you bowls so delicious, you won’t be able to get enough of them!
1. Foamy Delicacies: Extra Fine Noodles in 200% Pork Broth!
We start out with three individual shops that are within comfortable walking distance of Hakata Station, one of Fukuoka’s most famous ramen hotspots. The characteristic of the so-called Neo Hakata style that is served in one of these shops are the foamy, creamy bubbles floating on the rich pork soup. Another shop focuses on the rich tradition that it carries on since the first shopkeeper founded it in Sawara, even after it moved on to Hakata. Our third recommendation is particularly well known for its rich, dark soup that is so flavorful, you’ll feel like you have a mouthful of grilled pork just by sipping the soup!
1-17-21 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 812-0013
2-14 Taihakumachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 812-0033
2. Must-Visit Newcomer Stores, Recommended by Ramen Maniacs
Newcomers in Fukuoka’s vast and rich ramen scene are always worth taking a closer look at. Some focus on the good old classics, others serve creative reinventions of well-known dishes, and others turn everything you’ve known about ramen upside down.
This selection of our five favorites that opened within the last year will tickle your tongue with creative barbecued pork goodness as well as with the most authentic and traditional Hakata ramen dishes that you can find – what are you waiting for?
1-23-27 Arae, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 814-0101
5-9-30 Hakataekiminami, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 812-0016
1-9-30 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0041
Dazaifu Hatchan Ramen
4-6-31 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0001
2-8-23 Higashihie, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 812-0007
3. Kyushu’s Rikusokai Ramen Union: Get to Know the Restaurants
Kyushu loves ramen so much, it even has its own Kyushu Ramen Union called Rikusokai that was founded in 2011. As the name suggests, this union is all about the soupy delight of ramen, and we want to showcase three different stores that are part of this very union.
No lard, all homemade, juicy grilled pork, that’s just one of those select shops. Another one is particularly known for operating on a 24-hour base and serving hungry ramen lovers all around the clock. Find your favorite!
1-5-12 Kyutei, Ongamachi, Onga-gun, Fukuoka-ken 811-4306
1-7-5 Nishihonmachi, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken 805-0061
1-4-1 Shimoishida, Kokuraminami-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken 802-0832
4. Famous in All Over Japan, Only Available in Fukuoka
When speaking about pork bone broth and Fukuoka, there’s one shop name that will come up again and again: Ichiran. This Tonkotsu chain was founded in Hakata in the ‘60s and has spread throughout Japan ever since. And while Ichiran Tonkotsu can be enjoyed in all kind of places and prefectures, Fukuoka shops do of course have an Only-in-Fukuoka limited menu that we highly recommend to try at least once!
5-1-6 Nishijin, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 814-0002
2-1-57 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0041
Ichiran no Mori
256-10 Shimamatsuguma, Itoshima-shi, Fukuoka-ken 819-1306
5. Tasting Kitakyushu: An Entirely Different Style
Hakata ramen is usually the first kind of noodle soup that comes to people’s minds when thinking of Fukuoka’s Tonkotsu, right along with Kurume ramen. Kitakyushu, however, has brought forth its very own unique pork bone broth styles that shouldn’t be cast aside just because they’re not as famous as their two siblings. If you’re in the mood for trying something different while still staying true to Tonkotsu, we highly recommend making your way to Kitakyushu.
10-15 Shozumachi, Tobata-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken 804-0063
2-1-25 Numahonmachi, Kokuraminami-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken 800-0208
1-5-2 Higashihonmachi, Moji-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken 801-0851
1-4-30 Kogane, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken 802-0000
Ramen Kobo Ryu
2-3-28 Sangamori, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken 807-0843