Sometimes, after a pastry-filled day in Paris or late, winey night in Madrid, you just want a brothy bowl of ramen. Here’s where to slurp throughout Europe.
Some things are reliable. There is no such thing as bad gelato in Italy, the French know their wine bars and a bowl of squiggly noodles and fatty pork swimming in a hot, salty soup is still the greatest way to wind down.
According to Kenshiro Uki, the man behind cult noodle maker Sun Noodle, Europe is where you’ll find the next big ramen boom—and he’s already taking bulk orders. However, don’t expect to find by-the-book bowls across the pond.
Instead, chefs are localizing their ramen offerings with innovative additions, from pepperoncino to British “cock scratchings.” Find your ramen fix below:
Milan: Casa Ramen
New York’s Ippudo inspired Luca Catalfamo to get into slurp shops. After researching ramen variations in Japan (a.k.a. inhaling up to four bowls a day), he opened Milan’s first ramen-ya. Olive oil and pepperoncino crown the double chile noodles, while pumpkin thickens classic tonkotsu.
Paris: Opera Ramen
Consistently ranked one of the best ramen-yas in the City of Lights, this spare noodle shop slings traditional ramen made with pristine French ingredients, like a leek and soy sauce ramen.
Brussels and Antwerp: Umamido
The fifth taste is the focus of this tiny Belgian shop. The deeply rich broth—cooked for 24 to 48 hours—makes for deliciously fatty tonkotsu and spicy kara miso ramen.
London: Bone Daddies
Chef Ross Shonhan is building a mini ramen empire with five outposts, where the English pub “it” ingredient, “cock scratchings” (fried chicken skins), tops otherwise classic shoyu ramen.
The salsa at this Spanish noodle center isn’t the tomato and onion kind you’re used to. Instead, soy-, miso- and salt-based tares fortify the three types of ramen on the menu.
Bern and Basel: Namamen
This Swiss ramen-ya encourages the Japanese tradition of loud slurping, but chicken gyoza-topped ramen and vegan broths are all its own.