12 Spots for Japanese Ramen in Tucson

Last modified on August 13th, 2018 at 11:57 am

Ten-cent packages of ramen may provide a sodium-filled sense of college nostalgia, but true Japanese ramen is another story. On the bright side, there’s more of this Japanese soupy goodness lurking in Tucson than you might have thought.

Ramen broths aren’t available in your neighborhood grocery store. The hours needed for a delicious tonkotsu broth consist of vigorously boiling pork bones for hours to form a creamy emulsion. Broth varieties also include miso, shoyu (soy sauce), and more.

Here are our picks on places to politely slurp away.

Fat Noodle

Food Truck

Beginning with the most non-traditional of the bunch – and the only food truck – Fat Noodle’s most recent version of the House Ramen includes house-made noodles, 10-hour broth, Fat Slaw, honey sesame pork loin, shiitake mushrooms, 520 egg, green onions, Fat Sauce, scallions, and dashi. This food truck also offers ramen burgers, which feature a ramen noodle bun.

More info on Fat Noodle Facebook page.

Ginza Sushi

5425 N. Kolb Rd. #115
Chashu Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen at Ginza in Tucson

Chashu Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen at Ginza in Tucson (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Savory slices of chashu add extra pork belly fat to an already sinfully rich bowl of Chashu Tonkotsu ramen. The velvety egg yolk adds another layer of richness. Pickled ginger adds a sharp contrast.

More info at ginzatucson.com.

Ikkyu

2040 W. Orange Grove Rd. #180

Ramen is only available at Ikkyu on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A slice of slightly-chewy naruto provides a color contrast, while lean pork slices round off the bowl of Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen. If you want it spicier, each table has shakers of Japanese red pepper and bottles of Sriracha.

Visit Ikkyu on Facebook.

K Japanese Restaurant

2962 N. Campbell
Ramen at K Japanese Restaurant (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Ramen at K Japanese Restaurant (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Hidden behind Old Chicago, K is a hidden gem. While sushi is the star here, you can build your own noodle soup by picking the soup base, noodle, and topping. All soups come with  sweet corn, bean sprout, fish cake, marinated boiled egg, seaweed, and ki-kurage (wood ear mushroom) by default. For the three steps, we recommend picking tonkotsu pork, ramen, and char siu.

More info at on K Japanese Facebook page.

OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen

350 E. Congress St.
Seasonal Sapporo-style red miso ramen with brown butter at OBON Sushi Bar Ramen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Seasonal Sapporo-style red miso ramen with brown butter at OBON Sushi Bar Ramen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The hippest ramen option, OBON doesn’t sacrifice quality. The eponymous OBON Ramen features roasted pork shoulder, pork belly, dried shredded chili, bamboo shoots, scallion, and a 64º egg. The cold Spicy Kimchi and Mikado are also available as refreshing chilled options.

For more information, visit fukushuconcepts.com.

Raijin Ramen

2955 E. Speedway Blvd.
Spicy Miso Ramen at Raijin Ramen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Spicy Miso Ramen at Raijin Ramen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The new kid on the block, Raijin Ramen is brought to you by the owners of Ginza Sushi. We had the Black Roasted Garlic Tonkotsu RamenSpicy Miso Ramen, and Veggie Ramen. While we loved all three, we were particularly impressed with how much complexity and richness was coaxed out of the vegan Veggie Ramen.

For more information, call (520) 795-3123. Keep up with Raijin Ramen on Facebook.

Sachiko Sushi

1101 N. Wilmot Rd.
Beef Broth Tonkotsu at Sachiko in Tucson

Beef Broth Tonkotsu at Sachiko (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Eastside sushi fave, Sachiko (they also have a second location on Valencia), does not feature a traditional pork broth tonkotsu. Though they lack a true tonkotsu, they more than make up for with their pork and soy sauce broth. Other options include a seafood version and miso. A California roll is included on the side.

Keep up with Sachiko Sushi on Facebook.

Samurai

3912 N. Oracle Rd.
Tonkotsu ramen at Samurai in Tucson

Tonkotsu ramen at Samurai in Tucson (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Samurai has the smallest bowls of ramen on this list, but they’re also more affordable. Bean sprouts cool down the piping hot broth so you can start slurping sooner. Variations such as cold ramen and Tan Tan ramen make seasonal appearances.

 Cold ramen at Samurai in Tucson

Cold ramen at Samurai in Tucson (Credit: Jackie Tran)

More info on Samurai Facebook page.

Sushi Zona

5655 E. River Rd. #151
Shio ramen at chashu at Sushi Yukari in Tucson

Shio ramen at chashu at Sushi Yukari in Tucson (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Formerly Sushi Yukari and located at the Whole Foods shopping center at River and Craycroft, Sushi Zona’s shio (salt) broth provides a simpler, cleaner flavor. Soy sauce, miso, and tonkotsu are also available soup bases.

More info at sushizona.com.

Union Public House

4340 N. Campbell Ave.
Ramen at Union Public House (Credit: Union Public House)

Ramen at Union Public House (Credit: Union Public House)

Union’s house-made noodles swim in bacon dashi alongside mushroom, scallion, soft egg, black garlic oil. The bacon provides an American smoky umami in place of traditional bonito used in dashi.

More info at uniontucson.com.

Yamato Japanese Restaurant

857 E. Grant Rd.
Tonkatsu Ramen at Yamato Japanese Restaurant

Tonkotsu Ramen at Yamato Japanese Restaurant

Yamato has been tucked away in a strip mall two doors east from Sher-E-Punjab since 1988 with the same sushi chef, owner, and operator, Noboru Nakajima. They also happen to serve three types of ramen: tonkotsu, miso, and shoyu.

More info on Yamato Facebook page.

Yoshimatsu

2741 N. Campbell Ave.
Ramen Land with miso broth at Yoshimatsu in Tucson

Ramen Land with miso broth at Yoshimatsu in Tucson

Since moving into their new location across the street, they’ve significantly stepped up their ramen game. They now have about ten different varieties, including seasonal specials such as the vegetarian Tomato Ramen.

More info at yoshimatsuaz.com.

Have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Please let us know in the comments below.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.
  • Daniel Gómez

    Haven’t tried yoshimatsu yet and its a shame considering how close to my home it is, but now I know it’ll be worth my time!

  • Colin Treat

    You’ve got to go to Ikkyu! Their shoyu ramen is my personal favorite but the tonkotsu is great for a little spiciness. But get their before the dinner rush because that place is super popular.

  • Madeline

    Ikkyu is the best.

  • stxdesertgirl

    Neo of Melaka has good ramen too.

  • Shannon Riggs

    Kazoku on Speedway has delicious ramen and some of the best sushi in town!

  • Nadia

    Seconding the Neo of Malaka recommendation. It’s not a Japanese restaurant, but the ramen is excellent.

  • Shauna Bonilla

    Do any of these places do the Tsukemen (dipping noodles)?

  • Jaime Hall

    Samurai serves their ramen in styrofoam??!! Ugh :/

  • clintjreed

    You left off Union Public House.

    • Big fans of UPH, but that’s a newer menu item, possibly not permanent, and not Japanese.

  • Joe C

    Do any of these places actually make their own noodles fresh? Because I’ve tried a few off this list and they definitely didn’t, which is one of the biggest requirements for good ramen.

    • You’ll have to check with each of them. Pretty sure none of them do, however.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
X