The Best Ramen
Auckland loves a good food trend, but in truth ramen has been doing it the hard way, slowly winning the hearts, minds, and bellies of its diners for the past couple of years now, and is finally becoming a force here in little old N-Z. Here are the finest spots to get a steaming bowl of nourishing Japanese goodness in the 09.
ZOOL ZOOL
405 Mt Eden Road, Auckland, 1024
You know you've hit the jackpot when you're openly encouraged to slurp your way through helping after helping of deliciousness. Since opening it's doors last year, Zool Zool has brought to Mt Eden a fresh, inspired take on the Japanese staple and has become a social media darling as a result. Our favourite - it has to be the Tantan - sesame chilli broth with just the right amount of kick. Slurp away!
Tanpopo Ramen
13 Anzac Avenue, Auckland, 1010
Presumably named after the kitschy 1985 Japanese film named Tampopo (sic) that stars Ken Watanabe and revolves around the establishment of – no prizes for guessing – a ramen noodle bar. Big name and legacy to be living up to, considering the cultish success the Japanese movie enjoys even today.

But if anyone can do it, it’s Tanpopo Ramen – the Japanese ramen restaurant that stays true to its namesake’s roots, being the only ramen bar in Auckland to offer no main other than the ramen. No donburis, no bento sets, not even an udon dish or two.
User rating
***--
2 reviews
Genzui Ramen Bar
Atrium on Elliott, 128 Albert Street, Auckland, 1010
Let’s get on to the good stuff, shall we, because there is so much more to this ramen restaurant in Auckland than just its oddball residence. Even without the benefit of a strategic location is this Auckland ramen restaurant magnetically pulling in the empty stomachs. We personally enjoy ordering their miso-based broths when we drop by this central Auckland ramen bar; it’s uncharacteristically more heavy and textured than the average miso soup, but like its strange location, we love it all the more for that eccentricity.
User rating
****-
2 reviews
Kiraku Japanese Restaurant & Takeaway
Mid City, Elliott Street, Auckland, 1010
Despite the maddening influx in the number of loyal lunch suits hovering sullenly over patrons (nine seats, remember) in wait of their turn, the mood at this ramen restaurant never mutates into anything remotely sour. The two staffs on duty never seem to bat an eyelid come the peak hour frenzy either, which might explain why this Auckland ramen restaurant’s noodles and gyozas are never anything less than consistently tantalizing.
Our rating
****-
Chop Chop Noodle House
Ponsonby Central, 140 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, 1011
From the team behind The Blue Breeze Inn, Chop Chop Noodle House is another Ponsonby Central destination that deserves a mention on this best of list. It's more expensive than most (this is Ponsonby, darling) but the combination of larger than life meals (try the Cobra Kai if you've had a night on the tiles) and the general atmosphere make it worth every hard earned penny.
Our rating
***--
User rating
****-
6 reviews
Ramen Takara
4 Anzac Road, Auckland, 0630
Good ramen to be found on the North Shore – who would have known? Not only is the ramen here loved by North Shore dwellers; people from all over Auckland traipse over to Browns Bay just to have their ramen noodle fix here too. Open since early 2007, the noodles are as classic as they get, being one of the ramen bars in our list to most closely resemble the typical instant ramen in springiness and texture, yet lack the plasticky element that is found in the hyper-processed commercial variation.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
1 review

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