This flavorful soup—made with alkaline wheat noodles, a rich broth, and a seasoning sauce known as tare (plus a variety of toppings)—has quickly become one of the country’s most famous foods. Ramen can be eaten as a quick lunch, a satisfying supper, or a late-night snack, and there are a variety of ramen shops in every part of the city. Tokyo’s signature style is flavored with a soy sauce (shoyu) tare, but look around the city, and you’ll also find versions from pretty much every other part of the country, each with its own flavor profile.
For a classic bowl, head to Kazuya (Kaduya), which has outposts in a few different neighborhoods and serves a version with a light, complex broth made from shoyu, pork, chicken, mackerel, sardines, and kelp. Or, for something different and modern, try the plant-based “rainbow vegan ramen” at the Afuri chain of restaurants—it’s packed with vibrant vegetables and made with a noodle dough that incorporates lotus root (instead of egg).