Photo cred - Buzzfeed
Ask any Toronto foodie that owns a Moleskine, ramen is the future. The broth-y bowls of heaven have become more than just your average trend in the GTA and it's because it's the perfect midday power up for big wigs, writers without a cause, and Ryerson kids that need to be unique. Ramen shops can now be found across the city but nothing beats the fierce noodle makers that reside in the downtown core (or "Old Toronto" if you're hip). Need a new vice? Quit pho-ing around and read on.
In need of a new locale for lunch dates? A simple wander into Chinatown will introduce you to Ajisen, who even after all these years, still have a wide selection of soups. In fact, they have over 17 varieties to choose from including meat sweat-inducing ramen dishes that are peppered with BBQ shrimp, deep fried seafood, tenderous ribs, curried pork cutlets, and lamb teppanyaki.
Whether it's on Yonge, Bloor, or Dundas, Kenzo's noodles will turn your tastebuds inside out. Their locations are convenient pit stops that put quality first and it shows in their basics (Sho-Yu Ramen), spicy hot takes (Karashi Ramen), and hearty, fresh seafood broths (Nakasaki Champion).
Open seven days a week, Kinton is king in Baldwin Village. The shop has been praised as one of the first ramen spots to appear in the city and they back that accolade with options on top of options. Along with serving original pork and chicken bowls, Kinton's menu is also stacked with cold ramen, a multitude of tapas, and additional toppings such as swiss cheese, seaweed, and jalapeno paste.
Photo cred - Fun Size Beauty
Momofuku Noodle Bar
If you're not familiar with Momofuku's selection, then you're aware of their prices. Their $15 bowls fit University & Adelaide's aura but they're hard to dismiss given David Chang's version which mixes firm noodles with pork belly slices, shredded pork shoulder, nori, fish cakes, and scallions.
If you hang with the Ryerson crowd and your life is considered to be "on fleek", then Raijin is for you. The Vancouver import is a Gerrard St. one-stop shop for generous portions and a friendly staff that's always happy to find you a seat. Their most popular dish: the Assari Toridashi Shio ramen which is made with Japanese leek, pork shoulder, a half soft-boiled egg, and thin slices of chili pepper.
Ryu's Noodle Bar
Ryu's sits just north of the AGO and if you're one of those artsy types, you're well aware of the consequences. Especially when the Japanese noodle bar is far from simple. Ryu's has its fair share of shios, misos, and shoyus, but it's their dip dishes that stand alone at the top as they require you to literally dip thick noodles into a broth - with a side of chicken or chopped pork cha-shu.
Keeping the Discovery District cozy, Sansotei is pretty hard to miss if you're walking along Dundas. The tiny shop attracts outrageous weekday lineups and mostly because every suit and tie within walking distance has to ditch their boring desk job for a dose of the signature Tonkotsu ramen.
Santouka falls a bit on the pricey side, but they have their reasons. They're situated right next to Dundas & Church and compared to other restos on this list, their broth is of a creamier consistency. Take their Toroniku ramen for example - the fave is 100% customizable as toppings are served on the side, including bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and their legendary simmered pork cheek (jowl).