Don’t judge a book by its cover: Tokyo’s best ramen

When you hear people talking about their favorite ramen in Tokyo, there are usually several spots whose names get thrown around. Ippudo, Ichiran, Ramen Jiro - but my most-loved ramen isn't any of those. My favorite ramen comes from a tiny shack not far from Roppongi, that looks more run down and liable to fall over than polished and fancy. It's called Kaotan Ramen, and if you're in Tokyo it's worth a visit for the experience alone.
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As you enter the store, one thing becomes abundantly clear - there are no English menus here - and no table menus either. Your menus are made of paper, handwritten, and taped to the wall. Nothing fancy, but there's something charming and rustic about it.
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You might be wondering how you order then, if there are no English menus and no table menus with pictures to point at. If you want their specialty, just ask for "ramen" - sounds too easy, but it's their most popular dish and they'll know what you're asking for. There are different types of ramen here but I always go with their trademark kind. Want gyoza? All you need to say is gyoza! It seems intimidating going in with no English menus - but the simple, common items are easy to ask for (and in my opinion they're the best!)
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To me, the proof of a restaurant's worth on my regular eating rotation is whether or not the food is legit. Sure, sometimes fancy premises make for cute pictures, but again - I love how unpretentious this place is. It's the kind of place that's more frequently filled with salarymen rather than socialites. The ramen here is simple, much like the surrounds , but sometimes those simple things are the best. A tasty bowl of ramen, and delicious gyoza - can't ask for more than that!
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If you'd like to visit Kaotan for some tasty ramen and a unique restaurant location, the map details are below.


Happy Eating!


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