Order Takeout Ramen from These Top Boston Spots

By Eric Twardzik
01/26/2021
Chef's Ultra Ramen from Little Big Diner
Chef's Ultra Ramen - Little Big Diner

It feels like forever since we’ve slurped a hot bowl of ramen sitting shoulder-to-shoulder at a packed counter-service noodle shop. But since these times call for dining in, dishes we didn’t typically order to-go are finding a new spot in our takeout rotation. Ramen is one of them—and we can attest that this classic soup is as comforting to eat from the couch as it is from a counter. Here’s where to order it.

Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Native to Japan’s northernmost main island, Santouka Hokkaido Ramen has dozens of locations around the globe—including Harvard Square and Back Bay. While several styles are represented, the signature is the “shio” (salt) broth, known for its silky texture and comparative lightness. If you’d like to make it heartier, you can always order extra pork and a soft-boiled egg to your bowl. Visit their website to order takeout from your preferred location.

Ramen from Yume Wo Katare

We’ve always loved Yume Wo Katare for the experience: from waiting in its perpetual line to get in, to the applause when finishing a bowl, to sharing our dreams with the entire restaurant. Now that the Porter Square spot has pivoted to takeout, things are a bit different—but the soup itself is just as good. Its fatty broth still packs a serious punch and comes overloaded with pork and thick noodles. The online takeout menu stocks ready-to-eat ramen in regular or spicy variations, plus a brothless Mazesoba and DIY Ramen kits.

Sapporo Ramen

Interior of Sapporo Ramen

Sapporo Ramen has two locations, but the pint-sized outpost inside Cambridge’s Porter Exchange is our favorite. It’s currently open for in-person dining and it’s known to draw a crowd, but your prize for waiting it out is a cheap bowl of noodles in a hearty broth topped with sliced or ground pork—and you can also order delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Seamless. Don’t forget to add an order of the excellent steamed Roast Pork Buns.

Ramen from Little Big Diner

From the team behind Sycamore, Newton Centre’s Little Big Diner has all the hallmarks of a great new-wave noodle shop: tiny size (20 seats), hip art (a big blue bowl of noodles painted on exposed brick), and some of the Boston area’s best ramen. A diverse range of broths are represented, from creamy paitan to miso to a vegetarian-friendly forest mushroom. Our go-to is the indulgent Chef’s Ultra Ramen, which is packed with chashu pork, chili-ground pork, and chicken thigh. The tight quarters and no-reservations policy once made long waits inevitable—but now that you can place a takeout order online, it’s never been easier to snag a bowl.

Ganko Ittetsu Ramen / Credit: Brian Samuels

A 20-seat establishment wedged into Coolidge Corner’s Arcade Building, Ganko Ittetsu Ramen perpetually draws crowds. The focus here is on the Sapporo-style version of the Japanese soup, which requires caramelizing the tare (sauce) in a wok with vegetables before it’s added to the base broth. And it’s the real deal: The broth’s miso and soy sauce are produced by a Japanese microbrewery; the firm-but-chewy noodles are custom-made in Japan. Our go-to to-go orders include the nutty, spicy Tan-Tan, and the dark, rich, and funky Gantetsu Shoyu; order your bowl online.

Hojoko

Two bowls are offered at the offbeat izakaya, Hojoko: Funky Chicken Ramen and Spicy Miso Ramen. Both feature a broth made by slowly simmering chicken wings, backs, and feet for 48 hours. The Funky Chicken’s broth is also flavored with tare and burnt garlic oil, while grilled chicken thighs cured in koji provide protein. The Spicy Miso utilizes both white miso and hatcho miso (a slightly bitter variant made with aged koji for deeply fermented flavor) and includes ground pork sauteed in hot sesame oil and ground Thai chiles. Both come garnished with eggs cured for 24 hours in a mix of soy, ginger, mirin, garlic, and onions; the Funky Chicken can also be kicked up with an optional topping of spicy fermented chili relish. All are available via takeout, delivery, and dine-in; order yours online.

Asian-Spanish fusion restaurant Pagu sprung from a popup called Guchi’s Midnight Ramen. And although the spot is closed to in-person dining, it continues to sell ramen via serves-four “survival kits” available via takeout. The standard Ramen Survival Kit includes a quart of broth, oyster sauce-marinated pork, four soy eggs, umami oil, and noodles. You could also spring for the less traditional Duck Ramen Survival Kit, which is distinguished by its quart of duck broth, XO sauce, scallion ginger kimchi, and four pre-cooked servings of duck confit. Both come with instructions for heating at home.

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