The word is out! As mentioned on my Instagram, I’m on the hunt to find the BEST RAMEN IN DENVER. I’m a huge fan of the bowls of noodle soup and I’ve slurped my way through countless bowls of noodles and broths around the world.
I’ve totally revamped my Best Ramen in Denver rankings, doing away with the point system that has started to feel too rigid and cumbersome. Now you’ll find an up-to-date list of ramen restaurants in the Denver area, that highlights which ramen place is best for a certain mood, atmosphere, or situation. I hope you find this new approach just as useful.
I believe this list to be one of the most comprehensive, up-to-date lists of ramen joints in Denver you can find out there. I’m constantly tweaking this list so all the places represented are currently open and able to serve your noodle needs – no disappointing scenarios in which you read about a place only to find that tragically, they are now closed! If you know of any changes, please leave a note in the comments and I will update.
Be sure to follow along with my ramen adventures on Instagram by checking out #bestramendenver.
Note that this list of ramen restaurants only includes places I’ve personally dined at. If you have a hot tip on a place I should consider as part of this public service project, please drop your recommendations in the comments.
List fully revamped: 2/26/2020
New to the list 2/29/2020: Brider
New to the list 9/23/2020: Jinya Ramen
List fully updated with recent information: 4/11/2021
New to the list 4/11/2021: Sukiya Ramen, Ronin Congress Park
Listings updated with new information: 7/3/2022
New to the list 4/4/2023: Neko Ramen and Rice
The ramen place for a well-rounded bowl of tonkotsu you’ll never get tired of eating
This fashionably hip LoHi restaurant covers a number of Japanese food genres from sushi to izakaya food, but for me, Mizu Izakaya‘s most memorable items can be found on their small but mighty ramen menu.
They offer a Pork Kimichi and Miso Ramen, but my favorite is the Tonkotsu – a beautiful bowl of straight thin noodles in a very satisfying chicken/pork broth rich in flavor. The toppings are perfect as well and add to the flavor (chushu pork, soft boiled egg, bok choy wood ear mushroom, fried garlic). It’s a bowl you could easily find yourself eating every day. No gimmicks – just good ramen.
*Temporarily closed: OTOTO
The ramen place for a comforting bowl in a sophisticated, date-night appropriate setting
* OTOTO remains temporarily closed, ramen normally on OTOTO’s menu sometimes appear on the Den Corner restaurant group dine-in and takeout offerings. Check the Izakaya Den and Sushi Den menus to see if ramen is being served.
OTOTO, located on a particularly picturesque corner lot on South Pearl St. is a great spot to score a wonderful bowl of classic Tonkotsu Ramen featuring a delightful array of fresh toppings (love the bok choy). My husband is fanatical about their Miso Ramen – when he’s craving a bowl, this is his go-to spot. They also serve a Veggie Ramen and a Miso Pork Kimich Ramen on the regular menu.
While casual, this restaurant has a comfortably upscale vibe and is part of the well-regarded Sushi Den empire so it can get quite busy, especially on the weekends. Reservations are recommended if you plan on dining after 6 pm.
The ramen place for when you’re dining on an expense account
LoDo Denver, Downtown Boulder
Ok, technically not Denver, but too good not to include on this list. Dragonfly Noodle, a ramen restaurant from the Zoe Ma Ma team. Pre-Covid, when the restaurant was named Chimera, they served a range of dishes from Pacific Rim countries, but have since focused on ramen. I’m so grateful they are still doing ramen since their elegant offerings are incredible.
Their $30 Lobster Ramen has me completely obsessed. They mix their light, clear house broth (more along the lines of a Chinese wonton soup stock) with lobster stock and place a perfectly butter-poached lobster tail atop a pile of house made noodles. The result is an impossibly lovely bowl that is bright, easy to eat, and unique in the Denver/Boulder ramen scene. I daydream about eating this dish quite often.
Good news for Denverites – a second outpost on the 16th Street Mall in Denver is now open.
The ramen place to go to when you’re looking for a bowl with a little extra flair
Lower Highlands, Washington Park West
This a popular ramen shop cemented Tommy Lee’s spot as a taste-maker in the Denver dining scene. With a pointed edginess not often found in the Mile High City, Uncle persists in being the premier spot for the city’s young and hip denizens to get nose-deep in noodles. My favorite is the popular Spicy Chicken Ramen, which is made with a spicy sesame broth, bean sprouts, scallion, and soft egg. The broth had a good complex, deep flavor, with a medium spice level and is Instabait with its fiery orange color.
While the original LoHi location is charming, groups will find the larger Wash Park West outpost more accommodating, however, both locations are only open for dinner and do not accept reservations – so get there right when they open or risk a long wait. The ramen menus differ between the locations (although both server the Spicy Chicken and Duck ramens) and the Wash Park West location also serves tsukemen and mazemen options.
Root Down DIA
The ramen place to source a fantastic bowl before getting on a plane
Denver International Airport
Root Down DIA exceeds all airport food expectations by delivering a particularly dope bowl of ramen at their location in Terminal C. Their Shoyu Ramen is made with a kombu broth, and includes mushrooms, bok choy, kimchi, a shoyu egg, and guanciale bacon. Surprisingly, this dish is not available on the regular menu at the original Root Down location in Highlands, so for now, you have a pretty decent reason to get to the airport early in order to get an opportunity to taste this delicious bowl.
Jinya Ramen Union Station
The ramen place for a wealth of bowl choices (and expertly packed takeout).
I am absolutely thrilled with Jinya‘s Chicken Ramen, which reminded me a lot of one of my favorite ramens I’ve ever had (at the now closed MEW MEW on Cornelia Street in NYC). I can definitely see why this ramen chain (with 40 locations in the United States) has become so popular nationwide.
I haven’t tried all of the dozen or so ramens available on the menu, but so far the Wonton Ramen and Tonkotsu Black are also favorites in my household. They also do an amazing job packing to-go orders, with the soup and noodles in separate containers and very specific instructions on how to heat up and enjoy your ramen at home!
For those considering in-person dining, the restaurant has a cool izakaya-type vibe and looks absolutely beautiful.
Spots to eat or order from often
The ramen place for the freshest housemade noodles in town
Ramen Star has made a name for itself due to the fact that chef-owner Takashi Tamai and his team make their own ramen noodles every day, in-house (you can see their noodle machine on full display in the restaurant), from scratch. Their springy, slightly nutty noodles perfectly grip the special blend of pork, chicken, fish, and vegetable broth in their signature Ramen Star bowl. Another bonus for those who often struggle to finish large servings of ramen – Ramen Star offers a kid-sized version of each of their bowls, which will allow you to try more than one of the soups on the menu in the more petite portions.
Neko Ramen and Rice
The ramen shop where you’re surrounded by hundreds of (fake) cats and cherry blossoms
Located on an unassuming strip of Colorado Blvd, chef and owner Vincent quietly opened Neko Ramen and Rice in January 2023, finally making his years-long plan to build a restaurant in Denver a reality.
One step inside the shop, and you will be greeted by an imposing army of over 160 identical red manekineko (beckoning cat) figurines lining a single wall, dutifully welcoming you into the shop. Venture further inside and you’ll find even more cats and the addition of beds and bunches of artificial cherry blossoms spilling and sprouting from any surface that would benefit from a dash of exuberance: the awning above the cashier stand, alongside the soda dispenser, a corner next to the bar seating.
The menu is centered around ramen — the Black Garlic is a customer favorite (and my personal pick for is lovely chicken broth and perfectly cooked chashu) — but also offers pleasing renditions of Japanese street food and konbini favorites like takoyaki and crispy chicken bites. Mi-So Hot is Chef Vincent’s signature bowl, which features a spicy, fiery red broth more in line with Korean style ramyun. Kimichi, soju, and a selection of Korean wine also are available – a nod to Vincent’s Korean heritage.
With no pre-existing ties to Colorado, his interest in the Mile High City was based on market research that hinted that Denver was a market not overly saturated with good Asian food but primed to welcome a restaurant serving the style of ramen he wanted to cook.
While originally from the US, Vincent spent most of his childhood and young adulthood in South Korea, after his family moved back when he was a boy. He grew up immersed in the hospitality business, working alongside his parents in a pair of Japanese restaurants his family owned in Seoul. Eventually, he found himself dreaming of starting his own business, a journey that brought him back to the States.
After studying at CIA in NYC, Vincent landed a string of jobs at 3 Michelin Star restaurants – first at famed sushi restaurant Masa in Manhattan and then at Joël Robuchon, a bastion of French fine dining. From these experiences he learned the value of clean flavors and beautiful presentation, skills that he deploys in his own restaurant.
The ramen place to go to when you want a straight-forward tonkotsu bowl on a cold day
Baker (Broadway), Greenwood Village
I was very intrigued by the high ratings Sukiya Ramen got online from local residents. I made a classic order, getting their Hakata Tonkotsu ramen. It was a deep, creamy broth with tons of great and fresh toppings. The broth is a bit salty, but not overwhelmingly so. Just make sure you drink more water to stay hydrated ;). The noodles were nice and springy.
Ramen in a fun setting
The ramen place to start off to gather the gang before a night out on the town
The subterranean entrance of Osaka Ramen makes you feel as though you are entering a clandestine noodle club. Choose from the regular selection of ramens (Tonkotsu, Spicy Miso, Chicken, Veggie, etc.) or a fun seasonal special (such as the wintertime Meatball Ramen). One of a number of decent ramen joints in the downtown Denver area, this restaurant also offers some particularly fun, experimental appetizers as well. Expect speedy service and a no-fuss environment good for a casual meal with plenty of tables for larger groups.
Ace Eat Serve
The ramen place for the ultimate happy hour special
In my opinion, Ace Eat Serve‘s bowl of noodles is best when partaking in their great happy hour ramen + drink deal for $11 every day from open to 6 pm. (Normally a bowl can run you $14-16 on its own.) Choose from the Duck, Duck Ramen! or Sapporo Miso Ramen – both solid – and choose to pair it with a sake, beer, or glass of wine.
Don’t forget to burn some calories by squeezing in a game of ping pong, either in the skylit converted garage space in the back or on the outdoor tables when the weather is warm.
Sera’s Ramen Enclave
The ramen place for when you have a ramen craving despite it being shorts and t-shirt weather
While it’s entirely possible to enjoy a meal at Sera’s Ramen Enclave all year long (indoor seating is available in the front-facing building), it’s at its most charming when it’s nice enough to eat outside.
To enter, you first walk down a narrow brick wall-lined alleyway off W 32nd Ave and at the end, you’ll discover a darling umbrella-covered backyard patio that marks the main entrance to the restaurant.
Vietnamese chef Sera Nguyen pulls inspiration from across the Asian continent into her bowls, resulting in unique mashups like a lemongrass-coconut Saigon Curry Ramen and the Flavorsome Ramen, which highlights a clear beef broth with braised oxtail.
New review to come!: Tora Sushi + Ramen
The ramen place to go to when you want noodles, but the rest of your group wants something else
I was a fan of the previous iteration of Tora Ramen, when it was a featured stall in the Broadway Market food hall. Although Broadway Market is no more, I was thrilled to find out that Chef Jesus Silva is resurrecting the brand at Milepost Zero food hall right near McGregor Square.
Now that they are in a new location, I’ll have to go back, however the same things that I loved about Tora before still apply! While your dining partners are free to grab an entree from one of the other vendors in the hall, you can look forward to diving into a bowl with a sophisticated twist on well-known ramen profiles, packed with formidable flavor and filled to the brim with a wide variety of tasty toppings.
Always a sucker for a chicken broth ramen, I’m a fan of the Tori Ramen which features slow-cooked chicken, sweet corn, bean sprouts, spinach, nori, negi, cabbage salad with macho dressing, wavy noodles, and a poached egg. Despite the lighter soup base, there’s still a lot of flavor there.
If you’re like my husband and like ramen with a little more kick, check out the miso pork broth-based Spicy Red Miso which is piled on with spicy ground pork, bean sprouts, baby bok choy, negi, kisame togarashi, and a poached egg.
Small shops with a lot of charm
The ramen place for a solid lunchtime slurp session in downtown Denver
Sakura House is a charming no-frills Japanese restaurant on a ground floor location of Sakura Square and is a popular lunchtime destination for workers in the area. They offer an array of comforting dishes on their menu such as donburi, teriyaki, and curries, in addition to their fairly robust ramen menu with some of the lowest prices you’ll see in the city. But low prices don’t mean low quality in this case.
While online reviewers clamor for their house Tonkatsu, my particular favorite is the Paikou Ramen which features a fried pork loin as the main protein over a clear soy-based broth, a unique version I haven’t seen on any other menus here in Denver. I love how different this ramen is and love the fact that it is a super filling, belly-warming dish for less than $13.
The ramen place for a relaxed meal with the family
Corner Ramen is a joint that gets much praise from locals who live nearby. Set up in a converted house in the Cole neighborhood, this family-owned restaurant has a cozy feel, with dine-in seating scattered among the handful of rooms of the house, and a full menu of ramens to choose from.
The Creamy Spicy Chicken Ramen has nicely roasted servings of chicken with a chicken-based broth that could have a bit more depth/flavor but generally is good.
Sushi joints that also serve a good bowl of ramen
Ronin Congress Park
The ramen place to slurp in a cozy, yet elegant spot steeped in Denver restaurant history
I was so saddened when one of Denver’s best restaurants, Jeff Osaka’s 12 Madison, shut its doors, becoming earlier casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. So it is very encouraging to see the space alive again, albeit with a different restaurateur. Ronin Congress Park has a menu similar to their LoHi location with one important addition – ramen!
Their Lobster Ramen is the pricier of the two ramen options available (Tonkotsu is also served) and is a seafood-lover’s dream. The ramen broth is a dark clear broth that leans on fish/seafood flavor profiles.
Takeout pickup was pretty easy. The host stand is right inside the door and since the restaurant is so small you just open the door, tell them your name and wait outside. They will bring your takeout to the door for you.
The ramen place for when you want noodles and a couple of plates of conveyor belt sushi in a fun, high-energy environment
DTC, Lone Tree, Fitzsimons/Aurora
Chef Jeff Osaka’s Sushi-rama locations are most loved for their fun conveyor belt-served sushi served on brightly colored plates and a sixties-inspired pop-art decor. But as the owner of the previously mentioned Osaka Ramen, Chef Osaka has made two of their signature bowls available to order from the kitchen of their larger restaurants in the DTC, Lone Tree, and Fitzsimons, Aurora.
Choose from a Spicy Miso Ramen or Shio Ramen. My personal preference is for the Shio since I love lighter chicken-based broths. You’ll be treated to a bowl with plenty of greens (spinach) and bean sprouts, a broth that is not thick or creamy, but more akin to a good chicken soup stock, stuffed with a pile of straight ramen noodles.
The ramen place for a late-night chow down
Open until 1 am Monday thru Saturday Tokio is a spot you can count on to fulfill all your noodle needs when most restaurants in Denver have closed down for the night.
In addition to classic Tonkotsu, Miso, and Shoyu versions, there is an impressive list of specialty bowls including a Curry version (less soup, more curry with noodles), the Cremoso Diablo garnished with cheese, and the Ramen Air (with a 100% vegan broth).
Soko Sushi and Korean BBQ
The ramen place for evading the pre-theater crowd
Soko Sushi had long been one of my favorite reasonably priced spots to get sushi and udon in the Central Business District and they also happen to offer a decent bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen on their entree menu. The restaurant entrance is on the mezzanine level of a multi-use building off Champa.
They offer a pretty straightforward bowl with traditional ingredients and will not blow you away, but is a good under-the-radar option when you’re looking for a relatively quiet, fast, and friendly place to fuel up in advance of catching the latest Broadway show stopping through Denver.
Special ramen bowls
The ramen place for a New American spin on the cold weather favorite
* While Brider is open for business, their ramen is a seasonal item (usually during winter/spring) so check the menu before ordering/heading to the restaurant
When the weather in Denver turns chilly, Brider incorporates their signature rotisserie chicken into a distinctive bowl of Rotisserie Ramen that also features some spicy kimchi and pickled jalapeno. A fried sunnyside egg is a finishing touch on top of a set of wavy ramen noodles. The broth is a molasses-colored clear broth that is slightly sweet – very unique.
Alternatively, if chicken is not your thing, you can choose pork as the protein for your meal instead. (Check the menu on their website or call to make sure the ramen is still being served before going to the restaurant. It was available as of Feb 29, 2020.)
Other spots to find ramen in Denver
Menya Noodle Bar
The ramen place for a firey bowl right on the 16th Street Mall
CBD (Also LoHi, Greenwood Village, Colorado Springs, Belmar)
Menya Noodle Bar offers a Spicy Chicken Men that will get you sweating a little and almost tastes like hot wings sauce. Chicken is tender and nicely cooked. The broth has a nice creamy chicken base. The downside is there is no egg included. The Tan Tan Ramen, which features spicy ground pork is also worth a try.
The ramen place for ramen in a fast-casual setting
Opened in 2019 Kyoto Ramen is another addition to the Denver ramen scene, catering to the lunchtime crowd in the CBD.
Ramen to try when you’re on the road in Colorado.
Sasuke Ramen is a bustling ramen spot serving Arvada, a suburban enclave northwest of Denver. Their Tonkotsu Ramen is decent and there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan options to choose from.
Shuga’s Restaurant is a quirky longstanding restaurant in Colorado Springs and one of the few places to get ramen in town. Their Ramen Bowl comes with mushrooms, a softboiled egg, scallion, nori, togarashi chili-sesame oil, and a kombu dashi. They ran out of pork so they subbed in some chicken cubes for me, which I actually preferred.
Map of ramen restaurants in Denver
This map will help you plan all your ramen eating adventures in Denver and beyond.
A moment of silence for the bowls of ramen we have lost over the years.
- The Way Back (A truly gorgeous Paitan Ramen with fried chicken that they served for Monday Ramen Night that I lament never being able to taste again!)
- Izakaya Ronin (Lanman Tonkotsu Ramen) [RiNo location closed. New location TBA.]
- Departure (Miso Ramen)
- Gaijin (Miso Ramen review)
- Bones (Lobster, Crispy Chicken Ramen) – UPDATE 2 Jan 2021 – The old Bones Lobster ramen is now available at French 75
- Corner Office
Have a ramen spot to suggest?
Is one of your favorite spots missing from this list? Please leave your recommendations for ramen restaurants to try in the Denver area in the comment section below!
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