The Best Ramen in Chicago Suburbs
Ramen is a coveted traditional Japanese dish that's perfect for any time of day. Due to its popularity, ramen houses are almost everywhere, including in Chicago's suburbs. Slurping up a hot bowl of silky noodles and seasoned broth is a tasty and quick way to spend a lunch break.
If you're craving ramen around Chicago, there is no shortage of options. In some cases, there are ramen houses on every street corner.
It can be a bit difficult to find the perfect spot for you with all the options. That's especially true considering the modern diversity of ramen dishes.
Are you after vegan-friendly ramen, or do you go crazy for bowls with corn and fried chicken?
Either way, you'll want to know where you need to go so you don't waste your lunch break searching for a restaurant. If you want to discover the best ramen spots around Chicago's suburbs, you're in the right place.
If you work near E. Harris Ave in La Grange, you likely already know about this spot. They're one of the highest-rated ramen houses in the suburb, and it's easy to see why.
The staff clearly puts a ton of passion into their food, and it shows. Their ramen dishes are not only delicious, but the presentation is flawless. If you're after gluten-free/vegan options, you won't be disappointed here. Their menu is diverse yet straightforward enough to have something for everyone.
The interiors are quaint, clean, and attractive. It's the ideal spot to spend a 30-minute lunch break or grab a quick meal for the kids. Unique offerings include a Japanese Ramune Marble Soda. It features a glass marble inside that releases whenever you break the seal. It's a fun novelty from Japan that you likely won't find anywhere else.
Here's a glance at what you can order at Forbidden Noodles:
- Pork Tonkotsu Soup
- Veggie Stir Fry Ramen
- Beef Paitan
- Shrimp Miso Soup
- Japanese Curry Chicken w/Rice
- Plain Ramen Noodle Soup
- Veggie Miso Soup
- Japanese Ramune Marble Soda
I selected the Pork Tonkotsu Soup as it's a classic that I often enjoy. The pork belly was incredibly tender, as were the fish cakes and the egg. The broth was a combination of pork bone and shellfish, which worked surprisingly well. The noodles were thick but still easy to slurp.
If your stomach starts rumbling at the Geneva Historic Shopping District, know that a delicious ramen meal isn't far off. Located off West State St., Cravings is a bespoke Asian Fusion restaurant in Geneva. They specialize in ramen and offer Korean dishes, fried rice, and more.
Something of note is that the crew at Cravings makes everything from scratch. As such, their noodles are silky, fresh, and incredibly delicious. While there's only a small dining area, it's still clean and visually appealing. It's an excellent spot for a quick meal to fill up after a long shopping day.
The restaurant also has considerable renown for its pork buns. As with their ramen, everything gets made from scratch. Vegans can rejoice, as there are plenty of vegan-friendly menu options.
Here's a small sampling of the menu items at Cravings Noodle and Rice:
- Jia Jia's Beef Noodle
- Japanese Miso Noodle Soup
- Pork Miso Ramen
- Chicken Soy Ramen
- Hangover Noodles
- Spicy Vegetable Miso Ramen
- Shrimp Fried Noodles
I was in the mood for something with miso soup, so I ordered the Chicken Miso Ramen. The aroma alone was worth the price of the dish. After basking in the scents and warmth for a while, I dug into the dish. I couldn't help myself from loudly slurping up the entire thing. It's clear that they make their noodles from scratch as they're thick and full of flavor.
If you're catching a movie at the Classic Cinemas York Theater in Elmhurst, Kan Ya is a great stop to make before or after. It's an authentic ramen house located off Schiller St. in Elmhurst, and they also offer Asian cuisine. It's the spot to visit if you've never had crispy ramen before, which is one of their specialties.
It's an upscale restaurant with a classy interior with an open view of the kitchen. It provides an authentic experience to go along with their fresh handmade food.
Their service is also top-notch. They do a great job taking care of busy crowds - and their servers are all very knowledgeable. If you have any questions about their food, the staff will provide precise answers. My waiter even made a winning recommendation for me during my visit.
Here's a look at what you can order at Kan Ya Ramen and Asian Cuisine:
- Crispy Chicken Ramen
- Chicken Wonton Ramen
- Premium Tonkotsu Combo
- Niku Karya Ramen
- Vegetable Chicken Ramen
- Hibachi Salmon
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Dragon Maki Roll
- Rainbow Maki Roll
When I stopped by, the place was bustling, but I didn't have to wait too long to get seated. The staff was courteous and knowledgeable. I wasn't sure what to order, so I asked my waiter what he recommended. It didn't take long for him to suggest the Crispy Chicken Ramen, a wily popular dish.
I had never had crispy ramen before, and it blew me away. There was a satisfying crunch to every bite while maintaining the classic ramen experience.
If you're in Naperville and want authentic Japanese ramen, it's time to head to Yamado. They're one of the top-rated Japanese restaurants in the entire city. Their food is delicious, authentic, and made from scratch.
The interiors feature traditional Japanese decor, which adds to the overall experience. There's also a cozy bar to relax at and enjoy drinks with friends.
Whether you're after a spicy bowl of ramen or a sushi roll, Yamado has it. It's an excellent restaurant to enjoy a lengthy, sit-down Japanese meal.
Here's what you can order at Yamado Japanese Restaurant:
- Bulgogi Ramen
- Tonkotsu Spicy Miso Ramen
- Chicken Ramen (Spicy or Mild)
- Shoyuchashu Ramen
- Veggie Ramen (Spicy or Mild)
- Tonkotsu Ramen
As soon as I saw Bulgogi Ramen on the menu, I knew I had to order it. I'm a massive fan of the Bulgogi dish, so I was excited to see how it translated into ramen soup. It was savory with a hint of saltiness that I enjoyed. It tasted like eating barbecue out of a ramen bowl, which was surprisingly good.
If you're north of the city and want to slurp some top-tier ramen, it's worth visiting ramen Misoya. They're genuinely top of the food chain for delicious, high-end ramen dishes in Chicago. Their bowls of ramen are quite extravagant, with lots of protein, fish cakes, corn, eggs, and more. The menu has plenty of variety, and they cook everything fresh.
Their noodles have lots of texture, and they put a ton of work into their broth. The interiors are clean and modern, but parking can be tricky at times.
Regardless, the food is more than worth it. If you're near Mount Prospect and appreciate authentic noodle soup, Ramen Misoya is a must-visit.
Here are some of the menu offerings at Ramen Misoya:
- Cha-shu Ramen
- Fried Shrimp Ramen
- Tonkotsu Ramen
- Kimchi Ramen
- Kara-Age Ramen
- Fried Squid
I couldn't resist ordering the Cha-Su ramen after seeing pictures of it online. It features three large pieces of Cha-Su pork belly with grill marks, miso eggs, spring onions, bamboo shoots, and more. It's a loaded meal that will fill up even the hungriest of customers. I was on an empty stomach at the time, so I dug right in. I finished every bit of this fantastic bowl of ramen - and the broth was deep, rich, and satisfying.
Closing Thoughts: Best Ramen in Chicago Suburbs
Whether you're north, south, east, or west of the city of Chicago, there are fabulous ramen houses everywhere. By following this guide, you can now pinpoint the best spot for your needs. That way, you can pop in for a quick lunch break or grab a meal with friends. Ramen is a delicious dish with many variations, and these spots in Chicago do it better than anywhere else. If you're in the mood for a burger instead of ramen, check out the Top Five Best Burgers in the Chicago Suburbs.
Posted by Rafael Velasco on