Where to Get the Best Ramen in Melbourne

Mr Ramen San / Facebook

Ramen is never a bad idea, and all this Tokyo-related Olympics news is making us crave the world-renowned Japanese soup more than ever.

Japanese culture is quite prominent in Melbourne, and we’re super lucky to have many incredible Japanese locals, bringing their family recipes to our streets. 

There are so many amazing ramen joints scattered throughout Melbourne, but with most of them being in true hole-in-the-wall style, they can be hard to stumble across. 

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best ramen joints in Melbourne.

Shujinko Ramen / Facebook


Russell Street
Shujinko is a Russell Street staple, operating 24 hours/7 days a week, just like the ramen joints in Tokyo. A bowl of steaming hot ramen broth, with perfectly slow-cooked pork belly and bottomless noodles is pretty much the dream. Shujinko has a few ramen’s to choose from; with their classic Shujinko Ramen, which is the most authentic and simple style, a Black Ramen, which has a shellfish and spicy seasoning and an extra spicy Karakuchi Ramen, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. There are other staples on the menu, such as gyoza and karaage, which is actually world-class. You can’t go to Shujinko without getting a side of karaage, take our word for it.
How to book: You can’t! Walk-ins only. Sometimes, there’s a line – but it’s worth it.

Hakata Gensuke / Facebook

Hakata Gensuke

Carlton, CBD & Hawthorn
We can’t speak for everyone, but Hakata Gensuke is the ramen joint that we keep coming back to for its authenticity. There’s nothing specific that makes it the best, it just is. Every ramen comes as a base of noodles and soup, with you adding all the extras you want. The service is snappy, the restaurants are always loud and busy and there are no formalities but to be a decisive ramen-lover. The broth is just the right amount of salty, the pork belly is cooked to perfection and the spice hits you in just the right spot. There’s nothing that Hakata Gensuke ramen can’t cure; a broken heart, cold hands or a craving for our favourite Japanese flavours.
How to book: Absolutely not. They don’t take bookings! Just walk-in.

Photo: @welive_for_hotpot

WeLive For Hotpot

Russell Street
This isn’t purely a ramen restaurant. WeLive For Hotpot specialises in all types of Japanese soup, and the experience is one of the most authentic that we’ve seen in Melbourne. Your experience at WeLive For Hotpot is basically contactless. Your food is delivered through a hatch and you sit in individual booths, just like in Japan. This means you can eat as messily as you like and no one will see/care, and also makes for a really zen solo-dining experience. They have a huge range of bases, vegetables, meat and seafood, which are all deconstructed, leaving it up to you to build your ultimate Japanese soup. They have especially delicious wagyu, just FYI.
How to book: You can book online, or just walk in.

Shop Ramen / Facebook

Shop Ramen

Collingwood & Preston
Shop Ramen is the perfect combination of Melbourne trendy and Japanese authenticity, with neon signs and minimalistic interiors, a small offering, with everything homemade. Their Tokyo-style ramen leans more towards a simpler style, giving a real comfort-food energy rather than an excessive flavour explosion. The ramens are simple, delicious and really well-executed, without being as rich as other ramen joints. They have four ramens on the menu – pork belly, beef brisket, barbeque chicken and vegan tofu, each unique in flavour but equally loved. 
How to book: No bookings, but absolutely walk-in, or you can order takeaway online.

Mr Ramen San / Facebook

Mr Ramen San

Bourke Street
A bastion of exemplary Hakata-style ramen in the city centre. Their noodles are made fresh every day, with free top-ups on offer. They specialise in Tonkotsu ramen, which produces a thick and creamy broth, made from pork bones. They offer 10 different styles of ramen and each of them is super rich in flavour, the kind of flavour that brings you back wanting more. It’s a small hole-in-the-wall style restaurant, with huge pop-up vibes, which really make it feel as though you’ve escaped to Japan. They serve a creation called “cocktail draft beer”, which we won’t describe, you’ll just have to try. And while you do, stay true to their motto: ‘keep calm, eat ramen’.
How to book: Mr Ramen San only accepts walk-ins.

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