If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you know that ramen is a must-try comfort food. And if you’re planning a trip to Sapporo, Japan, you’re in for a treat. Sapporo is known for having some of the best ramen in Japan, with its rich broth, chewy noodles, and flavorful toppings. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, exploring the local food scene in Sapporo is a must-do, and trying the best ramen spots should be at the top of your to-do list. So buckle up, get your chopsticks ready, and let’s dive into the mouth-watering world of Sapporo’s best ramen!
1. Introduction to Sapporo’s Ramen Alley
Sapporo’s Ramen Alley, also known as Susukino Alley, is an iconic culinary destination in the heart of the city. This narrow alleyway features dozens of small ramen shops, allowing visitors to sample a variety of types of ramen. The shops are open all day and well into the night, making them perfect for lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack. Ramen Alley is accessible via Susukino Station or the streetcar network. Additionally, the restaurants are used to serving foreigners, with many offering foreign language versions of their menus. Visitors can expect distinct flavors at each restaurant, making Sapporo’s Ramen Alley a must-visit spot for noodle enthusiasts.
2. Access and directions to Ramen Alley
To reach the famous Ramen Alley in Sapporo, visitors should head to Susukino Station on the Namboku Line or take the streetcar network to its nearby stop. The alley is located in Susukino’s area, where visitors can find about a dozen small shops offering different types of ramen. These shops are open during the day and into late hours, making them perfect for lunch or a late-night snack. The restaurants’ opening hours vary but many places open at 10 or 11 AM and stay open until the next morning. The staff is used to serving foreigners and many shops have foreign language versions of their menus.
3. Best time to visit Ramen Alley
The best time to visit Ramen Alley in Sapporo would be during lunch or dinner hours. Many of the small shops are open during the day and well into the night, making them perfect for any time of day. Some even stay open until the following morning. It is popular among local tourists as well as visitors from other parts of Japan or overseas. The staff in the restaurants are used to serving foreigners, so there should be no problem communicating with them, even if they only speak Japanese. Keep in mind that the restaurants start filling up with customers after dark, and they get very crowded around midnight, so plan accordingly.
4. Overview of ramen flavors in Sapporo
Sapporo, Japan is known for its delicious ramen with various flavors to choose from. Miso ramen is said to have originated from Sapporo and it remains a popular flavor. But there are many other flavors to try such as seafood, chicken, clam, crab, shrimp, sweetcorn, and even char-grilled ramen. Sapporo ramen chefs use local ingredients sourced from Hokkaido, ensuring the highest quality of food. Some of the best ramen restaurants in Sapporo include the original miso ramen restaurant, Ebisoba Ichigen, Ramen Shingen and Aji no Sanpei Ramen. Whether traditional or inventive, Sapporo ramen restaurants have something to offer even the most discerning of palates.
5. Top miso ramen restaurants in Sapporo
When in Sapporo, trying the famous miso ramen is a must. The dish originated in central Sapporo in the 1950s and has since become a local specialty. The city boasts a special ramen alley, Ganso Ramen Alley, where many renowned ramen shops can be found. Some of the top miso ramen restaurants in Sapporo include Aji no Karyuudo, known for their traditional miso ramen bowl, and Ebisoba Ichigen, which serves unique shrimp-based ramen creations. Other popular options include Baisensya, known for their carefully selected miso and Mendokoro Toripan, famous for their chicken bone broth. Each restaurant has its own distinct flavor, making sampling multiple restaurants all the more exciting.
6. History of miso ramen in Sapporo
Miso ramen was invented in Sapporo in the 1950s by Omiya Morito, the owner of Aji no Sanpei. Morito added fresh vegetables to the flavored hot pot to balance out the richness of the food. At a time when only soy sauce or salt were typical seasonings for ramen, miso ramen was an unexpected flavor. Today, Sapporo miso ramen includes medium-thickness noodles topped with bean sprouts, chopped pork, and garlic. The dish has evolved to include various flavors, such as seafood, chicken, clam, crab, shrimp, sweetcorn, and butter, all made with local Hokkaido ingredients to guarantee quality. Sapporo now has a special ramen alley, or Ganso Ramen Alley, where visitors can try a variety of miso ramen.
7. Popular dishes at Baisensya
Baisensya, located in Sapporo, Japan, is famous for its delicious ramen dishes. Among their popular menu items are the Miso Ramen which is a savory broth made with bean paste and pork bone, paired with firm noodles and topped with bean sprouts, sliced pork, and bamboo shoots. Another well-loved dish is the Shio Ramen, which features a clear, light broth flavored with salt and chicken bones, served with plump noodles and topped with green onions and sliced pork. They also offer a unique curry ramen, made with a blend of Japanese and Indian curry spices. For a spicy kick, visitors can try the Kara-miso Ramen, topped with fiery chili sauce and pork belly. No matter which dish is chosen, the quality and taste of Baisensya’s ramen will not disappoint.
8. Create your own ramen at Ebisoba Ichigen
At Ebisoba Ichigen Ramen Sapporo, visitors have the unique opportunity to create their own ramen bowl. With three broth and four seasoning options to choose from, guests can tailor their meal to their personal preferences. The staff are welcoming and accommodating, with menus available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. The restaurant itself is spacious and inviting, with traditional ramen decorations and famous signatures framed on the walls. Despite its popularity, wait times are typically less than ten minutes and the food is served quickly. This is the perfect spot for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner, whether dining alone or with a group.
9. Experience Hokkaido’s delicacies at Sapporo Ramen Republic
Sapporo Ramen Republic is a must-visit destination for foodies who want to experience Hokkaido’s delicacies. Located on the 10th floor of the ESTA mall in Sapporo, this ramen theme park offers a variety of delicious ramen dishes from different regions of Hokkaido. Visitors can sample Sapporo’s miso ramen, Asahikawa’s soy sauce ramen, and Hakodate’s salt ramen, among others. For those who love seafood, Ebisoba offers a ramen with a shrimp broth base, topped with shrimp powder. The food court also serves dishes like char siu pork and ginger and ravioli. With reasonable price points, the Sapporo Ramen Republic is the perfect place for foodies to explore Hokkaido’s diverse culinary offerings.
10. Famous visitors to Sapporo’s ramen scene
Soro’s famous ramen scene has attracted its fair share of celebrity visitors. Anthony Bourdain, the late American chef and travel show host, enjoyed a bowl at the renowned restaurant, Sumire. In 2019, Michelin-starred chef, Alain Ducasse, visited the city and praised the ramen for its rich flavors and local ingredients. Japanese actor, Yutaka Takenouchi, also made headlines when he waited in line for two hours to try Sapporo’s famous miso ramen at Santouka. These famous visitors are a testament to the popularity and quality of Sapporo’s ramen scene, which continues to draw foodies and travelers from all over the world.
Meet Michael Graham, the main author of SeekTraveler.com. With a wanderlust that knows no bounds, Michael has traversed more than 30 countries across the globe. From sun-soaked Caribbean islands to the ancient marvels of Europe and the captivating charm of Japan, he has witnessed the wonders of diverse cultures firsthand. Michael’s in-depth knowledge and contagious enthusiasm for travel will inspire you to pack your bags and embark on your own extraordinary journey.