Chilly days are the perfect time for ramen. Those steaming, noodle-packed bowls of brothy, belly-warming goodness can fortify you against even the lowest temperatures. And since Richmond is famous for its amazing Asian food, you can find this celebrated Japanese comfort dish at plenty of local restaurants. Keen to create your own citywide menu of ramen hot spots to dive into? Read on for some of our local favourites.
YUU JAPANESE TAPAS
#1118 – 3779 Sexsmith Road
With its huge selection of Japanese appetizers and hearty comfort dishes—you’ll find everything from donburi to okonomiyaki here—Yuu Japanese Tapas has been a firm Richmond favourite since opening in 2010. But many of its regulars keep coming back for the richly satisfying ramen, made with a signature broth concocted daily in the ever-busy kitchen. And if you’re keen to try something new with your noodles, there’s a wide array of inventive choices here.
Alongside the classics, consider the spicy miso ramen with BBQ pork option or the seafood and jumbo scallop bowl, served in a tomato tonkotsu (pork bone) broth. There’s also a hot and sour tonkatsu dish—popular with spice fans—that’s topped with pork, cheese, bean sprouts, and corn. And if you’ve always wanted to try the infamous ‘beer ramen’—it’s actually a bonito broth cold ramen topped with egg white foam and served in a glass stein that makes it look like an order of beer—now’s your big chance!
3711 Bayview Street
This Steveston spot is the sister eatery of the well-established G-Men location on Richmond’s Alexandra Road (aka Food Street). Step inside the super-friendly, wood-floored space—just across the street from Fisherman’s Wharf––and you’ll also find a model railway, yesteryear toy cars, and even some vintage motorcycles on display.
But of course, ramen is the main reason to drop by. And the physically huge menu (it was almost bigger than our table!) offers six main options—with notes applied to each photo to give you some extra help. ‘First time? Try me!!’ is written across the shoyu (soy sauce) option, while the miso bowl is annotated with a ‘Most popular choice!’ label. But if you’re hungry for spice (or you have a winter cold that needs chasing away), go for the tan tan: a creamy, colourful bowl of chicken and pork broth, brimming with spicy sesame and peanut paste. Add cilantro to this one for a refreshing edge.
SHIBUYATEI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
#125 – 2971 Sexsmith Road
Tucked into an anonymous light industrial area (but an easy five-minute walk from Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station), there’s a hidden gem, a hole-in-the-wall feels to this small but determined eatery. Solely run by a veteran chef who takes his culinary approach deeply seriously, expect to wait up to 15 minutes for your made-to-order meal––and arrive off-peak if you want to snag one of the handfuls of available seats. It’s well worth the wait, though, for what may be Richmond’s most authentic Tokyo-style bowl of ramen––or larmen as it’s called on the printed menu sheets papering the counter here.
On our Shibuyatei visit, we dived into a steaming bowl brimming with noodles, crunchy veggies, a golden-soft boiled egg half, and a super-tender slab of pork. Top-notch fresh ingredients belie the $12.50 price, while the broth itself is surprisingly subtle yet richly flavourful––rather than the thick, overpowering soup of lesser ramen joints. Still hungry? Add a delicious side order of housemade gyoza before you leave.
#160 – 4328 No. 3 Road
Push through the traditional Noren entrance curtains at this popular Kam Do Plaza restaurant and you’ll discover an inviting, surprisingly contemporary room—complete with a cool Pulp Fiction-esque soundtrack on our visit. Lined with light wood tables, sought-after side booths, and a communal square table where chatty language students like to hang out, Sanpoutei Ramen launched in Japan’s Niigata prefecture in 1967 and now has branches around the world.
Snag a seat facing the steamy open plan kitchen area and you’ll spot a team of cooks busily preparing the latest orders, most of them dominated by the restaurant’s slightly flat, unusually wrinkly noodles. A handy photo menu indicates several tempting ramen bowl options but the signature—especially recommended for first-timers—is the delicious Niigata Shoyu, complete with nori, spinach, soft-boiled egg, chunky bamboo shoots, and slices of smoky chashu pork.
YAH YAH YA
#1423 – 8388 Capstan Way
A favourite with in-the-know locals, this imported Japanese brand has the ambiance of a cozy neighbourhood ramen cafe in backstreet Tokyo. The long, slender space has lots of small tables (plus popular booths) and they’re often busy with chatty young locals and visitors tucking into heaping, good-value ramen bowls, and tasty izakaya-style side dishes. Don’t want to wait for a table? Consider dining at Yah Yah Ya a little off-peak (they open for lunch at 11:00 am and for dinner at 5:00 pm).
Customization is a big plus here—you get to choose from hard, normal, or soft noodles, for example—and the main bowl options (most of them in either regular or large sizes) include classic miso and shoyu choices plus slightly more adventurous options such as garlic miso, black tonkotsu, a super-spicy volcano bowl, and even a vegan version made with spinach noodles. If you’re extra hungry, spend $3 to $5 more to create your own ramen set, complete with a side dish such as gyoza, onigiri, or chicken karaage.
AFURI RAMEN AND DUMPLING
#140 – 7971 Alderbridge Way
This contemporary ramen and dumpling restaurant operates a little differently from the rest: upon entering, you place your own order and pay upfront at a digital kiosk, before grabbing a number and finding a place to sit (but don’t worry, friendly staff members are available to help). The ramen is customizable, and you’ll see options to easily add or remove ingredients on the screen when you order.
The menu is based around Afuri’s signature bowl of yuzu shio ramen. Yuzu is a key ingredient here, offering hints of citrus to their signature broths (and even their drinks—try the refreshing yuzu limeade). Another unique ramen option is the hazelnut tantanmen, a delicious dish that also happens to be vegan—though you can always opt for additions. Pair a bowl of ramen with some of Afuri’s dumplings or a soft-shell crab bun to complete your meal. Consider dining off-peak here; it can be very busy and line-ups are common.
IF YOU GO:
Ramen in Richmond typically costs between $12 and $20. Arrive hungrily, these bowls are likely to fill you up for hours. Most restaurants offer several varieties, typically varying the broths, toppings, and spiciness. If you’re a first-timer and you’re not sure what to try, ask your server for advice—or simply dive into the ever-popular miso or shoyu options. Keep in mind that some restaurants may accept cash and/or debit card only.
Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Tourism Richmond