Who has the best ramen restaurants? Glasgow vs Edinburgh

We pit the east coast against the west, when it comes to Japanese noodle soups

Ikigai chicken ramen

We wouldn’t dredge up an old rivalry if it weren’t over an extremely important matter, like which of these cities is home to the best ramen restaurants.

In the quest for the finest of this Japanese noodle-based dish - the ultimate comfort food at this time of year – it’s all in the broth, whether it’s meat, miso, fish or shoyu (soy) based.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Also, if we can’t get a gooey-yolked ramen egg and decent noodles, with a bit of chew, we’ll go in a mood(le).

We’ve listed a few of each city’s finest heavyweights below.

Scroll to the bottom for our winner.

EDINBURGH

Ikigai, 13 West Crosscauseway, Edinburgh - www.ikigairamen.co.uk

Maki & Ramen, Fountainbridge

This is one of our favourite new restaurants, though it’s cosy inside, with only enough room for about eight people in normal times. They don’t do sushi (so don’t ask), but they do offer many varieties of ramen, such as the hakata tonkotsu version, spicy tantanmen and the chicken version (pictured), although you can smaller dishes including octopus balls (takoyaki) and yakitori. Currently offering takeaway and collection from its hatch. Read our review.

Maki & Ramen, 97-101 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh – 0131 228 5069, www.makiramen.com

We’ve lost track of how many Maki & Ramens there are in the capital. It turns out five is the correct answer, and they’ve now opened a Glasgow outpost. We’re fans of their black tonkotsu ramen with onion flakes, garlic and homemade black garlic oil. If you book your order directly on their site, they’re currently offering free delivery and a surprise. Read our review of the Edinburgh Fountainbridge venue.

Hibiki, 45 North Castle Street, Edinburgh – 0131 225 9384, www.hibiki-japanese.co.uk

gulp ramen

This two-year-old New Town venue had passed us by, but we’ve been tipped off about their ramen. Although you can order their sushi and other dishes through Just Eats, they don't appear to be delivering ramen at the moment, so you’ll have to wait until they reopen if you want to give it a whirl.

Gulp Ramen, 9 Albert Place, Edinburgh – www.gulpramen.com

This place opened in a pandemic, and they’ve just pressed pause while restrictions are tightened. Our team reviewed them earlier this month, when they briefly reopened. They serve a broth that’s been cooked for 60 hours, using locally sourced meat, and there’s a veggie option too, along with hakata style noodles. The spicy Veggie Reaper ramen comes in three heat levels.

Chizuru Tei, 278 Morrison Street, Edinburgh – 0131 228 1688, www.chizurutei.co.uk

Mikaku, Glasgow

Open for delivery, and takeaway, this Haymarket sushi restaurant offers shoyu noodle soups, in ramen or udon varieties. We’re a bit scared of the Seafood Dynamite version, but we’ll give it a whirl and see if it manages to blow our barnacles off.

GLASGOW

Ramen Dayo!, 31 Ashton Lane, Glasgow – 0141 374 0254, www.ramendayo.com

Originally a pop-up, this west end restaurant, one of the few to be dedicated to the art of ramen, is now delivering citywide from its base. Choose from 11 ramen dishes, including the January dieter’s friend, aka a New Wave Tokyo version with light chicken broth, a blend of soy sauces, chicken chashu, water spinach, spring onions and nori. It has its own app, available on Google Play, and merch.

Mikaku, 45 Queen Street, Glasgow – 0141 243 2441, www.mikaku.co.uk

In the city centre, a few doors along from the landmark that is Tam Shepherd’s Trick Shop, you’ll find this low lit izakaya (a Japanese after work bar) restaurant, with a futuristic vibe and crazy cocktails like the electric lychee (lychee liqueur, Roku gin, sake, almond, cranberry and caramel). The dishes are in a smaller size, as you’re supposed to order lots to share and sop up the booze. We reviewed it when it opened back in 2019 and enjoyed their miso black ramen with garlic oil, crispy garlic and chicken breast. NB. They’ve currently paused their takeaway until regulations are relaxed.

Ramen Dayo!

NukuNuku, 189 Hope Street, Glasgow – 0141 261 6258, www.nuku-nuku.business.site

Ramen lovers rejoice, as this place has extended its delivery area and you can either order through direct message on Instagram and Facebook, to cut out the middleman, or use Just Eat. Among other things, choose from chilli duck, or miso pork ramen (pictured). They also do the occasional special, like the eel chilli soup ramen.

Wudon Noodle & Sushi Bar, 535 Great Western Road, Glasgow – 0141 357 3033, www.wudon-noodlebar.co.uk

There are lots of goodies to takeaway on this Chinese, Japanese and Thai restaurant’s menu, though just a couple of noodle broths - a katsu ramen, which features Japanese fishcakes, or a Thai style tom yum udon (not ramen, but we’ll allow it). We’ll take them both. Order from their website from 4-10pm and collect from their window, or use Deliveroo.

Ramen Ramen, 21 Bath Street, Glasgow – www.makiramen.com

This is the year-old sister branch of Edinburgh’s Maki & Ramen. Alongside yakisoba, sushi and donburi, choose from ten ramen dishes, from beef tataki ramen to the vegetarian ramen and the frighteningly named seafood Hell ramen. They have their own app, available on Google Play, for orders, or use their website.

Ding-ding. It’s very close and even though Glasgow is the home of Ramen Dayo!, Edinburgh wins this round. Although it was difficult to narrow down the contenders, there’s slightly more choice on the east coast, particularly since we have the full quartet of Maki & Ramens.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.