I have tried many ramen places in Toronto. Usually, for around $15 (including tax and tip), I could have a decent meal.
Currently, there are so many ramen places in Toronto and there are new ones opening up every year. Nevertheless, this food has not lost its popularity yet. Many of them have long line-ups during the weekend.
Here is many personal and very biased countdown of best Japanese / Korean ramen places in Downtown Toronto. It would only be judged with 3 criteria: portion, taste and how much I like it.
#7. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Address: 91 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B 1E1
Taste: I found it too rich and salty.
This place is right near the Eaton Center. (Actually, 5 out 6 ramen places in the list is walking distance from Eaton. I don’t like the taste that much. Plus, this place usually has long wait time during rush hour.
#6. Kenzo Ramen
Taste: The spicy is man-made spicy.
Kenzo is a Korean ramen chain. This place is only the non-Japanese ramen place in the list. There are so many Kenzo places in downtown. However, I don’t like it that much because I once ordered the spicy ramen here and the soup base tasted like sriracha sauce mixed with water.
#5. Raijin Ramen
Address: 24 Wellesley St W, Toronto, ON M4Y 2X6 Wellesley St W, Toronto, ON M4Y 2X6
Taste: OK. However, I found the soup base too salty and rich. The meat is dry and hard to eat.
My favourite: Spicy Tokontsu Ramen
Tip: remember to collect stamps. For 10 stamps you collected, you could get 1 regular size ramen for free.
Raijin is pretty close to Ryerson University. The taste of ramen was not bad, but I don’t like the pork meat here. I found it a bit old and dry. If I was shopping at Eaton and want to eat ramen, I would choose Raijin over Santouka.
#4. Ramen Isshin
Address: 421 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1T1
Portion: small – medium
This is the only place that is not walking distance from Eaton. It is College and Bathurst, however, it still gets pretty busy during the weekend. I like the soup base here because it has the right amount of favour, does not get too salty or rich. The meat here is not bad.
#3. Manpuku Japanese Eatery
Address: 105 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T 2X4
Taste: Good, light and fresh soup base
Note: I did not see ramen on its website menu anymore, so I am not sure it still serves ramen.
This place is known for its udon, but I like the ramen here because of its light soup base. The noodle does not taste instant and the meat and vegetable go well with the ramen.
Tip: always upgrade to a combo for additional $2. Always ask Tokesen for the side. The waitress would tell you to wait time is about 20 minutes, but definitely worth the wait.
#2. Sansotei Ramen
My Favourite: Tomato with thin noodle
This small store in downtown Toronto is another busy ramen spot. This place is known for its small portion, but I like the tomato soup base here, probably the only soup base I like it here.
Tip: do NOT order spicy slow-cooked wings. I don’t like the taste and it is pretty expensive.
#1. Kinton Ramen
Portion: used to big, now medium
My Favourite: spicy garlic with either pork belly or pork shoulder.
Why is this place the top of my list?
- The meat here is awesome! The actually light a flammable thing (don’t know what it is called) to cook the meat, so meat is crispy and tender.
- The noodle here is awesome! It is definitely freshly made, not instant.
- Also best value for the portion. The portion used to be huge, they did not raise the price in years, so the portion got smaller. However, I still found it the best in downtown.
- Last but not the least: memory. There is one Kinton very close to the University of Toronto. So I went here a lot during my school years. The taste of ramen here became a part of my memory.
Here is my incomplete list of best ramen places in downtown Toronto.