Ranking the Hottest Ramen Joints in Irvine


Jordan Lee

One of Shin-Sen-Gumi’s popular dishes, Hakata Ramen, featres a deep and flavorful soup base topped with noodles customized to cook the way you order it. The ramen also comes with pieces of pork belly, green onion and ginger.

Jordan Lee and Shawyan Rooein

Warm savory broth, tender meats and handmade noodles are all qualities ramen lovers dream of. With its large population of Asian Americans, Irvine has become a hub for tasty ramen restaurants. But with so many options and flavors, how does one choose a restaurant?

Here are our top four picks for the tastiest ramen restaurants in Irvine, each costing around 10 dollars.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka: Located off Culver Drive in the Mitsuwa Marketplace, Santouka Ramen is easily one of the most popular ramen joints in Irvine. Santouka is known for its chewy noodles and rich-flavored broth. Some of our favorite dishes include Miso and Shoyu (Soy Sauce Ramen). Santouka offers a great selection of toppings and side dishes, including bamboo shoots and chashu pork bowls. With a variety of options and a great house ramen, you cannot go wrong with Santouka Ramen.

Shin-Sen-Gumi: With over a dozen Orange County locations, including one in the Woodbury Town Center, Shin-Sen-Gumi serves the most flavorful Hakata Ramen, a traditional Japanese dish, in Irvine. Their ramen can be customized, and diners can choose from different levels of oil, noodle thickness, and broth flavoring. For an added price, different toppings can be added including spicy miso and boiled eggs. One of the main reasons why Shin-Sen-Gumi does not take the top spot is because of its long dinner wait time.

Ajisen Ramen: Located in the bustling Diamond Jamboree plaza, Ajisen Ramen is a extremely popular restaurant for people looking for traditional, high quality ramen. With its balanced buttery broth and generous portions, Ajisen’s Miso Ramen is among many customers’ favorite dishes. Their pork potstickers are juicy and pack a tasty punch when paired with any ramen dish. This traditional japanese restaurant has a warm, friendly atmosphere making it great for families. Parking is hard to find so come early to find a spot!

J San: At only three months old, J San is one of the trendiest restaurants in Irvine. Situated in the heart of the Irvine Marketplace food court, J San sports a clean and modern dining space. One of their signature dishes is the Tonkotsu Pork Ramen, which has tender pork, lots of toppings and a strong umami flavoring. However, the broth was too salty for our taste, and we felt that other restaurants like Shin-Sen-Gumi had better overall broth. Our main complaint with J San was its poor service; servers there can be rude and are not very engaging or friendly.