The 10 Best Ramen-Serving Restaurants in Cape Town

The 10 Best Ramen-Serving Restaurants in Cape Town Azeemud-Deen Jacobs

Oodles of noodles at these slurp-alicious ramen spots!

The origin of these utterly delicious bowls of comfort might be a bone of contention (some say China; most say Japan), but there’s absolutely no dispute about how darn delicious and satisfying (and relatively inexpensive) ramen is!

And that’s even before we delve into the health-giving properties of what is essentially noodle soup (if done correctly, the slow-cooked bone broth takes hours to make and, as such, is packed with gut-activating nutrients).

Fortunately for Capetonians, a fresh wave of ramen bars has washed up onto our shores, allowing us to satisfy our cravings for these belly-warming broths. And whatever the weather, there’s hardly a better – or more delicious – solution for comfort-food cravings than a big, brothy bowl of ramen. Here’s where to get your noodle fix in Cape Town.

Ramenhead

Best Ramen Cape Town Ramenhead

Downstairs from their celebrated FYN restaurant, Chef Peter Tempelhoff and Ashley Moss’s streetfood celebration of Japan has people queuing around the block for utterly delicious bowls of authentic ramen and other Japanese streetfood. An imported Yamamoto noodle machine is used to make them from scratch, in full view of the restaurant; the broths are cooked for hours (using umami-boosting ingredients); and counter seating allows patrons to watch the chefs assemble the beautiful bowls in the open kitchen. A combination of Japanese and other drinks (sake, whisky, cocktails) flow from the bar. The eatery is dark and moody inside, but flows out onto the square with tables and sofas under fairylights strung from the trees. On a perfect night, it’s a stunning location in an under-the-radar section of town.
Good to know They’ve introduced bookings for certain sections of the restaurant; the counter and outside tables remain walk-ins only. It’s a no-cash venue.
Ramenhead has a second outlet at Time Out Market at the V&A Waterfront
Opening times Tuesday – Thursday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 9pm
Friday + Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 10pm
Contact 067 312 8061, ramenheadct@gmail.com
Where to find it Speakers Corner, Church Square, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Obi

Best Ramen Cape Town Obi

Co-owned by chef Hatsushiro Muraoka (Papa San of Takumi, Minato and Tokyo fame) and chef Ben Bettendorf, this no-frills eatery on lower Long Street is where you’ll find sushi, ramen and tempura prepared the authentic way. The fish is always ocean-fresh, flawlessly prepared and as tasty as forbidden fruit, and the lunchtime bento box is a feast. Another good reason to visit for lunch is the daily ramen bowl. The real deal, it’s a flavoursome comforting shoyu ramen bowl with a slice of pork belly chashu, 6-minute egg, spring onion and nori.
Good to know Their udon in an umami dashijiru broth with inari tofu is also a winner.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 2pm; 6pm – 9.30pm
Contact 021 418 4040, info@obirestaurant.co.za
Where to find it 14 Long Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Bodega Ramen

Best Ramen Cape Town Bodega Ramen

Hidden away upstairs above Honest Chocolate and the Gin Bar, the moody green walls, antique furnishings and retro art of Bodega Ramen create a fitting backdrop for slurping up a comforting bowl of ramen. The menu of homemade ramen bowls goes beyond the classic miso char siu pork belly with pickles and ajitama egg, and a braised-beef short-rib and kimchi ramen, to spice things up with Sichuan hotpot pork (keep an eye on the chalkboard menu for other variations). And there’s also a vegan option with shiitake, glazed tofu and slow-roasted tomatoes. It’s a serious hug in a bowl and might just be the ultimate hangover cure!
Opening times Tuesday + Saturday, 6pm – 11pm (kitchen closes 9.30pm)
Wednesday – Friday, 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 9.30pm (kitchen closes 9.30pm)
Contact 078 241 3285, bodegacapetown@gmail.com
Where to find it 64A Wale Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Tjing Tjing Torii

Best Ramen Cape Town Tjing Tjing

Tjing Tjing’s four-in-one emporium is a cornucopia of Japanese food, culture and art that transports you away from the rather grey CBD side street into another reality. The ground floor Torii is a brightly coloured street-food joint, with Harajuku-inspired decor and an impossibly irresistible electro-indie playlist. This is where you’ll find ramen (you can get the same menu upstairs in the Momiji Lounge and the Rooftop bar too). A choice of four ramen bowls with house-made wheat noodles includes: pork tonkotsu, chicken paitan, smokey beef, and miso mushroom. And if you’re a spice fiend you can add spicy sansho tare as an optional extra. Then there are yakitori (skewers), rice bowls, tebasaki (chicken wings) and modern versions of classic Japanese confections, such as mochi truffles, mitarashi dango and fluffy Japanese cheesecake with miso caramel. Not to mention their crave-worthy gyoza!
Good to know No reservations at Torii or the Rooftop bar.
Opening times Torii: Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Rooftop bar: Tuesday – Saturday, 4pm – late
Contact 021 422 4374, info@tjingtjing.co.za
Where to find it 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town

Kanji Ramen

Best Ramen Cape Town Kanji

The newest addition to Cape Town’s ramen scene, right on the vibey Kloof Nek hub, Kanji Ramen is a collaboration between chef Seelan Sundoo and veteran restaurateur Gavin Hagger (of Jerry’s Burger Bar). Start by sharing a few of the Japanese small plates: a moreish bok choi with garlic and soy, Asian fillet carpaccio, delicious chicken-and-cabbage gyozas, or a bao bun, along with an aromatic cocktail.
Then, there are four different ramen bowls to choose from, all with deep, comforting flavourful broths and hand-pulled noodles: double beef, pork, or chicken, and a vegan mushroom with tofu in a miso broth.
Good to know Kanji Ramen will soon also be open for lunch.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 4pm – 12am
Contact 021 745 6625
Where to find it 12 – 16 Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town

Three Wise Monkeys

Best Ramen Cape Town Three Wise Monkeys

This izakaya (informal Japanese gastropub) and ramen bar is an after-work and weekend favourite. On most evenings, the narrow eatery bursts at the seams with Atlantic Seaboard locals popping in after a Promenade stroll, colleagues getting together for face-to-face time, and out-of-towners intrigued to see what all the fuss is about. An illustration of Kid Goku from anime TV series Dragon Ball Z hangs above the open kitchen, setting the mood. Grab a seat at the pavement-facing counters to enjoy a steaming bowl of ramen, which comes in five varieties: beef brisket, beef fillet, chicken, duck, or vegetable (shitake with kombu and miso broth). There’s also delicious fresh sushi, yakimono grills, bao buns or poke bowls.
Good to know No reservations. Add your name to the list and wait at the bar for a free table.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 433 1837, info@threewisemonkeys.co.za
Where to find it La Rhone Building, 77 Regent Street, Sea Point

Downtown Ramen

Best Ramen Cape Town Downtown Ramen

Locals have been flocking to this grungy, no-fuss ramen bar since it opened above Lefty’s back in 2014. The rough-and-ready decor, vibey music and tavern-like seating is all part of its appeal but, actually, the ramen is the main event! There are four lip-smacking bowls on the menu, all rammed with flavour: shoyu pork-belly ramen (with a rich smoky broth); kimiko tofu ramen (with a thick, vegetarian broth); braised-beef ramen (with spicy miso) and a katsu chicken ramen.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 461 0407, 068 150 3420, downtownramencapetown@gmail.com
Where to find it 103 Harrington Street, Cape Town

Fujiyama

Best Ramen Cape Town Fujiyama

An unassuming gem that is hidden away behind a security gate on Church Street (next to Scala), this traditional, no frills, Japanese restaurant is one that aficionados seek out and keep to themselves. The Japanese owner and chef Fujiwara creates a multiple-course Japanese dining experience in his omakase menus and enjoys chatting and sharing his culture. On the à la carte menu, you’ll find a choice of three ramen bowls with noodles made in-house: miso, chicken or pork, plus soba and udon dishes, and sashimi and sushi prepared using the shime Japanese curing process. There is more to explore, too, including the owner’s homemade plum wine.
Good to know If the security gate is closed, ring the doorbell to be welcomed in.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 11am – 10pm
Contact 021 424 2491
Where to find it 77 Church Street, Cape Town

Tomo

Best Ramen Cape Town Tomo
Azeemud-Deen Jacobs

Hailing from Manchuria in north-east China, owner David Yan declares that you’ll find some of the best Japanese restaurants in the world in his hometown of Dalian. Here at his delicious Japanese and Asian eatery on the corner of Loop and Shortmarket Streets, he’s put together a strong team, and a mouthwatering menu. With multiple sections and styles of Japanese and Asian cooking, from sushi to robata (Japanese braai) and teriyaki, you’ll find two ramen dishes on the menu, beef or vegetable, both well worth tucking into, as well as the tempura udon noodles, in dashi broth topped with two tempura prawns and kakiage (strips of vegetable tempura) and Japanese tenzaru soba noodles with tempura prawn – slurpalicious!
Good to know It’s halaal-friendly too.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 078 735 6537, tomocapetown@gmail.com
Where to find it 86 Loop Street, Cape Town

Mr Lin’s Sushi & Thai

Best Ramen Cape Town Mr Lins

This is one of those under the radar gems that sushi and ramen fans keep to themselves, a small but comfortable Obs diner, where Mr Lin and team cook up a storm of dim sum, sushi, Thai stir fries and curries, and of course ramen. His generously sized Tokyo ramen bowls come with freshly made noodles with a choice of classic ramen, or a chilli ramen bowl  (with char siu pork or beef, you can choose your main ingredient here), and there’s also a Japanese hot pot for eat-in sharing, loaded with Asian fish balls, meatballs, glass noodles and more.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 9.30pm
Contact 021 447 1811
Where to find it 109 Lower Main Road, Observatory

Which are your favourites? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 22 March 2024

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2 Responses to “The 10 Best Ramen-Serving Restaurants in Cape Town”

  1. Amanda Kottler

    Won’t you please do a post of the 15 best Vegan restaurants in Cape Town? Its surely time for you to do this!!

    Reply
  2. Louise Lane

    Southern suburbs restaurants are expensive and very boring. Hamberger’s & chips etc . Everything seems to happen in town!
    Not aware of any Ramen spots in the south.

    Reply