If you’re searching for this classic Japanese dish in Ho Chi Minh City, you are in luck! Japan and Vietnam have had a close relationship for many years, with Japan being one of the largest investors in Vietnamese infrastructure projects. This means there are many Japanese Expats in Saigon who have a high demand for quality Japanese food.
There is even some variety to be found within the “Japanese District” located around Le Thanh Ton Street in the heart of District 1. In the past few months I’ve tried out many of these Ramen spots with a Japanese expat to see which ones rank highest and what can be considered the Best Ramen in Ho Chi Minh!
The Best Ramen in Ho Chi Minh City (My Ranking):
While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, I can point you in the right direction on the Best Ramen in Ho Chi Minh from my own experience, and I’ll constantly be updating the list if there is a change.
Best Ramen in Ho Chi Minh
Below is my list in the order that I personally rank them. It should be known that I am a sucker for the Tonkotsu Ramen over any others. I’m not disparaging any business this is just a list of my own personal taste and the reflections of friends who ate with me!
🍜Choi Oi Noodle (Tonkotsu)
📍Location: 25 D Le Thanh Ton, District 1
⏰Open: 11 am – 3 am
💸Price: 150,000 VND – 300,000 VND
💡 Tips: This spot is really tight and unsuitable for big groups. Also, parking is limited. But, this spot is near lots of massages and bars if you are looking for something to do before or after.
Let me start this off by saying that my friend Jenny, who is Japanese and lives in Saigon, is appalled that I have chosen this as my favorite Ramen spot in the city. She didn’t eat here with me when I went, so she doesn’t know what she is missing! The name Choi Oi has turned her off. Please! Do not let it turn you off! This is an excellent ramen!
This was the ramen that I ordered, called the cappuccino which refers to the airy bubbles as the top layer of the broth. This ramen was amazing to me. The shrimp, which is an odd choice in ramen, was some of the best-cooked shrimp I’ve ever had. The pork was thick cut, perfectly cooked, and just plain delicious. The flavor of the broth was deep, salty, and divine. Don’t be fooled by this restaurants “unique” name and menu, Choi Oi was the best ramen I’ve eaten in Saigon.
🍜Miso Chikura Saigon (Miso Ramen)
📍Location: 8/5 D Le Thanh Ton, District 1
⏰Open: 11am-2:30 pm 5-10pm
💡 Tips: This is tucked back in an alley off of Le Thanh ton but not on the same side of Le Thanh Ton street as the famous Little Tokyo Alley. When the alley dead ends, turn left.
I was sad to find out my old favorite Ramen restaurant, Suzuki Ramen had closed during the pandemic. But luckily, Miso Chikura has taken its place and is a perfect bowl of ramen! This miso ramen has an excellent flavor to the broth that felt nutty to me, which I enjoy. The noodles were a bit thicker but very delicious. The Chashiu pork was great!
Jenny ordered a slightly spicy version of the ramen; hers was very good as well! It wasn’t spicy enough for her, so if you are looking for a bit of heat, it might be best to look at their other options. While I lean towards a Tonkotsu ramen, the Miso Ramens at Miso Chakura are damn good and I will be back for more.
🍜Ippudo Ramen (Tonkotsu)
📍Location: 47 Ton That Thiep, Q1
⏰Open: 11 AM – 10 PM
💸Price: ~ 120,000-200,000 VND
💡 Tips: Their Phu My Hung location (where I have eaten twice) is unfortunately closed, but the address listed is their newest location in District 1.
Ippudo Ramen is a brand that can be found worldwide and specializes in Tonkotsu Ramen. Their brand was brought here by the owner of 4p’s Pizza here in Vietnam. This is an above-average tasty Ramen, in my opinion. I have tried their standard tonkotsu and the spicy miso version as well. I think I would lean towards getting the spicy miso again in the future! Everything in the bowl is great, and the price is reasonable. Also, the spicy miso ramen was the spiciest of the ramens I have tried so far which is great if you are looking for some heat.
Unfortunately, they have closed their Phu My Hung location, which is really disappointing for me as I live in Binh Chanh near D7. This was by far the best ramen I had found in this area and will now have to make the voyage to D1 for a great bowl of ramen. And if I did that, I think I would go to one of the two places I listed above over Ippudo. It should be noted though, that my Operations Manager who has eaten at Choi Oi and Ippudo did prefer Ippudo. So, give them all a taste and see what you think!
🍜Mutahiro (Tori Soba)
📍Location: 8a/G8b Thai Van Lung, District 1
⏰Open: 11 AM-2 PM / 6PM – 2 AM
💸Price: ~ 140,000 – 180,000 VND
💡 Tips: If you want a break from heavier Tonkotsu or Miso Ramen, then give this Chicken Ramen a try. A bit challenging to find as it’s tucked away at the end of the alley in a corner
This Chicken Ramen in the alleys of Little Tokyo in Saigon is a great bowl of Ramen! The broth is light with enough flavor coming from the soy sauce base that is added to really please the palate by adding depth to the chicken stock broth! The noodles and pork were absolutely great. The chicken inside of the bowl, was just okay for me but by no means bad.
My Japanese Friend, Jenny, absolutely loves this bowl and gave it a strong 4/5. For me, it was a 3/5 as I prefer a heavier ramen.
If you are looking for Ramen but find Tonkotus or Miso ramen a bit too heavy and want a soy sauce broth or salt-based broth, give Mutahiro a chance! Many people find it to be one of the best ramen in Ho Chi Minh City. I disagree, but it’s still good, and I would go back for sure. If you aren’t into soy sauce base, you can also give the salt base a try, it was nice and light.
🍜Ittou Ramen (Tsukemen/Hakata)
📍Location: 8/8 Hem Le Thanh Ton, District 1
⏰Open: 11 AM – 10 PM
💸Price: ~ 140,000 – 180,000 VND
💡 Tips: If you are into a Tsukemen style broth and eating, Ittou specializes in this.
This was the first spot we hit during my weeks of eating ramen in the search for the best ramen in Ho Chi Minh City. I was lucky enough to come here with some expats from Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. Unfortunately, I was new to this adventure and didn’t understand that Ittou specializes in Tsukemen-style ramen. I ordered the Tonkotsu, which I feel didn’t meet my expectations of what I was looking for. Jenny, my Japanese expat friend, had ordered the Tsukemen style broth, which is noticeably fishy in taste, and it was a much better bowl than mine.
I wouldn’t say this is a bad spot by any means, but I don’t know if I love this style of Ramen in general. After eating at other places here in Ho Chi Minh City, I would probably not come back unless I specifically want to give their Tsukemen style a try or if someone is specifically looking for that type of ramen.
That said, I can’t complain about the ramen noodle, char siu, or egg in this ramen. Their Tonkotsu broth is just not up my alley.
🍚/🍜Sukiya (Budget/Fast Food)
📍Location: 10AB Thai Van Lung, District 1
⏰Open: 10 AM – 10 PM
💡 Tips: Many locations in Ho Chi Minh City. The Ramen here is below average, but the Rice bowls are good. This is a great spot if you need a family-friendly location that won’t break your bank.
I love me some Sukiya! Their Japanese curry over rice is pretty darn good! My first time at this location, I had their ramen, which was sub-par for sure, but it’s a fast food budget option so it’s like comparing a McDonald’s Hamburger to a great Burger at a dedicated Burger shop.
So why bother mentioning this place? If you are with a group or your family, you want some Japanese food… but how much money you will spend is of concern. Then head to Sukiya, it has something for everyone, and it’s good for a great price. Not great, but good food! The Ramen will fix your ramen craving a bit but not 100%, If you know what I mean.
The Search for the Best Ramen in Ho Chi Minh City continues..
I’ll keep eating my way through ramen shops here in 2024 and bring some updates. I would also love to start making a list of Japanese Bbq shops and Sushi Shops to recommend to those looking for them. You can also check out my complete Ho Chi Minh City food Guide for other recommendations while you are visiting Saigon. I have eaten at Danbo Ramen but it was many years ago.. I remember feeling a bit “meh” about it but I think it deserves a refresher so I can give a proper recommendation.
Until the next update! Happy Eating and exploring everyone!