If there ever was a contentious topic amongst busy food obsessives in Sydney, it’s where to find the best ramen. The city boasts some of the finest options in the entire country, owing a great debt to the Japanese community who have bought one of their culture’s most prized dishes, often finessed with a delicate balance between local tastes and hardy tradition.
I was genuinely sad when Ramen Ikkyu (a food court favourite) shuttered years ago, bitter when O-San closed down and disappointed when Chase Kojima’s Sokyo Ramen didn’t take off as expected. While the dynamic Japanese noodle scene in the city has certainly been through its bumps, the diversity and technique have never been stronger, especially with relative newcomers like RaRa Ramen, Rising Sun Workshop, and Bones Ramen.
From thick noodles to fried chicken, bean sprouts to roast pork – there are a lot of different elements swimming in that bowl of authentic ramen. So make sure you’re only going for the best.
If you’re craving some of the best steaming bowls of delicious ramen in Sydney, here’s where to look. After this, you’ll never be stuck wondering “where’s the best ramen near me” ever again.
The Best Ramen Sydney Has To Offer
As far as reputation goes, Gumshara is the granddaddy of the scene, and absolutely where you’d find some of the best ramen in Sydney. For many, it’s the first place that truly won them over to ramen and revealed just how delicate the balance needs to be to get a perfect serving. Owner-chef Mori Hogashida famously builds upon a base soup each day, boiling daily for 12 hours and tweaking it to be thicker or lighter depending on taste.
The result is the big-body, heavyweight tonkotsu ramen that pretty much all of Sydney has slurped down at least ten times throughout their life. So thick that the consistency is almost like gravy, handling the texture while the shoyu tare used still shines through enough to bring that sweet, deep flavour of pork bone broth that has been boiled down to fine art, flanked by bean sprouts, springy noodles, spring onions, and bamboo shoots (yes, go for all the extra toppings). Consistency is key at this 29 Dixon Street Haymarket space.
What to order: You can’t go wrong with the standard tonkotsu ramen, but if you’re feeling particularly insatiable I’d aim for their twice-cooked pork sparerib ramen. If you want something even richer and nuttier, their garlic tonkotsu ramen can’t be missed either. Consistency is key here, and Gumshara is nothing if not on the mark each and every time. It’s simply one of the best ramen joints Sydney has and is surrounded by similar quality thanks to its location in Chinatown’s Eating World Food Court.
Address: Shop 211/25/29 Dixon St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Contact: 0410 253 180
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (11:30 am – 8:30 pm); Saturday – Sunday (11:30 am – 8:30 pm, 5 pm – 8:30 pm)
It’s been a while since Bayswater Road in Potts Point has seen a new opening. Opposite his long-standing Farmhouse restaurant, the dependable Michael Mu Sung and Head Chef Jacob Riwaka (formerly Rising Sun Workshop and Cornersmith) has opened Bones Ramen, an affable 20-seater that’s hinged on sourcing fresh local produce, and in-house production along with barrelling and on-site storage for the soy seasoning used in broths.
You’ll get a tight, exacting list of four ramens if you head along to Bones Ramen right now. The pork broth comes with soy egg, chashu, watercress, and fermented bamboo shoots; the seafood broth option comes with scallop silks, prawn balls, shallots, and nori; there’s a chicken baitan broth with soy egg, shallots, fermented bamboo shoots, and chicken chashu; and finally, there’s some vegetarian ramen with Jerusalem artichoke, celeriac chashu, oyster mushrooms, roast tomatoes, and shiitake.
What to order: There may be no chicken karaage ramen on the menu, but that rich and deliciously creamy chicken baitan broth is absolutely slamming if you want something packed with flavour. Although the vegetarian broth ramen is a clear winner.
Address: 4/51-57 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (12 pm – 2:30 pm, 6 pm – 9 pm)
Butter is a bit of a different beast as far as this Sydney ramen restaurant round-up goes. Owner and chef Julian Cincotta only puts his lauded fried chicken ramen on the menu every so often, forcing the city’s most enthusiastic ramen fans to keep an eye peeled on Butter’s social channels for any last-minute announcements.
It’s worth the diligence. While Butter doesn’t have the scope to offer many options, you’ll usually get at least one different ramen special every month, usually worked up in collaboration with some of Sydney’s best chefs. None of them are traditional, with Butter more a hub for fellow ramen chefs to come on board and experiment with different flavour combinations – mostly all centred around Butter’s emblematic fried chicken.
What to order: You won’t get any set menu here, but more often than not the monthly special will be offered alongside Julian’s fried chicken ramen. It mostly pops up in winter, using the fatty deliciousness of fried chicken to flavour the broth and give it the kind of thickness you’d expect from pork. Flanking those fried chicken tenders is usually fish paste, marinated bamboo shoots, enoki mushrooms, and soft-hearted egg.
Surry Hills Address: 6 Hunt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Contact: (02) 8283 9146
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday (11 am – 9:30 pm); Thursday (11 am – 10 pm); Friday – Saturday (11 am – 10:30 pm); Sunday (11:30 am – 9 pm)
Parramatta Address: Shop 3/140 Marsden St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Contact: 0413 856 636
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday (11 am – 9 pm); Thursday (11 am – 10 pm); Friday – Saturday (11 am – 10:30 pm); Sunday (11:30 am – 9 pm)
Chatswood Address: Shop B/39 345 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
Contact: 0431 113 947
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday, Sunday (11 am – 8pm); Thursday (11:30 am – 8:30 pm); Friday – Saturday (11 am – 9 pm)
Ramen Zundo always seems to be underrated when people talk about where to find the best ramen in Sydney, but demand doesn’t lie. Zundo is one of the most popular ramen-ya in the CBD, located at World Square and, most recently, Chatswood with a new store of equal quality.
Here you’ll find some of the better tsukemen in Sydney, for those who prefer thick chewy dry noodles served alongside even thicker, caramelised gyokai tonkotsu broth that almost always lets the umami flavours take prominence.
With a great hold on balance, their tonkotsu ramen is a go-to order and should easily satisfy the soul on a rainy day, but even if you aren’t there to slurp down some soup, it’s hard to not like their flavour-rich Japanese karaage curry. Zundo is surely an all-rounder for those who miss Japan’s comfort foods.
It’s a much better choice than the nearby Ajisen ramen, which has been mostly miss during my visits.
What to order: Go for their tonkotsu tsukemen if you want something a bit different. There aren’t as many places across Sydney serving good tsukemen that’s as close as you’d get to the big caramelised dipping broths of Tokyo, so take advantage of the distinction. Although if you just want a big serving of familiar ramen, the tonkotsu is a go-er, and there’s also a smaller version available for those who are watching their portions.
World Square Address: 644 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9264 6113
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (11:30 am – 9 pm)
Chatswood Address: 260 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
Contact: (02) 8065 8099
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Thursday (11:30 am – 3pm, 5 pm – 8:30 pm); Friday ( 11:30 am – 3pm, 5 pm – 9:30 pm); Saturday (11:30 am – 9:30 pm); Sunday (11:30 am – 9 pm)
Umami Dojo is a surprising new entry for Pyrmont, an area that isn’t exactly renowned for anything beyond The Star’s healthy patch of premium restaurants like Sokyo and BLACK Bar & Grill. The quaint ramen shack sits just 16 slurpers at a time, featuring interiors that wouldn’t feel out of place at a traditional ramen-ya on the backstreets of Tokyo.
Keji Mizuno, who runs the unassuming ramen restaurant alongside his partner Yumiko, draws on a special broth-making technique often employed in the ramen-ya of Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward. That’s basically brewing ramen stock using coffee siphons, which would explain the row of flasks that curiously bubble behind the bar of Umami Dojo.
The result is smokier and more delicate, spread across three ramen options – bonito, dried sardine, and spicy niboshi. All three of them use a chicken-based broth rather than tonkotsu.
Address: 48 Harris St, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Contact: (02) 7900 5857
Opening Hours: Monday, Thursday – Sunday (5:30 pm – 9 pm)
Husband-and-wife owners Scott Gault and Katie Shortland have put in the hard-yards to study everything there is to know about ramen culture from Japan. Just a few years ago, that hard-work paid off with the opening of RaRa Ramen, a cosy neighbourhood ramen-ya in Redfern that has maintained absolute dominance over the hearts and minds of ramen lovers since.
Popularity has extended to a Randwick venue as well, both making their long and thin noodles fresh daily, best used when they’re soaking up the densely packed flavours of RaRa’s standout tonkotsu ramen. The salty shio tare they use proves the perfect base, playing nicely with the rich chasu that’s grilled over coals before gently dipping your noodles into that thick broth.
RaRa Ramen has become so integral to the city’s ramen scene that it’s probably the best ramen restaurant in Sydney right now if you want to convert anyone who doesn’t usually eat ramen.
You also might want to check out RaRa Chan, which is the latest venue from the team. It’s located in South Eveleigh at the new dining precinct there. I haven’t had a chance to go there myself but it’s a worthy inclusion on this list, it will soon be updated.
What to order: As with many of the other ramen-ya on this list of where to find the best ramen in Sydney, you want tonkotsu. More specifically, go for the tonkotsu black garlic and chilli ramen if you really want to taste the hype.
Redfern Address: 66b Regent St, Redfern NSW 2016
Contact: (02) 9698 9994
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday (12 pm – 9 pm); Thursday (12 pm – 9:30 pm); Friday (12 pm – 9:45 pm); Saturday (12 pm – 10 pm); Sunday (12 pm – 9 pm)
Randwick Address: Shop1/162- 164 Barker St, Randwick NSW 2031
Contact: (02) 9310 0932
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5 pm – 9 pm); Thursday – Friday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5 pm – 9:15 pm); Saturday (12 pm – 9:15 pm); Sunday (12 pm – 8 pm)
In Japanese culture, queues don’t lie. That universal truth sticks for the food of Japan too. The more ridiculously long, and consistent, the queue is, the more you should join. The end of that snaking line brings you to some of the best ramen in Sydney if you’ve had the good sense to give Ryo’s your patience.
A spot at the diminutive Crows Nest institution is hard-earned, but always rewarding, especially when you’ve got a big serving of rich flavour-packed shoyu ramen sitting in front of you, which I suspect is made to a very precise top-secret recipe. It’s unlike any other shoyu in the city – with the only exception being the also-on-this-list Chaco Ramen. Most importantly, it’s consistent (especially if you opt for extra chilli).
What to order: You’re going to want the “soy sauce flavour” tonkotsu. While nothing on Ryo’s menu is an afterthought, it’s this signature that has captured the collective attention of Sydney’s most passionate ramen slurpers, and held it with an iron-tight grip ever since. Crows Nest restaurants can hardly take attention away from this diminutive bar, which is frequented by North Shore locals from nearby areas like Neutral Bay and North Sydney.
Address: 125 Falcon St, Crows Nest NSW 2065
Contact: (02) 9955 0225
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (11:40 am – 2 pm, 5 pm – 8 pm)
Confession – I think Ippudo is vastly overrated in Sydney (good, but overrated); the quality I’ve come to expect from this chain after numerous visits in Japan is just not there. On the other hand, the same group that bought that reputable brand to Australia has done a far better job with Gogyo.
Replacing Salaryman in Sydney, this Surry Hills eatery specialises in burnt miso and shoyu ramens, adding a thick layer of smokiness to the umami bomb you can expect from one of the kitchen’s artfully designed bowls. If you’re looking for something different, Gogyo at 54 Albion Street Surry Hills is very hard to pass up.
What to order: You’re here for the burnt ramen, and don’t bother pretending you’ve got a taste for anything else on the menu. The Kogashi miso is the top pick here, with medium-thin noodles sloshing around a charred miso base with chicken broth, a half umami egg, and a perfectly cooked chashu pork belly. It’s a winner every single time you’re craving Japanese soul food on 52-54 Albion Street Surry Hills.
Address: 52-54 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Contact: (02) 9212 0003
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (12 pm – 2 pm, 6 pm – 8:30 pm); Sunday (6 pm – 8:30 pm)
It wouldn’t be a list of the best traditional Japanese ramen in Sydney without a special nod to Chaco Bar. This Darlinghurst favourite pumps the best shoyu this side of the bridge with the kitchen’s signature Fat Soy ramen. As they always have, Chaco Ramen has the distinction of allowing the prospective slurper to customise the amount of pork fat that goes into a bowl of this unmistakable favourite, offering tight control over the amount of indulgence one can get from this ramen.
Order some gyoza and pork belly and maybe an extra add-on egg (with some chilli of course) while you’re at and make it a true Chaco Ramen experience. You won’t be walking away from 238 Crown Street Darlinghurst hungry, that’s for sure.
What to order: As mentioned above, the Fat Soy is the obvious choice here. It’s highly customisable, made with absolute perfection, and is one of the single best winter dishes Sydney has to offer. As long as Chaco Ramen exists, Melbourne doesn’t even have a chance if it comes down to a fight between the two cities on who offers the best ramen noodles.
Address: 238 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Contact: (02) 9007 8352
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm)
Lonely Mouth by RaRa
The RaRa team get a bit experimental over at Newtown’s Lonely Mouth, headlined by a trio of vegan ramens powered by a special tare and those gorgeously thin and firm Hakata noodles the original RaRa outlets are known for.
It’s not about the tonkotsu here, it’s about the 100% plant-based sunflower and hempseed shoyu, the standout of all three primary options, with nori, shallots, seasoned menma and plant-based seasons chashu.
I rarely go for non-traditional ramen, but RaRa has nailed this one and it’s worth the trek, whether you’re coming from Bondi Junction, Neutral Bay or Penrith.
What to order: The sunflower and hempseed shoya is the winner if it’s your first go-round. You will be a repeat customer, so there’s plenty of chances for the spicy (as in Sichuan spice) tantanmen and vegan miso ramen to get a shot in for all three signatures.
Address: 275 Australia St, Newtown NSW 2042
Contact: (02) 9519 2465
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Thursday (5 pm – 8:30 pm); Friday – Sunday (12 pm – 8:30 pm)
Gaku Robata Grill
Another Darlinghurst favourite here. As you can tell by the name, it’s not just all about ramen at Gaku Robata Grill, but loyalists would swear that it’s all that matters (it’s not). While good ramen is what you’re most definitely reading this for, it’s worth truly exploring this hole-in-the-wall restaurant and milking all that goodness from the kitchen, like the outstanding Japanese full-blood Wagyu.
When it’s cold out, grab a bowl of their duck yuzu ramen, with duck consomme broth and smoked duck breast perfectly taking on the yuzu citrus flavours of the jus.
What to order: Duck “Yuzu” isn’t your typical ramen dish, but while the other options may be playing it safe with well-built classics, this unconventional offering is clearly the best. You’ll get extra points if you look elsewhere on the menu too and land on the likes of popcorn shrimp and burrata yakko.
Address: 2/132 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Contact: 0426 229 254
Opening Hours: Wednesday (6 pm – 9:30 pm); Thursday (12 pm – 2 pm, 6 pm – 9:30 pm); Friday – Sunday (12 pm – 2 pm, 6 pm – 9:30 pm)
You’ve got two choices for Yasaka – Sydney CBD, just near Hyde Park (you’ve passed it, trust me), or Waterloo, where it’s a tad quieter and easy to get a table. Takeshi Sekigawa, who made his mark on Sydney’s famen scene after several years at Gumshara, is the star of the show here and he has steered Yasaka towards the clear goal of becoming one of the best spots for ramen joint in Sydney.
Although do note that Yasaka can have a consistency issue, especially when compared to the more reliable Ramen Zundo nearby. Despite its popularity, and authentic atmosphere, Yasaka’s ramen can sometimes be a bit too watery. I’ve been disappointed on a few occasions (I go to the Sydney CBD location mostly), but when they get it right, they get it right. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
What to order: You can stick to tradition here, and that’s fine. You’ll be slurping on classics done incredibly well. But it’s Sekigawa’s special black garlic ramen that is the true show-stopper here, made by mixing squid ink with tonkotsu, a combination that flows into an unusual hit of tang for some ramen that’s much more different to what most would expect.
CBD Address: 126 Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, Sunday (11:30 am – 8:30 pm); Saturday (11:30 am – 9:30 pm)
Waterloo Address: Shop 8/33 Amelia St, Waterloo NSW 2017
Contact: 0405 092 888
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (11:30 am – 8:30 pm)
Rising Sun Workshop
Half motorcycle workshop, half ramen restaurant. Rising Sun Workshop in Newtown has been an inner-west favourite ever since it first opened, bringing city slurpers a simple selection of ramen, widely considered as some of the best in Sydney.
What to order: Simply titled option ‘The Dark’ is the way to go for those who like their ramen thick and flavourful. The shoyu ramen is made with chicken and pork bones, shiitake, and smoked hocks, giving it an incredibly complex pork broth flavour that is unlike any other more traditional bowl of ramen you’d find in Sydney. You will also want to try their breakfast ramen, which is uniquely made with buttered toast broth, bacon, egg, and tomato.
Address: 1C Whateley St, Newtown NSW 2042
Contact: (02) 9550 3891
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday (8 am – 4 pm); Friday – Saturday (8 am – 4pm, 6 pm – 11 pm)
Best Ramen Restaurants In Sydney – Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find the best ramen in Sydney?
The best ramen restaurants in Sydney are Gumshara, Ramen Zundo, RaRa Ramen, and Bones Ramen.
Which base of ramen is the most popular?
The most popular base for ramen is a rich and creamy tonkotsu broth, which is typically made with pork bone broth.
Where can I find ramen late in Sydney?
Unlike Melbourne, Sydney doesn’t have a 24/7 ramen joint. Instead the latest opening hours for a ramen restaurant in Sydney is Rising Sun Workshop, which is open until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.