The Best of Fukuoka’s Ramen (3rd Edition)

Ramen

(Read the full ramen guide here)

This is the in my series of posts on recommended ramen restaurants in Fukuoka. I also recommend taking a look at the first edition and second edition.

Hakata Ramen is widely known as the best tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen in Japan, and it is easily Fukuoka’s most famous food (with mentaiko likely coming in as a close second). Handmade noodles, rich-and-oily broth, savory slabs of chashu pork and ingredients arranged with simple refinement define this delicious dish. Here on Finding Fukuoka, I will introduce you to some of the best ramen joints in town, three shops at a time — that way you try them as I post them, and you won’t be overwhelmed by an overabundance of choices. Of course I only recommend top-quality shops that I have eaten at myself.

A note to readers: I will sometimes use the terms assari and kotteri to describe the taste of the ramen’s broth. Assari means light and simple, easy to eat, while kotteri means heavy, rich, oily or filling. Ramen is often described in reference to how assari or kotteri it is, with much of Fukuoka’s ramen landing on the kotteri end of the spectrum.

In Google Maps, you can toggle English labels on and off by hovering the cursor over the “Satellite” section at the top write and clicking the “English” option.

Ganso Nagahamaya (元祖 長浜屋)

A long-established (1952) and much-loved ramen shop in Nagahama, one of Fukuoka’s most famous ramen districts, Ganso Nagahamaya serves simple, straightforward tonkotsu ramen that will leave your tummy feeling happy. It’s the kind of the shop that everyone in town knows, and many of Fukuoka’s long-time residents (taxi drivers, for instance) will have a story or two to tell about Nagahamaya. This shop also has a unique order system — in that you will be asked for your order the second you walk in the door (the basic, 400-yen “ramen” is a safe bet if you don’t have an immediate answer ready).
Access: Near Minato 1-chome bus stop, which can be reached using bus 61 or 68 from Tenjin (8–12 min.) or bus 68 from Hakata Station (25 min.). You can also walk from Akasaka Station (Kuko Subway Line, 10 min. on foot from exit 1). It is located near the yatai food stands in Nagahama.
Hours: generally from 4:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. the next day (sometimes later)
Click here to see location on Google Maps

Kurume Taiho Ramen (久留米 大砲ラーメン)

In response to popular demand from Fukuoka City residents, Taiho opened a Tenjin/Imaizumi branch of this ultra-famous Kurume ramen shop in 2007, and the restaurant has seen no shortage of customers since. The creamy, rich tonkotsu soup provides what many customers describe as a classic (even nostalgic) ramen taste. Taiho is likely Fukuoka’s most well-known shop from Kurume (a southern suburb of Fukuoka), and considering how famous Kurume ramen is, that says something about the impact their food has made on hungry customers throughout the prefecture. Also check out Kurume Ramen Ippo, which was founded by a former employee of Taiho Ramen.
Access: 2-3 min. on foot from Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station (Nishitetsu Tenjin-Omuta Line) and Tenjin-minami Station (Nanakuma Subway Line), and 7-10 min. on foot from Tenjin Station (Kuko Subway Line)
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to midnight
Click here to see location on Google Maps

Kawabata Dosanko (川端どさんこ)

An old ramen shop dating back to 1963, Dosanko offers a unique twist on standard tonkotsu ramen. They have taken the typical pork bone broth flavor found throughout Fukuoka and other parts of Kyushu and created three hybrid flavors: tonkotsu miso, tonkotsu shio (salt) and tonkotsu butter! All three are good choices, although the tonkotsu butter is worth a try because it is a unique flavor you won’t find at other shops.
Access: 5-6 min. on foot from exit 5 of Nakasu-Kawabata Station (Kuko Subway Line)
Hours: 11:15 a.m. to 7:55 p.m., closed on Tuesdays and the 3rd Monday of the month
Click here to see location on Google Maps

(Top photo provided by Wikimedia Commons)
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