If you were to ask someone what the best ramen in New York is, you’ll get countless different answers. It all comes down to things like location, taste, cost and consistency. You might find a fantastic ramen bar that does some great stuff… one in every ten visits. You might find a place that is pretty 6/10, but delivers that 6 every single time.
Others might recommend somewhere that makes your eyes water with the cost of the ramen alienable. If you are looking for the unofficial ‘king of ramen’ though, we recommend that you take a look at Ivan Ramen. It is, in our opinion, one of the best ramen in New York by a considerable distance.
Not only is it a rich and unique flavour that wafts out from the store, it’s a very enjoyable and satisfying form of ramen. It’s got that kind of eloquent taste that makes it easy to mush around in the mouth, savouring every bite. You also get to find that, with the sheer variety of options that they have in-store, it’s very easy to find a particular form of ramen that matches your personal preference.
However, it’s also the value. When it comes to finding high quality ramen, Ivan Orkin ramen offers arguably the best value. The availability, the range of options and the sheer style of the ramen makes it incredibly easy to work with. If you are someone who likes ramen but isn’t really a fan of going all-out experimental, try Ivan Ramen.
It’s the kind of ramen dish that allows for you to really change it up and have your own little touch of splendour in there. Try it out yourself, and you should find you have a new ramen hotspot.
What is Ivan Ramen?
So, the first thing to look at is the story of what makes Ivan Ramen so powerful. While it would be easy to walk by most ramen restaurants, Ivan Ramen stores blend in ludicrously well. That’s a problem in a way; you could spend so long looking for the restaurant that you walk right by it!
Don’t let the low key nature of their venues put you off, however. A ramen restaurant does not have to stand out and use sales techniques to get you interested. Not at all in fact. A good ramen restaurant stands out because it looks great from the inside, and it has the food to match your tastes.
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It’s for this reason that Ivan Ramen is a noodle bar worth stopping off at. Most people find that they have a bit of a problem trying to locate a good noodle bar that they can find with ease. There may only be two ramen bars of the Ivan Ramen name in New York, but both are very easy to find. One is located down at Hell’s Kitchen, the other is down on the Lower East Side.
That being said, Ivan Ramen is so well-respected and easy to enjoy because of the people who sit behind the counter. Come in here, and you can instantly feel welcomed by the staff. They make it easy for you to settle in, and there is no preciousness about how your order is taken. This is a proper working class venue that makes it very easy for you to get the best ramen in New York without any pretense.
If you just want to enjoy a high quality meal, stop off here. Ivan Ramen wins the hearts and minds of just about anyone who tries their stuff!
Who is Ivan Ramen?
Just like any other part of the world, the ramen industry needs good people behind the scenes to make it work. If you ever try out a poor quality ramen venue, then you can put it down to the ownership first and foremost. So, what makes Ivan Ramen the king of ramen in New York? The presence of its owner, Ivan Orkin.
Ivan Orkin is the owner of both venues in New York, and has been in the ramen industry for many years. Indeed, he opened his first restaurant for ramen away back in 2006, when he opened Ivan Ramen in Setagaya, Tokyo. This was opened over a decade ago, and since then it has become a bit of a cult place to eat. While it was closed down in 2015 the reason was a positive one. Rather than shutting up shop, Orkin wanted to take his taste to an international audience!
Instead, he began to look at expanding into the lucrative North American market. This took place alongside a host of other projects that he had in mind. If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, then you can still go to the old place; it’s now run by Hisao Matsumoto, a chef and manager of the old Ivan Ramen bar in Tokyo.
You still get to enjoy that authentic and wonderful taste. Interestingly, though, the owner is merely returning back to his roots. Born in Syosset, NY, Orkin moved to Japan in the 1980s. He left college and decided to use his linguistic qualities to help teach the people of Japan the language of English.
By 1990, he was back in the USA with his wife, Tamie, where he attended the Culinary Institute of America (1991-1993) before working as a chef in the city. He worked at major venues such as Lutece and also Mesa Grill.
Ivan returned to Japan in 2003, before returning to start up the Ivan Ramen that we all know and love. As arguably the best ramen in New York, you should be crazy not to come and try it out and see for yourself just why so many people love to sample the rich, heartening flavours of Ivan Ramen!
Either way, you can be sure that the Ivan Ramen brand carries the richness of taste and the diversity in selection that makes it among the best noodle bars in New York.
What Makes Ivan Ramen So Special?
For us, it’s the richness of taste. As we said before, finding a consistent ramen restaurant is hard work. This removes a huge chunk of the challenge, and instead allows you to enjoy a much more stress-free and simplistic experience moving forward.
It also benefits from having that rich blend of American and Asian thinking behind every dish. Thanks to Orkin’ upbringing in both Japan and America, he brings a really fine range of ideas to the table. Other ramen locations might be more conservative with their options and dishes; Ivan is creative.
The variety helps, too. From the rich Miso-roasted cauliflower to start a dish off, or a fine helping of ika fried rice, you’ll love to try out the food here. The range of ramen that they have is awesome, too. From Tokyo Shoyu ramen to Tokyo Shio and Spicy Red Chili ramen, you will find it very easy to find a form of ramen that suits your own taste buds.
They use so many different ingredients, too, that it’s easy to see where the taste comes from. Most dishes are made using solutions like enoki mushrooms and rye noodles, leaving you with a very rich and satisfying taste.
Add in the delectable variety of their specials, including the Triple Pork, Triple Garlic Mazemen. This is among the most popular dishes on their menu and is one of the reasons why we personally head back time and time again; to sample that wonderful explosion of flavour.
If you like ramen but struggled to find a good place to start, head over to Ivan Orkin Ramen. You will soon find that the richness of taste and the sheer variety alongside a happy, optimistic atmosphere in the restaurant makes eating a very enjoyable pursuit indeed.