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6 Places for Sapporo Ramen, as Recommended by Local Ramen Connoisseurs

6 Places for Sapporo Ramen, as Recommended by Local Ramen Connoisseurs

Date published: 28 December 2020
Last updated: 16 January 2021

We’ll be venturing outside the heart of Sapporo City, where local ramen experts will be recommending shops that you should definitely visit to get a taste of local Sapporo ramen!

To the Japanese, the flavor of ramen is close to their heart. Even in the alleys and streets that the locals' lives revolve around, you can taste the unique flavor and personality that gave rise to the renowned shops there.

The shops that we are recommending have measures in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Table of Contents
  1. In sprawling Sapporo, shops that showcase the best of Sapporo ramen pop up here and there
  2. The ramen connoisseurs who will be making recommendations
  3. 1. Arayaki Tonkotsu Araton Main Shop: Strong fish stock made from freshly caught saw-edged perch is its specialty
  4. 2. Ramen Kichirin Shin-Kotoni Shop: A shop famous for its addictive shio-ramen
  5. Menzu Nagakura: Pursuing new preparation methods and ingredients, while following the hallowed style of Sapporo ramen
  6. 4. Ramen Tora: Excellent thick and creamy fish and pork bone broth
  7. 5. Menya Kohaku Atsubetsu Shop: A flavorful ramen made by the shop owner with a wealth of culinary experience
  8. 6. Ezomen Shinogonoiwazu Sapporo Main Shop: Spicy and numbing spicy noodles with a wide-spreading umami aftertaste

In sprawling Sapporo, shops that showcase the best of Sapporo ramen pop up here and there

Sapporo ramen is the soul food of the residents of Sapporo City. Even in the residential suburbs outside the heart of the city, many famous shops boast passionate support from patrons.

The customer base consists of not just locals, but ramen fans from all throughout Japan who gather here as well. The famous shops in the districts have branch shops in the city center as well, and they also participate in exhibitions and ramen events as well.

Sapporo ramen itself has even newly entered the trend as well. As recommended by ramen fans, we'll be introducing the famous shops from each district.

The ramen connoisseurs who will be making recommendations

The ramen connoisseurs who will be making recommendations

Sugahara Kenichi
Sapporo Ramen Club Representative/FBS Representative Board Member

Profile: I run the Sapporo Ramen Club website, which aims to bring together lovers of Sapporo ramen from across Japan! I am also vice-chairmen of the Sapporo Ramen Taxi’s executive committee, and I love participating in all kinds of ramen events! I seek to spread the flavor of Hokkaido through the Teshikaga Ramen chain.

Tada Nobuyuki
Editor-in-chief of Sapporo Ramen 1000

Profile: Beginning with Hokkaido’s ramen magazine, Ramen 1000, I have published numerous books and magazines exploring the world of ramen. I was also involved in the planning of Hokkaido Subscription, a Sapporo ramen delivery service available nationwide (https://hokkaido-shopping.com/)

1. Arayaki Tonkotsu Araton Main Shop: Strong fish stock made from freshly caught saw-edged perch is its specialty

1. Arayaki Tonkotsu Araton Main Shop: Strong fish stock made from freshly caught saw-edged perch is its specialty

A seven-minute-walk away from JR Sōen station, which is one stop away from JR Sapporo station. Lined with shops selling fresh fish and seafood produced in Hokkaido, along with fresh vegetables, fruit, and other food products, Sapporo Central Wholesale Market and Curb Market is popular amongst both locals and tourists for shopping and food.

In the building facing the parking lot is Arayaki Tonkotsu Araton Main Shop, famous for its tsukemen, or dipping noodles.

Our two ramen connoisseurs praise it as "being one of the spear headers of spreading tsukemen throughout Sapporo since it opened its doors." And its taste is very unique, even amongst the crowd of ramen shops gathered in Sapporo.

“Araton Tokusei Kara-tsukemen”, 1140 yen

According to Mr. Tada, its specialty is due to it being situated right in front of the market. "As the shop can easily procure seasonal saw-edged perch from the market, it can produce a fish-flavored soup stock with solid character. The soup isn't too acidic too."

The signature menu item is the "Araton Nōkō Tsukemen," which costs 1,000 yen, but the recommended item is the "Araton Tokusei Kara-tsukemen." From the core of the strongly flavored fish stock, the rich umami flavor of the sweet and spicy miso spreads widely and is a menu item that has grown in popularity recently.

As the spiciness is quite mild, people who don't handle spicy food well can enjoy it with ease too. Your leftover soup can be topped up with light soup broth for you to enjoy to the last drop, and we recommend adding in white rice to enjoy it like porridge too.

Araton's tonkotsu paitan, full of character from the stock made from saw-edged perch

Though fish stocks usually use dried foods for their flavor, such as dried sardines, bonito, and mackerel, this shop roasts fresh saw-edged perch and combines it with other ingredients to make tonkotsu paitan.

As the freshest and highest quality fish differ from season to season, the flavor of the soup changes. Getting to enjoy the different tastes is one draw of the shop too.

The shop interior consists of a "U"-shaped kitchen counter with seats on three sides

The seats are around a "U"-shaped kitchen counter, which allows you to watch the preparation of food from any side. While waiting for your orders to be served, you can watch with excitement. There are many shops nearby great for souvenir shopping as well, so you can enjoy some shopping after your meal too. However, some shops close in the afternoon, so do take note.

Measures in place against Covid-19:
- Disinfection of shop interior and facilities
- Disinfectant available for use
- Disinfection between guest rotations
- Regular ventilation
- Staff required to use masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and have their temperatures taken

  • Araton
    あら焚き豚骨 あらとん 本店
    • Address Sapporo Central Wholesale Market Curb Market, Shokudounagaya, 21-15-1, Kita10-jonishi, Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0010, 062-0931
    • Phone Number 011-612-6312
    • Business hours: 10:30 a.m. to until the soup is finished (typically around 3:00 p.m.)
      Closed on Mondays (if Monday is a public holiday, the shop will close on the following day)
      Parking: 100 lots (public parking)

2. Ramen Kichirin Shin-Kotoni Shop: A shop famous for its addictive shio-ramen

2. Ramen Kichirin Shin-Kotoni Shop: A shop famous for its addictive shio-ramen
There are parking spots in front of the shop

A ten-minute walk away from Shinkawa station on the JR Gakuen-Toshi line, or a ten-minute taxi ride away from JR Sapporo station, is Ramen Kichirin.

The main shop has been welcoming customers for many years in the Hoshioki district of Teine ward, in the west side of Sapporo, and Mr. Kimura Kōji, who honed his skills at the main shop, then set out to help open a new branch of the shop in Shin-Kotoni in 2017.

The main shop aims to make "ramen that you can never get tired of eating." It's a popular shop with many limited availability items.

“Shio Ramen”, 800 yen

You can clearly see the noodles through the golden broth. This is the signature item of the main shop, Shio Ramen. The soup uses chicken bones, along with vegetables, bonito flakes, dried sardines, and konbu seaweed, along with other seafood, and it was created using skills honed for cooking Japanese-style food.

Mr. Tada says, "With chicken bones as its core, it is simple yet easily palatable, it's a very flavorful shio ramen."

“Chahan”, a la carte, 800 yen, “Chahan Set” 1,100 yen

Besides this, there is more than just ramen that you have to try out at Kichirin.

"Most people order the shio ramen and chahan set, and this combination is extremely delicious. I think that the compatibility of the ramen with the chahan is probably carefully considered, and their flavors carefully adjusted to fit," Mr. Tada recommends.

The dome-shaped chahan, or egg fried rice, is flavored simply, and when scooped up together with the ramen, the rice grains begin to crumble. During a quick toss in the Chinese-style wok, the rice and other ingredients dance passionately as they are stir-fried to create this unique flavor. It is the striking fragrance of an exquisite dish.

“Kara Miso Ramen”, 900 yen

The shop also recommends "Kara Miso Ramen." Though the bright red soup may seem very spicy, once you've taken your first sip, you'll find the spiciness to be much milder than you'd expect.

Made using peppers, garlic, and ginger, combined with other ingredients used in Korean cuisine such as Yang Nin Jiang, the flavor is gently spicy while still allowing you to taste the miso's mellow thickness.

Counter seats and table seats are available

The shop interior is simply designed, and you can enjoy delicious ramen in a comfortable environment. Drink some soup, then slurp some noodles and enjoy the fried rice, while enjoying some more soup between the sou[ and noodles. Do enjoy the flavors of this non-stop rotation.

Measures in place against Covid-19:
- Disinfection of shop interior and facilities
- Disinfectant available for use
- Disinfection between guest rotations
- Regular ventilation
- Use of coin trays
- Separation boards used between seats
- Staff required to use masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and have their temperatures taken
- Limits placed on number of Customers allowed to enter, and social distancing between seats

  • Ramen Kichirin Shinkotoni-ten
    らーめん きちりん 新琴似店
    • Address 1-5-19, Kuwata Building 1F, Shin-Kotoni 1-jo, Sapporo-shi, Kita-ku, Hokkaido, 001-0901
    • Phone Number 011-790-8799
    • Opening hours: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
      Closed on Wednesdays
      Parking: 14 spaces (shared)

Menzu Nagakura: Pursuing new preparation methods and ingredients, while following the hallowed style of Sapporo ramen

Menzu Nagakura: Pursuing new preparation methods and ingredients, while following the hallowed style of Sapporo ramen

In the northeastern part of Sapporo City's heart, a little less than 10-minutes away from Motomachi station on the Municipal Subway's Toho line by foot, along a wide street, is Menzu Nagakura.

Using specialty ingredients of Hokkaido such as Shintoku chicken, a local chicken breed, and rausu konbu seaweed, and even raw soy sauce directly acquired from the maker, this is a popular shop that offers ramen made only using the most carefully chosen, high-quality ingredients sourced from all throughout Japan.

“Shintoku Jidori Shoyu”, 850 yen

Mr Tada's recommendation is the "Shintoku Jidori Shoyu". He praises it, "They use a local chicken called Shintoku Jidori, a local breed of chicken that is small in number. The beautiful clear chintan soup has an exquisite thickness from the umami of the chicken, followed by the sharp yet mellow aftertaste of the soy sauce, and this ramen has great balance."

The soup base is carefully made using Shintoku Jidori chicken, and blended with only the most strictly chosen soy sauce, before being combined with noodles made with a blend of wheats produced in Hokkaido.

“Shintoku Jidori Shoyu”, 850 yen

After "Shintoku Jidori Nōkō Miso" was added onto the limited-time menu, its great popularity resulted in it being added permanently onto the menu, and is an exceptional dish.

An entire Shintoku Jidori chicken and chicken bones are boiled over a strong fire, to create a thick paitan, or white soup, that is rich in umami, and blended together with a specially made miso-dare sauce. The aftertaste of the umami is persistent and is a fragrant bowl of ramen.

Chic and calming shop interior

The trendy shop interior and dim lighting create an atmosphere like a small Japanese style eatery. It's a space where you can enjoy top-class ramen that brings out the full potential of the specially chosen ingredients used.

As the atmosphere isn't stiff and formal, please visit it at your leisure. The vending machine that sells tickets for the ramen has English descriptions, making it a great place for foreign visitors.

Measures in place against Covid-19:
- Regular ventilation
- Reduction in number of people allowed in the shop
- Staff required to use masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and have their temperatures taken
- Disinfection of shop interior and facilities
- Disinfectant available for use
- Disinfection between guest rotations
- Reduction in number of seats

  • Nagakura
    麺's菜ヶ蔵
    • Address 16-1-5, Kita 21-johigashi, Sapporo-shi, Higashi-ku, Hokkaido, 065-0021
    • Phone Number 011-685-2008
    • Business hours: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (11:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays)
      Closed on Tuesdays
      Parking spots: 4

4. Ramen Tora: Excellent thick and creamy fish and pork bone broth

4. Ramen Tora: Excellent thick and creamy fish and pork bone broth
Look out for the cool logo mark

About 25 minutes away from Sapporo City's heart by car, along the way to New Chitose Airport in Sapporo City's Kiyota ward, is the shop Ramen Tora.

Even though it's rather out of the way, it's a popular shop with queues all day long. The current menu has been improved over time since its opening from 2009.

"Kohaku", 880 yen

Mr. Tada's number one recommendation is the "Kohaku". Though it may not seem like it from the soup's color, it is actually a salt-flavored shio ramen.

"It's a salt-flavored soup that's made of creamy pork bone and fish stock broth. Its delicious taste and character are unlike any other shop," and just like what Mr. Tada says, the tonkotsu paitan uses a soup base that contains four different types of fish, including bonito.

The brown color is a result of the fish present. The hidden flavors are from the scatter of lard which adds sweetness and thickness. The fragrance of the seafood wafts up gently, coming together with the extremely creamy soup. It's a perfect match with the specially ordered medium-thick chijire noodles!

“Nōkō Shachi”, 880 yen

Another popular menu item is the soy sauce flavored Nōkō Shachi. The base is the same as the tonkotsu paitan used in the Kohaku, with the bonito used as the main ingredient in the seafood soup, for a thick and fragrant umami flavor. The well-textured noodles have a great bite and draw ample soup with it. This is one dish that lovers of fish-flavored ramen definitely have to try.

Four types of noodles with different characters

To match the unique characteristics of the soup, are four different types of noodles available. The noodles on the left are the medium-thick chijire noodles used in the Kohaku and Nōkō Shachi. They can be said to be the regular type used in Sapporo noodles.

The noodle to its right is used in "Ebi Shijimi Shōyu," and is a straight medium-thick noodle made using 100% Hokkaido made wheat with lower water content, and is a type that is especially good at absorbing soup.

To its right is a noodle that does not use any animal-derived ingredients, a thin noodle with a nice bite that is used in the Chinese style soba, "Tora Soba," which brings out the umami taste using only Japanese dashi base.

On the extreme right is a thick noodle made using whole wheat, which is served with tsukemen. You can enjoy the uncompromising commitment to the noodles.

A plaque showing the shop's awards

Ramen Tora, which also welcomes many foreign visitors, was featured on the Ctrip Gourmet List in 2019, known as the "Chinese Michelin." There are many visitors to Japan from China who pursue this guidebook, and after the shop was featured, the number of foreign visitors to the shop increased as well.

The shop interior displays posters of the owner's favorite musicians. Original goods are on sale too.

You can see the shop owner showcasing his favorite music, fashion, and culture throughout the year. As Koagari seats, traditional floor-style seating, are available as well, many families with small children come during the weekends.

Measures in place against Covid-19:
- Disinfection of shop interior and facilities
- Disinfectant available for use
- Disinfection between guest rotations
- Regular ventilation
- Use of coin trays
- Staff required to use masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and have their temperatures taken
- Limits placed on number of Customers allowed to enter, and social distancing between seats

  • Ramen TORA
    らーめん 虎TORA
    • Address 3-15-30, Kitano 3-jo, Sapporo-shi, Kiyota-ku, Hokkaido, 004-0863
    • Phone Number 011-376-0730
    • Business hours: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last order 15 minutes before closing)
      Closed on Thursdays, and on Wednesday nights
      Parking spots: 14

5. Menya Kohaku Atsubetsu Shop: A flavorful ramen made by the shop owner with a wealth of culinary experience

5. Menya Kohaku Atsubetsu Shop: A flavorful ramen made by the shop owner with a wealth of culinary experience

This shop is located on the eastern side of Sapporo City, about 30 minutes by car away from the city's heart. Located near the Sapporo South Interchange on the national highway, nearby the Sapporo Atsubetsu Park Stadium and Hiraoka Park, in a quiet suburb is Menya Kohaku Atsubetsu Shop. The crowd of patrons aren't just from the nearby neighborhood, but are ramen fans who come from far and wide by car.

"The shop owner has a long history of culinary experience, and he even has experience in Italian food. The soup is, of course, a given, but the tare sauce, flavored lard, and toppings, amongst other ingredients, are all homemade," raves Mr. Tada about this famous shop.

“Miso ramen”, 840 yen

This shop is located on the eastern side of Sapporo City, about 30 minutes by car away from the city's heart. Located near the Sapporo South Interchange on the national highway, nearby the Sapporo Atsubetsu Park Stadium and Hiraoka Park, in a quiet suburb is Menya Kohaku Atsubetsu Shop.

The crowd of patrons aren't just from the nearby neighborhood, but are ramen fans who come from far and wide by car. "The shop owner has a long history of culinary experience, and he even has experience in Italian food. The soup is, of course, a given, but the tare sauce, flavored lard, and toppings, amongst other ingredients are all homemade," raves Mr. Tada about this famous shop.

“Kimchi Nikomi Ramen”, 930 yen

Besides the three standard miso, shōyu, and shio flavors, there's a menu of specially arranged dishes too. Amongst these is the shop's recommendation, the "Kimchi Nikomi Ramen".

Made by boiling homemade kimchi and a special miso used just for this over a strong fire, the spiciness and fragrance are brought out. It's a dish well blended with the miso. As you break the egg yolk halfway through, you can enjoy the subtle change in flavor too.

With an emphasis on foods produced in Hokkaido, the ingredients used are carefully selected as well

The base of the soup uses pork knuckles from Hokkaido which are boiled to make a pork paitan soup, and whole chicken and chicken bones that have been roasted in an oven are boiled with vegetables over a fire to make chicken paitan, as well as a fish stock made from dried sardine, bonito, and konbu kelp to create a triple soup.

It fits the menu well, and it's a combination with great balance. One more secret to the shop's wonderful taste is its original "Kohaku-yu". Made using a base of pork lard enriched with the taste of fragrant vegetables and fruit, it is a fragrant homemade lard. Do enjoy the taste of these handmade foods right down to the last detail.

An atmosphere that allows even solo female patrons to enjoy their food in peace

With soft lighting and a fireplace, the shop interior has a calm atmosphere, and there are counter seats and tables, as well as Koagari style seats, allowing families to bring along their children to enjoy their meals. The parking lot is large, so it's easy to come by car as well. There is a branch in Chitose city where New Chitose Airport is located, allowing you to enjoy delicious ramen at two shops.

Measures in place against Covid-19:
- Disinfection of shop interior and facilities
- Disinfectant available for use
- Disinfection between guest rotations
- Regular ventilation
- Use of coin trays
- Staff required to use masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and have their temperatures taken
- Limits placed on number of Customers allowed to enter, and social distancing between seats

  • Menya Kohaku
    麺や琥張玖 KOHAKU 厚別店
    • Address 3-16-8, Kaminopporo 3-jo, Sapporo-shi, Atsubetsu-ku, Hokkaido, 004-0033
    • Phone Number 011-556-8609
    • Business hours: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (last order at 8:45 p.m.)
      Closed on Tuesdays (If Tuesday is a public holiday, the next day will be a rest day)
      Parking spaces: 10

6. Ezomen Shinogonoiwazu Sapporo Main Shop: Spicy and numbing spicy noodles with a wide-spreading umami aftertaste

6. Ezomen Shinogonoiwazu Sapporo Main Shop: Spicy and numbing spicy noodles with a wide-spreading umami aftertaste

To the east of Sapporo City's heart, is a small street that leads off from Nangō dōri, a road that sees heavy traffic even for the city center. In a great location, just a five-minute walk away from the Municipal Subway's Tozai line's Nangō-7-chōme station is a building with a strong oriental style.

The shop's name is also very unique, meaning "don't say this or that" in Japanese. Here, you can try extremely spicy ramen that just lets loose, as well as gently flavored ramen with a light and deep umami taste, allowing you to enjoy these two very different types of ramen.

“Ryūko Aozan Shōmen”, 945 yen

"Aozan peppers, known for their taste, are used, and it's a rare ramen dish," critiques Mr. Sugawara about the Ryūko Aozan Shōmen. In the center of the bowl are the Aozan peppers. As you move your face closer to the bowl, your nose will be greeted by the refreshing aroma of the Aozan peppers.

Using homemade layu oil and spicy meat-based miso, together with Aozan peppers and a variety of different peppers, a complex and spicy flavor is created. Chewy hiramen noodles are used, and the topping of mushrooms and eggplant pickles is unique. We recommend finishing the remaining soup with white rice, which costs 145 yen.

Various types of peppers

The Ryūko Aozan Shōmen uses a wide variety of peppers for its spicy base. It's not just spiciness, but flavor and umami, and even sweetness that is created in deep layers.

The spiciness is available in 12 levels, with 1 to 5 being free. Level 6 onwards requires an extra charge. Even the least spicy level, level 1, has sufficient spiciness for you to enjoy.

“Shinogoshōyu”, 745 yen

In contrast to the spicy Ryūko Aozan Shōmen is the Shinogoshōyu, a shōyu ramen with deep taste. The medium-fine noodles used are a perfect match for the soup. Together with the well-textured menma bamboo shoots and chashu pork slices that melt in your mouth, this is an all-around excellent dish.

“Shinogo Gyōza”, 450 yen

The gyōza on its side menu is popular as well. The pork is ground from blocks of meat, and it is full of vegetables as well. The plump and juicy gyōza do not use garlic, so there isn't any lingering smell even after you've finished eating. It's a dish you should try with the shop's original sweet vinegar as well.

The shop interior has a mysterious atmosphere

The shop interior uses old wooden boards and antique furniture, with lanterns hanging down from the ceiling lighting up the room. It is a unique space with a strong Asian feel that strongly brings up memories of a vacation.

Measures in place against Covid-19:
- Regular ventilation
- Limits placed on number of Customers allowed to enter, and social distancing between seats
- Staff required to use masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and have their temperatures taken
- Disinfection of shop interior and facilities
- Disinfectant available for use

  • Ezomen Shinogonoiwazu
    蝦夷麺 四の五の言わず札幌本店
    • Address 9-9-18, Kita 5-26, Nangodori, Sapporo-shi Shiroishi-ku, Hokkaido, 003-0023
    • Phone Number 011-374-4484
    • Business hours: 10:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
      Closed on Mondays
      Parking spaces: 1
      Ezomen Shinogonoiwazu

Text by: Minna no Kotobasha
To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the shop is closed until January 31st, 2021 (Sunday).

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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