This swanky, cacophonous restaurant that is the first extranational outpost of a popular Japanese chain (it serves 20,000 customers a day) serves the best ramen in NYC. Be forewarned: Ippudo takes no reservations and, in our experience, the average wait is now between 2 and 2.5 hours. Amazingly, however, it is worth it. Ippudo excels in all things pork, particularly the tonkotsu broth for which they are justly famous (tonkotsu-broth has pork fat emulsified into the broth). It is a rich, complex and deeply flavorful soup that gives a smoky, nutty overtone to the Shiormaru Hakata Classic and the Akamaru Modern, which are best with Kakuni (braised pork belly) added. The fatty pork is tender and the slender, house-made noodles are always perfectly cooked. Ippudo is not a one trick pony, however, and serves several excellent non-ramen dishes. The shrimp tempura with a Japanese mayonnaise sauce, for instance, is simply perfect. And the restaurant has, hands down, the most addictive pork buns in the city, which, unlike Momofuku Noodle Bar’s also excellent, also deservedly famous pork buns, come with a type of mayonnaise and a bit of lettuce for textural variety. At the end of the meal, hot green tea is served.
Ippudo has an impressive interior outfitted with a trendy, downtown design. The always overflowing bar / waiting area has a glowing red globe dangling from the ceiling that echoes a red wall covered in ramen bowls. The countertops of the bar are filled with ramen noodles. In the main dining room, there are oversized murals of Japanese calligraphy, mirrors, a large firepit in the center of a communal table, a massive, wiry, bamboo tree-like sculpture and a view into the frenetic open kitchen. The music is loud and the scene often gets chaotic during the restaurant's busiest hours. As a consequence, service can be spotty. But there is no better option for a hearty meal on a cold winter’s night – or, for that matter, any time that you simply desire a sublime but inexpensive meal and have several hours to wile away in the East Village.
65 4th Ave.
New York (nr. 10th St.)
212-388-0088 Mon-Thu, 11am-3:30pm and 5pm-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-3:3pm and 5pm-12:30am; Sun, 11am-11pm
- Shigemi Kawahara, Chef
RECOMMENDED DISHES See All
- Hirata Pork Buns - Steamed buns filled with your choice of pork, chicken, or shrimp served with Ippudo original spicy buns sauce
- Shirmp Mayo Sauce - Ippudo style shrimp tempura served with a twin Japanese mayo sauce
- Yamitsuki Goma Kyuri - Japanese cucumber mixed with sesame oil dressing
- Shiromaru Hakata Classic - The original "Tonkotsu" noodle soup topped with pork loin chashu, kikurage, menma, memma, red pickled ginger, sesame, and scallions. Add Kakuni, braised pork belly.
- Karaka Kogashi Miso Ramen - "Chintan" chicken base noodle soup, a dard, rich broth made from black charred miso, with Ippudo special blended hot spice, topped with pork chashu, cabbage, bok choy, menma, naruto, scallions, and glazed with a layer of oil with Nitamago (seasoned salt