Finding the Best Ramen in Victoria

Momofuku Ramen in New York City

When it comes to ramen, I have a bit of a problem. What I didn't say in my last post on New York, was that I really only had one thing on my to-do list for the trip, visit Momofuku Ramen. My very kind girlfriend did let me indulge and it was delicious. 

It was not too long ago when you had to go on a trip to enjoy good ramen. Victoria had some places where you could slurp some udon, pho or even real Chinese noodles, but if you wanted legitimate ramen you were out of luck. In the past couple of years this has changed and we now have quite a few great options. There are even a few that I have not been able to try and likely a few that I might not even know about. 


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Rather than do a list of my favourites from one to five I thought to encourage people to go and try some different options for themselves, this is simply a listing of a few of my favourites in no particular order. If I have missed one that you think is amazing please leave a comment so that I can give it a try. 


Kuma Noodle Japan


Kuma Noodle has been around for quite a while and was the first place I had ramen in Victoria where I felt like I was getting the real thing. While the location is a little out of the way at Shelbourne and Cedar Hill X Road, it is worth the trip. I think that the location was chosen to be close to the students at UVic. This place uses a delicious chicken broth and generally has amazing noodles. Once or twice I have been there and the noodles were slightly over cooked for me but only a little bit. The staff are great and the clientele is young. It is often quite busy and seating is limited so there can be a line-up but it is worth the wait. The ramen eggs here are delicious!


Foo Ramen Bar

Foo Asian Street Food is close to my work, so it has been an easy option for lunch for many years. On occasion they used to do an amazing pork ramen as a special, so when I heard that they were opening a stand alone ramen bar a few years ago, I was excited. This noodle bar is located just off Blanshard, on Broughton Street. The pork broth is excellent and the noodles are decent as well. They add a good amount of pork belly to the soup which is delicious. The one thing that some traditionalists may find odd is the addition of a large variety of vegetables like carrot. Still on the whole a good choice downtown. Foo Ramen has even less seating than Kuma so if you are there at a busy time of day, you are going to have to wait. 


Pork Belly Ramen at Bao
Bao

Bao is one of the two newest places on the list and is not actually just a ramen place, but I felt that I had to include them here. It is on Fisgard Street where the Noodle Box was. They seem to almost always have ramen on the menu and it is delicious. The one that I have had is the pork belly ramen. Compared to the amount of meat you get at Foo, Bao is significantly less. The broth is, however, delicious though on the saltier end of the spectrum. The real winning part of the dish is that the noodles were cooked perfectly. I have heard that they also do a delicious seafood ramen though I tend to stick to the pork or chicken broths myself. The marinated eggs here are also amazing. As far as cost goes this is at the top end of the list at fifteen dollars. Most run you about thirteen dollars.


Menbow Miso Tonkatsu Ramen
Menbow Ramen Bar

Menbow is the newest addition to the ramen scene in Victoria. It located on Blanshard Street in the amazing 1000 block foodie mecca that has developed. I just visited for the first time a couple of weeks ago and was blown away. I had the miso ramen in a delicious pork broth. The toppings were amazing, with a good amount of pork. To make the trip even better, both the broth and the noodles were exactly how I like them. I will definitely be going back here soon. 

Ox King Noodles

Ox King has been around for awhile. It is located in the carriageway across from the Hudson Market downtown. While not a traditional Japanese ramen place, it is still delicious. Ox King is more of a mix of a Chinese noodle place and a ramen shop. Most of the seating is at the counter and they have a big selection of food. Last time I went I had the spicy beef ramen. It was delicious and had some of the best noodles I have had in Victoria. The staff are also really friendly and want to make sure your order is exactly how you want it. This is a great fast place if you are looking for something on your lunch break.

The ramen scene in Victoria seems to finally have arrived. I am hoping that we see few more places open up over the next few months. In the meantime, try these places out and let me know what you think. If I missed a place that is amazing, please let me know!



Comments

  1. Noodle Cart had a great Spicy Ramen but they are closed now!

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  2. I'm sorry but you're completely clueless when it comes to ramen. Foo ramen is a complete abomination to ramen, I've had a Japanese girlfriend just refuse to finish her bowl of "miso" ramen, menbao is another joke overpriced subpar souless ramen, oxkings ramen is basically just instant crap, and Kuma is a lukewarm boring bowl of bleh.

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    Replies
    1. Constructive! Where would suggest in Victoria for ramen?

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    2. Thaaaaaank you. Ramen in Victoria is a somewhat joke. Kuma is the closest that you will get to Japanese ramen, (albeit ramen you get at a tachigui kiosk under a station)

      Foo also is unfortunately not up to par and a bad experience put me off. I had the counter girl try and argue with me that it was "ramen" when I had just gotten back from spending years as a chef in Japan.


      Menbow has potential, I will continue going there but the soup is still lacking for me.

      While you do have commercialized and franchised ramen shops in Japan, what most people fail to grasp about real ramen is that it takes years of training and technique to produce a real, 100% authentic bowl of ramen. The best ramen is not learnt over night, it is years and years of trial and error and the mentality of "I can always make it better"
      Unfortunately as with most restaurants in Victoria "that's good enough" is what people usually serve.

      Source: I'm from Japan.

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    3. To Anonymous Japanese Chef: Holy Crap. You sound like a pretentious douche. While you make a fair argument which can be applied to any food that is appropriated by another country, there are far better ways to make your point. Take a deep breath and chill out.

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