Tokyo Food Guide: Where to Eat the Best Udon in Tokyo
If you're looking for where you can eat the best udon in Tokyo, here are the places you should visit!
Are you here because you want to know where to eat the best udon in Tokyo? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back, especially if you invite me to the udon bar with you!
When you think of Japan and noodles, the noodles that come to mind are ramen: thick and creamy stock with lip smacking slicks of fat, perfectly chewy noodles, juicy chashu, and that jammy sunny yellow yolk ramen egg. But, did you know, aside from the many, many variations of ramen —dipping tsukemen, oil and vinegary abura soba, soupless topping rich mazemen, dumpling-full wantanmen— there’s a humble, not so sexy noodle that’s begging to be eaten? I’m talking about UDON: the queen of noodles.
T H I C C and chewy and just about the perfect shape, udon noodles are one of my favorite, if not my most favorite noodle to noodle binge on while in Tokyo. See, the thing is, there are definitely at lot of ramen joints all over the world now. Heck, Ippudo is basically McDonalds. So, I don’t have to worry too much when a ramen craving hits. Plus, not to toot our own horns or anything, but we’re pretty decent at making ramen noods. What is not as common, or strangely enough, as easy to make, are perfect udon noodles.
Good udon are pleasantly chewy, smooth and supple, and on the firm side. Usually the good stuff is made in house: you can see a udon master rolling our cutting out udon. What I love about udon in Tokyo, aside from the freshness, is the fact that they have so many innovative dishes. Of course they have your standard udon in dashi with freshly fried tempura, but they also have fun things like udon carbonara. Anyway, here’s a solid list of where to eat udon in Tokyo!
If you’re ever wandering the streets of Jinbocho and happen upon a white noren (curtain over the doorway) with a long line up, line up immediately! It’ll most likely be Udon Maruka, a no-frills favorite of office workers and students. You’ll get a menu even before entering the doors and your order will be taken while you’re still standing outside. The Sanuki/Kagawa-style udon here is sublime: perfectly chewy and oh-so satisfying. The line moves fast, so don’t worry if it looks long. Pro-tip: supposedly they don’t like it when you take pictures inside —it’s more of a eat and run kind of place— so don’t be a bothersome tourist and take millions of photos while people are anxiously waiting to get their udon fix.