Easily Enjoy Complex Food Culture! 7 Places With Great Wakayama Ramen
When on holiday, you'll surely want to taste famous local foods. Wakayama Ramen, also known as Chuka Soba, is a famous local food in Wakayama. Available at very reasonable prices, it's popular among both locals and visitors. Check out these 7 Wakayama ramen restaurants that are especially popular!
Sep 20 2017 (Apr 15 2020)
1. Wakayama Ramen Marui Nakanoshima Store (Arochi) [Wakayama]
Wakayama Ramen Marui is a popular Wakayama Ramen restaurant, with 2 outlets within Wakayama Prefecture. Normally, a kind of thin green onion called "konegi" is used as a topping in Wakayama Ramen. It's a type of green onion that has a slightly grassy taste. However, this restaurant uses "ryokuho kuro negi", a type of green onion that is fragrant, sweet, tasty and has a great texture. There's so much topping that it practically covers the noodles, giving the dish a huge visual impact. The combination of the stock (cooked for two days) and the noodles that slide down your throat is exquisite and sure to captivate you! If you want to try Wakayama Ramen but don't like green onions, this is the version for you! You can adjust the amount of green onion topping according to your preference.
At Wakayama Ramen restaurants, people usually eat boiled eggs and bite-sized mackerel sushi called "hayazushi" along with the noodles. At Marui, they serve both boiled eggs and sushi, but the side dish that you absolutely must order here is the gyoza. The soft dumplings filled with vegetables are a popular menu item.
Do take note that it's only open in the evening. The red curtain with a circular mark hung at the entrance will help you spot the restaurant. It's located 15 minutes away from Wakayama Station, so it's a bit of a walk, but it's definitely worth visiting.
2. Marukyo Chuka Soba [Wakayama-shi]
Marukyo is popular even with the locals. The soup is a pork and soy sauce-based broth, but it has a very strong soy sauce taste.
Meat-lovers should order the Chashu (Pork Belly) Ramen. There's so much chashu that the slices are almost spilling out of the bowl! The thinly sliced chashu have a deliciously soft texture. There's also not much fat, so it's easy to eat.
The interior isn't fancy, so be careful not to walk past it without realizing. The concrete interior feels modern, making the restaurant stand out (in a good way) from other ramen restaurants.
3. Chuka Soba Marutaya Burakuricho Store [Kiwa]
Chuka Soba Marutaya serves ramen in pork and soy sauce-based broth. Pig bones and chicken bones are boiled for more than 8 hours to produce a rich soup that's full of umami and flavor. It's the pride of the restaurant! The Tokusei (Special) Chuka Soba (Buckwheat Noodles) comes with many slices of chashu, and you can also order a larger size if you want. You'll definitely leave satisfied with a full stomach!
Wakayama is also well-known for whitebait, and at Marutaya, you can enjoy Shirasu-meshi - a rice bowl topped with plenty of whitebait! Eat it with the restaurant's special soy sauce. Although you'll be having it in addition to your ramen, it comes in a perfectly-sized portion. Be sure to give it a try!
Since most of the seats are counter seats, this isn't the most spacious of restaurants, but the high ceiling gives it an open atmosphere. Enjoy your ramen in this modern and chic restaurant!
4. Kyobashi Kotarou [Wakayama-shi]
Kyobashi Kotarou serves ramen in 3 different types of soup - pork broth, soy sauce, and pork broth with soy sauce. They also serve spicier or thicker variations of the soups. There's much to choose from, so it can be fun to order something different from your friends or family and compare the taste!
The mackerel sushi side dish may be a supporting actor compared to the ramen, but the sushi served here packs a punch both visually and taste-wise! Just the right amount of vinegared rice is topped with fresh mackerel - a match made in heaven. If you order several pieces, they'll even serve it on a long bamboo plate.
The owner here has a background in Japanese cuisine. The flavored salts that he created are very popular as souvenirs. Blended with various ingredients like garlic and onions, the salt brings new flavors to your meat, fish or vegetables. You can sample the salt in the restaurant, so try it to see if it tickles your fancy!
5. Marumasa Ramen [Shirahama]
Marumasa Ramen is a Wakayama Ramen restaurant located near Shirahama Beach. The noodles are served in a pork broth that doesn't have a gamey taste. The slightly firmer noodles are characteristic of the ramen here. You'll be able to order various versions with garlic, green onions or lots of chashu.
As expected of Wakayama - the nation's top producer of plums - they also serve a ramen that has umeboshi (salted plum) in it. Don't the toppings add a splash of color to the ramen? Umeboshi are salty and sour, so mash it in and eat a little at a time with some of the ramen soup!
Besides soup ramen, they also serve tsukemen here. Tsukemen is a dish where the noodles and broth are served separately. Dip the noodles into the broth and enjoy the noodles! The soup is made from pork broth, soy sauce and fish powder, so it tastes a little different!
6. Menya Hishio Wakayama Station Store [Wakayama]
Menya Hishio is a ramen restaurant with 2 stores in Wakayama Prefecture. Yuasa in Wakayama Prefecture is said to be the birthplace of soy sauce, an indispensable condiment in Japanese cuisine. At Hishio, they make use of the soy sauce from Yuasa in their ramen.
The fragrance from the soy sauce and the refreshing taste of the soup makes this a mouthwatering ramen. Add bean sprouts, raw eggs, green onions and other toppings to your ramen for an additional fee!
Menya Hishio also boasts a good selection of side dishes. Karaage (fried chicken), kimchi and gyoza (fried dumplings) are just a few of the items available. The gyoza have a very large piece of thin and crispy dumpling skin that spreads out from the dumplings. Called "hane", it has a crunchy texture that will leave you asking for more. It also has an interesting appearance, so do try it!
7. Wakayama Ramen Hachiryo Senjojiki Store [Shirahama]
In Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, there's a place called Senjojiki where the rocks look like they've been cut into super thin slices. Wakayama Ramen Hachiryo Senjojiki Store is located nearby. At this ramen place, they serve Wakayama Ramen with 3 different types of soup: Pork broth, salt and pork broth, and soy sauce broth.
The soup is tastes a lot lighter than it looks. There are also many unusual ramen varieties available here, like the Yaki Ramen (where the noodles are fried in a pan) and Tama Toji Ramen, which comes with fluffy and delicious fried eggs.
The side dish menu is good, and includes items like fried rice and gyoza with different fillings. At lunch, they also serve a lunch set that's great value for money.
Wakayama Ramen is one of the dishes that common people can enjoy at reasonable prices, making it a great food item that'll satisfy your taste buds even if you're on a tight budget! Visit different places and savor the characteristic taste of each place to find your favorite!
*Thumbnail pictures are from PIXTA.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.