What comes to mind when you think of Niigata, also known as the ramen kingdom of Japan.

There are many varieties, but the four main types of ramen here are a must-try!

  • Niigata Rich Miso
  • Niigata Light Soy Sauce
  • Nagaoka Ginger Soy Sauce
  • Tsubame-Sanjo type Backfat

There are some famous restaurants in the city that have been loved for many years and have become familiar to residents of the prefecture. There are five major ramen restaurants in Niigata City, including Sanjo Curry Ramen, but this time we recommend the four great ramen stores in Niigata City. We will also introduce a new force attracting attention from all over Japan, “Mapo Tofu ramen” there!

Niigata Rich Miso

Niigata Rich Miso ramen soup is arranged to your liking with a follow-up soup.

The “Niigata Rich Miso ramen” is at “Ramen Toyoko Sasaguchi shop”, located about a 15-minute walk from Niigata Station. It is a famous ramen restaurant that has been loved by citizens for over 20 years. The standard miso ramen features a set of topping soup to dilute the thick ramen broth to the desired thickness. Although the presence of split broth gives the impression of being too salty, the Sasaguchi shop is modest in its saltiness, saying, “We want to make it a taste you won’t get tired of even if you eat it every day. The manager’s kindness can be felt in this bowl.

The thick noodles and vegetables entwined in the rich soup that spreads the sweetness and richness of miso are very satisfying! Please try it!

Niigata Light Soy Sauce

Many fans of the old-fashioned taste!

“Sankichiya” is the representative of “Niigata light soy sauce”. Opened in 1957 in Nishibori, Furumachi, “Sankichiya” has three ramen stores in niigata city. The “Ekinan Keyakidori Branch” serves the standard Chinese noodles with a clear ramen broth. The soy sauce made from the broth of chashu pork and the broth carefully simmered with dried sardines, vegetables, and pork bones are the key to the flavor.
The soup has not been changed since its establishment, and its light yet rich and delicious flavor is irresistible! It is recommended for lunch, or after-drinking.

Nagaoka Ginger Soy Sauce

Accented with just the right amount of ginger flavor

“Aoshima Shokudo” is a famous Nagaoka ginger soy sauce ramen restaurant with its main branch in Nagaoka City. There are three branches in Niigata City: “the Minami-Bandai branch”, “the Higashibori branch”, and “the Toki Messe branch”. “The Minami-Bandai branch” offers only two types of ramen on its menu: “Aoshima Ramen” and “Aoshima Chashu Pork Ramen”. The ramen soup is made with ingredients such as chicken and pork bones that have been slowly simmered in a soy sauce, and the soup is accented with a moderate amount of ginger. The clean flavored soy sauce broth goes well with the homemade medium thin noodles. The chashu pork, delivered from the Nagaoka head office every morning, is also exquisite! Please try a bowl of this famous restaurant representing Niigata.

Tsubame-Sanjo type Backfat

Plenty of thick backfat!

“Tsubame Sanjo Ramen Jun” is a long-established ramen restaurant in Tsubame Sanjo, a neighborhood of Niigata City famous for its hardware. The Nakayama Branch’s standard is the “Basic Chinese Ramen”. It is characterized by its visual appeal of being filled with backfat, which is unique to “Tsubame-Sanjo backfat ramen. The ramen soup, which goes well with the thick noodles, is based on three kinds of dried sardines. The flavor and crunchiness of iwanori (rock seaweed), a topping that was originally added by onion and ramen Jun, accentuates the flavor. The backfat is added to keep the soup hot to the end, which is said to be possible only in snowy Niigata. 30 years of popular flavor is sure to become a habit once you try it.

Mapo Tofu Ramen

This could be Niigata’s new 6 best ramen! Originated in Niigata City!

Lastly, I would like to introduce you to Mapo Tofu Ramen. It is well known throughout Japan, but actually originated in Niigata City. It is a dish that attracts attention from all over the country! Ms. Yabe, the 13th Niigata Tourism Ambassador, introduces “Mapo Kaikan”. I want to make mapo tofu ramen one of the six best ramen dishes in Japan! and opened the restaurant.

The bean curd, an indispensable ingredient for the bean curd ramen, is made of silken tofu, minced meat, ginger, garlic, and tochi (bean paste). It is flavored with homemade raayu (Chinese red chili oil).

The standard “Shin Mapo Tofu Ramen” is added with Shan Rayu, a proprietary blend of various spices, and flavored raayu made from aromatic vegetables and chili peppers. Adding it in at the finish adds richness and aroma.

Once the noodles are tossed into the ramen broth made from scallion and seafood, the dish is topped with hot mapo tofu!

The red appearance of the “Shin Mapo Tofu Ramen” is appetizing. The thickening of the bean paste allows you to eat it hot to the end.

Thin noodles with a smooth texture go great with the thick bean paste. The moderately spicy flavor will keep you coming back for more.

We also recommend adding rice to your meal to make it into mapo tofu rice. If you come to Niigata City, you must try the much-talked-about “mapo tofu ramen” !

There are many other famous restaurants in Niigata City. Please try to find your favorite flavor!


Ramen Toyoko Sasaguchi Shop

Location : 1-1-38 Minami Sasaguchi, Chuo-ku, Niigata-shi, Niigata
Access : [On foot] About 10 minutes walk from Niigata Station South Exit
Parking lot : Yes
Phone : 025-243-2460
Business hours: Weekdays 11:00-22:00, Tuesdays 11:00-14:30, Sundays and holidays 11:00-21:00
Closed: Tuesday

Sankichiya Ekinan Keyakidori Branch

Location : 1-6-10 Yoneyama, Chuo-ku, Niigata City
Access : [Train] 5 min. walk from South Exit of Niigata Station / [Car] 1 min. from South Exit of Niigata Station, 20 min. from Niigata Airport via Route 113
Parking lot : None (please use nearby parking lots)
Phone : 025-241-0937
Business hours : 11:00 – 13:30, 17:30 – 19:30 (L.O. 19:00) *Close when all noodles are gone.
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Aoshima Shokudo Shina Minami Bandai Branch

Location : 2-14 Minami Bandai-cho, Chuo-ku, Niigata City
Access : [Train] Approx. 10 min. walk from Bandai Exit of Niigata Station / [Car] Approx. 3 min. from Bandai Exit of Niigata Station, approx. 20 min. from Niigata Airport via Route 113
Parking lot : Yes (3 spaces) *The 3 spaces on the opposite side are for other stores. Please use the parking spaces on the right side facing the Minami Bandai store.
Phone : 025-243-8340
Hours of operation : 11:00 opening – 19:00 closing (with an hour break around 15:00-17:00)
Closed on Tuesdays

Tsubame Sanjo Ramen Jun Nakayama Branch

Location : 6-21 Nakayama, Higashi-ku, Niigata City
Access : 【Car】Approx. 10 minutes by car from Niigata Station
Phone number : 050-8881-5160
Business hours : 10:00 – 22:00
Parking lot : Yes
Closed : No holidays

Mapo Kaikan Minami-Sasaguchi Branch

Location : 2-3-40 Minami-Sasaguchi, Chuo-ku, Niigata-shi, Niigata
Access : Approximately 15 minutes from Niigata Station (on foot)
Parking lot : Yes
Phone number : 025-256-8805
Business hours : 11:00 – 14:30, 17:00 – 21:30 (L.O. 21:00)
Closed: No holidays
HP : https://darumaya-group.jp/shop/mabokaikan.php