Apr 2, 2024 - Food and Drink

Yelp: The best ramen in San Diego

A bowl of ramen with an egg, pork, bean sproutsand other toppings (left). Another photo shows a bowl of ramen on a table at a restaurant.

A bowl of black ramen at GONZO! and the shoyu ramen at HiroNori. Photos: Courtesy of GONZO! and Yueming Q.

San Diego serves two of the best bowls of ramen in the state, according to Yelp.

Dig in: Japanese restaurant GONZO! in Carlsbad Village ranked second in Yelp's Top 100 Ramen Spots in California released today.

  • Their signature dishes, which have house-made broths: Gonzo Black (black garlic oil over tonkotsu ramen), Gonzo Red (spicy miso ramen with chili oil) and Gonzo Green (vegan ramen with spinach noodles and tofu).

If you go: The GONZO! store, also in the Village Faire shopping center, is an extension of the ramen shop with Japanese imported goods, arcade games, apparel and tchotchkes.

HiroNori Craft Ramen in Hillcrest ranked 4th on Yelp's best ramen list.

What to try: HiroNori's traditional tonkotsu ramen. It takes 24 hours to prepare, with pork bones simmering for hours to get the right broth flavor and consistency.

  • The noodle dish is topped with bean sprouts, green onion, spinach, a half egg, seaweed, wood ear mushrooms and grilled pork chashu.
  • The shoyu ramen is also a standout.

There were 11 other notable San Diego spots lower on the list, including:

  • Menya Ultra, ranked 36th, started in Japan and has locations in Clairemont, UTC and Mira Mesa (currently closed for maintenance).

The fine print: Yelp ranked businesses based on an analysis of reviews in the app. If a business with multiple locations appeared on the list more than once, it only included the highest rated location.

What we're watching: Tsukemen, cold ramen noodles made for dipping in hot broth, is gaining popularity, with restaurants adding it to their menus and searches for the dish spiking 30% this year, according to Yelp.

Get a bowl from one of these spots to celebrate National Ramen Day on Thursday.

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