Akahoshi Ramen

2340 North California Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60647
Price: $$$$$

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Akahoshi Ramen

Akahoshi Ramen - Chicago

Japanese cuisine is known for its elegant simplicity, and the newly opened Akahoshi Ramen follows that elemental, basic approach with a restaurant that's tightly focused on one classic Japanese food: ramen. In the kitchen is Mike Santinover, well-known to many as Ramen Lord, who has gone from pop-up to a brick-and-mortar restaurant offering what many believe is the best ramen in Chicago.

Shortly after Akahoshi Ramen opened, Naomi Waxman wrote in Chicago Eater that "One of the hottest reservations in town, Akahoshi is booked solid... The early returns have only escalated the hype, including rave reviews from current and former dining critics that laud the menu — a tight lineup of Akahoshi miso ramen, shoyu ramen, tantanmen, and aburasoba, along with chashu and ikura rice bowls — as a top contender bringing fresh energy into the city’s chain-dominated ramen scene."

The Akahoshi Ramen menu is tightly focused, and we suggest starting with Akahoshi Miso, a thoughtful blend of misos, homemade crinkly Sapporo-style noodles, and lard (don't recoil; there's a lot of flavor there); topped with beansprouts, green onions, menma bamboo shoots, and pork chashu.

Another very popular ramen option is the Classic Shoyu, a clear soup with dashi and homemade Sapporo-style noodles, dressed up with with green onions, nori, menma bamboo shoots, and pork chashu, very simple and immensely satisfying.

But if you think ramen is all about and exclusively broth-based, then Akahoshi Ramen will extend the boundaries of your ramen knowledge with Soupless Tantanmen, a broth-free variety of ramen, based loosely on Dandan noodles with extra thick noodles, ma-la spice, and sesame, topped off with pork soboro, house-made chili oil, and bok choy.

For any of the bowls, you can upgrade with a jammy egg that's been "marinated for days," homemade noodles of your choice (crinkly Sapporo or wide and thick), or

for just another buck, house-made chili oil, spicy seasoning, bamboo Shoots, green onions, bean sprouts or nori.

There's also a menu of cocktails, beer, sake, wine and soda...if you need even more liquids for dinner!