Totto Ramen: Among the Best Ramen in NYC
We're right in thick of ramen season here in New York City, a time of slush and sleet and snow when few foods sound as appealing as a big bowl of hot, hearty, noodle-y soup. Good to know, then, about Totto Ramen NYC, located on the western edge of Midtown, and an excellent workaday way to warm up and fill up as you make your way through the seemingly endless wintery misery. In fact, after a number of visits over the past few months, in which we've eaten pretty much the entire menu, we'd even go so far as to say that, in terms of overall noodliciousness, Totto Ramen rivals some of the best ramen of the East Village, like Ippudo, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Rai Rai Ken.
Midtown's Totto Ramen is a friendly little sliver of a place, all steam and bustle and slurping, that we imagine evokes the legendary, on-every-corner noodle bars of Japan. The menu is short and appealing, and you really can't go wrong with any of the ramens here. BUT, if forced to choose, our two favorite varieties would have to be the Totto Miso Ramen, made with the house-specialty Paitan broth, packed with chewy "wavy" noodles, a scoop of spicy ground pork, a seasoned hard boiled egg, and a few sweet and fatty hunks of their signature hand-torched charred pork; and, somewhat surprisingly, the Vegetable Ramen, a briny, earthy broth made from seaweed and shiitakes, filled with Totto Ramen's equally good straight noodles, topped with a remarkably refreshing (especially at this time of year) "salad" of seasoned avocado, bell peppers, bright greens and enough yuzu paste to really give it some bite. Either one of these – what we consider their best ramens – are guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and satisfied.
You can boost your bowl at Totto Ramen NYC with extra noodles, extra charred pig, extra eggs, all for a nominal add-on charge. And there are several pork- and seafood-based sides (including a pretty irresistible charred uni dish) that will only set you back a five-spot or so and add a little variety to the proceedings. The staff are all super friendly, attractive, and kerchiefed, and you can't help but get a charge from the general conviviality of the cozy room, whether you're sitting at the bar watching the noodle magic happen, or at one of the few tiny tables in the back. Needless to say, as one of the best ramen places in New York City, Totto Ramen gets crowded, and you can expect to wait (in the heated alcove out front) for at least 30 minutes during prime lunch and dinner hours. But for bowls of ramen this consistently good? Worth it.
Totto Ramen Details
Totto Ramen is located on 52nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, and is open on weekdays from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight, and on the weekend from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more information and a look at the menu, please see the Totto Ramen website.