by Brandon Bell
In truth Seattle’s known as a coffee town, Starbucks leads the pack followed by a few local favorites such as Cherry Street Coffee house and, Ballard Coffee Works. Here Coffee shops are Ubiquitous, you WILL drink coffee and a lot of it. The excessive coffee drinking It kind’ve of creeps up on you at first without you truly understanding why….
My Uber driver simplified things for me: “It’s the weather. The weather sort of dictated the necessity of all the coffee shops, and used bookstores you see here, nothing left to do but read and sip”
Does Cold + Wet = Coffee, sure! But it could also mean something else Ramen! Now no place in the country (not even New York) comes close to LA which thankfully in part to it’s large percentage of Japanese Americans and immigrants has easily over 40 unique Ramen institutions & chains, but Seattle it turns out does pretty good!
Kizuki Ramen which is Located in the hip Capitol Hill district of Seattle was my first stop. The moment you walk in your greated by a rich ‘porky’ aroma which as any Ramen Afficianado would tell you this is a GOOD sign! I’d say this was the 2nd best bowl I had. Broth flavor was as rich as the restaurants aroma would suggest and staff was super friendly and attentive!
Samurai Noodle makes one of the most distinct and Rich broths I’ve ever had, very homemade taste. I went to their Original location which is located in the Chinatown/Japantown district of Seattle, which is a small hole in the wall no frills type of venue. Excellent staff and more of an intimate/low key setting this was runner up for my 2nd favorite.
As a lover of Tan Tan men style Ramen I was delighted to see it on their menu and I HAD to try it. Here I deviated from my personal policy which is to always have the Tonkotsu Ramen at every new place I try, Tonkotsu is my measuring stick you might say. I thought the noodle quality was good but the broth didn’t quite come together for me (too much Star of Anise). To be fair they are known for their “Aloha Ramen”.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Lastly was Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Located just 20 minutes outside of the Seattle City Center, in Bellevue it was Probably the most solid bowl of Ramen, I sampled. Heads up there is very long wait here at peak times!