I’ve always loved international cuisine. I lived in Brookhaven, GA for years right around the corner from Buford Highway. If you’re an Atlanta local, you know the meaning of Buford Highway, it’s ethnic diversity, and you know its home to some of the most delicious international “Mom-n-Pop” shops you can find in the city. It is on Buford Highway where I was blessedly introduced to pho, bubble tea, and ramen. And let me tell you – I love ramen.
I went to Chinatown in Toronto, Canada in April 2019, where I ate THEE best filet mignon ramen (see my “About” tab for photo.) I then went to Tokyo, Japan in August 2019, where I was comfortably surrounded by bowls of delightful broth, beautifully aged noodles, and delicately sliced meats. I was eating ramen every chance offered – breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. I vividly remember sitting in the Tokyo Narita Airport savoring the most delectable bowl of ramen I had ever tasted. That’s when I realized, ramen is my all-time favorite dish.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner and date night always being a “thing”, it’s only right that I share my love for ATL’s best ramen restaurants so you can share ramen with your bae. Or share it with yourself, because you’re bae, too.
Josh and I bonded over ramen at Jinya during our first date. Now, we find ourselves choosing Jinya pretty much anytime we have the opportunity (for example, when groceries are low, when we don’t feel like cooking, or when the sky is blue.)
The location on Roswell Road in Buckhead is a straight vibe. It’s intimate, the service is great, and the food comes rapidly fast – still high quality, of course.
My favorite dishes: Spicy Chicken Ramen – spicy (you can choose from mild, spicy, or hot), add a soft-boiled egg. Josh always orders spinach or bok choy and mushrooms on the side, and I tend to throw those in my bowl, too. I also LOVE the JINYA Quinoa Salad. It’s super fresh and the garbanzo and kidney beans make it very filling. The goa sesame dressing also sets the salad off!
2. Piju Belly
This dope Asian fusion restaurant is in midtown Atlanta. Besides my amazing bowl of ramen, the bar is what sold me on this place. We had a great bartender who was knowledgeable when it came to the menu and was an excellent balance of being attentive yet giving us our space to enjoy our meal.
What I ordered: Spicy Bulgogi. Simply wow. The red chili broth is a flavor like no other, and the combination of bulgogi beef and veggies like bok choy make a perfectly crafted dish. I added a Kentucky Mule, and ya girl was simply happy!
3. +E Ramen
One of the newer ramen restaurants to hit midtown Atlanta, +E Ramen came to fruition after the owners won first place at the Atlanta Ramen Festival in 2017. This restaurant does a great job of blending classic comfort food with a hipster atmosphere. The service is pleasant and our time here was enjoyable.
My menu picks: Miso-hot, gyoza, and a fancy cocktail. The dumplings were well prepared and a great way to start off our dining. While I prefer chicken versus pork in my ramen, I did enjoy this bowl a lot, especially the broth. It was so flavorful, spicy, and satisfying. Also – shout out to the bartender! She was working her magic that evening. Delicious!
Whether you’re doing a V-Day dinner, or you simply love ramen as much as me, make sure you add Atlanta’s best noodle eateries to your must-try list. It’s simple math – “ramen is 10% noodles, and 90% love.”