This time last year there wasn’t a ramen-ya to be found in Philadelphia, but my how things have changed. Since the opening of Ramen Boy in Chinatown last February, the city has undergone a ramen renaissance. Even as the originator failed, new destinations have risen up to take its place and many more locales have been rumored.
The newest player on the noodle scene is Hiro Ramen at 11th and Chestnut and as soon as you see the storefront you know you’re in for some authentic ramen. The place looks and feels right out of Japan with sake bottle decor and small simple tables and stools. The menu is no less authentic – boasting tonkotsu, shoyu, and miso broth options. The noodles are excellent with just the right amount of chewiness, but the crowning glory is the chashu. Thick, tender, and practically falling apart, these pieces of pork make the meal.
And while they have eschewed standard issue side orders like gyoza and chahan, Hiro has more than made up for it with spicy shisan chicken and wasabi tako – raw octopus in a wasabi sauce. It may sound crazy, but don’t knock it till you try it.
Philadelphia is now home to four (soon to be five) ramen restaurants – Hiro, Terakawa Ramen (formerly Ramen Boy), Nom Nom (our review), and Ramen Bar (our review). With so many options, you now don’t have to go far for a good bowl.