Tonkotsu Ramen at Samurai Noodle
Bottom line:Most customizable bowls in Seattle and house-made noodles, but overall quality can vary day-to-day and location-to-location.
Samurai Noodle: 606 5th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98138 (map); 206-624-9321
4138 University Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105 (map); 206-547-1774
412 Broadway East, Seattle, WA 98102 (map); 206-323-7991
Tokyo Ramen at Boom Noodle
Bottom line:Wide variety of ramen and non-ramen noodle dishes, but as with Samurai Noodle, consistency can be an issue.
Boom Noodle: 1121 East Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122 (map); 206-701-9130
2675 Northeast Village Lane, Seattle, WA 98105 (map); 206-525-2675
504 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA 98004 (map); 425-453-6094
Miso Ramen at Showa
Bottom line: The porky broth is rich and creamy (and you can get great gyoza the nights they serve them), though some mourn the loss of the earlier version of this ramen, which was less tonkotsu-like and more sappari (light and refreshing).
Bottom line: This is a refined bowl of ramen with a nice balance of flavors and textures, though note it's the most expensive in the group and the smallest in size.
Shoyu Ramen and Gyoza with Rice at Tsukushinbo
Bottom line: This ramen lunch offers great value, though it's probably the simplest of the group.
Tsukushinbo: 515 South Main Street, Seattle, WA 98104 (map); 206-467-4004
Shio Ramen at Aloha
Bottom line: Aloha ekes into the recommended list solely based on its shio ramen (best of the shio broths in town), which is difficult to perfect due to its delicate nature.