The Best Ramen in St. Louis (One Local’s 5 Favorites)

best ramen st louis

In a lot of ways, having a large, warm bowl of ramen is the most comforting dining experience possible.

The versatility, the depth, the warmth — the ability to make a ramen with whatever ingredients you have in your fridge to fill you on a cold night is not something I will ever turn my nose up at. But occasionally you want something a little more refined…

Which is exactly why I’ll be eating at all of these best ramen places in St. Louis at least once a month until we unfreeze in spring.

Map of the Best Ramen in St. Louis

Best bang for your buck: Nudo House

There’s a certain hominess to the aptly named Nudo House that makes everything taste just a little bit better.

Nudo House is a family-run ramen restaurant that doesn’t sacrifice good vibes or great food. The restaurant, which has two locations now open in STL proper, features a tried and true menu of homemade recipes. You’ll find multiple types of ramen, plus pho, spring rolls, and other delicious additions from the owner’s co-owned family-operated restaurant, Mai Lee.

Owner and chef Qui Tran received national acclaim when Nudo House’s pho was placed on the cover of the February 2018 edition of  Food & Wine magazine’s Comfort Foods issue. This was an uptick of recognition for the city’s best ramen place (as declared by me personally) and was what led to my first visit to the place.

I’m not particularly informed on the relation between religion and food, though I’m sure there’s a good academic book or two I could pick up, but I know that there is true holiness in the Shroomed Out ramen bowl from Nudo House. With a mushroom broth, king oyster mushrooms, bok choy, menma, and black garlic, this bowl can be gluten free and vegan, making it my number one recommendation for all people, regardless of their dietary habits.

I’m not saying that you have to go to Nudo House for the first really cold night of December in St. Louis to get a bowl of ramen, but I am saying it’s a life altering, truly unreasonable mistake to not.

  • Address #1: 11423 Olive Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63141
  • Address #2: 6105-A Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63112
  • Website: Nudo House

Best big menu: Midtown Sushi and Ramen

If you’re deep diving into the Emma Canady Food Rec Lore, you might recognize this place from my Best Sushi in St. Louis article. However, I stand by this secondary inclusion because the ramen, along with the sushi, is literally worth a Black Friday level fist fight.

MSR, which it’s not actually referred to regionally but you and I together, dear reader, could pioneer this new colloquialism, is a family-run restaurant that places comfort, kindness, and deliciousness as a three-tiered offering.

Though I’m one hundred percent willing to be punched in the face by a waiter and still tip thirty percent, the ability to go to a place where I am always treated well, given nice food, and told a compliment as well feeds my Leo rising like nothing else.

Not to mention the central location, the comfortable sized seating, and the easy parking, this place is a must-stop. If you’ve only got one meal in STL and you want it to be ramen, the Spicy Midtown Ramen is the way to go.

  • Address: 3674 Forest Park Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108
  • Website: Midtown-Sushi

A great date spot: Nami Ramen

Opened in 2016, owner Jason Jan took what he learned in Yokohama, Japan and applied it to each dish available at Nami Ramen. With a focus on fresh ingredients, authentic Japanese cooking practices, and a speedy turnaround for customers, this is a cute spot that accommodates a variety of palates.

This is my favorite spot to go to for a one on one encounter, whether that’s with friends, acquaintances, or the brave date you don’t mind seeing you eat ramen. The interior is cozy and perfect for small groups, though the parking can be a bit tricky if you go during busy hours.

My order is resoundingly the Jigoku Ramen and the veggie spring rolls. This meal, like all meals available at Nami, just feels like a comfort.

  • Address: 278 N Skinker Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63130
  • Website: Nami Ramen

For an adventure: Kounter Kulture

Okay, hear me out. This place doesn’t always have ramen.

Starting as a pop up at the Tower Grove Farmers Market, Kounter Kulture has a particularly soft spot in the heart of St. Louis-ians. We do love our food trucks here, and there’s just nothing to be done about it.

With a rotating menu that reflects a modern take on Asian dishes, Kounter Kulture worked its way through the heart of the people of St. Louis. It’s the effortless sort of takeover that leaves me checking their menu once a week to see when their ramen will pop back up. They have a careful approach to sourcing ingredients from local farmers and to creating a curated menu each week.

Check their websites and socials for hours, pop up locations, and rotating menus — you won’t regret it.

My favorite experience: Ramen Tei

Nick Bognar, if you’re reading this, I love you.

As the chef and owner of several local STL restaurants, all of which fill me with remarkable delight and a sense of existentialist doom because it tastes so good, Nick Bognar is more than deserving of his 2020 James Beard Rising Star Chef award.

Look, maybe I’m developing a parasocial relationship with Nick Bognar, but his affection and respect for food is inspiring, and I did lockdown-binge all of Guy Fieri’s online catalogue, including his season of Food Network Star, so I don’t really have much of a choice here.

Ramen Tei, which sits just outside of the city proper, is well worth the drive. Situated next to Bognar’s family restaurant, Nippon Tei, Ramen Tei offers a small menu of absolute deliciousness. Eating the Shoyu Ramen never fails to make me aggressively shake my head, furious at myself for not eating it for every meal.

There’s really only one option here — go to Ramen Tei and experience true, unadulterated joy.

  • Address: 14025 Manchester Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011
  • Website: Tei STL