A plethora of well-loved ramen restaurants are to be found in Osaka, including longstanding shops in the Minami district that sees never-ending queues of customers, and additional popular establishments to which ramen lovers travel from all corners of the country. This is the city where you eat till you're broke, after all, and restaurants here will not survive unless they satisfy customers’ demanding taste buds.

As such, these restaurants are the true crème-de la crème in the ramen world, producing satisfying bowls topped off with their own unique creative touches. Unique Osaka-esque versions of the dashi soup base that have earned fame include those flavored with fish chunks, chicken and pork bones, miso, tsukemen (a dish of cold noodles accompanied by a dipping sauce), and the recent trend of richer flavors. Other versions include one with a white soup base, and—riding the wave of popularity experienced by so-called ethnic dishes like spice curry—a spiced ramen.

Shop interiors also feature numerous types of décor, from the more muted ones to those resembling stylish bars. Areas known as the hot zones of competition among ramen establishments include the neighborhoods of Tenma and Tenroku (Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome), Fukushima, and Nishinakajima-Minamigata. Although you’ll need to stand in line for the best, why not make a fun evening out of it?