ramen restaurant etiquette how to order and eat at a ramen venue

Ramen Restaurant Etiquette: 12 Tips To Enjoy Ramen Cafes

who this class is for

Restaurant guests

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About this micro-class

Ramen restaurant etiquette is important to ensure a pleasant dining experience for both guests and the restaurant staff.

Etiquette for Guests at a Ramen Restaurant

1. Key Characteristics of the Food

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish consisting of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and topped with various ingredients such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, green onions, and boiled eggs.

2. Cuisines

Ramen can be categorized based on the type of broth (shoyu, miso, shio), the toppings, and the region of Japan it originates from. Some popular regional variations include Sapporo (rich miso-based broth), Hakata (tonkotsu broth with thin noodles), and Tokyo (shoyu-based broth with curly noodles).

3. Typical Foods at this Type of Establishment


Ramen is the main dish at ramen restaurants, but you may also find side dishes like gyoza (dumplings), rice bowls, and salads.

4. Condiments That are Common

Common condiments include chili oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and pickled ginger, which can be added according to personal taste preferences.

5. Drinks That are Recommended or Not Recommended

Recommended drinks include Japanese green tea, beer, or sake. It’s best to avoid overly strong or heavily flavored beverages that may overpower the delicate flavors of the ramen.

6. Dietary Restrictions and Options

Ramen restaurants often offer vegetarian and vegan options, typically with vegetable-based broth and tofu or vegetable toppings. Some places may also offer gluten-free noodles for those with celiac disease.

7. Table Etiquette

It’s common to use chopsticks to eat ramen. Slurping the noodles is acceptable and even encouraged as it’s a sign of enjoying the meal in Japanese culture. Avoid leaving your chopsticks sticking upright in the bowl, as this resembles a funeral ritual.

8. Meals in Day and Hours

Ramen restaurants are popular for lunch and dinner. Lunch hours are typically from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM, and dinner hours are from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. However, some ramen shops may have different hours, so it’s best to check in advance.

9. Structure of Meals & Duration

Ramen meals are usually quick and casual. The average meal duration is around 30 minutes to an hour. There’s typically no structured course order; ramen is the main dish, and any additional items are considered side dishes.

10. How to Order

Most people order one bowl of ramen as it’s a filling meal on its own. You can customize your ramen by choosing the type of broth, noodles, and toppings. Side dishes like gyoza can be ordered separately.

11. Sharing

It’s generally acceptable to share side dishes, but it’s less common to share ramen bowls unless explicitly invited to do so by your dining companions.

12. Bad Manners to Avoid

Avoid wasting food or leaving significant amounts of broth in your bowl. Additionally, refrain from blowing your nose at the table or talking loudly, as ramen restaurants tend to have a relaxed but respectful atmosphere.

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