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The 20Somethings Take on Ramen 

click to enlarge DAN PAYTON
  • Dan Payton
Walker and Fierro blog at twentysomethingSA.com about the city’s evolving lifestyle and entertainment options.

Bundle up in your favorite jacket and get ready for a ramen tour! All right, we know how San Antonio weather is, so whether you’re in a jacket or some shorts and a tank top, go out and enjoy some delicious noodles that are gaining new fans by the slurp.

Kimura

152 E. Pecan St., Suite 102



Kimura, located in the heart of downtown at the corner of E. Pecan Street and St. Mary’s, offers four types of ramen. The menu lists the ramen from lightest to heaviest and we decided to order in the middle with the tonkotsu ramen because we like it light, but also a little bit of a punch in each bite. Basically, we want to be full after a bowl of soup! The first spoonful of the tonkotsu — pork bone broth ramen swimming with shiitake mushrooms, flour noodles and fish cakes — immediately melted away all of our stress. The bright pink color of the fish cake made the bowl a photograph-worthy dish and the shiitake mushrooms made for a meaty bowl. What we love most about Kimura, SA’s first big-time purveyor of all things ramen, by the way, is that you can create your own bowl with numerous additions, including pork bone, pork belly, beef, tofu, soft boiled egg, nori, extra broth and extra noodles. We recommend the extra broth, noodles and a soft boiled egg. Ah, perfection.

Cost: $8 ramen with option to add more ingredients ranging from $1 to $6

click to enlarge TAYLOR ALLEN
  • Taylor Allen

Nama Ramen

6565 Babcock Road, Suite 19, (210) 641-2888, namaramen.com

Found on the city’s North Side, Nama Ramen offers a noodle soup that features a very light broth, which is perfect for lunch. The bowl is beautifully put together and the texture of the noodles is softer than those at Kimura. We ordered the shoyu ramen, made from chicken and soy sauce stock. The noodles match the ones we used to make late at night over our stove during those late night college study sessions, except Nama Ramen decidedly doesn’t use a chicken-flavored packet. The pork, our favorite ingredient in Nama Ramen’s ramen, is tender and you can easily bite into it. The ramen was rounded out with wood ear mushrooms, naruto maki and finely diced green onion. Ramen add-ons include pork belly (we’re sensing a pattern here), corn, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, nori, hot oil, fish cakes and extra noodles. Get those extra noodles!

Cost: $8.25 ramen with option to add more ingredients ranging from 60 cents to $2

click to enlarge JACQUELINE FIERRO
  • Jacqueline Fierro

Alchemy Kombucha & Culture

1123 N. Flores St., (210) 320-1168, alchemysanantonio.com

Unlike most restaurants that serve ramen, Alchemy does not include an add-on section, and honestly, it doesn’t need one. The tonkotsu house ramen features pork, an extremely soft egg, nori, black fungus, chili oil and black garlic oil. Some nights, Alchemy features a different type of ramen. This is one of our favorite concepts — featuring unique dishes tied into the specific meat and vegetables the kitchen has for the night. Alchemy’s ramen is served at an extremely hot temperature and makes for a great meal to enjoy outdoors. Patio life and ramen? Yes! A new vegan addition made it onto the latest menu, for those hoping to enjoy a steamy bowl without animal protein.

Cost: Varies, but expect to pay $14-$16 per bowl

click to enlarge CASEY HOWELL
  • Casey Howell

Hot Joy

1014 S. Alamo St., (210) 368-9324, hotjoysa.com

We’re friends here, right? Well, we have a confession. Until this tour, we had never been to Hot Joy. Once for lunch, but that doesn’t count now that they they are only open for dinner and brunch. Once we were securely seated in our intimate booth for two, the ramen festivities began. We ordered to double miso ramen composed of shiitake sofrito, burnt garlic, oil, soft egg and baby corn. A delicious vegetarian bowl, until I added the pork belly (because, you’ve got to). Tender, flavorful, and filling — everything we’ve been searching for! Hot Joy’s menu wasn’t joking about the burnt garlic. The smell is intense, but the noodles absorbed the garlic flavor and the ramen satisfied.

Cost: Ramen prices range from $11.99 to $14.99

Who knew so many noodle bowls could contain such a wide range of flavor? While all the bowls put up a good fight, Nama Ramen and Kimura reign supreme on our top ramen list.

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