While a few years ago, you might have been hard-pressed to find vegetarian, vegan, and halal restaurants in Tokyo, these days Japan’s capital is rapidly expanding its offerings to cater to the diverse residents and visitors from abroad. You certainly don't need to sacrifice your beliefs to enjoy authentic Japanese food in Tokyo. If you're looking for halal ramen shops in Tokyo, look no further; we've compiled this list of 6 halal restaurants serving up the best halal ramen in Tokyo.
1. Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka
Just a 3-minute walk from the Tokyo Metro’s Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station, is Muslim-owned Halal Ramen Ouka, a 100% halal ramen shop in Tokyo which, as an added bonus, also has vegan options. In classic Japanese ramen-ya fashion, ordering is done by vending machine. Halal Ramen Ouka serves chicken ramen and vegan ramen, as well as halal wagyu ramen (made with Japanese beef) for those who don’t mind splashing out a little bit of cash. You can also choose your spice level, which is a nice bonus for those who like a hit of heat. But be warned: Ramen Ouka's spice levels are on a whole different spectrum from dishes normally considered "spicy" by the Japanese.
Halal Ramen Ouka is on the pricier side for a bowl of ramen in Tokyo, at approximately 2000 yen for a bowl of chicken ramen, but it may be worth it for the large portions and the friendly English-speaking staff. Just note that this is not the ramen restaurant for a walk-in, and reservations are highly encouraged to secure a spot, as customers have been known to wait in line for up to two hours!
2. Mazulu Halal Beef Noodle
Serving up Chinese-style Lanzhou ramen, a famous dish from northwestern China, Mazuku Halal Beef Noodle in Jimbocho uses halal Japanese beef and over 10 types of spices for a deep and complex broth. At this halal certified ramen restaurant, the noodles are handmade from scratch and come in three different thicknesses: hosomen (thin noodles), hiramen (flat noodles) and sankakumen (triangular noodles). At under 1000 yen, these noodles are a bargain, especially considering the handmade-with-care element. After you’ve eaten your fill of halal ramen here, why not explore the secondhand bookshops and cozy, rustic little cafes of Jimbocho?
3. Honolu Ebisu
The third branch of Honolu Ramen chain, a halal ramen shop in Tokyo with a Muslim-friendly menu certified by the Malaysia Halal Corporation, is Honolu Ebisu. Their house specialty chicken ramen is quite popular, featuring a thick and flavorful broth, tender noodles, chicken and bits of corn and seaweed. Their ramen features a gorgeous soft-boiled egg with a gooey, vibrant orange yolk. Another mouthwatering combo is their karaage ramen, which features pieces of Japanese fried chicken, and they also serve spicy ramen and halal gyoza, which is stuffed with chicken and tofu.
The ramen is affordable at under 1000 yen per bowl, and in the evening they also offer sukiyaki and takoyaki. But note that only the Ebisu and Osaka locations of Honolu serve a halal menu. This halal ramen shop is quite small, seating 5 at the counter on the first floor, and 12 in the tatami-mat room upstairs. As an added bonus, Honolu Ebisu also has a small prayer space on the second floor.
4. Halal Sakura
Muslim-owned Halal Sakura is a halal restaurant in Tokyo serving up fantastic halal ramen, yakiniku (grilled meat), and lamb shabu-shabu, as well as many Ughyur dishes at reasonable prices. They make four different styles of ramen: shio ramen, shoyu ramen, and miso ramen, as well as hiyashi-chuka (a refreshing chilled ramen dish served with crisp cucumber, slivers of eggs, and slices of meat). This Tokyo halal restaurant even offers some vegetarian dishes, as well as non-alcoholic beer and non-alcoholic cocktails, so everyone will feel welcome to eat here.
5. Halal Mentei Naritaya Asakusa
The ramen noodles at Halal Mentei Naritaya are made fresh at their own factory, ensuring that they are 100% halal. Rather than pork chashu, which is ubiquitous to a bowl of ramen, broiled chicken is used. The shop is also known for a special type of ramen called tsukemen, which is a dipping style of ramen consisting of separate bowls of thick, extra-concentrated broth and noodles. Different add-ons can be purchased, like a soft-boiled egg, for example, and there is even an option for “Crazy Toppings” which will give you a mountain of toppings to rival Mount Fuji.
Another specialty at Mentei Naritaya is mazesoba, a style of soupless ramen which comes with noodles, sauce, and toppings, that need to be mixed thoroughly. Fresh garlic, hot red pepper, and onions are also available at the table, so you can add as much heat as you can handle! Like Honolu Ebisu, Naritaya also has a prayer room. With a certification from the Japan Islamic Trust, you can be sure that Naritaya is a reliable shop to indulge in your ramen cravings.
6. Ayam-Ya Okachimachi Tokyo
Our last certified halal ramen shop in Tokyo is Ayam-Ya Okachimachi Tokyo, recognized by both the Japan Halal Foundation and Malaysia Halal Corporation. This halal ramen shop serves up a few varieties of halal ramen, such as shoyu ramen and shio ramen, and has spicy options for both. Like Halal Mentei Naritaya, they also serve tsukemen, the style of ramen in which cold noodles and hot broth are served separately, meant for dipping. Ayam-Ya Okachimachi also makes the crispiest, juiciest karaage fried chicken. The interior is simple, and seats 42, quite large for a Tokyo ramen joint, so you can bring your friends!
These halal ramen shops in Tokyo are great places for Muslims to enjoy this classic Japanese dish. Ramen is truly the accessible, affordable food of the everyman, so when you're in Tokyo, no matter your dietary needs, you can definitely indulge in a bowl of these delicious, chewy noodles.