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We usually run this guide in the depths of winter. We wait for the below freezing days, the days where you have to put on at least four distinct layers before you can even think of going outside.

But that didn’t really happen this year. Did it get cold? Yes. Did it get existentially cold, the kind of cold that seeps into your bones and your brain? Nope. It barely even snowed. So before this early climate change based spring completely sneaks up on us, we decided to update one of our most satisfying guides of the year, our ramen & pho guide. From pork belly and lobster to pickled vegetables and fresh seasoning, it doesn’t get more delicious than this, D.C., so embrace the cold (or the light chill) and slurp it up. It’s time to eat…

Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom to check out some picks from our BYT Instagram and Facebook followers.

Before we start the general guide a few important bullet points:

  • VEGETARIAN AND A FAN OF RAMEN?: READ THIS.
  • Can you make a ramen ice-cream sandwich? We tried. We certainly tried.

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RAMEN

Akira Ramen & Izakaya
1800 Rockville Pike
240.242.3669
From our review: I ordered the veggie ramen, which came piping hot and enticingly fragrant. It had a light, savory vegetable broth and was chock full of veggies including bok choy, mushrooms, bean sprouts and nori, which adds this deep seafood flavor without actually incorporating any seafood. They make and age their noodles in house which you can immediately tell upon tasting. The noodles are springy, light and chewy – exactly like they should be. Apparently the staff was trained in noodle making by Shuichi Kotani, a soba noodle master, which explains why their noodles have such great texture and flavor.
Yo’ Broths: Tonkotsu, miso, shoyu and vegetarian
Yo’ Stand-Bys: bean sprout, egg, fish cake, corn, scallions, bamboo shoot, wood ear and nori.
Yo’ Meat: Chashu, fried chicken and shrimp.
Yo’ Money: $11+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can get your ramen through DoorDash and Grubhub.

Bantam King
501 G Street NW
202.733.2612

The ramen mad geniuses behind Daikaya are back at it again, but this time they’re focusing on the light (yet complex) style of chicken ramen. They’re also serving fried chicken. And did I mention they were doing all of this out of a beautifully / weirdly renovated Burger King with a walkup window?
Yo’ Broths: Shoyu, miso, spicy miso, shoyu chintan and vegetarian.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Mizuna greens, scallions, corn, naruto, chili threads, nori and some cooking wine.
Yo’ Meat: Shredded chicken, roasted chicken, pulled chicken.
Yo’ Money: $12+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can hit them up on Caviar, Uber Eats, Door Dash and Postmates.

Chaplin’s
1501 9th Street NW
202.664.8806
If you’re looking for a date night ramen option, Chaplin’s is a good call. Its dark and vintage aesthetic (you can expect to see classic black and white movies playing on the TVs) lends itself to an intimate dinner, and it’s ramen is definitely up to par. Go for the Chaplin A.S.S. if you’re looking for something spicy, or if you’re kind of a child and just like saying the word “ass” outloud.
Yo’ Broths: Veggie shio, tonkatsu, miso, spicy miso, Asian spicy sour and shoyu.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Bok choy, butter corn, scallion, wakame, stamina egg, fried tofu, bamboo shoots, nori.
Yo’ Meat: Pork, pork belly chasu, chicken, bacon.
Yo’ Money: $12+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can hit them up on Caviar.

Daikaya
705 6th Street NW
202.589.1600
Daikaya is D.C.’s ramen gold standard. Few can live up to it, but also few can get into it on a regular basis. With its small number of seats, you basically always have to wait to get into Daikaya, even if it’s the middle of the day, in the middle of the work week, in the summer (true story). It’s still worth it. Even if the two hour plus waits can be daunting, you should go at least once a year to recalibrate your ramen barometer.
Yo’ Broths: Shio, shoyu, spicy miso, mugi-miso and vegan.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Nitamago (soy-marinated egg), bean sprouts, nori, sesame, scallions, butter, canned corn, wakame (sea weed), menma (bamboo shoots), and bakudan “spice bomb”.
Yo’ Meat: Chasu, ground pork.
Yo’ Money: $13+
DELIVERY: Kind of? Uber Eats will allow you to order their cold ramen, but we recommend the hot stuff. Bring a book a book to read while you wait.

Haikan
805 V Street NW
202.299.1000
And just when you thought you couldn’t get enough of the Daikaya team, they gave us a second ramen joint. Haikan is a Sapporo style ramen shop, just like Daikaya, so if you’re still having problems getting a seat over there, make your way on over to Shaw. At Haikan they’ve focused on recreating ramen from the showa period, but if you’re not a history buff, don’t worry about it. All you need to know is that the ramen is GOOD.
Yo’ Broths: Shio, shoyu, spicy shoyu, miso, and vegetable.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Veggie spice bomb, non-veggie spice bomb, wakame, nori, nitamago, menma, and corn.
Yo’ Meats: Chashu.
Yo’ Money: $13+
DELIVERY: 
Yes! You can hit them up on Caviar.

Hatoba
300 Tingey Street SE
202.488.4800
In the end of 2019, the Daikaya team blessed us with another Sapporo-style ramen restaurant. Located in Navy Yard, Hatoba has a completely different menu than what’s offered at Daikaya and Haikan, but it still slings the A+ ramen we’ve all come to expect from the restaurant group. Plus, if you’re a seafood fiend, Hatoba should be at the top of your list.
Yo’ Broths: Red miso, yuzu-shio, garlic-shoyu and miso-tomato-curry.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Menma, butter, corn, nori and those classic spice bombs.
Yo’ Meat: Chashu.
Yo’ Money: 13+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can order some sweet delivery on Caviar, Seamless and Grubhub.

OKI Bowl DC & Sake 
1817 M Street NW
202.750.6703
Yo’ Broths: Tom yum, miso, kimchi, curry and coconut milk.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Nippon tofu, Mushroom, kimchi, seasonal vegetables, soft/hard boiled egg, roasted sweet corn, bamboo shoot, nori, spicy ball, bean sprout and fried wonton.
Yo’ Meat: Fried chicken, soft shell crab, chashu pork, fried prawn and pork belly.
Yo’ Money: $13+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use Grubhub, Postmates, Bring Me That (which we have never heard of) and Uber Eats.

Sakuramen
2441 18th Street NW
202.656.5285
Yo’ Broths: Miso, shoyu, spicy miso, garlic oil miso, tonkotsu and vegetarian kombu.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Menma, scallions, nori, sprouts, kimchi, corn and mushrooms.
Yo’ Meat: Pork belly, bulgogi, chashu and chicken chashu.
Yo’ Money: $12+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use DoorDash or Postmates.

Toki Underground
1234 H Street NE (above The Pug)
202.388.3086
A classic cold-weather standby for anyone who lives near H Street, Toki’s broth is hearty and rich. The small space can make it hard to get into, but you can always grab a cold drink at The Pug while you wait for your seat. Get your noodle on, D.C.
Yo’ Broths: Red miso infusion, kimchi infusion, curry infusion and vegetarian.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Scallions, beni shoga, sesame seeds and nori.
Yo’ Meat: Braised pork, fried chicken.
Yo’ Money: $14+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use Caviar and Bring Me That.

#BYTHINGS RECOMMENDS:

Uzu
1309 5th St NE (located inside Union Market)
Unfortunately their menu seems to get changed up pretty often and there’s not a whole lot of information on the website, but our Instagram followers have nothing but good things to say about this place. And considering how popular their pop-up (Conbini by Uzu) was, it has got to be good.
DELIVERY: Nah.

Jinya Ramen Bar
1336 14th Street NW, 2911 District Ave. (Suite 140) Fairfax, VA
One of D.C. / VA’s newest ramen spots, Jinya has locations across the nation and even some spots in Canada. They’re (kind of sort of?) a big boy chain, so you should alter your expectations. Jinya’s ramen shines when it comes to their weirder options. We loved their ramen with brussels sprouts as well as their creamy vegan ramen. Don’t be afraid to walk off the beaten path. Or eat off the beaten path. Whichever works best.
Yo’ Broths: Chicken broth, pork and chicken broth, tonkotsu, miso, pork and shrimp broth and vegetable broth.
Yo’ Meat:
Chicken chashu,  pork chashu, ground pork soboro, beef sukiyaki, shrimp & lobster, chicken wonton.
Yo’ Money:
$14+
DELIVERY:
Yes! You can use DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Caviar, Eat 24 and Seamless.

Umaya Izakaya
733 10th St NW
202.290.3443
Yo’ Broths: Tonkotsu, miso, spicy miso, shoyu, curry and vegetarian.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Soft boiled seasoned egg, bamboo shoots, enoki mushrooms, spinach, scallions, beni shoga and corn.
Yo’ Meat: Pork belly and spicy grilled chicken
Yo’ Money: $13+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use Caviar, Grubhub, Postmates and Seamless.

Boru Ramen
2915 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
703.521.2811
Yo’ Broths: Shoyu and miso.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Depends on the ramen!
Yo’ Meat: Braised pork shoulder, pork belly, confit chicken, stewed ground pork.
Yo’ Money: $15+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use CaviarUber Eats or Postmates.

Absolute Noodle
772 5th St NW
202.789.0022
Yo’ Broths: Spicy red miso! It’s the only option.
Yo’ Stand-Bys: Bean sprout, bamboo shoot, scallion, seaweed and hot sesame oil.
Yo’ Meat: Roasted pork! It’s the only option.
Yo’ Money: $12
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use Grubhub and Eat Street

PHO

Pho 14
1436 Park Rd NW4200 Connecticut Ave NW
202.986.2326
Forever Sides:
Basil, limes, jalapenos and bean sprouts.
Meat in Your Mouth: Well-done brisket, well-done flank, soft tendon, fat brisket, bible tripe, chicken (white or dark), tofu (fried, steamed, or dried), round beef, skirt flank, soft tendon and meatballs.
Mind on Your Money: $9+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can order using Bring Me That.

Pho Viet
3513 14th St NW
202.629.2839
Forever Sides:
Fresh bean sprouts, jalapenos, lemon & Asian basil and hành giám.
Meat in Your Mouth: Beef eye round, soft tendon, well-done brisket, flank, meatballs, chicken and shrimp.
Mind on Your Money: $8+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use Postmates or Grubhub.

Sprig and Sprout
2317 Wisconsin Ave NW
202.333.2569
Forever Sides:
 hot peppers, lime wedges, fresh bean sprouts and basil sprigs.
Meat in Your Mouth: eye of round (medium rare), lean brisket, flank, skirt flank, tripe, chicken, shrimp, calamari and surimi.
Mind on Your Money: $10+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can order from Caviar, Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Miss Saigon Restaurant
3057 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
202.333.5545
While Miss Saigon only offers one type of pho (their beef broth with thinly sliced beef and rice noodles), they also offer multiple egg noodle soups like roast quail and spicy lemongrass shrimp.
Forever Sides: Fresh bean sprouts and basil.
Meat in Your Mouth: Thinly-sliced beef.
Mind on Your Money: $11+
DELIVERY: Maybe? The button on their website doesn’t seem to be working.

#BYTHINGS RECOMMENDS:

Pho 75
1721 Wilson Blvd
703.525.7355
Forever Sides: Bean sprouts, hot peppers, lemon and mint leaves.
Meat in Your Mouth: Eye-of-round steak, well-done brisket, fat brisket, well-done flank, skirt flank, soft tendon and bible tripe.
Mind on Your Money: $7+
DELIVERY: Nope! Sorry.

Kien Giang Quan
6795 Wilson Blvd., #19 & 21, Falls Church, VA 22044
703.538.2800
Located right in the Eden Center (which is always a good place to check out when you’re hungry) Kien Giang Quan has a smaller pho menu than most, but people really recommend their bun bo hue… and almost everything else on the menu.
Forever Sides: bean sprouts, hot peppers, lemon and mint leaves.
Meat in Your Mouth: Beef ball, eye-of-round steak and chicken
Mind on Your Money: $9+
DELIVERY: No.

Pho Real
13876 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904
301.879.9700
Forever Sides: Onions, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers, lime and thai basil.
Meat in Your Mouth: Steak, flank, brisket, tendon and tripe.
Mind on Your Money: $7+
DELIVERY: No.

Lotus Cafe
8077 Georgia Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20910
301.588.8888
Forever Sides: Scallions, white onions, cilantro, bean sprouts, basil leaf, lime, and jalapenos.
Meat in Your Mouth: Steak, flank, brisket, tendon, tripe, chicken, meatballs, shrimp.
Mind on Your Money: $6+
DELIVERY: Yes! You can use Postmates.

Caphe Banh Mi
407 Cameron Street, Alexandria VA 22314 
703.549.0800
Forever Sides: Shaved onion, scallion, lime, basil, bean sprout and jalapeno.
Meat in Your Mouth: Flank, brisket, meatballs, filet mignon, tripe and tendon.
Mind on Your Money: $10+
DELIVERY: No.

***BONUS FOOD TRUCK OPTIONS***

Pho Junkies
Forever Sides: Fresh basil, white onion, green onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeño and lime.
Meat in Your Mouth: Steak, brisket, fatty brisket, flank, skirt flank, tendon, tripe and meatball.
Mind on Your Money: $10 – $11

What the Pho
From our very own review:
“Pho’s not the only thing available at What the Pho. You can also feast on Bahn mi sammies or bowls. If you’re really feeling frisky, try the summer rolls. I had the beef Pho and was stuffed by the time I slurped my last noodle. The cilantro bean sprouts, jalapeños and basil toppers are a great addition that will add a fresh kick. And go ahead and be that guy who drowns his Pho in siracha. I won’t tell anyone.”
Forever Sides: fresh basil, cilantro, bean sprouts,  fresh jalapeños and lime wedge.
Meat in Your Mouth: Beef or chicken.
Mind on Your Money: $9

PhoWheels
Forever Sides:
 basil, cilantro, red onions, scallions, lime, jalapenos, rice noodles.
Meat in Your Mouth: eye-round steak, meatballs, chicken.
Mind on Your Money: $9

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