Ramen Mania

Where to go for great ramen in Silicon Valley. Tech isn’t the only area where Silicon Valley excels. Foodies will be happy to learn that the region known for its million-dollar startups is also home to some darn good noodles. Here, the craft is taken very seriously by a diverse population of Asians and Americans who are accustomed to eating only the best. Yes, ramen is the bowl of choice at Orenchi Ramen. How sweet and perfectly dente the egg is once dropped into Orenchi’s flavorful broth. That’s one reason the wait for a table at this Santa Clara outpost can be up to 45 minutes. But undeterred eaters are also there for the crispy takoyaki, a fried dumpling filled with octopus. SJ - Takoyaki - tab2_daway While you could choose between Maru Ichi and Ramen House Ryowa in Mountain View, better to do a taste-off. After all, they’re only two blocks apart. You can watch as Maru Ichi pulls its own noodles, then adds them to kuro (or black) ramen made with sesame and blackened garlic. For a kick, dig into the homemade chili condiments at Ryowa, some of which have a level-five spiciness. Proceed with caution. Ryowa also does a vegetarian-based broth. Mountain-View_kuro-ramen_flickr The tokusen toroniku at San Jose’s Santouka Ramen is not to be missed. It is accompanied by succulent slices of pork cheek; the taste of this rare cut of meat is often compared to fatty tuna. At the Mitsuwa Marketplace, meals are food-court style and feature some of the best ramen in Silicon Valley: Santouka is the real deal, part of a Hokkaido-based ramen chain. Don’t worry about those lines, either. Generally, they move quickly.

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