We're always looking for something new and fun to do here at FBC and so... to that end, we're kicking off a new monthly feature: The FBC Canadian Restaurant Roundup. Once a month we're going to travel from East to West (or West to East) checking out some of the country's top spots for food.
We've joined forces with a great crew of FBC Restaurant Bloggers who make it their business to know their city's best spots for food. They're going to share their picks once a month based on a theme. We're going to cover it all - from ethnic cuisine to little hole in the wall pizza joints and fine dining.
So whether it's your hometown, or you're planning a little trip to another part of the country, you'll want to make note of some of these mouthwatering stops!
This month's theme is Ramen. It's hot and comforting - perfect for miserable November weather. Let's kick if off in Vancouver with Dee and Sean...
Vancouver's Top Ramen Pick
When you ask two of Vancouver's top restaurant bloggers to name their top spot for Ramen, in a city that has more than it's fair share of Ramen options, and they both come back with one name - Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - you know it's got to be good.
Dee from Gastrofork shared why she chose Santouka:
if you're looking for an authentic experience and one of the most delicious Miso Ramen broths in Vancouver look no further. While it's surrounded by many other ramen shops, you can't go wrong when the clientele is mostly Japanese. With seasonal specials, combos and one of the bigger menus for a ramen shop, Santouka is a heavy contender for best Ramen in the city.
Read Dee's review of Santouka.
Sean from Sean's Adventures in Flavortown was in complete agreement:
this Ramen chain in extremely popular in Japan and since opening their only Vancouver location, they've been named Vancouver Magazine's "must eat bowl of noodles in the city" - and they're right! It's all about the broth and pork here, the featured "melt in your mouth" pork cheek and the miso ramen are not to be missed
Read Sean's review of Santouka.
Calgary's Top Ramen Pick
Dan from Dan's Good Side told us that in Calgary, you need look no further than Anju:
If I have out of town-ers coming for a visit in Calgary, I almost always take them to Anju for dinner. The Korean-style tapas menu here is definitely one of a kind in Calgary, not to mention in all of Alberta. Here, Chef/owner Roy Oh's take on ramen is a stone bowl filled with fresh noodles, braised short ribs, and egg floating in a rich, spicy broth that can satisfy your appetite and clear your sinus' too! It's also finished with a healthy dollop of creme fraiche, which is an unconventional, but delicious touch. What more could a guy ask for in a bowl of ramen?
For Dan's review of Anju click here.
Winnipeg's Top Ramen Pick
Kathryne from Food Musings chose Elements as her top pick for ramen in Winnipeg:
Elements is a full service restaurant right on the University of Winnipeg campus and so it is no surprise that they know what is hot and Ramen is it. You make three decisions about your personal noodle bowl and the variations are endless. Elements is THE spot for Ramen in Winnipeg.
Click through for Kathryne's full review of Elements.
Toronto's Top Ramen Pick
Choosing just one Ramen spot in any of our major centres can't be easy but Stella at Food Junkie Chronicles steered us towards Kinton Ramen:
My current favourite ramen spot in the city is Kinton Ramen. Kinton's soup based is rich, full-flavoured and luscious without being salty. The ramen is firm and not too soft, slightly chewy with a delicate springiness to it.
For Stella's review check out Kinton Ramen here.
Ottawa's Top Ramen Pick
Don and his team at FoodiePrints in Ottawa know their food and their choice for Ottawa is Sidedoor.
Only one restaurant in Ottawa serves fresh ramen noodles, Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen and Bar (18b York Street). Thankfully, Chef Jonny Korecki and his kitchen serve up good bowls with rich soup and fresh vegetables. The noodles are prepared in-house according to New York chef David Chang's (Momofuku) technique and recipe with sodium carbonate. Bowls showcase Korecki's style of Asian-contemporary cuisine, oriental techniques with local ingredients.
You can check out FoodiePrints review of Sidedoor here.
Montreal's Top Ramen Pick
We had two picks for Ramen in Montreal! There's some Ramen depth in this city!
Michelle from Roasted chose Kazu as her top pick
Kazu is a tiny hole in the wall Izakaya style restaurant located just west of the downtown core here in Montreal. Although the ambience may be pretty basic, the food is as good as it gets. It's well worth the visit - and the lineup!
Jason at Shut Up And Eat went with a different choice...Imadake Izakaya
Whether you're looking for Japanese pub grub or a spot to slurp copious amounts of ramen, Imadake Izakaya is one of Montreal's hottest spots. Communal style dining and a boisterous welcoming chorus of "Irasshaimase!" from all corners of the restaurant, Imadake exemplifies izakaya style dining.
You can read Jason's review of Imadake Izakaya here.
Quebec City's Top Ramen Pick
Japanese cuisine other than sushi is very new to Québec City and our very first authentic Japanese ramen joint has opened just over a year ago. Three Japanese brothers, who also own a popular sushi restaurant in the city, built Hosaka-Ya Ramen in a simple, “just like in Tokyo” style. It’s small and boisterous, service is super quick and efficient, and hungry visitors are always greeted with smiles and a loud “Irasshaimase!”, of course. Although I have to admit their broth doesn’t have the depth of those I tasted in Japan, it’s still delicious and satisfying and, most of all, it’s the best place to warm up after walking around in Québec City’s cold and snowy winter.
Check out Marie's review of Hosaka-Ya Ramen.
Big thanks to our entire Restaurant Roundup Crew for sharing their favourite ramen spots. They'll all be back next month with their top spots for a little post holiday shopping hot chocolate... both kid and adult friendly!
Don't see your city listed here? Do you review restaurants on your blog and are you and FBC Member? Then let us know! We're still looking for folks in Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, the Niagara and Waterloo areas, Fredericton, St. John's and Charlottetown. You can reach out to us through our Contact page.
**All images in this post are courtesy of the individual bloggers unless otherwise noted.