Vancouver has seen a surge in the popularity of ramen over the last five years, most of which seem to be located in the West End neighbourhood around Robson and Denman Streets. While there are many to choose from, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka consistently makes the lists of best ramen restaurants in Vancouver. The restaurant is part of a chain from Hokkaido, Japan's most northern island. The restaurants were started by a man called Hitoshi Hatanka who was unhappy with the ramen available in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. He decided to open his own restaurant, which quickly became a local favourite. Today he has restaurants in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, and Canada (Toronto and Vancouver). 

The menu has multiple pages, but we recommend their signature topknots toroniku ramen. For those new to the ramen experience, it comes in four flavours here: shoyu (soy), miso (soybean paste), shio (salt), and kara miso (spicy soybean).  

There's bound to be a line up out the door, but it's worth the wait. Seating is either at a large circular table where you can watch how the locals eat the long noodles, or at booths. 

A: 1690 Robson Street | T: 604.681.8121 | W: www.santouka.co.jp/en

Hours: Monday - Sunday 11am - 11pm