Ramen-san

Ramen-san

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.ramensan.com/
  • Phone: 3123779950x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday: 4 PM - 1 AM
    Monday: 11 AM - 1 AM
    Tuesday: 11 AM - 1 AM
    Wednesday: 11 AM - 1 AM
    Thursday: 11 AM - 1 AM
    Friday: 11 AM - 1 AM
    Saturday: 4 PM - 2 AM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Asian, Japanese, Asian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Smoking Area, Takeout

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Clark Street
  • Parking: No
A word from Ramen-san
Ramen-san is a lively, neighborhood restaurant and bar in River North reminiscent of traditional ramen shops in Japan. The space is raw, anchored by exposed brick and reclaimed wood, which makes for an understated, yet inviting ambiance. Ramen-san marks the partners’ fourth collaboration with Japanese designer Kota Bando, who created a comfortable, approachable space where diners can enjoy noodles in a casual setting for dinner and late night.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Ramen-san reviews from OpenTable diners
198 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
hot spot (100)fit for foodies (99)good for groups (63)great for lunch (54)late-night find (49)neighborhood gem (45)vibrant bar scene (40)special occasion (11)kid-friendly (10)great for outdoor dining (5)great for brunch (5)scenic view (4)romantic (3)Show More
  • The Service...SMH
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    The service was so absolutely abhorrent that I'll never come back, in spite of really good food. My date and I watched as walk in after walk in got served before us in spite of the fact that we had reservations and had ordered before all of them. No effort was made to update us on our order as we waited. As a Lettuce establishment, I expect way more than what we received for what was charged. Please do better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • DELISH
    LaurenVIP
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    I've been craving ramen but hadn't found a spot I really wanted to try - until Ramen-San! VERY happy with my choice - the Express lunch was perfect. A great deal with a good amount of food - the kimchi was great, the ramen was the perfect kick to a cold day and the skirt steak rice plate was tasty! Nice job Ramen-San. I will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • So delicious
    Toscanadiner
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The ramen is sooo good you must try it. Reasonably priced for it's location and the area is fun and hip. Also try the raw tuna. Beyond fresh!!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Long wait, but great service
    clompsthedinosaur
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Our party of 3 was really hungry, so I made a reservation for later that evening at Ramen-San. Due to some guests who lingered way. too. long., we were not seated until 45 minutes after our reservation time. That said, the manager/owner did several things that really impressed me. 1. He hinted to the parties (without asking them to leave) to get up and leave by removing cocktail glasses, clearing the tables, asking if they needed anything else. 2. When they didn't leave, he hooked us up, because he could tell we weren't super happy. We got some delicious appetizers waiting for us as soon as we finally sat down and Asahi beer while we were still waiting. 3. He made both parties (the guests who wouldn't leave and us) as happy as he could!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun, upbeat place with great food.
    ChicagoGal
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This place has great food and a fun, lively bar atmosphere. I went on Saturday night, and with the bar scene it was not particularly romantic but perfect for dinner before a night out with friends (or just a fun dinner). Food is really good, as was the service. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Choice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This is my second time here for lunch. I am going in a couple weeks for dinner with a group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, awful front door staff
    simama
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Once we finally got into our reservation at 8:30p although our entire party arrived at 7:55p (5 minutes before our reservation), the food was great and the service was alright. After the front door staff promptly informed me that we'd be seated right away since our entire party had arrived and they just needed to clear the table, they proceeded to seat at least six other parties of the same size ahead of us and tell me "yes, we just need to clear the table for your group." The manager spoke to me trying to ease things over but didn't take any action to make up for this confusion...like seating us next, maybe? To sum up, the experience could've been far better - the food and ambiance are there, just need to focus on the front door staff!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noodles galore
    Baldegl
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The menu is limited but what they do have is good, well proportioned and well seasoned. All in all another good addition to the area but it is amazing how noodle restaurants are proliferating.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Its Just Ramen
    redred
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    The place is very trendy. However, I think you pay for that trendiness, by rather high priced noodles. You are probably better off going to China town for some really great Ramen if that is what you are looking for.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent ramen
    HarryVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    My friend and I split an order of the Spicy Szechuan chicken wings and then ordered a bowl of ramen each (one brisket ramen and one fried chicken / kim chi ramen). I thought all the food was fantastic and delicious and I can't wait have it again. The service level is "hipster-ish," but totally tolerable for the good eats. The booths were not especially comfortable and the tables looked even worse, but, again, yum.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ramen - San
    Agnes04VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great Ramen...I had the mushroom with side of panko crusted chicken...soo good. The buns are very good as well. Nice beers, especially the lager in a frosted mug. Great service. Will be back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ccccVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food at Ramen-san. We enjoyed everything that we ordered!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great lunch deal
    RoMareVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    ramen and rice bowl lunch special was spectacular.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Moni
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    The waiter over-recommended the added pork, for the ramen, and it was extremely fatty.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but needs tweaking
    bonlom
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Nice, open air type of dining. Pleasant hostesses. Seated before reservations. Had a great waitress...made recommendations, was patient, pleasant. Chicken wings were very tasty, a little spicy. Pork belly buns were a good size, lots of pork, nice taste. Tonkotsu had a lot of flavor, good amt of pork and other veggies. Sumo bowl was not so great...super salty, had some brisket but forgot to put pork in, had very little broth, very spicy...my husband couldn't eat it. Not a cheap meal for ramen.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meh Ramen Just jumping on the trend
    ramensanVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The folks at LEY missed the boat on this one. Anyone who knows Japanese food/ Ramen knows the shoyu broth starts with dashi. Not sure what the basic broth is made from here, but there is so much lemon grass and a spicy oil (both not traditional) in it it masks any of the umami characteristic of the broth. I took a Japanese friend to celebrate her birthday and she was less than impressed and commented that she felt there wasn't one Japanese person in the kitchen and the person putting the menu together must have been Korean due to the flavors of the food and Kimchi and other non Japanese ingredients on the menu. I think in this case they jumped on the "ramen trend" too quickly without putting enough thought into the food or concept.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great bowls. Redundant music
    FoodguruVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Bowls and service are excellent. Rap music got very redundant and ended our dinner early. Vary the music or you'll end up driving your clientele away
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Blech! Not for me.
    YvonneVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    The service wasn't that great for us. Nobody was at the host(ess) stand when we arrived, our server switched out but continued to help other tables, and the manager greeted one table (not ours) while we were there. The portion of ramen is less than other ramen restaurants and we were still hungry afterward. We followed up with some fried chicken wings which were delicious! I loved their cocktails but found them to be too small and laden with ice for the price. In the end we ended up spending nearly $90 for a ramen dinner that costs about $30 at other places.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good ramen
    maryelizabeth
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    The ramen was very good and had a lot of flavor. I am looking forward to trying different dishes.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome food but pricey!
    312diner
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The food was amazing. I went there with my two daughters on a Saturday for lunch. The place was practically empty when we got there but started to fill up as we were leaving. We asked if there was a kids menu and the waitress said no. She gave the two menus for lunch and the basic one. When we ordered, she was helpful in explaining a few things. I wish she would have said to order one and split it between the kids. Our total tab was 75!! for lunch for 3 bowls of ramen and a drink..
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Equally fantastic gyoza and ramen
    Tommy
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Having spent time in the Izakaya's in Japan, Ramen San equals the best of them for the food. The ramen itself is amazing...it tastes fresh and made with the same level of care that defines really excellent ramen. A big favorite is the gyoza. I think Ramen San has the best gyoza in Chicago. If you've ever been to Japan, you know that the gyoza there is a real treat...it's elevated to an art form there. Equal to the classic restaurant there "Gyoza no osho". Great ambiance, although the music tends towards the loud side. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place to have lunch/dinner!
    alearias
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I have been to eat lunch and dinner, and I love it. All the Ramens are great, and the service is amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hip spot
    Southlooplovely
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Love the food, music and location. Try something from each category and be sure to order the black sesame ice cream
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome as always!
    LovehiddengemsVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Everything was great and we look forward to coming back!! Best Ramen in chicago for sure!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun place good service
    curlyhead
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Servers were friendly and helpful in this bustling restaurant. The wings were very good, salmon appetizer yummy too. We split two ramen bowls between four of us. 2 liked the brisket better, two liked the mushroom ramen. Both had nice flavor. Not sure I would go back tho. A bit expensive for ramen.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Iwasa there 5 times. The temperature of the Ramen soup is always terribly low and not warm never hot enough gas Ramen we do not call it Ramen in Japan.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • ChicoVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Love the ramen. Noodles are some of the best I've had. Don't miss the black sesame ice cream.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • "My manager says..." B. S.
    PanamaniacsVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    The drinks were tasty, but tiny. $10 for a margarita served in a 6 oz. rocks glass, really? The Mantou buns made delicious appetizers, especially the pork belly. They arrived relatively quickly, but then our server seemed to disappear for while. We each ordered a bowl of ramen for dinner. My husband likes his piping hot, which is how bowls of ramen are usually served. When dinner finally came, the broth was just a step above lukewarm. That's OK for me, but he sent his back. Two minutes later the server appeared with the same bowl and said, "My manager says you have to stir it up first." Did. Still cold. It took forever for a new one, which was just hot enough. Were they expecting him to stir it so fast it would make heat through friction?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yum!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Love the fried chicken sticky buns! Everything is delicious!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Ramen Even Better Music
    foodie
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Food was all great. The ambiance was energetic. Drinks were also good. Try the cilantro lime margarita
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Ramen ever
    GRANNY04
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    This is the Best Ramen Soup restaurant I've ever been too.Our table wasn't quite ready when we got there (the restaurant was packed) the hostess and manager kept us informed of the situation and were very apologetic even though I don't think our wait was no more than 15 minutes and it was by our choice to specifically wait for booth seating.(The time passed quickly just people watching every one out and about)After being seated and ordering drinks to our surprise a complimentary appetizer was brought to us. The waitress explained all of the Ramen options and gave very good descriptions of the various choices. This was by far the best Ramen I had in a long time. The experience definitely made our last night in Chicago a very memorable one.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meh
    AdSmithVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Great ambiance, service and IDEA...ramen was not great. Apps were good and not authentic, but good. Steak was disgusting (undercooked and/or fatty?), the rest is just fried bar food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ramen San
    sharVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    One dish was salty/-the pork. The shiitake mushroom was great. Won ton appetizer was fab. Will go back to try other dishes.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Okay to try once
    SimpleSauceVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    I was not impressed with any of the food or drink. I ordered the cilantro-lime margarita, which comes in an extremely small glass. The drink was good, but because of the portion size, you're done after a few sips. I had a special lamb ramen, which was just okay, nothing special.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice lunch
    CityGirl
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We enjoyed a delicious lunch that included two different Ramen, tuna tartare and gyoza. The raw tuna on sesame crackers was especially delightful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good..
    ChiFoodJunkieVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Thought it was OK compared to other Ramen I have had recently. The apps were nothing to brag about, but they have my favorite beer, Hitachino, so that was a plus.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Don't believe any negative reviews!
    lovelogan
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Went for lunch and loved the express lunch japanese lunchbox. The tonkotsu ramen has a full flavored thick broth and the noodles are al dente delicious! The molten egg was not cold as previous reviews have mentioned and the pork was moist and melted on the tongue. The salmon with rice was moist and tender and I loved the side of kimchi and the side salad was substantial and had a great selection of fresh cut vegetables. It was much more than the typical ice berg lettuce served at a lot of asian restaurants. There were nice touches such as a whole fire roasted pepper and tomato on top of the rice dish. I am counting the days until I return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • DanieocVIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Tried Ramen-san because we saw a write up in a local magazine. Hip looking decor, young crowd, good food and service. The only downside was the music was too loud so it was difficult to carry on a conversation. The traditional Japanese "bowl" was delicious and if the noise level were reduced just a bit, I'd go back to try another dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    veggie
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    We have been vegetarian for 30 years and this was the only Ramen restaurant to have a veggie option and it was great. Music was a little overwhelming, rap in a Japanese setting?? Over all experience was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Foods amazing! Great sake!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Great date spot, great service, food was amazing, reasonably priced, what more can you ask for!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.