Ramen fiends: 5 new spots to try in San Francisco

Looking for the best new ramen stops in San Francisco? These spots will satisfy all your cravings next time you're in the mood for some hearty noodle soup.

Mangrove Kitchen

312 Divisadero St., Lower Haight

Photo: c. m./Yelp

Topping the list is Mangrove Kitchen, a Thai spot offering ramen and more just off of Oak Street, a few blocks from the Panhandle and the DMV.

Here you'll find options like ramen noodles in five-spice broth with bone-in beef short ribs, spinach, caramel eggs and mushrooms; spicy fried catfish with green peppercorn, coconut and red curry sauce; or chicken satay, grilled marinated chicken with Thai curry powder and peanut sauce.

Yelp users are excited about Mangrove Kitchen, which currently holds five stars out of 18 reviews on the site.

"This is a fairly new place and they offer a lunch special that included appetizers (fried spring rolls and chicken potstickers), a choice of ramen (beef-based or vegetarian), and a beverage," Yelper A W. noted. "It was all a very good deal. We were all satisfied with what we ordered and the portion size was pretty good. Would definitely return in the future."

Yelper Jenjira K. added, "The ramen is a must here. They mix it with coconut broth, and unsurprisingly, it was delicious. We also tried the crispy pork belly, which was also good. And there are many dishes I wanna come back and try."

Mangrove Kitchen is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Ushi Taro

1382 Ninth Ave., Inner Sunset

Photo: USHI TARO/Yelp

Next up is Ushi Taro, a joint that specializes in beef-bone broth made with black truffles and olives. It's located near the Judah St. & 9th Ave. Muni stop and just a couple of blocks away from the Ninth Avenue entrance to Golden Gate Park.

After an afternoon at the Academy of Sciences or just tossing frisbee in the park, stop over for house specialties like tsukemen, ramen with dipping broth on the side; ox tail stew with tomato, oyster mushrooms and arugula; or stir-fried beef filet with red onions, egg and beef broth.

Yelp users are generally positive about Ushi Taro, which currently holds four stars out of 23 reviews.

"It's not a traditional ramen spot," Yelper Cheryl C. noted. "The broth is definitely something out of the norm, but it's really worth trying because they have taken their unique spin on ramen."

Yelper Stephanie Z. wrote, "This was probably one of the better bowls of ramen I've had. I literally held my bowl up and drank all of the soup broth."

Ushi Taro is open from 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on weekends.

Ichiraku Ramen

5336 Geary Blvd., Inner Richmond

Photo: Jade c./Yelp

Ichiraku Ramen is a new neighborhood haunt on Geary between 17th and 18th avenues.

Keep an eye out for ramen noodles with pork broth, black fungus, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and a soft-boiled egg; tonkotsu with black garlic oil pork broth, bean sprouts, green onions and pork; and pan-fried gyoza with house sauce.

With a 4.5-star Yelp rating out of 53 reviews, Ichiraku Ramen has been getting positive attention.

"The ramen had good flavor and the noodles weren't your typical thick ones, but these were rather thin with a nice texture," Yelper Fallon P. noted. "I will definitely come back to try the red garlic tonkotsu and takoyaki. It's a nice intimate place to satisfy your ramen craving with good food and good service."

Yelper Yeanne L. wrote, "This place is good, and I wouldn't mind coming back if a friend wanted to try it. If you're in the area and feeling ramen, I'd recommend."

Ichiraku Ramen is open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Tenroku Ramen

4435 Mission St., Excelsior

Photo: Avocadoagogo/Yelp

Tenroku Ramen is a spot to score ramen, sushi and more near the Excelsior Branch Library.

This establishment features counter seating and offers dishes like chashu pork ramen with spinach, corn and green onions; pork belly tonkotsu ramen with vegetables and a boiled egg; and Hokkaido scallop ramen with miso broth.

With a three-star rating out of 19 reviews on Yelp, Tenroku Ramen is still finding its way, but it's early days.

"I have been here twice already," Yelper James B. said. "The pork belly ramen in tonkotsu broth is amazing. The two-piece oysters on the half shell are some of the tastiest and freshest oysters I've ever had. Pricing is normal for a bowl. Overall it's good place with really good food."

Yelper Galen W. added, "The ramen was pretty good and there were lots of noodles and toppings. I would come back."

Tenroku Ramen is open from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Yo-Kai Express

135 Fourth St., SoMa

Photo: nelson x./Yelp

And last but not least is Yo-Kai Express, a new joint that is actually nothing more than a ramen vending machine near the movie ticket line in the Metreon.

If you're in a hurry to catch a movie or just out late looking for a snack, hit up this stationary soup-slinging robot for rotating options like tonkotsu or miso ramen that are ready to go in about a minute.

With a 3.5-star rating out of 21 reviews on Yelp, Yo-Kai Express is still finding its groove.

"I thought the idea of a ramen vending machine was extremely funny, so I had to try it out," Yelper Annie Z. noted. "Even though I had my doubts about the quality of the ramen, it actually tasted like something you would get in a restaurant. The flavor of the broth was rich, and the pork tasted pretty fresh. The machine was easy to navigate and the ramen bowl was assembled in 45 seconds."

Yelper Nelson X. wrote, "The meat and vegetables were pretty good and the noodles were surprisingly springy. Where it fell short, in my opinion, is the miso broth. It's not quite as flavorful as I like it to be -- but then again, it's vending machine ramen so my expectations were set a bit too high. Overall, it was good."

Yo-Kai Express is on 24 hours a day, but keep in mind: the Metreon's doors are not open 24/7.