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Japanese chain Santouka Ramen to open in Toronto this summer

A hot bowl of shio ramen from an Illinois branch of Santouka (Image: B.2010)

Though the ramen trend has been booming elsewhere for years, Toronto still has only a handful of joints serving up the rich, brothy goodness (and none of those satisfy the snobs experts on Chowhound). Good news, though—there should be at least one more option come summer, courtesy of one of Japan’s larger ramen chains, Santouka Ramen. According to Ben Hada, manager of Vancouver’s Santouka location, the company is looking at spaces in downtown Toronto and working to find local suppliers (which is causing some difficulty: apparently the Japanese restaurant supply network in Toronto is not nearly as developed as that in Vancouver). Santouka has devoted fans in Vancouver and California, where its tokusen toroniku ramen, featuring pork cheek served very rare, is particularly loved by locals. We have to admit we were a little disappointed when we found out that Santouka’s noodles are made by a Japanese manufacturer in the U.S. and not fresh onsite. What would Tampopo say? (h/t Eat)

  • aser

    Most shops in Japan get their noodles from one manufacturer. Why would you expect Santouka to make noodles in house?

    We’re very fortunate to have Santouka coming, it’ll be some of the best ramen you can get in N. America. Ramen nerds’ collective prayers have been answered.

  • Sahoko

    The key will be the sodium level of the broth. ANYONE can make a tasty broth if they fill it full of sodium, or worse, MSG (aka ajimoto).
    I will willing pay many$$$$$ if someone can make a not-high-sodium MSG-free tasty bowl or ramen.

  • mikeyc

    We had Santouka in LA and it was great! We desperately need more authentic noodle joints in TO.

  • mattagascar


  • Bobby

    Hey Mattagascar, have you tried Santouka? It’s really good, don’t knock it til’ you try it.

  • mattagascar

    If they can’t be bothered to make their own noodles then I have no interest in trying them. Shit, I even make my own when I get a craving for ramen. LAZY cookie cutter shit.

  • Johnny Dangerous

    Amen brother

  • missyj

    @mattagascar Good then stay home… more for us. SCORE!

  • Patricia

    Santouka pork jowl mean is so good! I am excited for Santouka, as I tried it in Vancouver:

  • kk

    agreed- will try but have no hopes up- all the good little mom & pop joints in nippon make the noodles= why its so good there and generally crappy here

  • mmmmm

    It’s about damn time we got us some good ramen! I’m so sick of the crap we have here. Why is Toronto so slow to catch on to food trends?? Sheesh!

  • awesome

    if you’ve never tried santouka before, you dont know what youre missing. all my friends from japan living in vancouver live by this place. all the haters, you’ll be thoroughly surprised.

  • Cocoloco

    Are they still coming to toronto?

  • MichaelT

    Santouka just opened today (Sept 4 2012). They are at 205 Dundas Street West (University Ave & Dundas).

  • Kevin W

    just tried the ramen store at 205 Dundas West. This place has a similar name but it is unfortunately not santouka. And the taste is not too outstanding either

  • Licia_H

    It’s going to be at 91 Dundas West

  • DoucheyMcDouchebag

    I don’t care what you noodle-Nazis say, I’m excited for this new restaurant. I spent 2 months in Tokyo and had lots of ramen, and what made the difference for me was the broth.

    A word of comfort for Sahoko: MSG is really not that bad for you! Seriously, do a bit of research and you’ll discover that the negative publicity it received some years ago was, for the most part, just a false scare.

  • Rebecca

    Looks like Santouka is opening up on Dundas just east of Bond street shortly; they just put up signs.

  • Ramen Foodie

    Had tons of Ramen in Vancouver 10-15 years ago. Why is Toronto always behind the world class cities? I’m going to love the Toronto ramen if it’s as good.