The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is committed to continuing our normal features, where appropriate, during the coronavirus outbreak. For full coverage of the outbreak in Atlanta, please check our Coronavirus News Section. We have decided to continue Best of Atlanta voting for the time being, despite social distancing. We encourage our readers to support local businesses after the authorities loosen the social distancing rules — along with supporting those businesses that offer delivery or pickup during the outbreak.
If the word “ramen” conjures images of hard noodles, a flavor packet and a microwave, you’ve probably never had real ramen.
Ramen “has evolved over hundreds of years to become a signature dish of Japan, after first being introduced to the nation by Chinese immigrants,” Angela Hansberger wrote for the AJC’s special dining section on noodles. “After World War II, the springy, wheat-based noodles swept Japan, with regional styles emerging, and it became the staple it is today.”
Metro Atlanta has so many ramen joints to choose from, it’s a wonder anyone could have a favorite. But hundreds of you did, and nearly half of you picked the same place.
Our fifth place finisher was Ginya Izakaya on Northside Drive. During normal times, this Japanese pub’s menu is served tapas style. During the coronavirus pandemic, however, there is no dining in. The full menu is still available 5-11 p.m. seven days a week for call-in pickup or delivery through Postmates, Uber Eats and other services.
Finishing in fourth place was Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur. Brush “is a Japanese restaurant offering a combination of authentic quality ramen and detailed chef driven sushi omakase experiences,” executive chef Jason Liang writes on the restaurant’s website. Brush’s dining room is open 5-9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday with reservations. Although walk-ins are welcome, they will be allowed only if there is room. You can also place an order for pickup.
Third place this year went to Haru Ichiban in Duluth. Haru Ichiban’s menu is presented by cooking method — raw, grilled, fried, sizzling — plus stews, noodles and rice dishes. All items are served family style and are meant to be shared. You can order dinner online for delivery or to pick up 5:30-8 p.m. every day, or lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
In second place was Jinya Ramen Bar, which has multiple locations throughout Atlanta and in Athens. Jinya is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week for takeout orders placed over the phone or for delivery at various locations. Jinya states on its website that “real Japanese ramen isn’t about the noodles, it’s about the broth.” Jinya is named for a Samurai soldier that was close to the founder’s community in Tokyo.
This year’s overwhelming winner, with 40% of the vote, was Yakitori Jinbei in Smyrna. Last year’s second place finisher, Yakitori Jinbei is open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday for socially distanced dining, curbside pickup and delivery. Chef Jae Choi “incorporates three types of pork bones, chicken bones and dried fish, varying temperatures and tempering flavors to provide what he calls ‘utmost umami.’”
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