No distraction from the ramen is allowed at Ichiran. It’s the only thing on the menu—no appetizers and no sides are offered. It will also be your sole focus, because the restaurant is four rooms of counter seating only, and, in an introvert-pleasing move, there are panels separating each solo diner (pairs have no barrier between them, but there is a barrier to the strangers on either side of you, almost as if you were taking a test!). A woven curtain also separates diners from waitstaff; all you’ll see of them are their mid-torso and arms, and you don’t speak to them, just ring a buzzer and deliver a checked-off menu with your order. So does the ramen deserve this sort of intense concentration? I think that Ippudo’s (see below) is superior, with a richer, more complex broth. But Ichiran will appeal to those who like their noodles spicy—a dollop of house-made hot sauce is in each bowl, with customers checking off a menu box to determine how much heat. The location, right off Times Square, is also super-convenient for theatergoers. And the very Japanese experience of these cubicles does make you feel like you’ve been transported across the Pacific.
New York City
New York City› Restaurant
Ichiran Times Square
152 W. 49th St. (btw Seventh and Sixth Aves.)
Our Rating Neighborhood Times Square & Midtown West Hours Subway: N, Q, R to 49th St. or 1 to 50th St. Transportation Daily 11am–11pm Prices Ramen $18.90 (more with added ingredients) Cuisine Type Japanese Web site Ichiran
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.