Go East and the Wait for Totto Ramen is Much Shorter


One of the reasons I rarely find myself at Totto Ramen is because the lines are massively intimidating. The ramen is good, but who’s got time to wait in those lines? Don’t New Yorkers work?


Well, a few weeks ago, Totto Ramen quietly opened up a third location just on the other side of town on the same street as its first 52nd Street location. This one is literally in the same building as another Midtown-ramen classic, Hide-Chan. Both businesses are owned by the same person and they focus on different broths (chicken vs. pork bone), so there are plenty of ramen options on 52nd Street.


When I arrived around 12:30pm, I saw a healthy line out the door and my hopes of a shorter line were dashed. However, I noticed it moved rather quickly and in a matter of minutes, I was sitting at the bar. It looked like parties of 1 or 2 sat pretty quickly with the only people waiting outside being the ones waiting for more guests.


The menu looked pretty identical to the two locations on the west side. I tried to keep the price low by sticking with their classic Paitan Ramen and a pork bun.


I had never had one of their pork buns so figured that was a must order. The pork was phenomenal, plump and fatty with lots of flavor, but I wasn’t crazy about the addition of tartar sauce and an abundance of iceberg lettuce. It hinted at cheap American fast food – for better or worse.


The ramen, however, was still spectacular. The rich, complex chicken broth brings a unique flavor to the soup and the pork here is unbeatable.


They continue the tradition of charring the pork with a blowtorch in front of you and it gives the meat a smoky, caramelized flavor that is unparalleled. And that amazing chicken broth makes a nice warming home for the onions and springy noodles.


I managed to wait in line, order, and eat in about 45 minutes. This is a huge win for ramen lovers without much time on their hands. Although as the weather gets colder (and now that we’ve posted this article), I can’t make any promises it will stay this way.

Totto Ramen, 248 East 52nd Street (btw. 2nd+3rd Ave), 212-421-0052


  • Totto ramen is so overrated.

  • I’ve been to this one because I live a couple blocks away. I can say that their noodles are really really good, but I wasn’t as happy as I was at Lucky Cat in regards to the broth.

    When I went it was nearly 5:30, when they open, (on a Saturday no less) and there was 15-20 people already waiting. I barely got a seat at the bar, and by the time I was done the place was packed.

    Also, people seem to either not know or not respect the “We will not seat you till your entire table is here” rule. 3 groups tried that in the 25 minutes I was sitting.

    InB4 Fred being a douche-nozzle. FRED HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO THIS WEEK.

  • I went about 2 weeks ago for lunch…no line at all. I was disappointed with their broth. too porky and not enough dept of flavor…ramen is generally overrated imo.


    The “tip o’ the hat to Mssr FromaaaaaaAAAge” edition

  • “I tried to keep the price low by sticking with their classic Paitan Ramen and a pork bun.” = $13. And the Paitan ramen is the only main dish on the menu that’s under $10 (by 25 cents). For noodles in broth…. Just sayin’

  • It might be preferential, but I’m just not into the chicken broth. I’ll stick with Hide Chan, upstairs or my other go-to, the “Lucky Cat” house special.

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