Looking for the best udon restaurant in all of New York City? Raku is one place you must add to your list right away if you are obsessed with thick and chewy udon noodles. I have visited this restaurant multiple times and still find myself craving it at least every two weeks. There are two locations which you can visit in either East Village or Soho but I usually frequent the East Village location. The shop is quite small but there is plenty of outdoor seating outside at the parklet. Depending on when you come, it gets extremely busy during lunch and dinner time on the weekends so I would highly suggest coming early if you can. You can scan the menu from a QR code at the table. Raku has a great selection of items on its menu ranging from cold or hot appetizers, donburis, cold udon, hot udon, desserts, and beer. The prices here average around $7- $20 which is more on the expensive side for a bowl of udon but the quality and taste are delicious. If you ever find yourself craving a bowl of authentic udon, check out Raku.
My top recommendations for Raku are the karaage for the appetizer and the niku hot udon. Who doesn’t love marinated deep-fried chicken which is still juicy on the outside but crispy on the inside? Every table I saw had a plate of karaage and it is a best seller. In terms of the niku udon, this is also their number one seller. If you are a fan of beef short ribs and honeycomb tripe, this is the bowl for you. Not only are they generous with the meat and tripe, but it also comes with radish inside. The broth itself makes the udon worth it since you can tell it has been simmering for hours and taste the level of depth. I can drink the broth for days and still won’t be tired of it. The noodles are also made in-house and have the perfect bouncy texture. Each piece is made to perfection and I love how chewy it is. If you are looking for fancier udon, go for the wagyu option which comes with a5 Miyazaki wagyu and green onions. There is also vegetarian udon so there is something for everyone.
Trust me when I say that Raku is one of the best udon restaurants in the city. Once you eat their udon, it feels as though you are transported to Japan!
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