510 News: Ippudo Berkeley Now Open (Yes, There's a Line)

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Ippudo’s Akamaru ramen (a bolder style). Photo courtesy of Ippudo.

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The interior of Ippudo Berkeley. Photo courtesy of Ippudo.

Now open in Berkeley as of last Friday July 28th is the first West Coast location of ~IPPUDO~, the famed international ramen shop. Ippudo has a couple locations in New York, with 160 restaurants worldwide, and partnered with Panda Restaurant Group Partners to open this location (SF is next!).

Ippudo is known for its trademark (and secret recipe) Hakata tonkotsu ramen, with handmade noodles (you can order four different levels, from soft to firm). The tonkotsu broth has 18-plus hours behind it, and forms the base of a few of their different bowls, from the Shiromaru to the bolder Akamaru ramen, and the Karaka (spicy) ramen—you can read the menu descriptions of each bowl here. And you can also get creative with toppings, from menma (seasoned bamboo shoots) to extra chashu (pork belly).

Side dishes include their steamed buns (filled with pork, chicken, or vegetables), and Goma Q, their seasoned cucumbers with sesame dressing (created at Ippudo’s first New York location). There are also wings, shishito peppers, chicken kara-age, a couple salads, rice dishes, and more.Expect a beverage list featuring superior sakes (classified into four different taste groups), Japanese beer, and wine.

If you are curious about Ippudo’s origins in Japan, check out this video with the founder, Shigemi Kawahara, who opened the first Ippudo in Fukuoka in 1985.

One thing to note (per their website): “None of our menu items are available for take out or take away, including leftovers.” So finish your bowl, yo. (Which shouldn’t be a problem.) As expected, it’s crazy town with the lines over there, so plan accordingly. Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am (midnight), Sun 11am-10pm. The last order for food is an hour before closing, and for ramen is 30 minutes before closing. 2011 Shattuck Ave. at University, Berkeley, 510-666-8807.