With delicious noodles and a great location, Butaton Ramen is a hit.
My Ramen Love Story
I’m what you might call a ramen aficionado. I’m a real ramen head. A noodle girl. A broth boy. Ramen is my jam, and Butaton Ramen is among the best.
Ramen has been my favorite food ever since I was introduced to restaurant-style ramen in 2013. I quickly took to visiting ramen shops around Orange County in search of the best local ramen. In 2016, I visited Tokyo and ate ramen every day. That is to say, I’ve been around the proverbial block when it comes to this stuff. I know my ramen. And let me tell you: Butaton Ramen is some of the greatest I’ve ever had.
Prime Real Estate
Conveniently located in the Orange Circle in Old Towne Orange, Butaton Ramen is a short walk from many other attractions. You can walk there from Chapman University’s campus or after browsing one of the rustic antique stores down the street, and it’s just a few doors down from the famous Watson’s Drug Store. Don’t be mistaken, though: Butaton is its own destination. You don’t need any other excuse to get these noodles. (They also have a Garden Grove location.)
My favorite menu item is the signature dish, Butaton Ramen. Starting with a spicy tonkotsu broth, they add thin and chewy ramen noodles, wood-ear mushrooms, black garlic oil, tender pork belly, and deliciously flavored soft-boiled egg. This is perfect ramen, completely satisfying from the first slurp down to the last. I can’t get enough.
The Butaton Ramen: a delicious bowl of ramen with chashu, bean sprouts, seaweed, and flavored egg.
The flavored egg is one of the best indicators of the quality of a ramen experience. With a good flavored egg, mediocre ramen becomes great; great ramen becomes phenomenal. Butaton’s eggs are outstanding—a rich and flavorful complement to the rest of the meal. I always save half an egg for last so the taste can linger on my tongue. Truly, these are some good eggs.
If you prefer more traditional ramen, they also have shoyu, miso, tonkotsu ramen on their menu. They even offer a veggie ramen with broccoli, tofu, and mixed greens in miso broth. And if ramen isn’t your 🥚thing, they also offer beef and pork rice bowls along with a selection of appetizers like takoyaki, seaweed salad, and spicy tofu. Drinks include a typical selection of beer, sake, and soft drinks, plus a delicious iced matcha tea.
The atmosphere is hip. Booths line the interior of the store while a counter runs along the street-facing windows. I like sitting at the window and watching the Orange Circle—there’s always something interesting going on there, whether its parades, street performers, or pedestrian traffic. The proximity to Chapman’s campus ensures a constant stream of college students; it can get busy during peak hours, so I recommend planning your visit outside of the typical dinner rush.