HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The 8 Best Noodle Soups on O‘ahu for Rainy Days

Some of our top picks for comforting slurps when a cold snap is coming.


This article was originally published in October 2020.


Wagaya Garlic Ramen Katrina

Photo: Katrina Valcourt



Garlic Wagaya Ramen (Kuro)

$13.25 from Wagaya

The very first takeout dish I ordered during the pandemic was one of the most comforting things I could’ve asked for in these bizarre times: ramen. Wagaya’s rich tonkotsu broth gets extra garlicky with the addition of black garlic. Bonus: Garlic breath will ensure people stay at least 6 feet away from you, so it’s a win-win. –Katrina Valcourt, managing editor


2080 S. King St., (808) 949-0670, wagayahawaii.com



Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

$10.50 from Season’s Ice & Eatery

Seasons Ice Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Marisa Heung

Photo: Marisa Heung



If you’ve never tried Taiwanese beef noodle soup, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to Seasons Ice & Eatery. A one-man operation, you’ll enjoy the owner/chef/waiter/cashier’s energetic vibe almost as much as the chewy handmade noodles and savory broth. Choose your spice level wisely. –Marisa Heung, special projects editor


Chinese Cultural Plaza, 100 N. Beretania St., (808) 538-1978


SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The 12 Best Meaty and Meatless Burgers on O‘ahu


Curry Udon Bowl

Starting from $6.25 at Marukame Udon


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It’s comforting, it’s warm, it’s delicious and it’s cheap. How is this Japanese udon chain import so cheap when the staff make their noodles daily (and multiple times a day at that)? I don’t want to jinx our good luck blessed to us from the soupy noodle gods so I try not to ask questions. I do however add one or two pieces of shrimp and sweet potato tempura (tempura sides start at $1.50 per piece) to my order when I’m feeling extra peckish. —Katie Kenny, digital editorial specialist


2310 Kūhiō Ave., (808) 931-6000; 1104 Fort St. Mall, (808) 545-3000, marugameudon.com, @marukameudon



House Ramen

$12.95 from Rai Rai Ramen

Rai Rai Ramen Robbie Dingeman

Photo: Robbie Dingeman



Expect to find a long line of people waiting outside Kailua’s Rai Rai Ramen to pick up steaming sets of broth and noodles packed to go, especially when it’s raining and when dining in isn’t an option. Lately, I’ve been craving the House Ramen. The shoyu broth brings the umami, and the dish arrives with a crunchy fried oyster and soft-cooked egg, as well as tender pork, bamboo shoots, fishcake and veggies. The variety of textures takes the noodle soup to that next level of comforting. Another bonus at this neighborhood favorite is you can order different types of broth, including a vegetarian one and miso. –Robbie Dingeman, editor at large


124 Oneawa St., Kailua, (808) 230-8208, rairairamenhawaii.com


SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The 12 Best Frozen Treats for a Boiling Hot Day on O‘ahu


Beef Flank and Tendon with Mien

$9.50, Lam’s Kitchen


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The beef flank and tendon with mien egg noodles from Lam’s Kitchen is the only noodle soup I crave fervently. Jiggly cubes of tendon bob with hunks of barely together braised beef and stems of choi sum in a glistening clear broth full of depth and generations of know-how. Ask to add won ton bursting with shrimp and pork to send you over the edge. –Thomas Obungen, contributing dining editor


1152 Maunakea St., #11, (808) 536-6222



Portuguese Bean Soup with Macaroni

This is the hands down favorite in my house full of pochos. Our favorite place to get it, if not homemade, is at the Punahou Carnival. –Donnie Ford, account executive


SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Staff Favorites: Where Did You Get Your Face Masks in Hawai‘i?


Beef Udon

$15 from TsuruTonTan


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TsuruTonTan at the Royal Hawaiian Center boasts some of the chewiest and springiest udon noodles I’ve had outside of Japan. Not surprising as the decades-old Japanese restaurant chain from Osaka specializes in handmade udon noodles. I typically go for the simply perfect udon in dashi broth with shabu shabu-style beef but if I’m ever feeling a little posh (hello, pay day!) I’ll upgrade to the melt-in-your-mouth US Wagyu Shabu beef bowl (also in dashi broth, $21). —KK


Royal Hawaiian Center, 2233 Kalākaua Ave., B310, (808) 888-8559, @tsurutontan_hi



Tan Tan Ramen

$12.95 from Junpuu Ramen

Junpuu Tan Tan Ramen Robbie Dingeman

Photo: Robbie Dingeman



Junpuu Ramen’s tan tan ramen manages a good balance of sesame nuttiness in the broth with enough heat to warm you up without overpowering the dish. You can add more heat at the table. Pay the extra couple of dollars for the ajitama egg, because a soft-cooked egg makes life better. The tan tan can also be ordered as vegetarian or cold. Junpuu’s location between the Blaisdell Concert Hall and the Honolulu Museum of Art means that I’m usually eating there with friends and family, heading to a show or coming from a film or exhibit. The food is tasty, the service fast and we’re already parked. Here’s to safely returning more for dine-in as well as to-go. –RD


1010 S. King St., #108, (808) 260-1901, @junpuu_hawaii