Ippudo ~ San Francisco

February 3, 2024

The Vitals:
the spot: Ippudo San Francisco 18 Yerba Buena Ln, San Francisco 94103
the eats: Akamaru (Tonkotsu) Ramen, Assorted Buns
the bucks: $20 for ramen, $17 for assorted buns(3)
the full nelson: ramen redemption more than three years in the making

(skip to bottom of post for TikTok video)

An accidental chance at ramen redemption

I was in the city for work: shooting my first project featuring food tech(burger food tech no less -watch it here and here) when I stumbled upon yet another location of this global ramen chain.

Ippudo San Francisco isn’t too different from the NY location I tried back in 2019. The difference was really me. I went in with high hopes to the NYC location and wasn’t impressed. When it came to visiting Ippudo San Francisco in 2024, I walked in not only wanting to give the place a second shot but with a wiser ordering approach.

Ippudo San Francisco Buns

Ippudo San Francisco Buns

My visit to Ippudo San Francisco started with what I remember worked well last time: the buns. In 2019 I raved about the Pork Belly Bun. In 2024, I doubled down and did a flight of the buns.

There are chicken, shrimp, pork and veggie buns to choose from. I did two pork and shrimp and they were still as good as I remember. Worth every penny of the $17 I shelled out for them.

Ippudo ain’t cheap. But what is these days?

Ippudo San Francisco Ramen

Ippudo San Francisco’s Tonkotsu(Akamaru Modern Ramen)

I’ve learned a lot about myself and ramen since I came to Ippudo NY in 2019. The main thing I learned is that I love Tonkotsu broth and that’s what I crave when I hear the word “ramen”. So that has become my benchmark and my wiser ordering approach: try the Tonkotsu.

Back in 2019 at Ippudo NYC, I let my adventurous side let the waiter steer me to something else. That was a mistake. And I have learned from it. Like Dave Portnoy who judges pizza in his famous “one bite reviews” by only sampling a cheese pizza, I judge ramen by Tonkotsu.

And the verdict? The broth was just rich enough(I like it creamy) and more importantly the broth had a lingering complex finish. On top of that, the pork chashu was the best I have ever had, including my experiences in Japan.

Ramen Redemption and the best Chashu ever

Yes, Ippudo San Francisco delivered ramen redemption and I feel confident that had I ordered that ramen at the NYC location I would have been equally satisfied. At least I think. Both instances I tried the chashu and while chashu is always delicious, the quality of the pork belly in chashu at Ippudo San Francisco was without equal.

I might do some more digging but it might be worth noting that California passed a law in 2018 that just now went into effect banning breeding pigs to be raised in confined spaces. The best pork I have had involves the best farming practices and I wonder if the law helped usher the sourcing of better farms?

I can’t say for sure. But I can say Ippudo San Francisco achieved ramen redemption. And serving the best pork chashu I’ve ever had didn’t hurt either.

Or just watch the damn video!!



Ippudo Ramen in San Francisco. Tried the NYC location, wasnt impressed. This was a second chance at Ramen Redemption #alikhaneats #ramen #sanfrancisco #ippudo #ippudoramen

♬ original sound – Ali Khan



Share this:

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email Updates

Join the list and get new stuff right when it drops: