Santa Clara restaurant ranks No. 3

A bowl of Ramen Hajime’s signature Meat Meat Meat Ramen. The Santa Clara restaurant ranks No. 3 on the Top 100. (Photo courtesy of Yelp and Elaine W. on Yelp)

In celebration of National Ramen Day April 4, Yelp is out with its Top 100 Ramen Spots in California list, a crowd-sourced ranking of customer favorites.

“It’s no secret that Californians are obsessed with ramen,” Yelp said in its announcement. “In fact, according to Yelp data, California has had the second-highest number of searches for ramen in the country since 2019! And across the entire US, Los Angeles (#1) and San Francisco (#2) are the top 2 cities with the most Yelp users who have earned a Recognition badge for their reviews in the ramen category.”

But it’s a Santa Clara restaurant that ranked highest in the Bay Area and Northern California, snagging the No. 3 spot.

Ramen Hajime, located on Stevens Creek Boulevard near Lawrence Expressway, was founded by a ramen master, Hajime Kitayama, who became co-owner of a ramen shop in San Diego more than a decade ago, according to Yelp. That restaurant reportedly became so popular that is was selling up to 948 bowls a day.

“Be sure to try one of their signature Kiwami ramen bowls (with your choice of tonkotsu, shoyu, spicy miso, or vegan broths), or “build” your own custom bowl. Yelpers highly recommend trying one of their creative limited specials, featuring wild flavor combinations you won’t find anywhere else,” the Yelp report said.

Diners highlight the attention to detail and use of top ingredients. “With a process that includes ultra-purifying the water to best extract flavor from bones and seafood, making homemade noodles with imported flour designed just for ramen, and sourcing the highest-quality Kurobuta pork for their chashu, Ramen Hajime is clearly dedicated to ‘perfecting’ the craft,” Yelp said.

Two other NorCal restaurants cracked the top 10. Taishoken San Francisco came in at No. 7, and Umami Ramen in Folsom is No. 9.

All told, more than 30 NorCal spots from Gold Country to Wine Country made the list. The other ranked restaurants are:

12. Noodle in a Haystack, San Francisco

17. Pipo Ramen & Rice, Sacramento

21. Ramen Nagi, Palo Alto

22. Yoshoku, Sonora

23. Marufuku Ramen, Oakland

26. Masa Ramen Bistro, Berkeley

34. Fukumi Ramen, Roseville

38. Mensho, Oakland

41. Hinodeya Ramen Bar, Campbell

42. Kajiken, San Mateo

45. Kensho Social, San Jose

51. Ramen House Tenjin, Sacramento

53. Ramen House Ryujin, Sacramento

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