Rai Rai Ken

218 E. 10th St.
New York, NY 10009
Critics' Pick


  • Sun-Thu 12pm-11:45am, Fri-Sat 12pm-1:45am
  • $$
  • Delivery, Takeout
  • Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
  • Beer/Wine
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Accepted
Rai Rai Ken is one of the cornerstones of the East Village's Little Tokyo, and if you remember the old premises, the newest incarnation will astonish you. While the old place had only a few seats along a sagging counter, the new one boasts several seating areas, including a nook in the rear that's perfect secluded dining. A few stylish menu items have been added, too, including bao-based sandwiches probably inspired by the success of David Chang's ssam. But Rai Rai Ken's forte remains unfussy ramen. In fact, the place is named after the Sapporo restaurant where Chinese lo mein (corrupted as "ramen") was first introduced to Japan. The only broths available are soy and seafood, but these are carefully concocted from a wild range of ingredients: One day, a turkey carcass was seen protruding from the stock pot, as apples bobbed around it. The noodles go down best with Japanese beer, but a sake list is also available.

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