Sapporo Ramen

Some people say that ramen is the new food trend.

With ramen pop-ups and midnight showings and excitement building up for new ramen places, it looks like Boston is eager to be part of the ramen scene. But before it became all trendy, there was one spot I always equated with ramen: Sapporo Ramen at the Porter Square Exchange in Cambridge.

It’s a hidden gem, tucked into little “Japantown” in a nondescript building. When I first moved to Boston, I used to go to the Porter Square Exchange all the time. I loved the unexpected little cluster of Asian restaurants, and my friends and I would gladly wait in line for our chance to sit down at the Japanese places. But it fell off my radar and I didn’t go back there for years, until a few weeks ago when my friend Din and I had a craving for ramen.

At Sapporo Ramen, the soup is made with chicken and vegetable broth that’s cooked for over 10 hours, resulting in a rich-flavored base. But it’s not just soup that makes the ramen, it’s also the noodles, and the noodles at Sapporo are slurpingly long.

The lines are long, too. Don’t expect any fancy atmosphere at Sapporo – this is certainly not O Ya (not even Fish Market). It’s more reminiscent of fast food. Service was brisk; there was only one server and two guys manning the kitchen, but they are all friendly.

But you’re coming for the ramen, not the atmosphere, anyway.  And trust me, once the steaming bowl is set in front of you, nothing else will matter.

Din ordered the miso ramen, Sapporo’s original bowl with miso (soy bean paste), pork, nori, corn, and scallions.

I ordered the hot and sour ramen, which was a spicy ramen with egg, tofu, and scallion.

The combination of the spicy soup and soft tofu tasted like the best comfort food, and I know I will be craving a big bowl again when the weather gets much cooler.

We didn’t know how long the ramen would take and we were starving, so we also ordered an appetizer of pork buns. (Don’t mind the sauced thumbmark, that’s me being overeager with ripping away the parchment paper pockets.) They were okay, a little dry, and in my opinion the pork buns don’t hold a candle to the ramen.

Hot, sour, salty, spicy, it’s a filling bowl of goodness that deserves it’s time in the spotlight. I hope the ramen trend is here to stay.

Do you like ramen? What’s your favorite place?

Sapporo Ramen on Urbanspoon

See my favorite dishes at this restaurant on Tasted Menu


34 Responses to “Sapporo Ramen”

  1. #
    Meghan posted September 25, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I am freezing right now and could go for a big, spicy bowl of ramen! Adding Sapporo Ramen to my list of places to visit!

  2. #
    Vijay Nathan posted September 25, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Have you ever been to Ippudo Ramen in NYC? There’s always a 2 hour wait but it is truly unbelievable. And, I think the pork buns beat out Momofuku’s!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted September 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      I haven’t but my friends rave about it!

  3. #
    christina posted September 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I’ve never had real ramen. I am missing out like woah!

  4. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted September 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I never even knew Sapporo existed and I live so close! I can’t wait to try this now that the weather is getting chilly.

  5. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted September 25, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Definitely in the mood for ramen tonight! Great photos

  6. #
    Kathy posted September 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    OMG. You have seriously just reinforced my NEED to explore POrter Exchange more and eat noodles ALL THE TIME.

  7. #
    Michelle Collins posted September 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Sadly, I live right outside of Porter Square and have still not been here; nor have I jumped on the Ramen bandwagon yet. Both of these things must change, and soon!

  8. #
    Megan posted September 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Looks so good! I have this new obsession with wanting to learn how to make Asian noodle dishes. It’s my mission when we have a house again and I can stock my pantry with ingredients.

  9. #
    Elizabeth posted September 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    The noodles look really good!

  10. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted September 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Great review! This is basically my husband’s heaven – I may just have to suggest we go here this weekend :)

  11. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted September 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Mmmm, that looks SOOOO good. I probably shouldn’t have read this while I’m fasting for Yom Kippur, hehe. There are tons of great ramen places here in nyc…I totally need to go now :)

  12. #
    Monet posted September 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Now if only I could get this for lunch! Wow…I’m hungry now. Thank you for sharing with me and making my morning all the more delicious. I hope you have a great end to your week.

  13. #
    Errign posted September 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I think I might have just drooled on my computer a little…

  14. #
    Nicole @ The Girl Who Ate Boston posted September 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    My foodie friend was telling me last week about Sapporo Ramen. He insists that I *must* try it, and that waiting in line is absolutely worth it. He says that there is a time after the “rush of people who are trying to come after the lunch hour rush,” and before the “rush of people who are trying to come before the dinner rush” that is slightly less busy.

    Glad you had such a good experience there. I can’t wait to try it!

  15. #
    Sues posted September 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I don’t get to Porter Exchange nearly enough! And I definitely don’t eat ramen enough either. It’s definitely one of those things I crave when a Boston blizzard hits… Or when I’m sick!

  16. #
    Jenny @ BAKE posted September 27, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I LOVE ramen! there’s only one place in town that does it, I really should get better at making it myself! this restaurant looks incredible!

  17. #
    Barbara posted September 27, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Oh, I wish we had a ramen place around here! That bowl looks delicious. It’s all in the broth and they seem to have that down pat.
    The pork bun is making me drool!

  18. #
    John Liu posted September 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Sapporo is my favorite ramen place in Boston for sure. Coming out to LA has revealed a whole new world of ramen to me though, it’s pretty crazy, haha.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted September 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Hi John! I can imagine the food heaven in LA. The ramen craze here still isn’t like the frenzy in NYC but it’s slowly getting there…

  19. #
    Liz from EatingPlaces posted September 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    This place sounds awesome. Thanks for the review and, although I’ve been loving this weather lately, it makes me a little more excited for winter!

  20. #
    Adri {Food-N-Thought} posted September 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Yum! That looks decadent! I always go to this mom & pop shop by my house to get my Pho dose, love noddle soups!

  21. #
    Daisy posted September 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I have never even heard of this place. such a hidden gem! thank you for sharing.

  22. #
    Heather posted September 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Love Ramen! Those pictures are making me miss the place I used to go to for lunch when I lived in Phoenix. There was a little place right near the ASU campus that was the best. I always got their miso ramen and it was awesome. Sigh. I miss it!

  23. #
    CCU posted September 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    What a delicious eatery my friend, I am a little bit of a ramen addict ;)

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. #
    Simply Life posted September 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    oh I’m glad to know about this place- I didn’t even realize it was a trend!

  25. #
    Rhonda posted September 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    That Ramen looks amazing, seriously delicious. I have been sick all week and would love a big bowl of this!

  26. #
    Shannon posted September 30, 2012 at 8:23 am

    ooh, i’m going to have to try this place! don’t think i’ve ever had anything besides those darn packages… eugh.

  27. #
    Renee {Eat.Live.Blog.} posted September 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I love that part of the Porter Exchange! It is really unique to the Boston area! My favorite ramen is from Momogoose. Now that I work at MIT, and there is a Momogoose 2 seconds from my work, I literally eat it like 3 times per week.

  28. #
    johnk posted October 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I had no idea Boston (Cambridge) had a Japantown. Even if it’s just a building and not an entire neighborhood, I need to visit soon.

  29. #
    foodwanderings posted October 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Love this ramen spot. Next time we are in Boston. We just found a modern Taiwanese place in DC recently we love, serving ramen and dumplings too! Love your space here!

  30. #
    Susan posted October 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I adore ramen, I had never heard of this place, I have to go!


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