Ippudo SF Now Open

The long awaited opening of Ippudo has finally happened in San Francisco on January 28. This is their second location in the West Coast, the first location opened in Berkeley in 2017. It is conveniently located on Yerba Buena Lane between Market and Mission Streets and right next to Press Club.

After catching a movie at the Metreon, a few friends and I happened to pass by Ippudo not realizing that it was the grand opening. We all agreed that we might as well try it since we were there already. However, there was a long line outside which looked to be an hour wait. If you’ve been reading this blog since the start, then you know that I’ve never been one to be discouraged by a line. Plus, they provided heaters to keep us warm while we stood outside in the cold.

Exterior of Ippudo SF on Opening Day
Exterior of Ippudo SF on Opening Day

Interior of Ippudo SF
Interior of Ippudo SF

Large Soup Spoon at Ippudo SF
That’s one big soup spoon!

I’ve eaten at Ippudo once in Sydney, Australia and once more in Tokyo, Japan so I was curious to see what the US shop would be like. Right when you enter, there is a bar to the right so you can get drinks while you wait. Straight ahead, you pass through an entrance to the main dining room. It is well lit and roomy with high ceilings. There’s one large communal table near the entrance and a few booths along the walls and even a separate room for a private party. The style was pretty much similar to what I remembered for the one in Sydney.

Our waiter soon came by and gave us our menus. The front page listed the ramen along with toppings. There are three base options for the broth: Shiromaru Classic, which is their standard tonkotsu broth, Akamaru Modern, which is topped with a special miso paste, and lastly the Karaka Spicy which is their spicy version. The ramen also comes with the restaurant’s thin style of noodles which is different from the more typical thicker noodles that I’m use to seeing at US ramen shops. The menu also has a small diagram that lists the options for preferred levels of firmness of the noodle from yawa (soft) to bari kata (firm). The back listed the appetizers, desserts and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Chashu Rice at Ippudo SF
Chashu Rice

Shiromaru Classic Ippudo SF
Shiromaru Classic

Akamaru Modern at Ippudo SF
Akamaru Modern

Karaka Spicy at Ippudo SF
Karaka Spicy


Matcha Ice Cream at Ippudo SF Lychee Ice Cream at Ippudo SF

We ordered the three different kinds of ramen as well as a chashu (simmered pork belly) rice bowl to share. They also offered ice cream for dessert so we tried the matcha and lychee flavors. They were light and helped after eating something so filling.

The food came out promptly and I would say that it was all satisfying for a cold Sunday night. However, it was an expensive bowl. The cheapest bowl of ramen was listed at $14 and the most expensive was $20, not including any of the topping options. Since the popularity of ramen has exploded in recent years, it seems to be the trend to charge around $15 a bowl in the City. Also, service was a bit slow but it’s understandable since they’re brand new. On the other hand, we didn’t feel rushed at all considering how many people were waiting. I would come back again if I was in the area and if I was craving some ramen in a trendy environment.

For more information, check out their website at ippudo-us.com.

Written by Jamie • Photos taken by Jamie

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