Ramen is one of my favourite foods as the weather gets cooler – there is something so satisfying about sipping the warm broth and slurping up chewy, eggy noodles! When I was a student, I spent six months studying in Osaka, Japan, and ate a lot of ramen (although vegetarian ramen was hard to come by). It is one of the first meals I remember eating with my new friends, and one of the last meals we shared before going back to our home countries, both occasions in the same small ramen restaurant near our apartment block. We ate it at one in the morning on Christmas Day after a hiking trip went awry, and in a tiny ramen bar in Tokyo that specialised in anchovy-based broth, and in a mum-and-pop shop in Fukushima after only a few hours of sleep. A good bowl of ramen is full of good memories, for me, as well as being the perfect winter warmer!
I’ve compiled a list of my favourite vegetarian and vegan ramen in Brisbane, and I’d love to hear recommendations of your favourites if they’re not on the list!
12 Duncan Street (in the Chinatown mall), Fortitude Valley
Tatsu’s Shoyu Ramen and Miso Ramen are vegetarian and can be made vegan (both have eggless noodles). They also have other vegetarian and vegan options – the vegetable gyoza are delicious, and Tatsu also has vegan and vegetarian yakisoba, yakiudon, and lunch special tofu dishes.
It’s a cosy spot, with booths, a bar, and tables available, and quick, friendly service. They also have a range of drinks – I’m partial to the roasted green tea, but there are also plenty of cocktails and mocktails to choose from, as well as Japanese beers, sake, and shochu.
Level 2, 480 Queen St, Brisbane City
154 Melbourne St, South Brisbane
145 Racecourse Rd, Ascot
16 Old Cleveland Rd, Stones Corner
Taro’s has been serving up delicious bowls of ramen in Brisbane for over ten years, on a mission to provide Australia’s best ramen to Brisbane, and now has a variety of locations.
Taro’s has quite a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options (although I usually get the Vegan Classic Ramen, always good) and have vegan curries, gyoza, and other side dishes as well.
Taro’s craft every component in their ramen from scratch, and aim to use local produce including Bangalow Sweet Pork (not in the vege ramen, of course!), organic free range eggs by Country Range farming, and Australian durum wheat by family farmers.
Taro’s was the first vegetarian ramen I discovered in Brisbane and it’s still a firm favourite – thick, flavourful broth and delicious, fresh noodles – plus, their recipe is constantly evolving, so it’s a little different every time.
Shop 4/123 Albert Street, Brisbane City
Shop 2/345 Queen Street, Brisbane City
Founded in 2014, Men Ya Go (‘Men-Ya’ (麵屋) meaning ‘Noodle Shop’ and ‘Go’ (豪) meaning ‘Australia’ in the Japanese language) have vegetarian miso ramen and spicy vegetarian miso ramen on the menu, and are conveniently located in the Brisbane CBD. Tasty broth, nice vegetables, and more noodles than I could eat!
102 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington
The Vego and Miso ramen at Hai Hai are vegetarian or vegan (the Vego can be made vegan), and are loaded with tofu, mushrooms, nori, and more. All of Hai Hai’s noodles are vegan and there is a list of customisations available if you want a little more (or less). Tofu steam buns are also on the menu (and vegan!), as well as veg sides including miso eggplant, lotus root chips, and sweet corn with miso butter.
For those with other dietary requirements, Hai Hai also has gluten free options, and quite a detailed allergen breakdown on their website (under ‘Ramen FAQ’).