100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Toki Underground


Ramen at Toki Underground. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Toki Underground


Japanese, Ramen
1234 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

Chef/owner Erik Bruner-Yang may not adhere to tradition—witness the Toki Monster, a bourbon cocktail garnished with a skewer of grilled pork belly—but his punky edge doesn’t diminish the perfectionism that keeps devotees lined up at his ramen house. Diners sit shoulder to shoulder slurping soups in which hunks of Virginia-raised pork bob alongside red pickled ginger and slow-poached eggs. Sides, specials, and desserts live up to Toki’s hype—come very early or prepare for hour-plus waits. If the line is long, grab a beer at the Pug below. Toki texts when seats are ready, and unfinished drinks are welcome upstairs.

Don’t miss: Pork-fat noodles; Toki Classic ramen; pan-fried chicken dumplings; Taiwanese-style cold tofu; chocolate-chip cookies with red-miso buttercream.

Open: Monday through Saturday for dinner.


100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.