100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 66 Toki Underground


Pan-fried seafood dumplings. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Toki Underground


Japanese, Ramen
1234 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

Even in its third year, Erik Bruner-Yang’s ramen spot attracts hour-plus waits for the 27 seats. Fortunately, turnover in the treehouse-like space is quick, thanks to wall-facing stools that encourage a slurp-and-go policy.

The rich stock, toothsome noodles, and custardy sous-vide egg gracing nearly every bowl are reason enough to come, but the rest of the menu offers worthy distractions: bao buns with fried chicken and pickles, or tsukemen (noodles dipped in a side of pork-fat-laced broth). Cocktails including the bourbon-based Toki Monster are expertly crafted, while drinks from the Pug—the divey bar downstairs that’s perfect for killing wait time—are also welcome.

Don’t miss:

  • Pan-fried chicken and pork dumplings
  • Toki Classic or kimchee ramen
  • Chocolate-chip cookies with red-miso buttercream

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 Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.