100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Daikaya Ramen


Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Daikaya Ramen


705 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Expect hour waits—even at lunch—for this 40-seat ramen shop across from the Verizon Center. Here’s why: In a city awash in ultra-porky tonkatsu ramen, chef Katsuya Fukushima’s lighter Sapporo-style soups offer more variety and nuance than the competition. Customers hunker on box-like benches, sipping beer to the tune of Jay-Z and a constant sizzling from the kitchen’s woks, which sear vegetables or add a roasted flavor to broth swirled in the pan. You won’t go wrong with any of the five styles of ramen, including a delicate shio (salt broth) and an earthy mugi-miso, swimming with springy noodles, bean sprouts, scallions, soy-marinated egg, and roasted and ground pork (the meatless version is excellent, too). Head to the second-floor izakaya for superb cocktails while you wait—recently, we’ve found the small plates up there to be lackluster.

Don’t miss: Add-ons such as seared vegetables (Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, carrots) and the “bakudan spice bomb” laced with pork; seasonal soft-serve.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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.