Cheap Eats 2016: Daikaya Ramen

Cheap Eats 2016: Daikaya Ramen
Photo by Scott Suchman.
Good Drinks

A line is usually snaking out of this cubby-size Penn Quarter ramen shop, where you might wait for two hours to balance on a wooden stool and slurp a bowl for 20 minutes to the tune of Wham and the Spice Girls. Here’s why it’s worth the hassle: the restorative Sapporo-style broths, conjured from a stock made of pork, beef, and chicken bones that have been simmered for 18 hours. And the noodles, beautifully bouncy and slightly curly. And the finishing flourish—the practice of sloshing toppings (Brussels sprouts, wood-ear mushrooms, crumbles of pork) in a wok for an extra kick of smokiness. The elements all come together to create the best bowls of ramen in the city, no matter which of the five broths you go for. While you wait, hit the upstairs izakaya for standout cocktails and happy-hour beer specials.

Also good: Mugi-miso broth (with peanuts); shoyu (soy) broth; vegan broth; pork dumplings.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
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.