Cheap Eats 2018: Gaijin Ramen Shop

Photograph by Tuvan Pham.


Ramen purists might balk at Gaijin (“foreigner” in Japanese) with its amped-up bar snacks—say yes to smothered kimchee fries—20-plus ramen bowls, and umpteen toppings. Owners Nicole Mazkour and Tuvan Pham (an Army alum and Vietnamese expat, respectively) aren’t your typical ramen masters. But the complex broths, springy noodles, and spice pastes are all expertly house-made, and we’d pit their unorthodox fried soft-shell Crabbin’ Ramen against traditional chasu pork any day. Also good: Steamed buns; hatcho black-miso ramen; tonkotsu ramen.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.