Birria Ramen, Spicy Pozole, and More Super Comforting Soups to Get You Through Winter

Birria ramen from Little Miner Taco. Photograph by Rey Lopez

Birria Ramen at Little Miner Taco
967 Rose Ave, North Bethesda
Birria tacos are having a viral moment, understandably. Who doesn’t want crispy tacos stuffed with braised meat and melty cheese that you can dunk in a soul-warming broth? Now imagine that dish in ramen form, filled with springy noodles and topped with corn, radishes, and avocado, available exclusively at the Block food hall at Pike & Rose (the Brookland location dishes up birria but not ramen). Takeout and dine-in.

Triple threat ramen from Menya Hosaki
845 Upshur St., NW (1st Floor)
Eric Yoo’s Petworth ramen shop has become an obsession with chefs and ramen obsessives alike. The triple threat—an homage to Yoo’s mentor, Keizo Shimamoto of NYC’s Ramen Shack—blends three styles of broth (porky tonkotsu, clear chicken chintan, and smoky dashi) topped with pork belly, egg, bamboo shoots, spinach, and scallions. Takeout and dine-in.

Pozole rojo (chicken or vegan) at Cielo Rojo
7056 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park
It’s easy to channel warm vibes at this homey, family-owned Mexican spot in Takoma Park. Owners David Perez and Carolina McCandless met working at a vegan Mexican spot in San Francisco, so you’ll find plenty of meatless options on the menu, including the hearty pozole filled with red hominy and topped with avocado, cashew cream, queso fresco, radishes, onions, and lime (chicken optional). Heated outdoor dining and takeout.

Dumpling soup (with a side of soup dumplings) at Bob’s Shanghai 66
305 N. Washington St., Rockville
We’re all about the dumplings at this popular Rockville spot, and you can’t get just one kind. Think of this order as soup two ways: juicy soup dumplings that are so flavorful you barely need the dipping vinegar (go for classic pork or another version with crab), plus a steaming bowl of Shanghai-style pork wonton soup. Takeout and delivery (cash only).

Rabokki at Anju
1805 18th St., NW
Rabokki—a popular Korean street food that’s part ramyun (ramen) and ddubokki (rice cakes)—is the soup star of chef Angel Barreto’s brunch menu. The hearty, spicy stew is filled with the chewy noodles and rice cakes plus tofu, fish cakes, veggies, and soy-brined eggs. Vegetarians, take note: the dish can be made meatless upon request. Dine-in, heated outdoor, takeout, and delivery.

Arroz Caldo at Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly
5268-H Nicholson Ln., Rockville
It’s hard to top the comfort of this Filipino spot’s crisp-skinned lechon (pork belly). But a bowl of arroz caldo puts that order over the top. The creamy chicken-and-rice porridge is topped with egg, chicken cracklings, and garlic. Takeout and delivery.

Mushroom soba (left) and shaved waygu udon (right) from Shibuya Eatery. Photograph courtesy of Shibuya Eatery

Shaved wagyu udon at Shibuya Eatery
2321 18th St., NW
Chef Darren Norris’s homemade udon bowls in hot dashi broth are all delicious, whether you’re going veggie with grilled mushrooms and charred scallions, or meaty. In the latter category, it’s tough to go wrong with thin-shaved wagyu beef and simmered sweet onions. Dine-in, takeout, and delivery.

All the soups at Pho Sate
2814 Graham Rd., Falls Church
There’s no shortage of great pho spots in NoVa. We’re partial to this Vietnamese soup house for its variety—whether classic beef pho or rich duck broth swimming with egg noodles—and its house sate sauce made with wok-toasted chilies and garlic in oil. Mixed soup bowls with rice and egg noodles or wontons are a great way to go for the indecisive. Dine-in and takeout.

French onion soup DC, Le Diplomate
French onion soup at Le Diplomate. Photograph via Le Diplomate

French onion soup at Le Diplomate
1601 14th St., NW
Le Dip’s onion soup gratinée doesn’t skimp on the fromage, which is heaped atop slices of the brasserie’s delicious baguette and broiled until bubbling. You won’t see the heady onion broth upon arrival, but it’s under all that incredible molten cheese. Though the melty cauldron doesn’t look like it would take out well, we’ve been proven wrong—it travels deliciously. Dine-in, heated outdoor, takeout, and delivery.

Roasted tomato soup at No Soup for You
1330 U St., NW
The new soup-centric pop-up out of Fainting Goat has plenty of comforting bowls, including chicken pot pie, hearty beef stew, and shrimp gumbo. They also have a lot of cheesy, bread-y dippers to go alongside. We’re eyeing the ale-infused tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons (or a full grilled cheese on brioche). Add a hot toddy or mulled wine to beat the chill. Takeout and delivery.

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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.