Solo Ramen Booths Draw Huge NYC Crowds

Amid the hustle and bustle that defines New York City, diners can now remove themselves from all distractions and focus solely on slurping their bowl of ramen at Ichiran Ramen in Brooklyn. The ramen trend is no stranger to New York, but the concept of dining in solo booths, where servers receive silent written orders through a little bamboo screen that inches open in front of you, is a new one. Time Out New York’s Christina Izzo describes these booths as “flavor concentration booths.” In addition to having no interaction with your server, other than passing them your order form and receiving a steaming bowl of noodle soup from the same window, the restaurant has also said it aims to deliver food within 15 seconds of ordering.

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Photo: Nick Solares

The restaurant concentrates on pork-bone tonkotsu ramen and one bowl will run you $18.90.

As Eater’s Robert Sietsema noted, the ramen itself is quite plain: a bowl of little more than broth, noodles, a couple of slices of pork chashu, a handful of scallions described as “local,” and a squirt of hot sauce. The real draw seems to be the service, although that aspect seems to be nearly as awkward as it is mysterious. He describes the dining booths as “tiny ramen prison[s]”

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Photo: Rebecca Fondren

For diners who would prefer not to slurp in silence, the restaurants also offers a more traditional dining area (i.e. talking and company allowed).

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