rss twitter 4sq instagram yelp pinterest flickr

Totto Ramen (Manhattan, NY) – A Bowl Comes Full Circle

October 10, 2011

Totto Ramen has a special place in my heart. Why? When I moved here a year ago, it was my first meal as an official New Yorker. At the time, I was crashing in a friend’s apartment in Morningside Heights (way up there by Columbia University) but made the trek down to Totto because I felt like I had to do something special my first night in the city. Who could have guessed that I would later find my own apartment a couple blocks away?

Totto Ramen has now become one of my go-to neighborhood haunts. It’s not very big so there’s almost always a line outside, especially around dinnertime. Be prepared to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how busy they are.

If you don’t know already, Totto = chicken. Therefore, their broth is chicken based rather than pork based like a lot of other places in the city. However, don’t think the lack of pork means a lack of flavor – this soup has depth. Boiling a pot full of chicken carcasses for almost the entire day (9AM to 6:30PM, according to their hand-drawn sketch behind the counter) can do that for you.

What I love most about Totto’s broth is its clean flavor. While I love a heavy pork tonkotsu broth (“liquid meat”, as I like to call it) just as much as the next person, sometimes you end up with a greasiness on your lips. Totto’s, since it’s made of chicken, gives you the satisfaction and comfort from a bowl of ramen without the heaviness afterwards.

I personally like the spicy ramen more so than the normal chicken paitan ramen – the spicy pepper paste just adds an extra kick to the bowl. If you’re not a big fan of spicy (I personally don’t think it’s too bad), you can always ask them for the paste on the side as well.

Lastly, their sides – posted on the front window or against the walls – are  kickass but can be highly seasonal. My favorite, a bowl of seared uni over rice, hasn’t been seen in a couple months. (If you see it though, let me know!)

Totto Ramen
366 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-0052

Totto Ramen on Urbanspoon

4 Comments on “Totto Ramen (Manhattan, NY) – A Bowl Comes Full Circle”

  • Aaron

    Okay, so after reading your entry, I’m sure I haven’t tried Totto. I’m getting confused with all the other ramen places I’ve tried and Yakitori Totto. Now that I know this is a chicken broth, I have another incentive to try it. The thick tonkotsu broths sometimes are too rich for my stomach.

    October 10, 2011 » 8:20 PM »

  • fel

    It’s a couple blocks away from Yakatori Totto and owned/run by the same people. You should give it a try!

    October 10, 2011 » 8:25 PM »

  • Miriam

    Can’t believe I haven’t been there yet since I’ve heard you rave about it so much! Love me some noodles + tea egg… YUM!

    October 11, 2011 » 12:48 PM »

  • Waz

    Before going to Totto Ramen last night, I checked to see if you’ve covered Totto on your blog! Yum! Pretty tasty, but the char siu pork was a bit too fatty/rich for me.

    January 28, 2012 » 12:03 PM »

Leave a Comment