Popular Instant Ramen Brands Ranked From Worst To Best

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There are two types of ramen in this world. The first, glorious type is lovingly prepared by a trained chef with the most sensitive of palates. It combines all the most perfect ingredients in perfect harmony to deliver a top-notch soup. You'd probably get this type of ramen at a restaurant, unless you want to spend hours making it at home (but if you have the time, you should totally try).

The first type of ramen is amazing, and you might even pay big bucks for it. But the second type of ramen — instant ramen — has a place in our hearts too. It's the ultimate comfort food, whether you ate it as a kid when you were sick or it was the only thing that got you through your freshman year of college alive.

But when you go to your local grocery store and try to pick out instant ramen, do you buy the brand you've always been used to? Or do you change it up and try something new? Well, if you're wondering which instant ramen brands are worth the try, we've ranked them for you — from worst to best.

11. Dr. McDougall's Ramen

When you want something as healthy as it is quick, then you know that Dr. McDougall's brand is the way to go. This brand offers healthy, vegan, plant-based foods that you can keep in your pantry. Of course, if you're looking for a vegan option when you want instant ramen, then this is definitely an option you can try. However, don't expect it to taste good.

You'll find two different options available: the vegan chicken and the miso soup ramen. Sadly, both will be a disappointment to your taste buds (though we prefer the miso variety, if you have to choose). We get that these things are trying to be healthy, but they don't have much flavor. They could definitely be saltier too.

It's not just the flavor that's the problem. There's also the issue of the texture of the noodles. Cook this cup in the microwave, and you will find that the noodles come out somewhat stiff — maybe even crunchy. When you add all of that up, it's clear why this is a less-than-ideal noodle choice. If you want seriously good ramen, look to one of our more highly rated options.

10. Lotus Foods Ramen

Another healthier option, Lotus Foods ramen is coming at you with a variety of instant ramen products. From the Buckwheat Shiitake Rice Ramen with Mushroom Soup to the Forbidden Rice Ramen with Miso Soup, we have to say that we just don't like this stuff very much.

We don't want to say that. The packaging looks appealing, and we'd all like a healthier option than the instant ramen many of us may be used to eating. But Lotus Foods just doesn't deliver when it comes to flavor. One Amazon reviewer had this to say about the Forbidden Rice variety: "I hate it. Regarding the flavor, it almost has no flavor at all. The only sensation I pick up is a slight grainy dirt taste ... I kid you not, it looks like a bowl of black worms."

Doesn't exactly sound appealing. Look, we commend you on trying to pick something that's on the healthier side. But don't try to fool yourself into thinking that this ramen tastes good. Just eat a salad instead.

9. Asha Healthy Ramen Noodles

If you're okay with taking to the internet to pick up your pack of ramen noodles (or you have a good Asian market nearby), then Asha Healthy Ramen Noodles are an instant ramen option that you may want to try. They're served dry style instead of in a soup, so that's something different you might enjoy. However, we probably wouldn't choose them over most other options that are out there on the market today.

First of all, they're not that healthy. With over 1,500 mg of sodium in some packets, you're getting way too much salt in just one dish. According to the packaging, that's a whopping 66 percent of the salt you're supposed to eat in a day. How's that for healthy?

If you're still getting a relatively unhealthy meal, you might expect this stuff to taste good at the very least. But there, too, you'll be disappointed. This is the review that one Amazon user had to contribute: "Gross. Cooked according to directions. Mushy noodles, tasteless sauce. Not sure how the sauce was THAT tasteless since each packet contains 50 percent of the daily recommended sodium." We feel you, Amazon noodle reviewer.

8. Maruchan Ramen

If there's one brand of instant ramen that we are all familiar with, it's Maruchan. This stuff is probably the kind that you're most used to. It can be found in just about every grocery store, and it's as cheap as can be. Sure, when you're starting out in the ramen world, Maruchan may be where you find your footing. But that certainly doesn't mean you should stay there forever.

The broth in these ramen noodles is definitely flavorful, and we'll leave it up to you whether you like the chicken, the beef, or the soy sauce the best. At the end of the day, though, the noodles are of a low quality, and the overall dish is just too salty to truly enjoy.

Of course, Maruchan is an old standby, so we understand having some of it on hand for whenever you get the munchies. But if you actually want something in your pantry that's going to taste good, you can certainly do better than this classic.

7. Indomie Ramen

Looking for something better than the standard stuff? In that case, Indomie may be the instant ramen brand you've been looking for. This ramen is still pretty basic, so you know you're not getting something too far off from the classic Maruchan. But when it comes to flavor, a pack of Indomie is going to pack a bit more punch than the stuff you may be used to.

According to a Spoon University review, the reason this instant ramen brand is so good is the fact that its flavor doesn't just rely on saltiness — it has a savory flavor that seriously takes them to the next level. Plus, each packet comes with some extras that will give your meal more texture and flavor at once: a packet of fried onions and a pouch of spicy chili oil. You'd be amazed at how much more flavor you'll get from just those two add-ins.

You can grab these from your local store if they have them in stock. Not so much? No problem. You can always get them online as well if you're just dying to try them.

6. Sapporo Ichiban Ramen

Ramen originally comes from Japan, but with how Westernized it's become in the States, you may not even be able to tell that the next time you open a pouch of your favorite dried noodles. For those who truly love Japanese food, that's a big letdown. After all, the original is usually best, especially when it comes to such a rich food culture.

Luckily, you can get closer to the real thing when you decide to indulge in Sapporo Ichiban ramen. With several flavors to choose from, like shrimp, beef, and chicken, you'll love that you have plenty of options with this brand. And like some other more famous brands out there, this stuff is still pretty inexpensive.

Current Commerce likes this brand so much that it ranked it as number three in their lineup. They had to say this about the product: "These noodles are made with quality ingredients which include real chicken broth, a unique blend of Asian spices, beef stock, leek chips, and onion powder. And all of these ingredients come together to create a unique and flavorful ramen blend that just can't be ignored by anyone looking for authenticity."

We love when a product actually uses quality products, and obviously we want something authentic, so Sapporo Ichiban is an instant ramen brand we can always get behind.

5. Myojo Ramen

You know you're in for a good bowl of noodles when you look at the package and all of the instructions are in Japanese. You may have to figure out how to prepare this dish on your own, but if you've ever been in a college dorm room before, you should be able to figure it out pretty easily. Just be warned: This is another brand that's going to offer you a dry noodle dish instead of the soup you may be used to.

We love Myojo ramen noodles because you can find so many different, unique flavors within this brand. Forget about the "chicken" or the "beef" — when you choose Myojo, you're going to be looking at flavors like Canton Shoyu and Shanghai Hiyashi. Sounds better than your average pack of instant noodles, right?

The Urban List has to agree with us. They placed the Ippeichan Yakisoba Mayo from Myojo at number two on their list of best ramen out there. According to the article, once you're finished making this slightly finicky packet of instant noodles, "The end result is a slightly sweet, chewy yakisoba coated in creamy spiced mayo." We're already drooling.

4. Nissin Top Ramen

Maruchan is one of the most well-known brand names out there, but Nissin Top Ramen is a close competitor. But the thing is, we like this brand a whole lot better. The New York Times had this to say about Top Ramen's Chicken Flavor (which you can probably pick up at your local grocery store right now): "Out of all the more traditional chicken-flavored ramen noodles, these were the best. The broth is golden, oily, and vegetal-tasting. Flavors are concentrated and evoke a bouillon cube more than a delicate chicken broth."

Sounds delicious, and we fully agree. We also noticed that this brand was less salty than some other varieties out there, but just by a little — the perfect amount. We also thought that the noodles had a delightfully springy texture, making every mouthful that much more delicious.

When you choose Nissin Top Ramen, you can be sure you're getting a top-quality ramen experience without even having to stray from the comforts of the closest grocery store.

3. MAMA Ramen

Wondering what makes MAMA ramen stand apart from the pack? With this brand of instant ramen, it all comes down to the broth. Seriously, the broth you'll get from this brand is out of this world. And you're not going to just get the basic flavors with this brand. Instead, enjoy flavors like duck and tom yum pork — we love something that's a little out of the ordinary.

When reviewing the Shrimp Creamy Tom Yum, The Urban List said that "the body of the soup is pretty legit — with traces of Thai basil, coconut and citrus." This complex flavor profile isn't usual in many brands of ramen, which is why we're so grateful for it here. If you love Thai food, there's a good chance that you'll go absolutely wild for this stuff.

Just be warned: Some of these flavors can be pretty spicy. Current Commerce also rated the Tom Yum Shrimp, and they confirmed that the chili packs a punch. As long as you like the spice, you'll be sure to slurp this stuff up.

2. Samyang Ramen

Not only is Samyang ramen delicious, it's also something of a celebrity brand. Why? Because it's the product that YouTubers are slurping down with the Fire Noodle Challenge. Yes, this stuff is so spicy that people actually record themselves just eating it. But it's not just the fire we like. The flavor from this brand is seriously top-notch. In fact, it's so good, you may not believe that it's actually coming from a packet. Plus, you know we love a dry noodle when we've had one too many broth-y ones.

That may be why The Breslin listed Samyang's chicken ramen flavor as the best of the spicy instant ramens out there. While the article admits that the spice is really strong, it also admits that you should be able to get over the bite and enjoy the flavor after a couple of mouthfuls.

Whether you're planning on recording a video of yourself slurping down these noodles or not, this is a brand you will definitely want to try.

1. Nongshim Ramen

When you choose Nongshim ramen, you shouldn't expect the dirt-cheap prices you'll find for brands like Maruchan or Nissin Top Ramen. Instead, you're going to pay a bit more for these noodles. Luckily, though, it's 100 percent worth it ... as long as you can still manage the rent.

The flavor you'll want to go with when you choose this brand is the shin ramen. It's pretty spicy, but maybe not as spicy as the Samyang. Still, it has a scrumptious heat to it that will make you want to eat it all in one sitting. The noodles have the perfect texture, with a chewiness that holds up in the broth even after it's been thoroughly cooked.

Thrillist has a great idea if you want to take your Nongshim shin ramen to the next level. They suggest waiting until your ramen is almost cooked and then adding a piece of American cheese to the top of the cooking noodles. Wait until it melts just a little bit, and serve it up. It may not be the traditional way to serve ramen, but it is the ultimate meal to enjoy after you get home from the bar.