Best Ramen Flavors Ranked From Worst To Best

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If you're a noodle fan, then you're most likely well aware of the delicious and heavenly food known as ramen. Freshly made ramen paired with meat, vegetables, and a choice of drink makes for an incredibly delicious meal. Many of us are familiar with packaged, square packs of instant ramen too. While instant ramen is full of sodium, it is also a super filling, salty, savory meal that is super convenient. 

There are myriad different flavors of ramen that line supermarket shelves. However, not all ramen flavors are created equal: Some ramen varieties are much better than others. If you're venturing into the world of ramen, it's best to do so knowing which flavors are worth your buck. That being said, since instant ramen doesn't cost much, you could try all flavors, do a taste test, and find out for yourself. Whether you're new to ramen or are a ramen pro looking for a new favorite flavor, there's bound to be something in the ramen world that satisfies all your needs.

12. Chocolate

When you think of ramen, your mind tends to gravitate towards savory flavors, such as chicken, tomato, and everything in between. While you may associate the word "ramen" with savory flavors, sweet ramen flavors also exist. Chocolate ramen is a bit of a trend, even though it may not necessarily be easily available at grocery stores: In Tokyo, restaurants such as Mensho have served chocolate ramen as a Valentine's Day special. 

In 2014, Pot Noodle celebrated Chocolate Week by making instant chocolate-flavored noodles (via TrendHunter). While people with a sweet tooth might enjoy this flavor, for the most part, chocolate ramen is not an ideal dinner dish. The broth generally ends up being far too sugary to really enjoy. These rich, intense noodles may be good for dessert, although, since the flavors are fairly strong, there are bound to be a few people who simply cannot handle a bowl of chocolate ramen. 

11. Mushroom

Mushrooms can be a bit of an acquired taste: According to a poll conducted by WDRB, only 18% of Americans label mushrooms as their favorite vegetable, making it one of the least favored vegetables in the entire country. For many, mushrooms are simply too slimy and mushy in texture to be an enjoyable addition to pizzas, soups, and pasta dishes. That being said, mushroom lovers can't get enough of this vegetable: Mushrooms are fresh, earthy, and have a wonderfully complex taste. Additionally, they have a ton of health benefits.

Unsurprisingly, mushroom ramen receives mixed reviews. While the mushroom flavor adds more of an earthy taste to the broth and noodles, this flavor could be a huge hit or an even greater miss depending on where you stand with mushrooms. However, even if you like mushrooms, you're unlikely to prefer this flavor over other types of ramen. Something about mushroom ramen simply doesn't work. 

10. Cheese

There's something incredibly comforting about a bowl of hot, creamy mac and cheese. This delicious dish is often served in a bowl with crumbled crackers on top or with a side of greens. The cheese and noodle combo is nothing new: It's common to put a bit of parmesan on pasta dishes and it's certainly not uncommon to add cheese to ramen

Cheese-flavored ramen is sold by a variety of different brands. Ottogi has a rendition of cheese ramen. Maruchan also produces cheese ramen, albeit a more watered-down, brothy version that is akin to the average taste and texture of Kraft mac and cheese. 

While this flavor certainly isn't the worst type of ramen, it really cannot live up to the wonder of mac and cheese. Cheesy pasta creates pretty high standards to live up to, and cheese ramen simply leaves far too much to be desired, especially when compared to the iconic stalwart that is mac and cheese.

9. Veggie

We all need a dose of vegetables in our diets, and some seasoned, baked, or lightly salted greens, cauliflower, carrots, or other veggies are a perfect addition to any dish. A typical ramen dish consists of noodles, broth, delicious vegetables, and your choice of meat, so the idea of a vegetable flavored ramen makes for an expected yet quite exciting flavor that is also vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. While this flavor is decent, meat lovers may miss the hearty flavor of a classic meaty ramen dish. 

Fresh vegetables certainly elevate a dish, and some varieties of veggie ramen such as Nongshim contain hins of spice that give these noodles a nice kick. However, it's difficult not to feel the lack of chicken or beef. If you're after a meatless option, then veggie ramen will definitely make your meal. However, if you're an avid enjoyer of meat then you might want to look for a different kind of ramen flavor. 

8. Soy sauce

Soy sauce is a highly versatile, commonly-used condiment. The salty, sodium-filled sauce is commonly used in meat dishes and in Asian cuisines. Soy sauce originated in China over 1,000 years ago (via Healthline). There's no mistaking the great flavor of soy sauce. If you're a soy sauce fan, you can easily go out and purchase some soy sauce to add to your ramen dish. Luckily, soy sauce is available in both Asian stores as well as regular grocery stores. 

Soy sauce can taste a bit overpowering. You'll enjoy soy sauce flavored ramen if you're a huge fan of soy sauce; however, if you are only mildly partial to soy sauce then you probably won't enjoy these noodles. Any additions to soy noodles, such as meat or vegetable, tend to take on a distinctive soy flavor that you may or may not enjoy, depending on your preferences. Additionally, the lack of a meaty flavor and the overwhelmingly dominant soy flavor could be a little lackluster in comparison to other ramen flavors. 

7. Chili

There's nothing like heat and spice to liven the senses and comfort a flavor craving at the same time. By this logic, a bowl of chili ramen sounds like the perfect dish. If you like spice, you'll like chili ramen. You could make yourself some delicious chili oil and mix it into ramen for a vibrant, exciting meal. Or, you could go the instant route, stop by the store and pick up a packet of chili ramen that is offered by brands such as Maruchan

While chili ramen certainly has a kick to it, this variety doesn't have much more to offer. The addition of chicken to chili ramen can help elevate this ramen type with the layers of flavor, fat, and protein that it so desperately needs. If you simply want spicy ramen, look no further than this flavor but if you're after a bit of complexity in terms of taste, then pick a different ramen flavor.

6. Pork

Bacon, ham, or a fresh suckling cutlet: Meat lovers among us most likely love a good cut of pig. Whether you're preparing a juicy pork loin to put in the oven or making some crispy, carefully fried bacon, if your meal includes pig meat of some kind, you know you're in for a good time. Pulled pork sandwiches with a bit of BBQ sauce? Perfection. Pork really elevates most savory dishes, and ramen is no exception. Pork ramen makes for a superb noodle meal that is perfect for even the pickiest of pork lovers.

Pork is a firmer and slightly sweeter tasting meat than chicken or steak. It also has a milder flavor, which makes it great for ramen. Pork ramen has a subtle flavor that allows you to season these noodles in any way you'd enjoy. You could even consider adding a hint of BBQ sauce to your ramen: What's stopping you? Even though this ramen isn't quite as flavorful as some of the other meaty flavors, it's a solid flavor to fall back on if you're looking for a satisfying noodle meal with a wonderful taste of fresh pork.

5. Turkey

There are most likely two types of meat families tend to gravitate towards if they celebrate Thanksgiving: Ham and turkey. While some people prefer a honey-baked ham during the festive fall season, many others prefer a classic but tasteful plate of turkey. Turkey lovers tend to favor this meat year-round, whether they're ordering a cold-cut sub from Jimmy John's or having a nice turkey dinner. 

If you're looking to give your Thanksgiving meal an exciting twist, turkey-flavored ramen makes for an outstanding addition to the lineup. Since turkey is flavorful and juicy, it tends to add the same qualities to food and dishes. Turkey really gives ramen that exciting flavor that will leave you smacking your lips long after you've slurped down your noodles. Admittedly, turkey isn't the perfect partner for ramen; however, overall, it's a pretty great flavor and not one that should be limited to just Thanksgiving either. 

4. Steak

A nice cut of steak, served with some asparagus and a sweet bread roll, makes for a highly satisfying meal. Whether you slow cook your meat in the oven or grill it on a hot summer day, steak is a highly flavorful dish that will leave you satisfied, no matter which cuts of steak you choose. Steak also pairs wonderfully well with ramen. The salty taste of noodles is delicious with a charred, well-done cut of steak. Combining steak and noodles creates a harmonious sensation for your tastebuds. 

So, it's no surprise that steak-flavored ramen results in a great-tasting noodle dish. Like most of the meatier ramens that you'll find in stores, the steak-heavy broth that accompanies noodles is very strong in terms of flavor. It's not as intense as spicy chicken ramen or chocolate-flavored ramen, but it's a solid ramen flavor to fall back on that is unlikely to disappoint meat lovers. 

3. Shrimp

There's nothing like a fresh serving of shrimp. Shrimp is commonly found in Italian or Southern-style dishes. Whether you're dipping individual pieces of shrimp into a refreshing shrimp cocktail or swallowing spoonfuls of a properly made dish of spicy shrimp fra diavolo, this crustacean is a wonderful addition to any meal for seafood lovers all over the country. It's also a surprisingly great ramen flavor. 

Even though shrimp and seafood might not be considered meats, shrimp-flavored ramen is almost as tasty and satisfying as meatier ramen flavors. Just one bite of these noodles transports you to a seafood restaurant or a home-cooked batch of shrimp

While seafood might not be everyone's first food choice, it most certainly wouldn't hurt to dip your toes into the food group with shrimp-flavored ramen. Brands such as Marchan provide an excellent variety of shrimp ramen. Overall, this is an incredible ramen flavor that is definitely worth trying.

2. Beef

Beef is a highly popular ramen flavor. If you're wondering about the difference between steak and beef-flavored ramen, steak refers to specific cuts of the cow, while beef can entail any cut of meat. Beef is a highly popular red meat that is used in tacos, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and of course, hamburgers. Beef is savory and makes for a filling, satisfying, and delicious dish, whether you're cooking from home or ordering a hamburger from McDonald's or Wendy's.

Beef ramen tastes a lot beefier than steak ramen. Brands such as Maruchan offer different takes on the flavor, from regular beef to roast beef. Most varieties of beef ramen are consistently delicious, and pairing this ramen with grilled vegetables makes for a filling, appetizing, and well-rounded meal. Beef ramen is truly one of the best flavors out there, and if you decide to try it, you'll be satisfied with every bite. 

1. Chicken

Chicken flavored ramen is the best kind of ramen out there. Maruchan sells this flavor in brightly colored orange packets. When you cook up a pot of chicken ramen, you're met with a warm, classic, one-of-a-kind taste that is a real hit. Those who have relied on a bowl of this ramen during their all-nighter college days will most likely agree that this ramen flavor was a lifesaver when they took to the books and that it is still a delicious, unforgettable food that they will return to every now and then. 

You can't really say anything bad about chicken-flavored ramen: Each mouthful of juicy, rich, and very flavorful chicken noodles is a delight. Chicken ramen is savory and goes well with most toppings or ramen dishes. When you make the choice to cook chicken ramen, you've already ensured that you will experience a mouth-watering meal that will leave your bellies completely satisfied. You may want to try something new in terms of ramen, and while we highly suggest you do, just remember that there's no topping chicken ramen.