366 West 52nd Street,
New York, NY 10019
65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
It's quite a battle. Environment wise, Totto has this Japanese local ramen booth feeling that chain Ippudo doesn't have. Totto also offers a wide range of in house toppings and appetizers (not to mention limited summer specials like the AvoTuna... so good!). There are only about 8 tables in this steamy place. We were legit sweating while eating the 9pepper hot bamboo shoots. It's also because of its small size, we could interact with our lovely chefs and have a nice chat with them. They are so funny and definitely made our experience much more personal!
However, chain Ippudo offers unbeatable noodles. They are chewy yet blend so well in the broth. As a part of an international chain restaurant, its deco is also more upscale and comfortable to sit and chat. Their cha-siu buns are the best! This was my second time going to Ippudo and the 1.5 wait was so worth it!
So no matter how much we want to find a winner between these ramen places we seem not to find a winner! They are different in terms of atmosphere, food and overall experience. It's up to you on what you prefer.
Do you have a special Ramen place that you always go? Whats the reason why you love it so much?