Ramen Tatsu-Ya debuts second location in Austin


If you like your broth velvety and flavorful, then look no farther than Ramen Tatsu-Ya.


Hilltoppers, rejoice: the Austin ramen craze is finally in reach for South Austinites with the opening of the second Ramen Tatsu-Ya location on South Lamar.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya is one of three popular ramen joints in Austin, including Daruma Ramen on East Sixth Street, Michi Ramen on North Lamar and the original Ramen Tatsu-Ya on Research Boulevard.

While authentic Japanese ramen is now closer to the Hilltop, Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s new south location inevitably leaves us with the question, “Is it good enough to spare the drive north?”

The answer depends on two things: broth preference and dietary restrictions.

The four most common ramen broths are tonkotsu, miso (fermented bean paste), sho-yu (soy sauce) and shio (salt). The heaviest is Tonkotsu, made from pork bones. The bones are simmered for many hours, creating a creamy and opaque broth.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya uses tonkotsu as the base for three of its four dinner ramens: the Tonkotsu Original, the Tonkotsu Sho-Yu and the Mi-So-Not/Mi-So-Hot (spicy variant). The tonkotsu base makes all three options rich and creamy, but not too thick. Miso and Sho-Yu are blended into the tonkotsu respectively for nuanced flavor. The fourth, soy-based and vegan-friendly Veggie Ramen is lighter and clearer, but available only on Sundays.  

If you like your broth velvety and flavorful, then look no farther than Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Even gluten-free diners have a rice substitute option for the Tonkotsu Original. Vegans and vegetarians can also eat at Ramen Tatsu-Ya, but are limited to Sunday night dining and a lighter broth.

Daruma Ramen offers Shio Ramen, Shoyu Ramen, Miso Ramen, Veggie Ramen and Veggie Miso Ramen. The Shio Ramen, Shoyu Ramen and Miso Ramen have chicken stock bases, while the Veggie Ramen and Veggie Miso Ramen have soy stock bases. All the broths are clearer and lighter in flavor than tonkotsu, although the options with miso are a little saltier and creamier than the rest.

If your prefer a lighter-flavored broth, more health-conscious options, or are a vegan or vegetarian, the drive to Daruma Ramen is worth it. The Veggie Ramen and Veggie Miso Ramen are both vegan and available all day, every day.

Michi Ramen offers the most variety and allows for customization. Diners have the ability to choose broth thickness, from light to stout. There are five ramen options, some traditional and some not. Michi is made with a sho-yu tonkotsu broth. Meat Lovers is the same, but it is made with extra pork slices. Sapporo is made with a miso tonkotsu broth. Veggie is made with a sho-yu mushroom broth, and has an egg-free noodles option for vegans. Their Texas Ramen bowl is made with a tomato tonkotsu broth and barbeque sauce while the Jungle bowl is made with lemongrass tonkotsu broth and thai chiles.

If you like to experiment with your food or want creative control over your ramen, then go ahead and make the drive to Michi. Michi deviates the most from authenticity, but it offers a wider variety of flavors. Vegans and vegetarians can also experiment with their ramen, since the Veggie Ramen is always available.