After over a year of restless anticipation by hungry fans, Ippudo will open the doors to its ramen wonderland in downtown Berkeley on July 28. The Japanese chain is renowned for its tonkotsu-style ramen, which draws hours-long waits at its two locations in New York. Now it’s time for the West Coast to get a taste — of both the lines, and the ramen — at its first location at 2011 Shattuck Avenue.
Ippudo’s ramens range from classic to spicy, with customizable toppings. All of them are based on a creamy 18-hour hakata tonkotsu broth. There’s also a menu of small plates like Ippudo steamed buns, tempura, and more. Beverages include sake, beer, wine, and cocktails made with sake. Ippudo representatives say that there will be some menu items created especially for the West Coast restaurants, though there are no details yet on what those may be.
The Berkeley location of Ippudo will be followed by a San Francisco outpost, opening later this year at 18 Yerba Buena Lane (between Blue Stem Brasserie and Delarosa). The growth comes amid the chain’s partnership with Panda Express: The Panda Restaurant Group formed a new company called I & P Runway with Chikaranomoto Holdings, which operates Ippudo, in order to develop the brand in the US. The SF and Berkeley locations will join over 160 locations of the chain around the world.
This location of Ippudo is also the latest example of a chain based elsewhere staking a claim in the Berkeley dining scene. See also: Sweetgreen, Bonchon, 85C Bakery Cafe, Halal Guys, and Eatsa. Stay tuned for more details on the menu and space.