Review: Ramen Danbo

I noticed this ramen shop on one of our first days in Vancouver. What drew my attention to it? It was 3pm and there was a line about 10 people long outside. What? Why?! I had to find out.

It actually took us a few weeks to make it there. We went on Vancouver’s ‘snow day’ (marked like some major event – it felt like it, the city was chaotic!) and like the crazy people we are, we stood outside in the blizzard queuing, for almost half an hour. Of all days to choose right?! But we knew that the rewards would be felt even more strongly on a day like this. And yes, the wait was entirely worth it.

Finally we were ushered inside. We were shown to our seats – which craftily served as storage containers for our coats and bags too. We were seated right at the bar, so we could hear the constant chatter coming from the kitchen. The smells were so rich and warming: immediately we were starving.

Unbeknown to us, we’d made it to Ramen Danbo in time for their lunch deal. We got to add an extra topping to our ramen (boiled egg, duh) as well as getting three dumplings for a minimal price. The menu is pretty small – just various types of ramen with a few sides. It is no wonder they have such a high turnover (a blessing for the poor people in the queue outside), as the menu sure allows the chefs to churn out food.

I ordered the original style ramen (as did Andy) but mine was a ‘medium’ spice and his was ‘hot’. I think next time both of us would choose to drop a level: it was definitely edible but my nose was constantly running and I drank a lot of water on the side! For a few dollars you can get another serving of noodles in your bowl if you still have some broth – a good way to bulk up the meal further for those hungry people: Andy was all over that!

There is another Ramen Danbo out in Kitsilano which I would be keen to visit at some point too. There are SO many ramen shops around Vancouver that I’m yet to work out whether queuing outside for half an hour is actually worth a seat at Danbo, but as an avid ramen fan I do not deny that this was delicious!

Ramen Danbo – 1333 Robson St (and Kitsilano too)

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