All photos (24)Santa Ramen
Santa Ramen
Santa Ramen

Santa Ramen

7.619 reviews
$$$$
Ramen
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1944 El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 344-5918
https://www.facebook.com/Santa-Ramen-337519357224/
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Very decent Ramen just not as good as Ramen Dojo. The good thing about this place is that its in a strip mall so parking is easy and the restaurant is bigger than Ramen Dojo so the ... Read more
lines don't take too long.

Member Reviews(19)

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7.6/10
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Local from Foster City, California, USA

Santa Ramen is my default ramen place, as it is not too far from where I work. Their ramen is above average and their broth is quite good. I almost always order their garlic pork flavor ramen with extra fresh seaweed.

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San Francisco, California, USA

After a so-so first experience, I was a bit reluctant about returning. My mind was changed once I had their Deluxe Garlic Pork ramen. Tasty broth, good noodle consistency, and the pork pieces melted in my mouth like butter. This was indeed much better than what I had before, which I unfortunately don't remember. And that's OK.

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Local from Redwood City, California, USA

Popular San Mateo Ramen spot, Good flavor but they put more pepper in their broth than I usually like. Maybe it's not for me

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Local from San Bruno

Santa Ramen is my go-to spot for authentic Japanese Ramen. It's one the best on the west coast. The noodles are fresh and any broth you select is delicious! I'd been coming to Santa Ramen since they were still at the old location.

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Santa Cruz, California, USA

Very decent Ramen just not as good as Ramen Dojo. The good thing about this place is that its in a strip mall so parking is easy and the restaurant is bigger than Ramen Dojo so the lines don't take too long.

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Local from Sunnyvale, California, USA
Ambassador

When my brother comes home on his breaks, this is the place we go. I think it's good (I've never been to Japan for real ramen though) and the wait is less ridiculous than Ramen Parlor, which is over-rated in my opinion. I've only been here when there isn't a long wait; guess I'm lucky with beating the rush?

I tried the pork cheek meat ramen--pork flavor (you can choose soy or miso bases too), and it's really good! It's worth the added $1.25 from the original ramen! The pork cheek meat ramen comes with more stuff like veggies (kikurage mushroom, shredded red pepper, bean sprouts, cabbage, chive, fried onion), 2 quail eggs, and a piece of pork cheek meat in addition to the 2 pcs of pork. It's a pretty filling bowl of ramen...I gave half of my ramen to my brother and I was still stuffed! Really worth it.

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San Francisco, California

Santa Ramen, simply, is just average when it comes to ramen. The noodles are average -- they taste cheap and not al dente. The pork broth is decent, but doesn't have a rich pork flavor that really makes ramen good. The roasted pork slices are actually pretty good -- nice and tender.

What really surprised me, though, is the stewed kurobuta pork. This was HORRIBLE. It was semi-cold, extremely tough, and had a coagulated texture that gives me the impression that they refrigerate the pork pieces and just drop them into the ramen bowl before serving. It was disgusting and definitely not worth $4.95 for the add-on.

Perhaps the good reputation that Santa Ramen possesses was from a time long ago when it was probably better; I highly doubt it's from the ramen they serve today. Never again.

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San Francisco, California

Get here before it opens, the line is always long. And everyone needs to be here to sit.

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Local from San Carlos, California

One of my favorite places to grab ramen. The extra special pork braised meat is worth the $5. And now they have spicy garlic as a soup base too!

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Los Angeles, California

The ramen here is pretty damn good but I'm not sure it's always worth the long line. If you're craving ramen around San Mateo, this is easily the place to go. Try to avoid the peak lunch and dinner hours like 12-1 or 7-8 and you should get in faster.

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Local from San Carlos, California, USA

The ramen here is pretty good - but it doesn't compare to their sister store Ramen Dojo. There isn't likely to be much of a wait here since they have lots of tables, and the service is friendly but not the most attentive. Overall a good, solid place for ramen!

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Local from Santa Clara

Not bad but very forgettable. I frankly do not understand the reasons behind the long line.

Their broth is definitely not salty. It was just very mellow. I actually think they could use a little more salt in both the tonkutso broth and miso broth to offset the lack of flavors. The toppings were alright. Charsiu has nice fat to meat ratio and was perfectly cooked. Other toppings like mushroom and bean sprouts were just standard fare. The noodles lacked personality.

A bowl of basic ramen is fairly inexpensive but your bill quickly rack up as you add more toppings. Is that tiny bit of cabbage and shitaki mushroom worth $2.50? I am really not sure.

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Santa Ramen peaked about 10 years ago, before the mass hysteria bandwagon trends of waiting in long lines prior to doors opening, just for a bowl of MSG enhanced broth, average noodles and what not. 10 years ago there were not that many better ramen places, but now we have more variety in the area, with better options in the South Bay, albeit mediocre for others in San Mateo and now more or less the same. Somehow the passion, innovation, and perserverance have all but disappeared from this place. 90% of fans still line up and get the pork bone broth, Hakata style, because that's all the know or prefer, and in some cases Santa was the place to popularize this. But after all those years, and moving into bigger, richer digs to accomodate more, quality has been inconsistent, and prices have gone up. There are for sure more non Japanese customers than before, and many former Japanese regulars may have moved on to other pastures to satiate their stomachs.

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San Francisco

Santa Ramen, how i love you so. let me count the ways... honestly, how can i be the first to review this place? if you like ramen, you must go. if you love ramen, you've probably already been. please just don't go when i want to go because the lines are already ridiculously long. I've only been twice (i don't have the patience to wait in line), but they have great ramen across the board. I'm a fan of miso ramen in general, and theirs i think is the best in the Bay. The noodles taste freshly made. The broth flavorful but not overly salty. Went for lunch. Parking was a pain; too many cars in the small parking lot. I'd go back more often, but I really don't like waiting in line. Did I already say that?

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Portland, Oregon, USA

Great ramen in its expanded location which greatly reduces the long lines.

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Spicy miso ramen with stewed pork...the very best ramen I've ever had!!!

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Local from South San Francisco, California, USA
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Local from San Jose
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Santa Ramen

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