What’s up, Nomsters! We’ve got some more delivery inspiration for you while we’re all stuck at home, and this time it’s for all you udon lovers out there! San Francisco has tons of great noodle spots, but we’ve compiled a list of three of our favorite restaurants for the best udon in SF, and they’re all located in different parts of the city, so one of them should be relatively close to where you live.
One of the biggest concerns we hear, and what typically drives people away from ordering any kind of soupy noodle dish, is the fear that the noodles will arrive all soggy after having been in the broth for the whole drive over. But fret not! We haven’t had an issue with the quality of their deliveries and the noodles and other ingredients are always kept separate from the broth in the to-go packages from Kagawa-Ya and Marugame so you can throw it all in yourself when you receive the delivery. This should be a quick one, but we REALLY love these restaurants, so definitely try them out!
Kagawa-Ya (Market St. between 10th and 11th) is one of the best and most unique udon spots in the city. Sure, they have the usual traditional types of udon like niku udon (beef), kitsune udon (fried tofu), and their cold udon. But what makes them unique is their rotating monthly specials where they venture off the beaten path to experiment with non-traditional flavors and ingredients to form udon creations unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. For example, over the years they’ve had clam chowder udon, sweet corn udon, zhajiang udon, and the list goes on. Sometimes one of them becomes so popular that they actually add it to their menu like with the vegetarian sweet kabocha curry udon and the spicy beef tan tan udon! They also have various musubis and tempura that you can add to your order while in line before paying.
They’ve been closed since the Shelter in Place order was issued in California, but plan to reopen around May 3rd for pickup and delivery, so keep an eye out!
Marugame (Stonestown Galleria) has locations all over the world, but despite the tons of franchising they’ve done, they really manage to keep the quality top notch and the flavors poppin’, which definitely makes them a favorite spot for the best udon in SF! They also have a location in Berkeley for all you East Bay peeps to get your grub on. They have a fairly extensive menu of 15 types of udon, but their best seller – and our personal fave – is the niku tama udon. It’s a simple udon with beef and a poached egg, but we love breaking the egg open and mixing it with the broth to make it even thicker and more amazing.
Similar to Kagawa-Ya, you line up in a cafeteria style line, order the type of udon you want, and then you can add sides of tempura, karaage, and other things to go along with it. They also have a station at the very end after you pay where you can add green onions and tempura flakes to your heart’s content.
Marugame locations in the Bay Area are temporarily closed due to Shelter in Place, but according to their Yelp pages they plan to open around May 16th!
3. Udon Mugizo
There aren’t many negative things you can say about Udon Mugizo (Japantown Center). Their bowls are enormous, their menu is the most extensive of all the places we mentioned in this post, and the majority of their dishes tend to be more traditional and use Japanese flavors and ingredients. They do, however, have some unique signature bowls like the salmon spinach cream sauce udon, but we would recommend this place, hands down, if you’re looking for a super bomb, more traditional experience with your udon. Also, eat here if you’re really hungry – we can’t stress how much you get in their large bowls!
Two of our favorites are their curry udon and katsu curry udon. The broth is nice and thick with that Japanese curry broth, and if you get the one with katsu, it comes on the side so it stays crispy throughout the meal. They also have zaru soba if you’re feeling like changing things up a bit or just want some cold noodles instead. Did we mention their portions are big?
Udon Mugizo is, for sure, a top pick for best udon in SF and they’re currently open for pickup and delivery through DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub!
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