United States

Japan's Iconic Taishoken Ramen Opens First U.S. Restaurant in San Mateo

Calling all ramen enthusiasts!

Taishoken, the iconic Japanese restaurant best known for pioneering tsukemen-style ramen almost 60 years ago, has opened its first U.S. location in downtown San Mateo.

Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area

The “dipping noodles” or tsukemen, is a two-bowl dish that involves serving cold noodles alongside a hot broth for dipping and seasoning.

“My grandfather built Taishoken 70 years ago and we started making homemade noodles,” said Taishoken CEO, Yoshihiro Sakaguchi. “I feel like I have to bring my own ramen and tsukemen here.”

Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area
Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, the CEO Taishoken poses for a portrait at the first U.S. location in downtown San Mateo.

Many people credit the two-bowl dish to Kazuo Yamagishi.

“On hot summer days, the staff would eat the cold leftover noodles by dipping it into a hot soup,” the Taishoken website says. “Curious customers began requesting this dish, and it was soon put on the restaurant menu. Sixty years later, the dish is now one of the national food of ramen culture in Japan.”

Today, Taishoken has over 100 restaurants in Japan and they hope to continue to grow in the U.S.


You can try tsukemen at Taishoken’s downtown San Mateo restaurant on East 4th Avenue. The restaurant will only be serving dinner for the first five nights of their grand opening starting Tuesday, July 17 to Sunday, July 21 from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Ramen enthusiasts can eat lunch and dinner at Taishoken beginning Tuesday, July 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

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