Chicago’s booming ramen scene gets a new contender from up north in a prime location this weekend. Kinton Ramen, a very popular chain based in Canada, opens its first restaurant in the United States on Saturday at 163 N. Sangamon Street in the West Loop.
Kinton focuses on customizable pork or chicken ramen bowls, plus izakaya-style small plates including rice bowls, karaage fried chicken, gyoza, and more. Diners can choose from 18 add-ons for their ramen bowls, including Swiss cheese. Cocktails, including a matcha colada and a “saketini” are also available, as is beer, wine, sake, and nonalcoholic drinks such as housemade yuzu lemonade. The full menu is available below.
The space is modern with a dark brown color scheme. It has 56 seats at wood communal tables and a counter. A 14-seat patio is coming soon.
Parent company Kinka Family is Canada’s largest Japanese restaurant chain and also now operates restaurants in Tokyo and Seoul. It chose Chicago to kick off an ambitious United States expansion plan, which includes a Wicker Park location at 1426 N. Milwaukee Avenue that’s slated to open this summer. The company also plans to open three new Chicago locations by the end of the year as well as restaurants on the East Coast.
Chicago diners can try it out starting tomorrow in the West Loop, when it will open at 5 p.m. for dinner only through May 27. Regular hours, including lunch service, begin May 28. The first 50 customers on May 28 will receive a free ramen bowl and ramen will also be half-off starting at 11:30 a.m. for everyone. Take a look around the space, read the menu, and see the regular hours below.
Kinton Ramen, 163 N. Sangamon Street, open 11:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for dinner Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday beginning May 28.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect changes in Kinton Ramen’s hours.