It's hard to argue with a huge bowl of steaming hot, salty, meaty broth with a pile of bouncy noodles to slurp and tender, slow-cooked pork belly. But there's a difference between ramen-I'd-eat-for-a-quick-and-filling-meal (any), and ramen-so-good-it's-worth-a-national-obsession (rare). These days, there are Manhattan neighborhoods that are almost as dense with ramen-ya as a Tokyo train station. Our goal: to cull the good from the great.
Two years ago we shared our picks for where to eat near Times Square, the focal point of New York's tourist economy and home to many a chain mega-restaurant. But amid the mammoth TGI Friday's and Guy Fieri's 500-seat restaurant, you'll find plenty of quality places for a quick bite, a casual lunch, or a full sit-down meal. This guide covers the picks from our original guide, plus our new favorite spots we've encountered since July 2011.