East Village Eats

Food & Drink recommendations straight from the East Village, New York City


Posted on | March 31, 2011 | 5 Comments

Minca InteriorWhere should I begin?  Minca has cured both colds & hangovers since I started going there in 2004. Even with Kuboya Ramen just next door & Rai Rai Ken not too far away, I still feel like Minca is the best ramen in the East Village (I have yet to try, Setagaya, Ippudo & Robataki which are all a bit farther west).

Minca ExteriorThe space is totally unassuming with seats overlooking the kitchen, 3 tables & a few stools in the window sills.  Most of the restaurant is taken up by a large kitchen where the staff (none of them Japanese, except for the night-time waitresses) expertly prepare fresh noodles, gyoza & stir massive vats (with oars no less) of the various broths on offer.

Spicy Miso Ramen at MincaFor the longest time I ordered either the Basic (pork & Chicken Broth) or Minca (Pork Broth) ramen, but I decided to try the Spicy Miso this time, by far the best decision I’ve made in a while.  Topped with half a boiled egg, vegetables & slow stewed pork, this was a bowl of sure fire.  I’m not a huge fan of very spicy food, but this really hit the spot.  I had to stop every once in a while to gulp down some water or the awesome barley tea that comes gratis, but the heat level was just perfect.  Hot enough to make you sweat a bit, but not so spicy that you cry uncle.

Miso Sio Ramen at MincaMy friend, Troy, got the Miso Sio which is a pork & chicken broth with a salt & roast garlic kick.  I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I can only imagine that it’s very good.

Minca is a great spot to grab a quick bowl of ramen with some of the tastiest pork (chicken available too) you’ll ever have.  The staff are super friendly & there are vegetarian options as well.  The gyoza are all handmade (you can often see the process in action at the back table) & are absolutely delicious.  If you’re in the ‘hood, check it out.

Minca: 536 East 5th St between Avenue A & B

Also, check out my review of their larger sister-restaurant Kambi.

Interior & exterior pictures by Thursday Club NYC
Minca on Urbanspoon


5 Responses to “Minca”

  1. East Village Eats » Ramen Row!
    April 8th, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    […] War shaping up on 5th Street between Avenue A & B?  In one corner we have the reigning Champ, Minca Ramen Factory & in the other we have a newcomer, Kuboya Ramen (536 East 5th Street, in the old Le Gamin […]

  2. Breaking; Satsko’s serving up Pork Ramen! : East Village Eats
    December 18th, 2011 @ 11:28 am

    […] sample.  With that aside, the broth is light & salty (in a good way), more Rai Rai Ken than Minca. Flavorful, but not ‘I need my bed’ rich as Minca can sometimes be.  The real kicker […]

  3. Rai Rai Ken : East Village Eats
    December 30th, 2011 @ 11:59 am

    […] could have filled up 2 or 3 of these badboys, but I keep on forgetting my card at home).  Unlike Minca & Kambi Ramen House (2 places in the East Village that I absolutely love!), the broth here is […]

  4. Kambi Ramen House Revisited : East Village Eats
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 2:37 am

    […] snow), I thought it would be a good idea to take another look at Kambi Ramen House.  I know that Minca is much more centrally placed in the East Village & that the menus are basically the same, but […]

  5. Totto Ramen : East Village Eats
    May 12th, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    […] Rai Ken & Kuboya, but once the miso was mixed in, it thickened & was more like the broth at Minca (which I […]

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