Best Japanese Popup

Ippo Ramen

Popular East Bay bars have increasingly demonstrated that one of the best ways to attract regular customers is to recruit a talented chef to bring a food truck or pop-up kitchen to their businesses. After all, beers tend to pair very well with cheap street eats — whether tacos, hot dogs, pupusas, or grilled corn. Although hot ramen may not be the first dish that comes to mind when you think of a street-corner food cart, East Bay chef Steven Yee, who runs a pop-up business called Ippo Ramen, has proven that there’s a high demand for quick, fresh Japanese soup. It doesn’t hurt that his $9 bowls of miso ramen and shoyu ramen are so tasty and filling — and do go very well with beers. Yee, who used to work as a line cook in San Francisco, launched Ippo Ramen in 2012 as a regular pop-up at Linden Street Brewery in West Oakland, and now also regularly pops up at the Tokyo Fish Market (1220 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley). While Yee definitely serves up the best Japanese pop-up business in town, it’s safe to say he has also cooked up one of the best local pop-ups, period, as well as one of the most delicious ramen dishes in the East Bay.


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