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Build-Your-Own Ramen Bar From NYC Plans Cambridge Expansion

Menya Jiro may open within the Crimson Galeria in Harvard Square

A restaurant storefront with a black awning and yellow text has tall windows and menus on display
Menya Jiro in Brooklyn, New York
Menya Jiro/Official Site

A Japanese ramen chain with three locations in New York City aims to expand north to the Boston area. Menya Jiro, which specializes in ramen from Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture, could open within the Crimson Galeria at 57 JFK St. in Cambridge’s Harvard Square.

The restaurant seeks licensing approval from the city this week, and if granted, it will navigate permitting and buildout, possibly opening this coming winter or early spring.

Menya Jiro has been billed as a “Chipotle of ramen” for its build-your-own options. The restaurant’s standard base combines tonkotsu and chicken broth, with a spicy version as well as light and rich broth options. There’s also a vegetarian miso broth. Customers can then select protein options, including a signature pork char siu, plus vegetable sides and additional toppings and seasonings. Locations in New York also serve mazeman, a brothless noodle dish.

Menya Jiro has twice won a street ramen competition held annually in New York City. It could join several other restaurants already operating within the Crimson Galeria, including Tom’s Bao Bao, Shake Shack, and BonChon. Meanwhile, Cambridge itself has a vast array of ramen restaurants, including Santouka in Harvard Square and Yume Wo Katare, Sapporo, and One Ramen and Sushi near Porter, among others.

Menya Jiro goes before the Cambridge licensing commission on Thursday, October 10. Stay tuned for further details on an opening timeline for the restaurant.

Menya Jiro [Official Site]
Meetings on Harvard Square Notions [CD]