Why are all the best ramen joints in weird neighborhoods? We’re guessing, like most things in NYC, it comes down to rent. Like Mu Ramen (Long Island City), Chuko (Prospect Heights), and Totto (Midtown East), Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop on 11th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets is worth the haul—and in this case, you’re probably already on your way to the West Side for the High Line. Chef-owner Ivan Orkin made his name in Tokyo, where he opened his first noodle shop in 2007; today, he’s making perfect shio and shoyu-style bowls as well as more playful, NYC-inspired items like pastrami buns and the “breakfast all day ramen,” an inventive riff on the city’s famed bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. (A better hangover cure does not exist.) And unlike downtown noodle joints—including Ivan’s own snug Lower East Side spot—where you’ll almost always find interminable lines, here there’s rarely a wait for a table. Thanks to the food hall format there’s plenty of space for everyone—just note that, like in Tokyo, the best seats are right at the noodle bar, overlooking all the action in the kitchen. –P.B.