23. Chuko

Neighborhood: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Address: 552 Vanderbilt Ave.
Website: n/a

If you want to eat the best ramen in the city, go to Totto Ramen in midtown. But for those on the other side of the river, Chuko holds it down pretty well. It kind of has a Momofuku feel to it—natural wood and brick aesthetic, hipster waistaff, '90s hip hop on the speakers—minus the sceneyness. Jamison Blankenship and David Koon, both vets of Morimoto, add interesting tweaks to their soups, like cooking some bacon into the smoky tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, and fattening up the soy version with schmaltz. But it's actually the snacks and sides that make the place worth going back to. The fried “eggplant buns” are as good as any sliders I've had, and there's a crazy-good Brussels sprouts dish kicked up with red chilies, fish sauce, and rice wine vinegar.—CS