One of the Garden State’s hottest dining destinations is set to open a pair of new outposts in two suburban towns, one of which will finally make its debut next month.
For those uninitiated (where have you been?), Ani Ramen started serving their Japanese-style ramen bowls in Montclair back in 2015. Their custom signature noodles, acclaimed bao buns, homemade crispy gyoza, and Japanese Izakaya small plates garnered a glowing write-up in the New York Times and the restaurant hasn’t looked back since.
Ani Ramen’s ongoing journey will take them next to the Essex County town of Maplewood, as the restaurant will be opening inside 1,300 square feet of space in October. The opening of the storefront, at 149 Maplewood Avenue across from the town’s train station, is a long time coming; Patch had initially reported on a May opening for the location.
Later this fall, Ani Ramen will also be coming to the Union County town of Cranford. Located at 109 Walnut Avenue inside a new 24-unit development dubbed The Albero, this outpost will be larger, seat 85 patrons, and encompass 2,800 square feet in the base of the building.
Both new Ani Ramen locations will be BYOB and open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m daily. Dinner service will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Ani Ramen Founder Luck Sarabhayvanija is thrilled to be expanding. “We’re fortunate that our ramen concept has been so well-received, and we are pleased to become part of the Maplewood and Cranford communities,” she said. “We’re also planning the rollout of several other New Jersey locations, so be on the lookout for an Ani Ramen coming to a downtown near you soon.”
One of those future locations will be inside the American Dream complex being built in the Meadowlands. The absurdly-delayed mall is supposedly finally opening on October 25, although Triple Five, the mall’s operator, has said that dining options in the complex won’t be up and running until next spring.