Japanese in Durham

The downstairs half of this cool, friendly, split-level Japanese joint serves sizable bowls of ramen noodles in various broths, with added ingredients such as pulled pork or catfish. Upstairs, and open in the evenings only, there’s an izakaya (Japanese pub), which – as well as noodles and delicious small-plate snacks, including octopus hush puppies (deep-fried cornmeal dumplings) – offers an extensive drinks menu.

They don't take reservations, but there’s usually room to drink while you wait for a table.