Toki Underground

If you are a lover of food like I am, then you will know that recently all the food hype has been about ramen. Ramen is a Japanese noodle and broth bowl that consists of anything from pork, chicken, soft-boiled eggs, seaweed, spinach, etc. Basically it’s a bowl of deliciousness.

Since I’ve only ever had the American college-style ramen, I was interested in trying the real thing. But let’s face it, Southern Maryland is full of nothing but chain restaurants so I’d specifically have to travel intoΒ the city to get authentic ramen.

My new beau, Anthony, suggested we go toΒ Toki Underground since they have some of the best reviews for ramen in the Washington DC area.

Located in Northeast, Toki Underground seems at first to be a “hole-in-the-wall” joint. When you enter the building you have to walk up a narrow set of stairs where you will meet the hostess, typically there is a wait so she takes your number and texts you when your seats are ready. This is exactly how our experience went. Luckily the street that it is located on has a variety of bars to choose from to pass the time. We ended up at Granville Moore’s for a half hour before we received the text that our seats were ready.

Once you get into the restaurant it is very small with a bar that sits 4 people located in front of the cooks, and seats at a bar that is wrapped around the wall. Our seats were perfect. They were in front of the main window that overlooks H Street so we could people watch while weΒ ate. And of course it made for great photo lighting πŸ˜‰

When we first sat down our server gave us two glasses and a vase of water. Maybe it was because we were in the city, but the water did not taste very filtered, so naturally I asked for sparkling instead of still. Anthony ordered hot saki, a rice wine that is served hot. I wasn’t a fan.

The atmosphere of the restaurant has an urban, New York City-style feel/aesthetic. With stickers on the wall and skateboards that trail the floor underneath the seats. The music playing was the newest rap, it was loud and unedited, which gave it that New York vibe.

As far as pricing goes, it is about $15 for a bowl of ramen at Toki. I thought that was reasonable considering the area. When it was time to order we decided to get the popular fried chicken with steamed buns as an appetizer. Surprisingly this was priced the same as the ramen, $15. Personally I wasn’t impressed by the steamed buns. They were tasty for sure, but not worth $15.

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Shown above is the curry chicken ramen that I ordered. It was probably all I expected and then some more. It was delicious! The only thing I did not necessarily care for was the chicken that was in it. The chicken was cooked the same way as the chicken that came with our steamed buns and I would have liked to seen it cooked in a different style, maybe shredded. Other than the chicken, everything else in the bowl was amazing.

Overall I would give it an 8/10. If you are ever in the area or if you just want to try good ramen, I would definitely recommend this place!

Top 5 Holiday Festivities in the DMV

1.) ZooLights at the National Zoo in Washington DC.Β 

Once night falls the National Zoo lights up into a magical Christmas kingdom, fun and enjoyable for all ages.

Not only is this festive activity fun for the family, it is also FREE!

The ZooLights run from November 27th-January 2nd between 5-9PM, with the exception of December 24th, 25th, and 31st.

You can find more information on ZooLights here.

ZooLights at the National ZooΒ 

 

2.) Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating

What says holidays more than ice skating? Nothing, obviously.

The great thing about Pentagon Row is it is right next to a multitude of shops and restaurants, including the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Although this activity is not free, it is affordable and fun for the family, romantic dates, or even just an outing with friends. You can view admission and rental pricing here, along with hours and location.

Pentagon Row Ice Skating

Outdoor ice skating rink at Pentagon RowΒ 

 

3.) Washington D.C’s National Gallery of Art Ice Rink

If you don’t want to travel all the way to Virginia for ice skating, have no fear, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. also offers an outdoor skating rink.

Located in the Sculpture Garden, this activity is not free of charge but again, it is great for families, dates, or just hanging with friends and enjoying all that the city has to offer.

And while you’re there you might as well check out the art and grab a bite to eat at their cafe, I recommend the gelato.

You can find more information on rates, hours, and location here.

NGA Ice Skating

Outdoor ice skating rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

 

4.) Maryland’s National Harbor

The National Harbor is a great place to go if you want to feel the holiday spirit. Between holiday performances on the plaza, their humongous Christmas tree, and the ferris wheel lit up in Christmas colors, you are almost guaranteed a great time.

There are plenty of events every weekend, too.

Gaylord National’s ICE, the Holiday Market, and every Saturday there is a Harbor Holiday Movie that plays out on the big screen right in front of the Peeps store.

You can find the calendar of events for the National Harbor here.

National Harbor Christmas Tree

Christmas tree at the National Harbor

 

5.) Old Town, Alexandria

Listed as one of the Top 10 Christmas Towns by HGTV, Old Town Alexandria offers something unique that cannot be found just anywhere. This historic town will get you and your loved ones in the spirit with their Holiday Market, Candlelight Tours, and Holiday Dining.

You can find a full list of events here.

Old Town Christmas

Christmas lights in Historic Old Town, Alexandria

 

So whether you are looking for an affordable activity, or simply just looking to have a good time with friends and family, the DMV has some of the perfect places to celebrate the holidays!

 

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photographs.