For those only familiar with the instant ramen packets that commonly fuel college students, Dashi’s steaming bowls of ramen are a far cry from their plastic packaged cousin.  Comparing Dashi’s ramen bowls to instant ramen is like comparing an expertly crafted latte made from artisan roasted beans to instant coffee - they are two very different eating experiences!

The Japanese word dashi refers to the mother broth of Japanese cuisine.  It is the base of many miso soups, noodle broths, and other simmering dishes.

To read more about the regional roots of our ramen menu and an explanation of common Japanese ingredients, CLICK HERE.


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An izakaya is essentially a Japanese pub, offering a variety of small plates to accompany beer, sake, cocktails and the like.  The second story of our restaurant is devoted to our bar, which features a selection of sake and Japanese whisky, along with shochu, Japanese and local beers, and more.  Armed with the mission of introducing our guests to the joys of sake and shochu, our experienced staff is happy to guide you through the spirits and cocktail menu!

To learn more about sake, shochu and traditional Japanese customs, CLICK HERE.

Dashi uses nowait guest app in the ramen shop

Since Dashi does not take reservations, during our busier hours, we use the NoWait Guest App to reserve your place in line for the next available table in the ramen shop. This allows our guests to enjoy drinks and small plates in the upstairs izakaya, or even venture out to nearby downtown businesses while they wait for their table. Once a table is available, guests are alerted via text!

If we have a wait in the ramen shop, and you are close to the restaurant, you can now get in line to dine at the ramen shop before you arrive at Dashi.

  1. Download the NoWait app here: iPhone | Android

  2. Select Dashi in the list of nearby restaurants and click "Get in line!."

  3. Arrive at the noted time and check in with our host!

Please keep in mind:

  • If there is not a line at the ramen shop, the NoWait app will display "Now Seating!"

  • If you cannot make it, please take your your name off the list as a courtesy to our other guests in line.

  • This system does not apply to the upstairs izakaya.

We hope this will save you time, and make waiting for your steaming bowl of ramen simple and enjoyable!


Meet the Owners


Kelli and Billy Cotter, owners of the popular Downtown Durham paninoteca, Toast, and Rochelle and Nick Johnson, owners of the Cast Iron Group, joined forces to create a casual restaurant and bar with an exceptional menu and stellar service.

Their partnership rooted from Hakanai, a Japanese pop-up restaurant at The Cookery that featured Billy and Kelli Cotter in 2013.  The restaurant was only open for 3 nights, but the media and community attention far exceeded expectation – in fact, the day that reservations became open online, so many people attempted to access The Cookery’s website that it crashed!  Once the website was restored, all 300 seats were reserved within 15 minutes.  Hundreds of people signed up for the wait list.

After catching their breath from the whirlwind weekend of Hakanai and many glasses of wine later, the foursome, realizing that their varied talents complemented each other perfectly, decided that a permanent restaurant should be the next adventure together.

Focusing on ramen as the ultimate nourishing meal and comfort food, Dashi was born!