Ani Ramen Brings Its Beloved Restaurant to Cranford

Luck Sarabhayavanija opened the first Ani Ramen location in Montclair in 2014. The popular noodle shop then expanded to other locations in NJ, including Summit and Jersey City, and in October 2020 Ani Ramen opened its doors in Cranford.

The owners of Ani Ramen were looking for their next location and were intrigued when Cranford nabbed the designation of #1 downtown in NJ. Ani Ramen had been successful in commuter towns where the demographics were similar to Cranford. Luck and his partners visited Cranford and loved the people and the feel of the town. They were also excited at the opportunity to be an anchor business in a newly constructed building.

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Ani Ramen saw its business model change when the pandemic first hit in March. In the very beginning, Ani Ramen donated meal kits and ended up giving away over 3500 kits. The restaurant then pivoted to becoming a non-profit that served up pizza and roasted chicken to first responders. Ani Ramen hadn’t previously offered takeout, and their Executive Chef began working hard to create meals that would travel well. Customers had asked for takeout for years, and once Ani Ramen began offering that option, it became a huge success.

Erica Gillespie joined Ani Ramen as the VP of Operations in February, right before everything turned upside down. She had previously dined at the Montclair location and was incredibly impressed by her experience. “All of the staff was so hospitable and genuine. It made for an amazing experience and solidified that this was a company I wanted to work for.”

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The Cranford location of Ani Ramen currently offers takeout, as well as outdoor and indoor dining. “We are grateful for the overwhelming support since we opened our doors in Cranford,” said Erica. “What an amazingly warm and gracious welcome to the neighborhood.  It is humbling, to say the least.  We recognize that ordering online has been difficult at times, but we do limit the number of orders we process each day, in hourly increments. This way we are able to make sure all orders are ready on time, and we can still accommodate guests for dine in as well.  We STRONGLY recommend that our guests order in advance.  You can order days in advance if you like . . . you can order today for tomorrow, or three days from now, even.  Ordering in advance on our website will make your chances of getting the time slot you prefer very likely. We’re so overwhelmed and incredibly happy by the reception from Cranford residents!”  

Our thank you to Ani Ramen for choosing Cranford, and to the community for welcoming them so warmly to the neighborhood!

Ani Ramen
109 Walnut Avenue