The sad thing about Ramen noodles is that many vegetarians chow down on varieties like Chile and Oriental, thinking they're free of meat. You'd think people with such restrictions would read the ingredients, but a surprising number of my friends have not. Most of the Maruchan and Top Ramen varieties, including the ones that don't have meat pictured on the cover, state quite clearly that they contain chicken or beef powder. So be careful. The only "safe" varieties I know of are mushroom, tomato, cheddar (hard to find), and shrimp (if, like many vegetarians, you eat seafood).

Of course, you can find strictly vegetarian gourmet ramen at certain health food and specialty stores, but it costs a dollar or so a pop. Kind of defeats the purpose of ramen noodles, don't you think? You might as well buy yourself an actual meal at those prices.