FACT: fall hits and NYC swims in noodle soups. While the season lends itself to multiple visits to our favorite ramen spots, we’ve tapped one of our strongest superpowers — the ability to make you hungry AF via #FoodPorn — and expanded our horizons with six NYC outposts that place noodles at the forefront. From spicy to saucy, these slurpable dishes should top your list when cravings set in. Your stomach, and Boomerangs, will approve.
The udon masters of TsuruTonTan — a Japanese noodle chain — have made their way stateside with a menu that elevates the traditional wheat noodle. The standout dish? The Uni Udon (yeah, you read that right). Served cold, this bowl of housemade udon is topped with a generous serving of the on-trend ingredient #uni. Get your Instagram shot ready.
We’re well aware of the broth boss that is David Chang, so we thought outside the
box bowl and tapped Nishi, the Italian-focused eatery under the Momofuku umbrella. There, you’ll find Butter Noodle, a Korean rendition of the time-honored Cacio e Pepe. This dish trades the traditional pecorino for chickpea hozon, a fermented stone-ground seasoning made in the style of miso paste. The result is a umami-rich plate of pasta; proof that a remix can be just as good as the original.
If guacamole is the appetizer mascot of Mexican food, Dan Dan noodles do the same for Sichuan cuisine. A standard in mom-and-pop establishments in China, Dan Dan is sure to fulfill a spicy food lover’s dream, and the dim-sum-style portion at Cafe China does it right. The best part is the sauce — made up of sesame oil, soy sauce, Sichuan oil, minced pork, and pickled mustard greens topped with scallions — nestled underneath hot, springy noodles.
At Saiguette, you’re the master of Pho. Served deconstructed style, the Vietnamese noodle soup is presented to patrons with ingredients (think raw brisket, white onion, bean sprouts and piping hot broth) served separately in plastic containers. Enjoy this DIY-style pho in this quintessential takeout outpost.
According to ROKC, an unassuming ramen spot located in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood, we’re a bit late to the soupless ramen game. Equal parts omnivore and herbivore, Yokohama ramen combines an array of flavors to make a dish that Japan has been serving for the past few years. ROKC’s variation includes tofu, ground pork, scallion, red pepper, and grilled miso eggplant. With a dressing made up of chilli bean garlic sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil, you won’t even miss the soupy broth that more traditional-style ramen calls for.
Good food need not be pretentious, and such is the case at Chinatown’s Lam Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles. With baking spices like cinnamon and star anise present in the broth, Lam Zhou’s Beef Soup is the immediate answer to cooler temperatures. Opt for a liberal dollop of chili oil and the rest is history: a damn good bowl of noodles.
When a former auto body shop turned Italian restaurant is just blocks away from McCarren Park, you go. At Lilia, Chef Missy Robbins upgrades the simple pan sauce of Cacio E Pepe with pink peppercorns, and swaps spaghetti for ribbon-like malfadini that nestles butter and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Food porn enthusiasts, rejoice.