Noodles are good at all times of the year, but there is something about truly getting in from the cold and warming up by having some hot, that just fills makes dealing with the cold of New York City worth it. NYC has become a hotbed for ramen and noodle soups in the last couple of years. With so many options, how can anyone choose? Well, we did it for ya, because we like you so much. Here are 10 of our favorite noodle shops in NYC.
1. Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodle: 1 Doyers Street
When we’re in the mood for hot, hand-pulled noodles, we make sure we locate one of the best under the radar shops in Chinatown on Doyers Street. The name (Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles) is about as basic as you can get. But do not let the absence of a creative or punny name stop you from entering this place. While other, more hip places are limited in terms of seating, this place seems to always have a spot for you. Even when they are more busy than usual, they have extra seats downstairs. You will have little to no cell service, but we welcome it. When the waitress brings that giant bowl of dumpling noodle soup, no e-mails, texts, or phone calls will distract us from our meal.
2. Super Taste: 26 Eldridge Street
Another Chinatown staple, Super Taste is one of the most popular (and small) noodle shops in NYC. Like many others, they have a variety of different soups and other Chinatown favorites, like dumplings and fish balls. Just a few years ago, this place had its regulars, but we never had too much of a problem finding a spot to munch down on some spicy beef soup. However, word of mouth has spread and this place, even on weekday afternoons is quickly filled with people all satisfying their noodle fix.
3. Ippudo: 65 4th Ave
Did you think we would leave this place out? We know better than to leave out one of the most popular ramen spots in all of NYC. With 43 shops around Japan and other locations in the U.K, Korea, China, Australia and the U.S, Ippudo has a reputation that few places on this list have to live up to on a day-to-day basis.
Overseen by a ramen master Shigemi Kawahara , the franchise (which serves over 20,000 people a day) promotes themselves as a restaurant that “transformed ramen into art.” Here in NYC, we are very fortunate to have two locations here: one in the East Village and one in Midtown. The restaurant opened right at the beginning of the ramen craze in NYC, with the so called “Ramen King” having NYC be the first U.S location to further spread his cuisine and culture.
4. Momofuku Noodle Bar: 171 1st Ave
The one that started it all. Momofuku Noodle Shop is the place many claim responsible for making ramen as popular in NYC as bagels and pizza. What separates this spot from the others on this list, is that Momofuku ramen has its own style. Unlike other spots, this spot does not hide the noodles, but has them shown to you. It may not seem like that matters, but it is something we always notice when we walk through those doors (and have a reservation obviously).
5. Chuko Ramen: 552 Vanderbilt Ave
Three ramen nerds decide to go venture out into there own and bring ramen to Brooklyn. No, it is not the latest film playing at the Angelika, it’s what actually happened with the creation of Chuko Ramen. While the translation for Chuko is “vintage” the three musketeers of NYC ramen make sure to bring in new flavors and ingredients into their cuisine.
6. Totto Ramen: 366 W 52nd St
First located in a subterranean location inside a building on 53rd street, Totto Ramen has now expanded to multiple locations around NYC and a singular location in Boston. What keeps all of these shops packed with ramen addicts is their chicken based ramen. Do your soul a favor and upgrade from plain chicken soup and have one of their very popular spicy chicken ramen dishes, and don’t forget the egg.
7. Sheng Wang: 27 Eldridge St
Heading back to Chinatown, this spot has the fortune/misfortune of being across the street from Super Taste. Sheng Wang may not have the reputation that Super Taste has gotten, however we can tell you first hand that a) the noodles are just as good and b) you have much more of a chance of getting a seat in the much more spacious establishment.
While not as dark and gritty as it once was (the restaurant underwent renovation in 2010) the place still feels like a secret place only a select few who venture down its short staircase know about. A favorite among truck and bus drivers who like to fill their bellies before a long trip.
8. Minca: 536 E. Fifth Street
A veteran of the NYC ramen game, Minca has been holding down the East Village for longer than most of these other shops have been in business. Run by a self-taught ramen chef, this place also has a strong reputation for having an incredible chicken based ramen bowls. And, like many ramen places, the location might be small, but the portions are worth the price and wait.
9. Suzume: 545 Lorimer Street
If you think we forgot about the hipster capital of NYC, well you are wrong. Suzume (which means sparrow) has been beneficial to the section of Brooklyn that’s filled with those that never leave Brooklyn. The ramen is decent and the decor is one you see in perhaps every Brooklyn establishment these days. However, for those who live in the area and see their lives as been ramen-less lately, this is the perfect spot to chow down on some noodles, without having to worry about the L train being too packed on the way home.
10. Bossanova 76 Mott Street
This whole time we have been talking about noodles, broth and reputations. What we have neglected is style. Take it from us, people who watch perhaps way too much Food Channel and Anthony Bourdain shows, presentation is important. The place you spend your money on should look good in terms of atmosphere, food and plating. Bossanova is known for its unique and visually appealing plating that you may notice once you finish slurping all that broth. More so than a good looking meal, we happen to hit up Bossanova frequently, whenever we desire some of their popular green curry ramen.
Bonus: Late Night Ramen at Takashi
By day, Takashi is a Korean barbecue all things beef. After hours, behind closed doors and by reservation only, Chef Takashi Inoue offers his take on the a warm glow to mark the entrance. You’ll see the thirty-four-seat restaurant packed beyond a “Sorry We’re Closed” sign. While ramen is traditionally made from chicken, pork or fish broth, Chef Inoue takes what he knows best—beef—and makes a decadently rich, beef- beef bones with garlic, ginger, and herbs. Don’t miss the Fois Gras Sensation, for an additional $14, atop the ramen.
We know this post is all about ramen, however, you guys should also check out a restaurant hidden inside a Midtown office building, which has an amazing uni soba.
In desperate need of a fresh, hot bowl of ramen, contact the author @ChrisLInoa to offer him one.