New York may be experiencing a few uncharacteristic bouts of warm weather, but now that it’s November, we’re ready to make the declaration: It’s officially noodle soup season. Lucky for us, new noodle spots are arriving to the city in droves — each with its own delicious reason to get slurping, stat.
Courtesy of Ichiran
New Yorkers swarmed around the opening of this Japanese-origin ramen shop with a mandatory solo dining, no server and no-talking policy (not unlike many of the ramen shops in Japan). Guests are seated in individual booths, and can customize their own bowl down to the saltiness of the dashi broth. The idea is to create a dining experience free of distraction, focused entirely on the noodles at hand. Plus, meals are only expected to take around 20 minutes. In this noisy and busy city, we say it’s not a bad idea at all.
374 Johnson Ave., Brooklyn; 718-381-0491
Courtesy of TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie
Yet another Japanese transplant landed in New York this fall — this time in the form of udon shop TsuruTonTan. Located in the former Union Square Cafe space, the enormous restaurant serves immensely comforting bowls of udon soup, often with fancy embellishments like caviar and uni. The non-udon options are also proving very popular, including dishes like katsu cutlets, tuna cones and tempura-fried chicken.
21 E. 16th St.; 212-989-1000
Courtesy of Mew Men
This new music-themed West Village ramen shop from an Ippudo vet specializes in a lighter chicken-based ramen, offering five varieties in total including the signature Shoyu Chintan. Grab a seat at the chef's counter or at one of the communal tables.
7 Cornelia Street; 212-727-1050
Courtesy of Xi'an Famous Foods
New York’s most underrated dish might just be the salty, rich and mind-numbingly tasty cumin lamb noodles at the rapidly expanding hand-pulled noodle shop, Xi’an Famous Foods. The restaurant recently opened its 12th location in Midtown, which could be followed by a potential expansion outside of New York. At this new location, expect all the favorites you know and love (like this braised beef noodle soup), with some new additions (including desserts!) that incorporate CEO Jason Wang's favorite flavors from the Xi’an region of China.
24 W. 45th St.; 212-786-2068
Courtesy of Wagamama
Wagamama (coming soon)
The cult noodle chain from London (and a big inspiration for Momofuku impresario David Chang) is probably this season's most widely anticipated opening. The New York menu features all the favorites from the original, like the chile chicken ramen, plus a few dishes — and a cocktail program — made exclusively for the Big Apple. Opening ETA: mid November
Courtesy of Shorty Tang Catering
Shorty Tang Noodles (coming soon)
The late Shorty Tang — also known as the “Noodle King” — is known for popularizing the now-ubiquitous dish, cold sesame noodles, at his former Chinatown restaurant, Hwa Yuan. His grandson, James Tang, is opening up a spot in Chelsea that will specialize in — what else? — noodles. And lots of them: Beef noodle soup, noodles with mussels and pesto sauce and dozens of other family favorites will figure on the menu of the casual spot. Opening ETA: ASAP
98 8th Ave.; 646-896-1883
Ippudo is one of New York’s greatest ramen institutions, beloved for its full-flavored, pork-heavy broths. That’s why it was pretty newsworthy when last week, the shop announced that it would finally be expanding its vegetarian ramen options on the menu, starting with the rollout of a sesame-based broth, whose richness will allegedly match that of the restaurant’s legendary (pork-based) tonkotsu broth. A particularly delicious-sounding menu addition, the kakara spicy New York ramen, includes tofu, cabbage, sesame, Kikurage mushrooms, garlic oil and scallions.
65 4th Ave.; 212-388-0088
Courtesy of Hao Noodle & Tea by Madam Zhu's Kitchen
Though it just opened a few months ago, the style section–worthy West Village spot Hao Noodle & Tea has already earned high praise everywhere from The New Yorker to the New York Times. In addition to serving an exceptional version of dan dan noodles, the restaurant offers regional Chinese variations on noodles that you probably haven't tried before — like the “Yang Chun” noodles, a specialty from Suzhou made with an intensely flavored bone marrow–based broth.
401 6th Ave.; 212-633-8900