When the weather is cold, there’s nothing better than a spicy noodle. Here, a few of our favorites, from ramen to Taiwanese beef noodle to the extra-spicy goodness of Northern China.
If you haven’t been to any of Xi’an Famous Foods’ 12 city locations yet, what are you waiting for? The Northern Chinese fast-casual chain got its start in Flushing, Queens’ Golden Shopping Mall, and the expansion has done nothing to temper the spice nor quell the deliciousness of the noodles. Even Ruth Reichl is a fan. Go for the Mt. Qi Vegetable Noodles (extra spicy, if you can) with an order of the soft tofu, if you’re very hungry. The dumplings, too, will never disappoint.
When you sit down at the cartoon-covered Ivan Ramen, order the Tofu Coney Island first. Lightly fried tofu, mushrooms, yellow mustard—it doesn’t sound like an exquisite dish, but please trust that it is utterly wonderful, a vegetarian plate that will expand your idea of what that means. When it comes to the bowls of ramen, that’s all up to you. Whether you’re into pork, chicken or going meatless, you can’t make a poor choice. The vegetarian bowl, accented by a roasted tomato, satisfies all cold-weather longings.
Jesse Hirsch braved the line at this Chelsea Market stand and lived to tell us the noodles here are worth it. “Very Fresh Noodles justifies its own hype,” he wrote. “With a stripped-down menu of three items—Taiwanese beef noodle is the runaway crowd hit—the tiny little noodle cubby has managed to zero in on delicious.”
Near the corner of Kenmare and Bowery, this offshoot of the Chinatown tea parlor serves dim sum standards in a hot minute. Much of the menu is $5 and under and guests have the option of ordering from one of their iPads or the cashier (our preference). Honoring the dim sum tradition, they also offer a weekend brunch where they serve rotating noodle specials that you can’t order during the week. We’re big fans of their Fung Tu kohlrabi salad and pork soup dumplings.