Andrew Zimmern knows noodles. As co-creator and host of the Travel Channel's “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” and “Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World,” he has slurped them up in the farthest corners of the world. We asked the globetrotter to recommend a few of his favorite noodle spots in NYC.
Xi’an Famous Food
For locations in Manhattan and Flushing, go to xianfoods.com
This NYC spot puts a great spin on China’s version of Bolognese noodles. “I once made a cab driver run in and grab Zha-Jiang noodles ($5.50-$6) for me,” said Zimmern, who confessed that he actually devoured the dish in the back of a cab on his way to LaGuardia for a flight home to Minnesota. “The noodles are tasty and chewy and the spicy meat sauce is insane!” He also has a soft spot for Xi’an’s cumin lamb noodles ($6.25-$7.50).
Yun Nan Flavor Snack
775 49th St., Brooklyn, 718-633-3090
The draw at this Sunset Park restaurant is the dish ofcold rice noodles with spicy ground beef, cilantro and peanuts ($4.25). “Rice noodles are so hard to get right,” Zimmern said. “These are chewy and perfect.”
Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Ave., 212-777-7773
The extreme eater described the noodles at this East Village favorite as “fantastic.” He singled out the Momofuku ramen (prices vary) in particular, which he described as silky smooth and identical to the noodles he’s devoured at “5 a.m. markets” in Asian villages.
Big Wing Wong
102 Mott St., 212-274-0696
Zimmern loves the soup with noodles, wontons, roast pork and scallions ($6.50) at this no-frills Chinatown eatery for an unexpected reason. “The wontons are terrific,” he said. “And the soup reminds me of the chicken noodle soup that my Jewish grandmother used to make.”
240 Central Park S., 212-582-5100
Zimmern reminds us that pastas are noodles too. “Michael White may be the best chef in the world,” coos Zimmern. “I can’t get enough of his Fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow ($28)”. He also noted that the resto’s linguine with clam sauce (not a regular menu item, prices vary) is the best he’s ever had.
110 Waverly Pl., 212-777-0303
This West Village Italian spot serves the “best ravioli in town,” Zimmern declared unequivocally. “The beef cheek ravioli ($23) is on my short list for last meals.”
A local's take:
Want to hear it from a local? We solicited noodle recommendations from Brooklynite and world traveler, Matt Gross, the former Frugal Traveler for The New York Times and current author of the paper’s Getting Lost column.
Yummy Noodles (48 Bowery), for a 2 a.m. roast pork/wonton noodle soup. “Nothing better!,” he said.
The Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles (144 East Broadway). “It makes me feel like a little kid enjoying the noodle-production show,” he said.
Ippudo (65 Fourth Ave.) is a favorite for Japanese-style ramen.
Ramen Setagaya (141 First Ave.) is good and, unlike East Villagers Momofuku and Ippudo, it has no lines.
Xi’an Famous Foods (81 St. Marks). Gross said the Liang Pi noodles have him convinced that he might survive life as a vegetarian.