Although known for buckwheat noodles, the menu here is ever-evolving. (“Salted squid guts?” a regular asked. “That’s a new one.”) Vinegary konnyaku, gelatinous arum root and smoky kinpira gobo (burdock root) make exotic beginnings to a meal of one of dozens of soba or udon dishes, served hot or cold in an unbeatable fish-based stock. Vegan options are available as well. Desserts can be pleasantly unorthodox, such as a bowl of vanilla ice cream spiked with wasabi and honey.
229 E 9th St
|Cross street:||between Second and Third Aves|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu, Sun noon–4pm, 5:30–10:30pm; Fri, Sat noon–4pm, 5:30–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: L to Third Ave; 6 to Astor Pl|
|Price:||Average main course: $14. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|