Best noodle dishes in New York City in 2013

Slurp your way through this year’s best noodles in New York, including an old-school Italian dish, whimsical mazeman and revamped dandan mian bowls.

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New York toques stepped up to the plate this year when it came to dispatching next-level noodles. Justin Smillie elevated a simple Roman staple, Ryuji Irie brought restorative ramen to the unassuming Fulton Mall and Danny Bowien put his white-hot touch on spicy Chinese dandan mian. Study up on the top strands of the year.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bacon-and-egg mazemen at Yuji Ramen

    Credit chef Yuji Haraguchi with bringing mazemen—Tokyo’s newfangled brothless ramen—to the New York masses. Among his nouveau creations, our favorite is this rich, breakfasty version. Break the wobbly, slow-cooked egg onto the tangle of thick, chewy, hand-massaged noodles and smoked bacon to create a luscious carbonara-style sauce. Shredded raw kale and bonito flakes add bitterness and brine to the rich, yolk-drenched noodles, finished with scallion, ginger oil and crispy garlic chips. 95 E Houston St at Bowery (212-420-1320) $9.—Suzanne Lehrer

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Braised-lamb dandan mian at Mission Chinese Food

    Szechuan-remake specialist Danny Bowien riffs on another classic—dandan mian—with these outstanding cold and spicy noodles. Al dente, alkaline ramen is tossed with chili oil, homemade sesame-soy-peanut sauce and brisket cooking juices, then piled with succulent four-hour-braised lamb neck meat. Ground peanuts lend an extra hit of nuttiness, and a smattering of salted cucumbers provides refreshing crunch. 154 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-529-8800, missionchinesefood.com). $12.—Suzanne Lehrer

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Handmade tagliatelle with octopus bolognese and goose pancetta at Louro

    For this left-of-center bolognese, chef David Santos reworks the Italian classic with the Portuguese knack for marrying shellfish with meat. Swapping in octopus for the traditional sirloin, the cephalopod is ground with carrot and onion, and simmered with tomatoes for more than four hours. The thick sauce clings to the gorgeously delicate strands of egg linguine. Crispy house-made goose pancetta and a heap of Parmesan snow complete the hearty dish. 142 W 10th St between Greenwich Ave and Waverly Pl (212-206-0606, louronyc.com). $17.—Jasmine Moy

  • Photograph: Victor Vic

    Tonkotsu black ramen at Jinya

    Few dishes hold as much restorative power as a steaming bowl from this Japanese minichain. Chefs boil pork bones for ten hours, extracting the marrow’s funky depth and imbuing the broth with its signature cloudiness, before ladling the soup into black lacquer bowls filled with a heaping portion of wire-thin, chewy strands. Chashu made from pork back ribs, wood-ear mushrooms, julienned cabbage and scallions; a soy-laced hard-boiled egg; fried garlic chips; and a slick of roasted-garlic oil festoon the surface. 24 Greenwich Ave between Charles and W 10th Sts (646-329-6856, jinya-ramenbar.com). $14.—Sarah Bruning

  • Photograph: Michael Rudin

    Beef hand-drawn noodle soup at Lao Bei Fang

    This mom-and-pop dumpling house may be known for its meat-filled packets, but the belly filler is also a steal. Chef Libin Zhang masterfully twirls noodles at the back counter. Those thin, springy strands are then plunged into a hearty beef broth brimming with slabs of brisket and bok choy. 83-05 Broadway at Cornish Ave, Elmhurst, Queens (718-639-3996). $5.50.—Patty Lee

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Ganso ramen at Ganso

    Like a pint-size crooner secretly harboring a giant voice, this unassuming ramen-ya’s house special packs some whopping flavor. Chef Ryuji Irie (Matsuri) grounds the namesake bowl with a pork-and-chicken-bone shoyu (soy sauce) broth, its salty zip jacked up with briny dried bonitos (skipjack tuna) and niboshi (preserved anchovies). Slippery Sun Noodle strands—chewy with good tooth—are woven around fatty braised pork shoulder and belly, satiny yu choy greens (sweeter than bok) and a showstopping ajitama egg, soy-and-sake-marinated white giving way to luscious yolk. 25 Bond St at Livingston St, Downtown Brooklyn (718-403-0900, gansonyc.com). $13.—Christina Izzo

  • Photograph: Josh Wool

    Bucatini cacio e pepe at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

    Chef Justin Smillie’s take on the Roman pasta—a home-pantry standby made with just pasta, cheese and pepper—is a minimalist charmer at this wildly popular trattoria-cum-salumeria-e-enoteca. The merits of the outrageously simple dish rest on primo ingredients and flawless technique. A tensely coiled knot of imported Setaro strands is slicked with grassy, peppery Torre di Mezzo olive oil. Sharp, salty pecorino romano and buttery Parmesan, blasted with coarse-milled Tellicherry black peppercorns and melted by the pasta’s heat, meld into a thin sauce. 53 Great Jones St between Bowery and Lafayette St (212-837-2622, ilbucovineria.com). $17.—Soomin Shon

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Bacon-and-egg mazemen at Yuji Ramen

Credit chef Yuji Haraguchi with bringing mazemen—Tokyo’s newfangled brothless ramen—to the New York masses. Among his nouveau creations, our favorite is this rich, breakfasty version. Break the wobbly, slow-cooked egg onto the tangle of thick, chewy, hand-massaged noodles and smoked bacon to create a luscious carbonara-style sauce. Shredded raw kale and bonito flakes add bitterness and brine to the rich, yolk-drenched noodles, finished with scallion, ginger oil and crispy garlic chips. 95 E Houston St at Bowery (212-420-1320) $9.—Suzanne Lehrer


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