When El Niño is upon us California residents, we look for ways to keep our stomachs warm, and what’s better than a piping hot bowl of noodles? Check out our top ten places for the best ramen, pho, and every other type of Asian noodle your heart desires.
The warm noodle bowls at Ramen Shop aren’t the only thing that’ll keep you warm. You’ll love the cozy, sultry atmosphere in this Oakland gem, too. Sit at the bar directly across the open kitchen or enjoy an intimate, dimly lit dinner at a table for two.
A hip, Asian fusion spot in North Oakland, Noodle Theory is a favorite amongst young crowds. With its fresh atmosphere and equally fresh dishes, the food at Noodle Theory will be unlike anything you’ve ever had before. Try the Beef Udon, served in a coconut lime curry broth; if you’re vegetarian, order the Grilled Portobello Mushroom over Spinach Noodles (served with white truffle oil).
Mien Tay is perfect when you’re craving noodle soup that isn’t too heavy but will leave you full and satisfied. Their broths are the perfect combination of light yet flavorful. Pair off your noodle dish with some spring rolls and you’ll be good to go.
An Oakland favorite, Champa Garden prides itself on its mainstay dishes like its Laotian papaya salad, but they’ve also got your go-to noodle dishes like pad thai, pad see ew, and various types of pho. Our favorite is the Laos Noodle Soup – the broth is decadent and the noodles will be unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.
After a long night out, you’ll want to go to Sticky Rice Cafe. They’ve got noodle dishes appropriately named for all stages of a morning-after experience. See their ‘Drunken’ noodles (a dish actually found at a number of noodle spots), ‘Hangover’ noodles, and ‘Recovered’ noodles.
When you order noodles at Shan Dong Restaurant, make sure to get the handmade noodles – the slight extra cost is so worth it. Try your handmade noodles in a variety of noodle dishes, such as their deliciously chewy chow mein or sesame noodles.
Down the street from Shan Dong is Classic Guilin Rice Noodles, which serves, you guessed it, guilin noodles. A type of rice noodle from the Guilin region in China, these thick, rich noodles are hard to find in California, so Classic Guilin Rice Noodles is definitely a treat.
Monster Pho doesn’t lie, their bowls are indeed monstrous (as in, huge). Come here with extreme cravings for some tasty broth and you’ll leave with your stomach (and your wallet , this place is budget-friendly) happy.
If you want a loaded bowl of noodle soup (think sautéed kidneys, duck, and slices of beef along with some delicious noodles), Thanh Ky is your place. They’ve got rice noodles, wonton noodles, egg noodles. Basically every variation of noodle soup you could possibly hope for.
Three words, garlic herb noodles. This is just a side dish, but it’s so good that you’ll want it as your main course. If you want some protein with your garlic noodles, Xyclo Restaurant has one dish that features them, Butterfly Prawns, or garlic herb noodles topped with grilled jumbo prawns.