Miso Ramen | Cafe Kubo's Sushi
This cozy haunt in Dun Huang Plaza has been serving big bowls of ramen since long before it was trendy. The pork-heavy tonkotsu ramen and a version topped with chicken kara-age (fried chicken nuggets) are both big enough to share. The miso ramen remains a reliable go-to meal, affordable and unpretentious and begging to be enjoyed with a cold Asahi beer.
Pro tip: Feeling adventurous? Ask them to make your ramen spicy.
Japchae | Jang Guem Tofu & BBQ House
Several popular varieties of Korean noodles can be found here, from the buckwheat version called naengmyeon served in a chilled, summer-friendly broth, to the chewy wheat ones in the hearty black-bean-and-pork sauce called zazang. We love the japchae, served with glassy and delicate sweet potato noodles called dangmyeon, for its toothsome texture and salty-sweet flavor offset by heaps of veggies.
Pro tip: Go all out and get that kimchi dumpling pancake, too.
Pho ga Dakao | Pho Ga Dakao
You won’t find a place with a greater variety of chicken-and-noodle dishes than this recently renovated longtime Asiatown favorite, whether it’s classic pho ga with plenty of dark meat, mien ga with ethereal glass noodles, or banh canh ga with thick Vietnamese udon.
Pro tip: Order the pho ga dry, the better to appreciate the broth and noodles individually.
Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup | Strings Noodle
Beef noodle soup shops are so prolific in Lanzhou—which boasts over 1,100 restaurants serving the dish, a regional specialty in northwest China—they’re often referred to as the “local McDonald’s.” Here in Houston, choices are limited, but Strings does it right, with fresh Lamian noodles made, stretched, folded, and cut by hand in the traditional manner.
Pro tip: Try to grab a spot near the windows overlooking the kitchen, where you can watch your noodles cut to order.