The Essential Guide to Asiatown

4 Noodle Bowls You Need to Know About

Stir-fried or in a soup, a bowl of noodles speaks directly to the soul in any language, across all cuisines.

By Katharine Shilcutt June 22, 2018 Published in the July 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Miso Ramen | Cafe Kubo's Sushi

Image: Jenn Duncan

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

Image: Jenn Duncan

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

Image: Jenn Duncan

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

Image: Jenn Duncan

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.

Show Comments

Related Content


A Guide to the Best of Houston’s Asiatown

03/02/2023 By Phoebe Gibson Edited by Daniel Renfrow


The 12 Hottest Pho Shops

03/07/2023 By Mai Pham

The Essential Guide

The 23 Best Crawfish Spots in Houston

01/25/2023 By Houstonia Staff

Some like it hot

The 25 Spiciest Dishes in H-Town

07/16/2021 By Timothy Malcolm