Noodles are a staple of many cuisines around the world, especially Asian cuisines. From ramen to pho, few things are more satisfying than a bowl of noodles soaking up a delicious broth. Many areas of Long Island are home to a wide variety of authentic Asian restaurants that serve up hot, steamy bowls of noodles at affordable prices. While most of them can be considered hidden gems, they are quickly rising in popularity and more are constantly popping up!
Both Nassau and Suffolk County are inundated with Chinese, Japanese, and Thai restaurants. However, many of them fail to provide an authentic noodle dish such as ramen or lamian (Chinese hand-pulled noodles). While many of these places are small or unassuming, their noodles speak for themselves. Below is a list of some of the top places on Long Island for noodle dishes.
Slurp Ramen (Port Jefferson, Suffolk County, NY)
Recently opened in 2016, Slurp Ramen is owned and operated by Japanese native Atsushi Nakagawa and his wife Francesca. Located in the central hub of Port Jefferson, this joint gives customers a view of the marina while they eat. Its location is perfect for someone looking for a quick bite after hopping off the ferry coming over from Bridgeport, Connecticut. As soon as you walk in, it is clear that Slurp is authentic in more ways than just the noodles. Customers are instantly greeted with a smile and bow, something that wouldn’t be uncommon in a ramen shop in Japan.
The menu currently features five main ramen bowls that vary mainly by broth. The most popular bowl is the Slurp Classic, a Tonkotsu pork broth that features chashu pork belly and a delicious Slurp egg. All of the ramen bowls cost between $10-$12 and are generously portioned. If that still isn’t quite enough, save some broth and order Kaédama, a second helping of noodles, for only $2 extra!
Splendid Noodle (Stony Brook, Suffolk County, NY)
I’m telling you, it’s pretty much #magic the way chef Ken Chen hand pulls #lamian (noodles) #lanzhou style in the kitchen of #splendidnoodle. If you look away you may miss it because he works quickly. It’s amazing to me that the method of noodle pulling on display here is believed to date as far back as 1504. The end product is delicate, slightly chewy and soooo #delicious! 🍜 Stop in for a taste of tradition.
While it might be a tight squeeze when waiting for a table, the hand-pulled noodles at Splendid Noodle are worth it. This tiny noodle shop features a window that provides a front row seat to the art of noodle stretching from your table. The way the chefs pull and twist the long ropes of dough is mesmerizing to watch.
The menu is simple and straightforward. There is only one soup broth, so the only decision to make is what meat, seafood, or vegetables you want. A bowl of these lamian noodles will cost around $10 and will undoubtedly leave you satisfied. Spice up your soup with some of their house-made hot chili oil. It is always a good mark of an authentic Chinese restaurant.
China Station (Stony Brook, Suffolk County, NY)
Another lamian noodle shop, China Station showcases a more Northern style of Chinese cuisine. Located close to Stony Brook University and the train station, it offers a convenient spot for students and commuters to enjoy a fresh bowl of hand-pulled noodles. Grab a seat at a table or at the bar, which provides a close-up look at the noodle-stretching chefs.
Sporting an extensive menu with close to three dozen different noodle bowls, you may be left feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the different options – not a bad problem to have. Depending on preference, diners can enjoy almost any meat, including the less popular options such as beef tendon, honeycomb tripe, or spongy fish balls. Noodles can also be ordered dry in the form of a stir-fried dish. China Station also offers a large variety of dumplings, both boiled and fried, as well as massive, doughy buns filled with pork and bok choy. Almost nothing on the menu costs more than $10 and it is almost guaranteed that you will leave with leftovers.
Thai House (Smithtown, Suffolk County, NY)
Our Pad Thai is so delicious and today it is free! Rice noodles tossed with ground #peanuts, #egg , bean curd, bean sprouts and scallions in a #tamarind sauce. #longisland #li #smithtown #ny #newyork #thai #thaifood #thaihouse #thaifood #delicious #tasty #foodphotography #foodie #eat #ilovefood #foodphoto #eeeeeats #food #dinner #dinnertime #yum #free #freefood #facebook #wordoftheday #noodles #padthai
Well-known among those in the area, Thai House is considered one of, if not, the best restaurant that features Thai cuisine for local residents. If you’re planning to dine here on a Friday or Saturday, it is recommended to make a reservation, as they fill up rather quickly and you could be waiting over an hour. Their menu offers 16 different appetizers alone and a substantial amount of entrees, all reasonably priced. Compared to the amount of Thai House specials, the noodles almost seem secondary, but after one taste, it’s clear to see that they are worth mentioning entirely on their own.
The five noodle dishes include pad see-ew, drunken noodles, noodle curry, pad thai, and pad woon sen. Each are unique in their own way, featuring either flat rice, egg, or clear (glass) rice noodles and all come with a choice of meat or meat substitute. No Thai experience is complete without trying pad thai at least once. The ground peanuts mixed with a tamarind sauce give it an interesting, almost sweet, flavor that you won’t find in any of the other noodle dishes. Looking for more of a kick? Try drunken noodles, a broad rice noodle dish full of spicy Thai chili heat.
Pho Maxia (Westbury, Nassau County, NY)
TAKEAWAY: Pho (pronounced fuh) is one of Vietnam’s signature dishes. Possibly taking influence from French or Chinese culture, pho is a soup that typically consists of beef and rice noodles. One of the prevailing theories about the origin of pho is that it is a Vietnamese adaptation of the French beef stew pot-au-feu. The other theory is that pho is an alternate take on the Chinese ngưu nhục phan, which literally translates to cow beef noodle, and was typically sold by Chinese immigrants in Hanoi.
Pho Maxia is a hidden gem tucked away inside a small shopping strip and caters more to takeout diners, but has a handful of tables for those looking to sit down. Despite its bare-bones decor and feel, the staff are very friendly and more than happy to serve dine-in customers. Their pho bowls come primarily with beef, either sliced or in the form of mini meatballs that are reminiscent of matzah balls. In addition to the bowl of soup, you will receive a plate of bean sprouts, Thai basil, and lemon to season the soup to your liking.
While pho is definitely their main attraction, they also offer thin angel hair noodles (also called rice vermicelli) that may come topped with bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, and a choice of meat or seafood, or served as a bundled spring roll known as Bánh hỏi. As one of the few Vietnamese restaurants on Long Island, it is certainly a must-try for those looking to explore an Asian cuisine that isn’t Chinese or Japanese. An important note: Pho Maxia is a cash-only business and closed on Monday’s.