Noodles fulfill the three necessary “f’s” of dining—filling, flavorful, and f—ing good. Whether they’re swimming in broth or appropriately-sauced, you just can’t go wrong with ordering them. In no particular order, here are some of the most beautifully slurp-worthy noodles to try in San Francisco.
We know we cannot possibly name every incredible noodle house in SF, so please let us know if we missed your favorite spot below! (We’ll eat there soon.)
903 Cortland Avenue
Nute’s carries both Thai and Japanese noodle dishes, with both a ramen menu and Thai favorites like pad see-ew and drunken noodles. For something a little different, try the Khao Soi Gai—a Thai dish that gets the best of both worlds with steamed egg noodles in coconut curry with pickled mustard, fried ground chiles, and lime.
3319 Mission Street
The thick, flavorful broth of their Tonkotsu ramen is lovely, but we’re here to talk about noodles. They’re fairly chewy and on the al dente side, which pair perfectly with the soft cooked egg.
1779 Lombard Street
Hands down, people rave about the garlic noodles here—though really, you won’t be disappointed with any dish. Try them with either the five spice chicken or shaken beef for a hearty meal.
2948 20th Street
This is technically a pop-up (but with fingers crossed they get a brick and mortar soon). After six years in Tokyo, San Francisco native Chef Clint moved back home and was inspired to pursue his passion for food after reading Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour. That passion shows in a beautiful array of ramen dishes, from paitan (a creamy 15 hr+ chicken bone broth) to ma-ze-men (Japanese dry ramen). You have to sign up for a seat to get in on the goodness, but trust that it’s worth a try.
937 Taraval Street
Get the hand-pulled noodles in either stir fry or soup form, and taste the delicious, one-of-a-kind non-uniformity.
710 Commercial Street
This Chinatown ramen house delivers slim noodles on the al dente side with classic broth combos—no overly-soft noodles here. If you’re particularly craving tasty carbs, you can order your bowl with extra full serving of noodles.
708 14th Street
Whether you prefer them thin or thick, you can find what you’re pining for here, with both big bowls of pho packed with vermicelli noodles and a side dish of more spaghetti-like garlic noodles. It’s a takeout lover’s dream—or order in-house at their restaurant for a cozy, filling meal.
3132 Vicente Street
The name of the restaurant sounds unusual, but they’ve got two delicious and unique noodle specialties. For one, there’s the beef noodle soup, which Yelp reviewers rave is incredible but—worth nothing—very spicy. The other is their bean noodles, which, when paired with their specialty lamb, knocks it out of the park.
2205 Lombard Street
Feel free to ditch any association with the word “diet” by ordering the spicy garlic noodles with fried chicken, or get healthier with the kobe beef chow mein with spinach egg noodles. Either way, you’ll be jamming to 90s hip hop music while chowing down in this fun little spot.
237 Fillmore Street
The noodles here are a little chewier, which you can order Tsukemen—cold noodles on the side for dipping into your hot soup. If you like your noodles with a thicker, more spaghetti-like consistency, order them this way and prepare to make this your new favorite stop.
670 Larkin Street
You might know these guys for their baos or their ubiquitous truck—but their noodle bowls are worth raving about, too. Made with purple potato noodles, seaweed, sprouts, a protein and other fixings, they’re a little different from traditional noodle dishes and have a distinctive sesame taste.
337 Jones Street
You will not be starved for variety with the amount of Thai-inspired noodle combinations on the menu, from classic pad thai to boat noodles swimming in soup. But definitely try the green curry garlic noodles for a delicious signature dish.
3378 18th Street
Once you sit down inside this romantic little spot with glowing lanterns strung above you, you’ll have your option of bowls—including a vegan ramen with noodles that contain no eggs. The springy noodles are served up in abundance here, although you can always order Kae-dama—extra noodles—if you desire more (which, of course you just might).
312 8th Avenue
Don’t be fooled by this little hole in the wall spot—it’s a gem that serves up some pretty fantastic fresh noodles, cooked al dente in soup or served cold. Pair your noodles with their signature yakitori for a filling dinner.
211 Valencia Street
For vegetarians, the superstar veggie noodles (made with traditional Burmese flour noodles) are excellent, but you can get your noodles in salad form or served up in a hot dish (one Yelp reviewer calls the Nan Pia Dok noodles, or egg noodles with chicken coconut curry, “a party on a plate”). Go here to try something different than your classic fried noodles or even garlic noodles (which you can order and is still definitely good)—such as, perhaps, the rainbow salad, which features four different types of noodles.