Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle

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71 Totally Fine

Freshly pulled noodles are the stars of this no-frills noodle shop.

144 E. Broadway, New York, NY, 10002


Known For

The lowdown

Japanese has a concept, wabi-sabi, that imperfection can be better than perfection. Chinese doesn’t have that; it just has Lan Zhou. There’s low-key and then there’s this old-school Chinatown dive where only some of the tables have napkins or condiments. The menu is written in Sharpie on orange poster board and duct-taped to the wall. Service is curt and cryptic. For what it is and what you want and need it to be, it’s pretty close to perfect. This hole in the wall is a dumpling palace. Don’t bother deciding between boiled or fried (although the fried — more like seared — offers the best of both worlds). At $4 for eight, you can get both. The house-special noodle soup, packed with beef — brisket, tendons, and tripe — has been emulsified to a creamy mouthfeel almost as hearty as ramen broth. It’s called Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle, but go for the knife-cut noodles; they’re thicker and heartier. And, for what it’s worth, the sweet herbal tea, a canned 1828 classic, mixes well with beer. You may not get a fortune cookie, but don’t get greedy when your belly is already full of this trove’s treasure.

What you need to know

Insider Tips Cash only.

Recommended DishesFried dumplings; house-special noodle soup; oxtail noodle soup.


Noise LevelPossibly a little too quiet