Photo by: Courtesy of Hangry Panda
The Best Chinese Noodles in Seattle
A decade ago, it took stalking the suburbs just to turn up Xi’an-style biang biang noodles, and hand-pulled noodles required travel even further afield. But since then, Seattle’s Chinese noodle scene expanded exponentially, with restaurants offering regional classics, Americanised adaptations, and unique creations.
Spicy or savoury, in soup or sautéed, made from rice or from wheat, there’s now a wealth of noodle options in the city. This list collects the Chinese noodle dishes that stand out in Seattle, whether because they are the best of a certain style, or as an amazing dish unlike any other in the city.
Image courtesy of Hangry Panda
This little tea shop on Aurora turns out a terrific but eclectic array of street food including Seattle-style teriyaki, Taiwanese minced pork rice, and fried chicken sandwiches. It also does its own interpretation of Shanghaiese scallion oil noodles that uses a heavy hand with the soy-based sauce and caramelised scallions, then adds an egg and chilli threads on top.
Go to dish: Sesame Scallion Noodle
Photo courtesy of Shanghai Garden
For almost three decades, this International District stalwart has earned a place in diners’ hearts with its remarkable green noodles. Thick ropes of jade-hued noodles draw a delightful texture from the process of cutting them individually from a lump of dough into waiting water. They tangle with eggs, squid, shrimp, and chicken in this wok-fried dish, as simple and satisfying as it is brightly coloured.
Go to dish: House Special Barley Green Hand Shaven Chow Mein
Seven Stars Pepper
Another Seattle classic, Seven Stars Pepper lead the wave of Sichuanese food into the city at the beginning of the 2000s from its perch overlooking the corner of 12th and Jackson. What Seattleites new to Sichuanese food cut their teeth on bears little resemblance to the thin, supple noodles immersed in a fiery broth of chilli oil and sprinkled with a delicate scattering of ground pork. But if fans go in knowing what to expect, the dish wins them over with its thick, springy noodles stirred into a thick spicy sauce, studded with meat and full of flavour.
Go to dish: Hand Shaved Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles with Pork
Photo by Naomi Tomky
Thick, chewy, noodles made fresh at this South End Sichuan spot get just a light saucing – which is more than enough to bring that big garlic flavour advertised in the name. A crunchy, aromatic topping of peanuts and scallions round it out, but the focus here stays on the hand-cut noodles.
Go to dish: House Garlic Noodles
Photo by Naomi Tomky
This Sichuan dish, a rarity in Seattle but a star at this Greenwood restaurant, comes from a town just south of Chengdu, famous for its preserved mustard stem – a key ingredient in the noodles. The spaghetti-like noodles come with a light coating of a spicy oil sauce and beneath a trio of piles, including the pickle, peanuts, and peanuts.
Go to dish: Yibin Noodles
While hand-shaved noodles thrive on their inconsistencies, these thick noodles – and Chiang’s itself – take power from consistency. Sautéed with pork and greens, the dense, round strands come coated in a beguilingly savoury sauce, so thin as to be almost imperceptible – it becomes one with the noodles. Even the long, thinly sliced pieces of pork seem like they could be noodles, giving the whole dish a surprisingly singular texture, even as it boasts complex flavours from the masterful wok work in the kitchen.
Go to dish: Housemade Pan-Fried Noodles, Shanghai Style
Photo by Naomi Tomky
Last year, CNN called this small International District restaurant’s eponymous signature dish the ‘Hippest dish in China. ‘ A specialty of the town of Liuzhou, in southern China, it features a distinct broth made from boiling river snails with herbs and pork bones. No actual snails come in the soup, having given all their savoury flavour to the spicy and sour broth. Instead, the bowls come piled high with rice noodles, crisp-skinned pork slices, wood ear mushrooms, bok choi, an egg, and lots more.
Go to dish: House Noodle Soup