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Qin's Hot Oil-Seared Biang Biang noodles. (Image: Frank Guanco)

Where to go for noodles around Seattle

If you’re reading this, chances are you're a noodle fiend like me. I love noodles. Slurping to my heart’s content as the slick and bouncy noodles please my tastebuds. And while pho and ramen are as wonderful as can be, these are a few places around Seattle that are a bit different and have some of my favorite noodle experiences of the moment. I’m already looking forward to going to each of them again. Hopefully soon.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka: Shortly after Hokkaido Ramen Santouka opened their first Washington ramen shop in Bellevue a few years ago, they were already on the short list of the area’s best ramen. And now with the opening of their first Seattle shop in U-Village, another ramen shop is in our midst. But may I suggest their Tsukumen? A broth-less ramen, it’s a dish of a thick nest ramen noodles alongside a seasoning-amplified bowl of broth studded with pork chashu and a soft-boiled egg. Dip the noodles into the broth and revel in noodle bliss.

Little Uncle: Seattle Refined went deep into Little Uncle’s Pad Thai a few weeks ago (and with good reason), but their Khao Soi Gai, in my opinion, is just as good as their pad thai. Khao Soi is a noodle soup that features both crispy egg noodles and boiled egg noodles in a coconut milk broth. At Little Uncle, they add chicken (‘gai’ refers to ‘chicken’ in Thai dishes) and other accoutrements like sprouts, red onion, cilantro, and more. Complex and delicious, the Khao Soi Gai is multi-faceted in how much it pleases.

Mike’s Noodle House: At this little noodle shop on Maynard off of King Street in Seattle’s International District, their noodle soups are some of my favorites in Seattle. I always go for the sui kau and wonton; both are dumplings, with the sui kau being a bit larger with a few different ingredients mixed in. But Mike’s Noodle House has several other noodle soup combinations available in both Regular and Large sizes. Their noodles are what keeps bringing me back. Thin, but with a substantial bite and bounce that plays well with the clean broth of Mike’s soups. Be prepared, though; with their size and popularity, if you're a single, know that your two-top could become a communal table in no time.

Qin: I wrote about Qin as part of the roundup of places to eat before a show at the Paramount and I still head to Qin for their hot oil-seared biang biang noodles when the noodle craving strikes. A simple dish of long ribbons of hand-pulled noodles (‘biang biang’ refers to the sound that noodles make when they’re pulled and slammed on surfaces) slathered in an intoxicating sauce of hot chili oil and some greens, the components are in harmony and makes for an addictive eating experience.

U:Don: With two locations in Seattle (Capitol Hill and the original on the Ave in the U-District), U:Don is where I visit for these unique and utterly slurpable Japanese noodles. Much thicker in gauge than most noodles (about the thickness of a Red Vine), these are filling and much larger and slippery than a curly ramen noodle. The name of the game at U:Don is customization; the menu has a slew of options to choose from with a range of broths (some can be made vegetarian) available. I like the Soup Udon in their dashi broth, simple and satisfying.