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Dec 15, 2007 08:38 PM

Wagamama equivalent in NYC?

In short:

warm noodles (not cold)
healthy food
reliable and quick
pleasant atmosphere

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  1. Isn't Republic on Union Square a knock-off of Wagamama?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jakew8

      it could be, WAGA opened in 1992 and REPUB in 1995. so if pressed i'd say yes.

      its definately spunoff from the INDOCHINE crew:

      i like how folks in some reviews call these joints poor man's asian fusion.

    2. I agree. I lived in London for a few months and am a native new yorker. Try Republic for well priced communal tables of basic pan-asian. it's actually really good a d a great space for what you pay.

      1 Reply
      1. re: progressivenewamerican

        I like Republic , and I agree too it's probably the closest you'll get. Communal tables, decent food, yes. Still, not quite as fun of an experience as Wagamama.

      2. i'd also say republic is the closest i can think of, but i heard wagamama is coming to NY soon too...

        1. Rai Rai Ken.... AND A HELLUVA LOT BETTER TOO! And way cheaper.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JFores

            I too think Republic is the closest thing we've got going to Wagammama, but it isn't anywhere as good, IMO. I do know that a few years back a Wagamamma was coming to Boston -- I think the prudential center -- so that could bode well for a NY spot soon as well.

            EDIT: Just went on and confirmed that there are two locations in Boston (neither at the prudential center, my bad), but thus far that's it for America. Lets get petitioning to the wagamammas for an NYC location. Boston before us? What the...?

            1. re: elecsheep9

              yeah, i was going to mention they opened there. that's how i know they plan to or at least want to open here. someone i know worked on the boston stores.

          2. republic is nowhere near as good as wagamama.

            try ramen setagaya. fantastic ramen, and once you get a seat, it's very speedy.

            5 Replies
            1. re: bladerobbins

              I have not been to Wagamamas in London but there are 2 in Boston and the food is terrible. Its no better than what you could stir fry at home. over priced and really of the more disappointing food experiences I have had in a while.

              I dont know the name off the top of my head but there is a great noodle place in KoreaTown that is similar to Waga and Republic and has even better noodles and dumplings..but the same sort of price point and atmosphere.

              1. re: jvish

                That's disappointing that the Boston wagamamas arent good because I LOVE the UK ones. They're very fresh and flavorful and fun, and I agree, much better than Republic as well (which tastes too instant to me). I went to one in Amsterdam too which wasnt as good, but the Dublin one was great.

                I do hope anyway that Wagamama comes to NYC soon.

                1. re: jeanki

                  We were in Boston and were really looking forward to trying wife had had it in London and was excited to have it again for the 1st time in a while.

                  and you know..clueless servers, and confused cooks..and really just bad food
                  and I am not one to really slam a place unless its really bad, but there was nothing I could reccommend...

                  maybe we just hit it on a bad day........?

              2. re: bladerobbins

                I think Republic is kind of eh, but it has many options for the non-pork-eater (as does Wagamama, I just checked the website). Ramen Setagaya and Rai Rai Ken definitely do not.

                1. re: small h

                  that's true. ramen setagaya is not great for noodles if you don't eat pork. but if you eat other meats, they have that amazing rice dish with larb-style chicken and an egg. honestly, i may like it even better than their noodles...