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Noodles (SEA)

opinions, please, on the best bowl of noodles (pho, ramen, udon, whatever) in a circle from pioneer square to broadway to outer belltown. please, no id or seattle center.

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  1. I've heard people rave about Noodle Ranch in Belltown, but methinks they're overrated on a whole another level than Wild Ginger.

    Pho Cyclo on Broadway is a little north of that circle.

    Golden Singha is almost to Seattle Center, but I thought they had pretty decent noodles.

    1. Depends on what I'm longing for. I like Mikes in the ID---they have tasty noodle soup and I really like the ginger/green onion dry noodles. ITs good for a Cantonese fix and easy on the budget. Sometimes, I'm in a different noodle mood that takes me to sichuan noodle bowl [about a block north of mikes on the next street up.]. It may be controversial but sometimes, the dan dan at sichuan is just the sweet-salt peanut fix I'm looking for. They also have very tasty beef noodle soup there. The newish HongKong cafe [not sure on name but its across from the park, catty corner from mike's] has good noodle soup too. They make noodle soup with noodles and more of a jiaozi dumpling.

      I'm still looking for a favorite pho place. So far, the places we've tried don't seem to give you as much herbs to add to the soup and that bugs me. any thoughts?

      6 Replies
      1. re: jenn

        "please, no ID or Seattle Center" - sigh....in any case, pho is not a problem with than brothers all over town (yum!!) but i have given up my car and was hoping for something rather closer to midtown. keep 'em coming, chowfriends!

        1. re: howard 1st

          Getting good noodles has long been a challenge for me downtown. I'd love it if you'd post your finds here as you explore your new neighborhood. I have had good vermacelli bowls at Cafe Hue on 2nd Ave S in Pioneer Square, and good udon at Nijo on Post Alley, and Koji on Harbor Steps.

          1. re: howard 1st

            Has anyone noticed that Than Brother's quality has gone down dramatically recently? I suppose it's to be expected. Inflation has gone through the roof and their prices stay about the same.

            1. re: HungWeiLo

              I eat in the U-district store almost every week, and at times it is very good, and others it is just good. That said, there has 'not' been a noticeable lessening of quality, just good days and not as good days, as with most restaurants. Nothing to worry about, from my perspective.

              1. re: HungWeiLo

                I've noticed that their broth isn't as flavorful as many other places. Still, their cream puffs mostly make up for it.
                Unfortunately, all my favorite pho places are well outside of the specified area.

            2. re: jenn

              Sometimes, staff moderates the herb volume in reaction to so many patrons leaving huge piles to get trashed and they might actually appreciate your intention if you spoke up at the time you order, so give it a try. Can't hurt...

            3. I like the pho at Pho Cyclo a lot.

              Is Lemon Grass in your circle? There's one on 12th on the edge of Capitol Hill/Central district (also one on the out-of-bounds ID). I had a great, super affordable, noodle soup there recently with flakes of crab and big hunks of roasted on-the-bone pork. so good! The broth was super flavorful and you get a very large bowl for about $7.

              1 Reply
              1. re: burritobelle

                The bun thit nuong at Pho Cyclo (at least the sodo location) is delicious. My favorite in the city.

              2. continiung thanks for your continuing assistance - please keep it up! for my 'pho' friends, i am addicted to than brothers and have not noticed other than a minimal variation from either day to day or store to store. responding to good notices here, i did make myself try pho cyclo on broadway and was served a second-rate meal (thin broth, limp vegies) by a server who was barely able to tolerate me being there. now, if only i can find good ramen near benaroya hall....

                2 Replies
                1. re: howard 1st

                  You keep excluding the ID, but if you're near Benaroya it's only 2 stops down the bus tunnel...

                  Noodle options in the office core are subpar where they exist.

                  1. re: howard 1st

                    have you tried the tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen lunch special at Koji Osakaya (University below 1st, halfway down Harbor steps)? if you:re looking for something near Benaroya, that is. havent tried their other ramen offerings. also like the pad ba mee (thin egg noodles) at Thai Go in Westlake mall.

                  2. Have you tried O'Asian? I have only tried their dim sum (not any of the noodle dishes) and it was pretty good - for Seattle dim sum. Better than several places I have tried in the ID.

                    1. responding to my chowfriends advise (1) i am unable to manage the b us but am looking forward to the light rail next to extend my reach into the id (2) i enjoy o'asian but am looking specifically for the noodle bowl in the pho/ramen style (3) thai go was in a food court and served an awful version with broth tasting as from a packet, tough noodles and rubbery meatballs (4) koji was a pleasant surprise with a pleasant room, friendly service and a bowl of shoyu ramen (tonkatsu next time!) of full flavor, ample size and delicate garnish. i should also add that the vietnamese place on 3rd avenue near pine offers pho that does not stand up to the than brothers standard. again, thanks for all the help and may there be more.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: howard 1st

                        have you tried Cafe Pho at 3rd and Marion (upstairs from Cafe Zum ZUm)? can't say whether it is the "best" or not but it's quite popular during weekday lunchtime. get some kalbi while you're there too.

                      2. Not really the "best" but I often eat the tom yum noodle soup or the beef noodle soup (kind of like a pho) at the Noodle Zone in the westlake mall food court and they are tasty. Very salty, though...

                        There is a vietnamese place that does decent pho on 4th south of Pike street (it's something Garden, I think). Red fin (at 6th and Stewart) does udon but I haven't tried it.

                        I also like Lemongrass on Pike by the convention center.

                        There is a vietnamese place (pho bac?) with decent pho attached to the grayhound bus terminal, but I rarely go there because of the strange clientle. If that doesn't bother you, go for it.

                        On the other side of downtown, I used to really like Cafe Pho upstairs in the Marion food court.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: akq

                          Ah right! I forgot about 'Faux Bac' in the greyhound terminal! I call it faux because I believe it's not actually associated with the 'real' Pho Bac with locations in the ID, Little Saigon, Rainier Valley, & (IIRC) Kent.

                          That said, they do apparently have pho, bun, etc. No idea about the quality - I've never been. It's not convenient to me & I'm too happy with the 'real' Pho Bac on 7th.

                          1. re: terrier

                            Good quality, beefy broth with quick, no nonsense service. It looks like it was the bus station cafeteria back in the day, so the seating arrangements are odd and if you sit in the right place, you get to watch all the people waiting for the next Greyhound to pull up. Overall, I don't find the clientele particularly odd. Seems like lots of people who work nearby stopping in for a quick bite. Funny, I always thought it was connected to the ID Pho Bac.

                            1. re: SeaGal

                              The first time I went there it was fine. The second time I sat on a banquette and a group of people waiting for a bus with huge garbage bags of stuff sat next to me and wanted to talk (I wanted to read). It's not super horrible, just different. I was also dressed for court that day and kind of stuck out. In any event, I thought the food was fine. I have no idea whether they are related to the other Pho Bacs around. Where's the real Pho Bac on 7th? In the ID?

                              1. re: akq

                                a real surprise and amazing find - good, cheap vietnamese food in a location that fellini would have loved. broth nearly as good as than brothers, plenty of verdure and very quick service - this place and koji are alone worth the effort of making the original request. thanks, my fellow chowhounders!

                        2. Shi'an. In addition to the good noodles, the soup base is just as good.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: howard 1st

                              My bad. I thought I was replying to another thread.