I have heard that admitting you have a problem is the first step. So, here we go. Hi, my name is Molly and I am obsessed with noodles.
I’m not sure if it’s the versatility, the flavors and spices, or the texture, but I'm hooked. Noodles hold a special place in my heart. Because I want you to enjoy them as much as I do, I'm going to share my top 5 picks for the best noodles in Pittsburgh. Enjoy!
"At Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill, meals come with a show. Tables are positioned so diners can watch the action behind a plate glass window, where a cook transforms a muscle of dough into noodles." I can vouch for this statement from their website, because I have been there and it's true! Watching the chefs make noodles from scratch is really interesting, and the fact that the food is amazing just makes the experience even more enjoyable. I've only barely begun to test this menu but my reigning favorite menu item is the pork soup dumplings ($9). Believe it or not, the doughy little dumplings have pork broth inside of them that explodes with flavor as you chew. An array of noodle soups, dim sum, and rice dishes are available for your main course, and my husband and I never miss out on sharing a customizable bubble tea for dessert.
First things first: This is not the Ramen that you stored in crates under your bed in college. We are not talking about cardboard noodles and spice packets here. Think more in terms of a delicious, savory Japanese noodle soup dish, consisting of wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and using toppings such as sliced pork, eggs, tofu, seaweed, green onions and more. Nothing sounds better on a chilly winter day then a big bowl of delicious noodle soup, am I right? With great food and even better prices, you have to give the Ramen Bar in Squirrel Hill a try. Directly across the street from Everyday Noodle, it's the first ramen restaurant in Pittsburgh and has set the bar high for any that follow!
The creators behind Teppanyaki Kyoto in Highland Park sought to fill a gap that they saw--there were no establishments in Pittsburgh that served the need for "izakaya", a Japanese term for a place where you can enjoy good food and drink in a casual atmosphere. They set out to share their love of authentic Japanese teppanyaki cooking, while also carrying a considerable selection of sake, beer, wine and shochu so that guests can relax and enjoy an authentic Japanese dining experience. I particularly enjoy the $8-$9 Yaki-Soba (pictured above) and the Yaki-Udon noodles with cabbage, onion, and additions of your choice such as tofu, kimchi, meats, vegetables, and seafood.
I might be biased as Noodlehead is my favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh, but it is a shining example of a restaurant doing one thing exceptionally well. Their small menu allows them to focus on their fare and perfect it to the point where I have never tried anything I haven't liked here. Their delicious pork belly steamed buns are always our appetizer of choice. My husband is a big fan of their beef soup (thin rice noodles, bean sprouts, bok choy, slowed cooked beef) while I struggle to choose between their Chiang Mai Curry (egg noodles, chicken, pickled mustard greens, crispy shallots, yellow curry coconut milk sauce) and their classic See Yew (big flat rice noodles, egg, broccoli, bok choy, sweet black soy sauce). The only downsides to my favorite joint: Their Shadyside location means that parking can be tough. You might also be in for a long wait if you come at dinnertime as they don't accept reservations (they don't even have a telephone!) and they are a cash-only establishment – luckily there is an ATM on site! Don't let this stop you – where else can you eat a noodle feast for $9?!
Located in Highland Park near Teppanyaki Kyoto is this small but delightful neighborhood restaurant offering freshly prepared, traditional Thai food. Smiling Banana Leaf serves up simple, quick, tasty and authentic dishes for those looking for adventure. The best part? Smiling Banana Leaf dedicates THREE WHOLE SECTIONS on their menu to noodles! There is a noodle menu featuring dishes like Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, Rad Na and glass noodles, a noodle soup section, and a curry noodle section. Each of these is customizable with the protein of your choice. Don't forget to caffeinate with a Thai iced coffee while you're there!
Well, there you have it - my top choices for where to go in the 'Burgh when you're in the mood for noodles (which for me is always, if I'm being honest).
Molly Allwein loves traveling the world, her three rescue dogs, and indulging in brunch & happy hour. Her favorite things about living in Pittsburgh are the $10 opera tickets, the robust community and philanthropic organizations, and the amazing culinary scene.