Show Us Your Best Noods! 8 Bowls of Chinese #PastaPorn

By Sophie Steiner, February 22, 2023

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Shanghai boasts an amazing array of global cuisine: from authentic Italian to genuine Japanese; from unpretentious Colombian to dependable Turkish, we're spoiled for choice.

So much so that we often find ourselves guilty of foregoing the abundant resident mainstays in favor of the new and exciting and overseas. 

But, that ends – here and now. 

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We’ve made it a mission to re-discover our own backyard, celebrating the local cuisine in the country we live in. And what better place to start than glorious carb-laden noodles?

We could easily list out over 100 regional Chinese noodle dishes without batting an eyelash. And so we did…

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Just kidding (but close).

To save you all from going into immediate cardiac arrest via noodle overload, we broke it up into multiple parts, sharing our favorite spots around the city so you can find your regional carb delicacies. 

Shougan Bocai Mian 手擀菠菜面

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The family that owns this Xibei noodle joint adds spinach into the mix, serving up their signature green noodles, fresh and rope-like with your choice of toppings.

Choose from tomato and egg, oil-splash noodles (with assorted chopped vegetables and potatoes), zhajiang mian, saozi mian with lean meat, or any combination of those four for RMB22-28 a bowl.

If you’re a carbie barbie like us and are all about those springy, hand-pulled noodles, you can get an extra serving for just RMB2 more.

Pro Tip: Do not skip a serving of their sweet pickled garlic for just two kuai, a sour contrasting crunch that cuts through an extra scoop of that tingling chili crisp. 

手擀菠菜面, 1370-3 Xikang Lu, by Aomen Lu, 西康路1370-3号, 近澳门路.

Maihui Hongshao Niurou Mian 麦汇红烧牛肉面

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A Dianping sensation, this local noodle shop looks like every other from the outside. But, come lunch time, the long line snaking line out the door alerts passersby to the difference.

The restaurant’s namesake bowl of fragrantly steaming beef noodles arrive topped with fat-ruffled cubes of tender beef, pleated like brisket, yet slow-stewed for hours so the meat melts into the broth’s warmth. 

Diners can choose between hand-pulled-to-order thinner noodles – more commonly consumed around Shanghai in local favorites like scallion oil noodles – or knife-cut noodles, sliced directly from a dense block of dough into a boiling pot ready in minutes. 

A sprinkle of cilantro and scallions goes a long way, with the option to add vinegar and chili oil provided on each table.

A bowl will set you back just RMB26 (small) or RMB28 (large), with the option to add on a tea egg, vegetarian ‘duck’ or spicy meat for a few kuai extra. 

麦汇红烧牛肉面, 516 Yanchang Lu, by Wangrong Lu, 延长中路516号, 近万荣路.

Gusha Wumian Pu 谷沙屋面铺 

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As well as serving up quite possibly Shanghai’s largest lion’s head meatball, this local Chinese canteen’s myriad of other noodle toppers are arguably just as tasty – daily specials that they’ve been doling out for more than a decade.

There’s everything from sweet and sour pork ribs to Shanghai-style kaofu (or wheat gluten); from large pork intestines fried with ginger, peppers and garlic to tofu puffs and tea eggs. 

Just pick your noodles (like you’d go with anything but the OG scallion oil noodles that are just RMB7 a bowl), and add on as many toppings as you’d like – they range in price from RMB2-20 depending on portion size and meat-content.

The only downside: it’s only open for breakfast and lunch. So, if it’s late night noods you’re after, you’ve just gotta push on through to 5.30am when they open again the next day. 

谷沙屋面铺, 1011 Qiujiang Lu, by Xizang Bei Lu, 虬江路1011号, 近西藏北路.

Yunhe Mianguan 雲和面馆

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Famous for san xia mian or three shrimp noodles, a classic Suzhou autumn dish that aligns with river shrimp season, in addition to the original, Yunhe Mianguan proffers up ultra lux versions.

Opt for the classic Three Shrimp Noodles (RMB178) – including freshwater eggs, meat and roe – or go for any combination of crab claw meat, black truffle shrimp, crab eggs and roe, or clams for RMB268-388. 

We're also partial to the spinach noodles; chewy green Shanghainese-style foods that soak up that extra seafoody goodness.

雲和面馆, 344 Change Lu, by Ruijin Yi Lu, 长乐路344号,近瑞金一路.

Sanxi Chengdu Chaoshou Dandan Mian 三喜成都抄手担担面 

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This Sichuan noodle and dumpling house has been a hit since it opened back in 2019 along Fengxian Lu. 

Although there’s a line out the door of this tiny shop during every lunch hour, it moves quickly as the menu is simple, offering just three noodle options and one style of Chengdu wontons – or chaoshou – either in chili oil or spicy chili broth, plus a smattering of a few sides, like garlicky eggplant, liangpi rice noodles, spicy cucumber salad and dried tofu in chili oil. 

While the dandan noodles are noteworthy, the real standout for us are the pleated Hongyou Chaoshou (RMB28) filled with pork, floating in a spicy bath of lip-tingling mala chili oil and sprinkled with crushed peanuts.

Yeah, yeah, we know that chaoshou are technically dumplings, not noodles – but as dumplings are just folded and pinched egg noodles of sorts, we can’t not include these scintillatingly scrumptious dumplings in our roundup.

Taste them, and try to argue that they don’t deserve a spot.

三喜成都抄手担担面, #102,195 Fengxian Lu, by Shimen Er Lu, 奉贤路195号1楼102, 近石门二路.

Da Chang Mian 大肠面

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Don’t knock it until you try it! Da chang mian (or big intestine noodles) are a Shanghai staple with no place more famous for them than the restaurant that shares their name: Da Chang Mian.

Recently relocated around the corner from its original, actual hole-in-the-wall location in Laoximen, Da Chang Mian now resides on the main floor of a shopping mall facing out into the street with nearly triple the amount of seats.

Yet, every single one is filled on the daily with regulars and newbies alike slurping down a piping hot bowl full of Shanghainese pulled noodles, topped with bouncy curly-cues of stewed intestine. 

Expect a richer, meatier flavor with strong minerality, similar to liver and other tripe. If you're a fan of French pâté, don’t scoff at pig intestines; they are milder, with a chewier rather than creamier texture.

Enjoy your carbs and innards either in soup or dry for just RMB36. And we highly suggest adding on an order of kaofu (RMB6) – squishy sugar and vinegar braised wheat gluten cubes – and zhacai (RMB6) – picked mustard tubers. 

大肠面, #107A, 686 Xizang Nan Lu, by Fuxing Zhong Lu, 西藏南路686号107A室, 近复兴中路.

Fenjia Qingyun Jiexiao Jiuguan 粉家青雲街小酒馆

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Known as the “durian of soup” for its strong smell, luosifen (螺蛳粉), or river snail noodles, comes from Luizhou – a city in Guangxi Province. It sees a mix of rice noodles, pickled bamboo, bok choy, peanuts, tofu skin and – most importantly – a type of edible river snail. 

While most figure the pungent smell is due to the snails, it actually emanates from the pickled sour bamboo shreds that are made by boiling the fresh shoots and sealing them in a container until they become sour and “stinky.”

Our favorite in Shanghai comes from Fenjia Qingyun Jiexiao Jiuguan, where a steaming bowlful of this Guangxi signature is just RMB30. 

Even though this soup can be quite divisive, you’d never guess it by the state of heaving fullness at mealtimes. Shanghai boasts five locations, each busier than the last.

Pro Tip: Definitely order a side of pickled daikon for RMB3 extra; a sweet and sour pop to break up the rich and spice-laden broth. 

粉家青雲街小酒馆, 138 Yuyuan Lu, by Anxi Lu, 愚园路1398号1楼, 近安西路.

Ramen Boy 

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Although not “local Chinese noodles” per se, Ramen Boy is a trendy noodle house dishing out some seriously legit takes on classics that span China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and the like. Their bouncy egg noodles are what carb dreams are made of, scoring them a spot on our noodle roundup. 

Their take on Cantonese XO Seafood Noodles (RMB45) sees stretchy egg noodles adorned with pan-fried shrimp, scallions and sesame seeds in a punchy shrimp-paste based sauce. 

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There’s also some righteous Salted Egg Yolk Noodles (RMB42) which are begging for an add-on of crispy seared Spam (RMB12), plus other equally satisfying selections like Curry Beef Brisket Udon (RMB52) and Shaoxing Wine Chicken Noodle Soup (RMB52).  

Ramen Boy, 112 Xikang Lu, by Beijing Xi Lu, 西康路112号小区里, 近北京西路.

Got a favorite noodle spot you’d like to see featured in our next noodle roundup? Feel free to add to the oodles of noodles by sharing the deets to

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