Taste Test: Best Dan Dan Noodles in NYC

Categories: Chinese Food
Clarissa Wei
Dan dan noodles from Wu Liang Ye 
I decided to go on a quest to find the best dan dan noodles in New York City. After scouring food forums and tweeting back and forth with a couple of Chinese food veterans, my choices were narrowed down to four contestants: Hot Kitchen (Second Avenue near 6th Street), Grand Sichuan (St. Marks near Third Avenue), Szechuan Gourmet (39th Street near Sixth Avenue), and Wu Liang Ye (48th Street near Sixth Avenue).

Originally from Sichuan, China, dan dan noodles are dry noodles with a chile oil, ground pork, and scallion sauce topped with mustard stems. Some sauces include a hint of peanut. Although real Sichuan fare is known to be absolutely unbearable to the unaccustomed palate, the following renditions of dan dan noodles are all mild in comparison. The noodles are commonly served as an appetizer in restaurants, but if you ask me, the serving size is more than enough to be a full meal.

After a taste test of all four noodle variations, I came up with the following verdict:

4. Grand Sichuan

Clarissa Wei
Grand Sichuan

Price: $5

My least favorite of the batch. I'm actually going to say that I'll probably never order dan dan noodles from this place again. Granted the dish had a generous amount of greens, but the sauce was so overwhelming, there was a garlic stench in my mouth for a good two days. The noodles were a bit soggy, which made the too-much-sauce problem even worse. The ground pork was mediocre at best, and after a while, I gave up on trying to find the subtleties in the flavors. There were some peanut bits in there, but the flavors just did not show up.

And there was a soup's worth of sauce left.

Clarissa Wei
Something tells me there isn't supposed to be this much sauce left over. . . .

Location Info

Hot Kitchen

104 2nd Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Grand Sichuan

19-23 St. Marks Place, New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Szechuan Gourmet

21 W. 39th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Wu Liang Ye

36 W. 48th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

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