Where to Enjoy Some of New Jersey’s Best Noodles

Ramen. Pho. Pad Thai. Spaghetti. The Garden State offers a diverse array of tasty, comforting noodle dishes. Slurp up!

Pappardelle Huancaina with chicken at Pachamama in Green Brook
Pappardelle Huancaina with chicken at Pachamama in Green Brook. Photo: Courtesy of Pachamama

New Jersey restaurants offer delicious noodles inspired by cuisines all over the world.

Peruvian fusion

Pappardelle Huancaina at Pachamama • Green Brook

Peruvian cuisine is wildly eclectic, with strong influences from China, Japan, Spain, Italy, the indigenous Quechua culture, and the Pacific’s bounty. So, it’s no surprise to encounter a Peruvian chef cooking with pappardelle (large, flat pasta, similar to fettuccine), here in New Jersey. At Pachamama, Peruvian-born Ricardo Ramirez makes a deluxe Osso Buco with pappardelle and pesto and Pappardelle Huancaina, a triple fusion of the noodles (Italian) with Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) stir-fried chicken and a creamy, spicy, Peruvian cheese-based sauce that’s usually slathered over one of Peru’s 3000+ potato varieties. Pachamama’s verdant jungle décor plays up the sense of discovery.
215 US-22, Green Brook; 732-200-5141


Ramen at Inspiration Roll • Westfield & Morristown

Inspiration Roll's tonkatsu pork broth ramen

Tonkatsu pork broth ramen Photo: Courtesy of Inspiration Roll

Ramen—wheat noodles in broth—has become Garden Staters’ go-to soup meal. Inspiration Roll, NJ’s Japanese restaurant responsible for the sushi burrito craze, excels with ramen. Spicy tonkatsu ramen spotlights wavy noodles that catch more of Inspiration’s umami-rich broth, sparked with black garlic and togarashi pepper. Another standout: green chicken curry ramen, made with popcorn chicken and green curry. Inspiration’s menu is creative, and you can be, too, with your noodle choice (hello, tofu noodles!).
35 Elm Street, Westfield; 908-228-5163
46 South Park Place, Morristown; 973-998-9449


Pad Thai and See-Ew noodles at Kai Yang  Montclair

Vegetable pad Thai at Kai Yang in Montclair

Vegetable pad Thai Photo: Courtesy of Kai Yang

Pad Thai is just as beloved in Thailand as it is in New Jersey. Kai Yang does a standout job with this street-food dish featuring skinny rice noodles. Notes Bangkok-raised chef-owner Sheree Sarabhaya, “the aim in Thai cooking is to create perfect harmony between sweet, sour, salty and spicy. In our Pad Thai, everything comes together: the sweetness of palm sugar, the heat of chili peppers, the softness of the noodles and the crunch of the peanuts and bean sprouts. It’s the flavor of Thailand on a plate.”
345 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair; 973-509-2110


Beef stroganoff at Vincentown Diner  Edgewater Park

Vincentown Diner's beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff Photo: Courtesy of Vincentown Diner

This rich, comforting noodle dish has become hard to find, but not impossible in New Jersey thanks to Vincentown Diner. There, it’s made the traditional way: beef chunks braised overnight piled atop egg pappardelle, with a simple but luscious sauce of the meat’s braising liquid, cream, dill, salt and pepper. “It’s my mom’s recipe,” says owner and chef Jason Edgar. “Really satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. It’s one our most popular dishes.” With non-meat-eaters too: this new-fashioned diner offers Stroganoff not only with beef but with vegan Beyond Beef.
2357 US-206, Southampton Township; 609-267-3033


Dolsot House • Cherry Hill
Dolsan Mt. Laurel

Korea is deeply devoted to noodles, making them from wheat and buckwheat, eggs, potatoes and even sweet potatoes. At the welcoming, modestly priced Dolsot House, noodles appear in a vast array of dishes: vermicelli in a spicy beef stew; beef bulgogi hotpot stew; wheat noodles in seafood soup; with black bean sauce; sweet potato noodles with beef or seafood; wheat udon noodles with spicy squid. Sister restaurant Dolsan features numerous noodle dishes alongside sushi and at-table Korean BBQ.
Dolsot House, 404 Marlton Park East, Cherry Hill; 856-216-0090
Dolsan, 3747 Church Road, Mt. Laurel; 856-372-2751


Authentic Shang Hai dumplings • Edison

The name has it right. Authentic mainland Chinese restaurants, have established themselves in the state, especially in towns with newcomers from Asia and South America who have brought their exciting cuisines to our shores. This modest Edison spot specializes in juicy Shanghai dumplings served in a bamboo basket, as well as in noodles. Vermicelli, udon and rice noodles, hand-pulled in the kitchen, bolster soups like Lion’s Head, made with meatballs of pork, ginger and scallion. Pan-fried udon (wide) and rice noodles (skinny) are pan-fried with various mix-ins and sauces. The place isn’t fancy, but the chow is as advertised: the real thing.
879 US-1, Edison; 848-200-7580


La Fusta  North Bergen

Two-thirds of Argentines claim some Italian descent, possibly even more than NJ. This legacy is reflected in the country’s cuisine, where beef and pasta stand tall. At the granddaddy of New Jersey’s Gaucho restaurants, La Fusta NJ Steak House, “fillete mignon” comes with linguini, not potato, and an entire menu page is devoted to pasta dishes, mainly noodles like fettuccini and linguini. The most scrupulously faithful Italian-Argentinean pasta might be cannellonis (or canelones in Spanish), cylinders of crepe-like sheets rolled around a delectable filling of ricotta, spinach, sautéed onion and a fragrant sprinkle of nutmeg. On top: red sauce (marinara), white sauce (béchamel), or a combo. “These are the same canelones you see in Buenos Aires,” says La Fusta general manager Pablo Carballo. “And just as delicious.”
1110 Tonnelle Avenue, North Bergen, 201-770-1950


Pancit at Manila Café Mt. Laurel

Pancit is the Philippines’ riff on vermicelli rice noodles, which were introduced by Chinese traders and merchants and adapted by Filipino cooks to reflect local tastes and ingredients such as fried pork rinds and ube purple potato. At Manila Café, you can order Pancit Bihon, a soul-satisfying dish served at celebrations, made with pancit noodles, pork, shrimp, vegetables, and a dusting of tinapa smoked fish flakes. The similar Pancit Malabon is made with velvety, thicker rice noodles. Your move.
200 Larchmont Boulevard, Mt. Laurel; 856-822-0604


Pho at Vietnam Bistro • Howell Township

Pho is ramen’s first cousin: thick, flavorful soup broth with beef, pork, chicken, seafood, or vegetables. Vietnam Bistro cooks up three dozen phos, all with slender rice noodles that are cooked separately and added before serving so they don’t get mushy. Stir-fries can be ordered with either soft noodles or crispy, crunchy noodles that are a pleasure to eat. Vermicelli (“cellophane noodles”) and egg noodle bowls further complicate ordering. Remember: all good.
2221 US-9, Howell Township (no phone; FaceTime through website)


Spaghetti at Nunzio By Chef Michael DeLone Collingswood

Spaghetti with scallops and crab at Nunzio By Chef Michael DeLone in Collingswood

Spaghetti with scallops and crab Photo: Courtesy of Nunzio By Chef Michael DeLone

Finally, the noodle that engendered New Jersey’s ongoing passion for Italian food: endearing, versatile spaghetti, adored by diners and chefs alike. Says Nunzio’s top toque, Michael DeLone, “I love all things pasta and seafood, and a lot of tasting and passion went into my recipe for spaghetti with scallops, crab bisque and marinated tomato. The spaghetti is made in-house, the scallops are fresh from Barnegat and the tomato is from Italy or Jersey depending on season.” The result is a happy marriage of flavor and texture, and chef DeLone promises, “it will not disappoint.”
706 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood; 856-858-9840

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