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We all have those moments when we’ve just about had it with New York City winter, but then we pop into our favorite restaurant, sit down with a piping-hot bowl of noodle soup and realize that subzero temperatures have their perks. Here are the ten best soups in the city to help you survive the frigid months ahead.


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1. Grandma Chicken Mixian from Little Tong Noodle Soup

With locations in the East Village and midtown, Little Tong serves the cuisine of Yunnan, China, like rice noodle soups called mixian and other small plates, such as pot stickers and spicy cucumber in bang bang sauce. We can’t have a meal here without ordering the Grandma Chicken Mixian. The hearty bone broth is colored black, thanks to a decadent sesame garlic oil, and it’s served with tender confit chicken and soft-boiled tea egg.

Multiple locations; littletong.com

2. French Onion Soup from Balthazar

If you find yourself window-shopping around Soho on a cold winter day, head straight to the cozy French bistro Balthazar for the best onion soup gratiné in the city. The broth is deep and savory, made with chicken stock, white wine, caramelized onion and port wine. It’s topped with a ton of Gruyère and thick, toasted country bread that sops up the flavors of the broth. Before you go, pick up a pastry (or three) from the bakery next door.

80 Spring St.; balthazarny.com

3. Beef Pho from Di An Di

Greenpoint Vietnamese hot spot Di An Di’s beef pho is worth the trip across the East River (and yes, even dealing with the G train). Between the sizzling soup and the leafy palm-print wallpaper, you might be convinced you’ve escaped winter…for dinnertime at least. Made with beef and brisket, the meat is tender and rich, and it arrives in a bowl sprinkled with paper-thin scallions and a perfectly runny egg yolk. Make sure to ask for the homemade chili sauce on the side for dunking. 

68 Greenpoint Ave.; Brooklyn; diandi.nyc

4. Spicy Seafood and Dumpling Soup from Her Name Is Han

Picking just a few dishes to try from the enormous (and very enticing!) menu at Her Name Is Han can be a stressful affair, so let us ease your pain: Order the seafood and dumpling soup, and the rest of your meal will fall into place. This spicy clay bowl arrives at your table still sizzling, filled to the brim with shrimp, crab, clams, mussels, and plump pork dumplings. It’s plenty big enough to share, and it’s incredibly satisfying.

17 E. 31st St.; hernameishan.com

5. Matzo Ball Ramen from Shalom Japan

Some food hybrids are so perfect, we can’t imagine how we ever lived without them. For example, the cronut, pizza bagels, cake pops…we could go on. Add to that list the matzoh ball ramen noodle soup from Williamsburg eatery Shalom Japan. The whole menu is a mesh of Jewish and Japanese flavors, from raw tuna toast with cream cheese and everything spices to okonomiyaki, savory cabbage pancakes topped with Wagyu pastrami. We’re obsessed with Shalom Japan’s light and fluffy matzo ball served in an Asian-inspired chicken ramen broth. For a few extra dollars, you can add a foie gras dumpling and a slow-cooked egg, which is always worthwhile. 

310 S. Fourth St., Brooklyn; shalomjapannyc.com  

6. Tomato Soup from Earl’s Beer and Cheese

If you’re looking for something fancy, Earl’s Beer and Cheese isn’t the place. But if you’re up for delightfully cozy pub fare, this is it. Earl’s is located on East 97th Street, which makes it a strategic stop after a visit to snowy Central Park or Museum Row. The tomato soup here is creamy and a little bit spicy with a hint of ginger, and it pairs perfectly with the N.Y. State Cheddar, a decadent grilled cheese with pork belly, kimchi and a fried egg. 

1259 Park Aveearlsny.com

7. Wonton Soup from Noodle Village

This Chinatown mainstay doesn’t have much of an ambience to write home about, but what it lacks in style it makes up for with excellent soup. The wonton soup is our go-to order, and the silky steamed pork-and-shrimp-filled dumplings come in a light, flavorful broth. We’re partial to adding a bit of the spicy chili oil for more of a kick. If you go, the delicate Shanghai-style soup dumplings are also well worth a spot on your table.

13 Mott St.; noodlevillage.com

8. Shurpa Soup from Farida

You’ve likely never heard of Farida, a casual Central Asian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. The restaurant serves dishes typical of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other former Soviet republics, a cuisine that was once nearly impossible to find in Manhattan. Expect dishes like manti (tender little Turkish dumplings) and shashlik (kebab-like skewers of grilled meat). The menu has a handful of comforting soups, but our favorite is the hearty shurpa. It’s similar to beef stew with big chunks of tender meat, potatoes and veggies in an umami-packed beef broth.

498 Ninth Ave.farida.us

9. Warm Mera Mera Soba from Cocoron

This soba establishment has two locations in lower Manhattan—one on Kenmare Street and a slightly bigger shop just down the Bowery on Delancey. Expect to find just about a dozen seats, most of which are stools at the counter. Between the snug atmosphere and authentic soba made by two Japanese-born chefs, a meal here will transport you to Tokyo. During the winter, our favorite dish is the warm mera mera soba—pliant buckwheat noodles served in a piping-hot, rich and creamy sesame-based broth. Cocoron also makes a fantastic cold soba with a dipping sauce that’s deserving of a trip back during the warmer months.

16 Delancey St.; cocoronandgoemon.com

10. So-Ramyun from Jeju Noodle Bar

 

If you’re anywhere near the West Village and craving something comforting, head straight to Jeju Noodle Bar. This Michelin-starred but moderately priced noodle bar focuses on ramyun, the Korean take on ramen. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, from the crispy fried chicken to the DIY fatty tuna hand rolls, but we’ve fallen in love with the so-ramyun, a thick and decadent bowl of garlicky veal-based broth with brisket, Wagyu steak and a soft-boiled egg. 

679 Greenwich St.jejunoodlebar.com

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