Manhattan – East Village
63 Cooper Sq between Astor Pl and 7th St
The name translates as "eating noodles," and it's a fitting moniker for this no-fuss East Village ramen spot. The roomy interior, sparsely decorated with beer signs, hosts a steady procession of NYU students and Japanese patrons doing more slurping than talking, and the ample counter space along one wall is a popular perch for solo diners. The house special, Menkui Ramen, features seaweed broth, roasted pork, scallions, bean sprouts and bamboo shoots, but we prefer the sinus-clearing Tan Tan Men, a soy-flavored noodle soup with heaps of spicy ground pork. While there are more specialized noodle shops in the neighborhood, MenkuiTei wins points for its straightforward approach and consistent quality. It's also a worthy stop for other Japanese comfort foods, such as char-han (fried rice) and oyako don (chicken, vegetables and egg served over rice).
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- Average main course: $9. Cash only