Downtown Lunch: Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles

Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.)

Downtown Lunch: Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles

Unfortunately I don’t speak Chinese, so I didn’t know the name of the noodle shop on 144 East Broadway which doesn’t have any English words on the front. Fortunately though other parts of my body (nose and tummy) could care less if the words were written in Swahili or Hebrew. The language of love for me this week was found in the narrow quarters of 144 East Broadway, home to good cheap hand pulled noodles and dumplings.  (I found out later alot of people call it Lan Zhou, although that’s really just the region where this style of noodle comes from.)

Downtown Lunch: Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles

When I walked in I found a woman hand pinching dumplings on one of the small tables which are scattered about in this little wedge of a Chinatown lunch spot. I grabbed a table with  my two dining companions and we ordered quickly, both because they came over fast and because you don’t have much to choose from. Beef Brisket, pork chop, and lamb are a few of the soup options. Besides the soup you can go for pan fried or boiled dumplings (8 for $2) to round out the menu. We tried 2 soups and both kinds of dumplings.

Downtown Lunch: Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles

The pan fried dumplings are among the best I’ve had in the city so far. They blow Fried Dumpling on Mosco out of the water (or frying pan) and definitely beat out my goto lunch spot Tasty Dumpling.

Downtown Lunch: Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles

The meat in the beef brisket soup was perfectly tender but the real star was the hand pulled noodles, which were delicious. The broth was somewhat bland but that was easily fixed with some sriracha hot sauce.

How much is a bottle of water you ask? 75 cents they say! No shit I say! 75 cents? Wow, that’s pretty sweet.

Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles, 144 E Broadway (btw. Allen and Essex/Pike & Rutgers), 212-566-6933



  • Mmm, I want dumplings now. But I was planning on getting falafel today… what to do, what to do…

  • Oh, Yvo, you have to get the dumplings today. If not for yourself, then for all of us who can’t have 8 dumplings for $2 and will spend the day drooling over those pictures.

  • those dumplings look really good… these hand pulled noodle places seemed to have good dumplings. Super Taste on Eldridge has some tasty dumplings too but they don’t do the fried version.

  • i actually tried this place out for the first time on wednesday night — i too found the broth to be lacking (and my brisket meat was a touch tough), but the noodles *were* pretty great. friends of mine who live around the corner from this place swear by the dumplings.

  • Crap! Another spot blown up by ML (DL).

    This has been my favorite dumpling pitstop for some time. The best part is, you can pretty much get ALL the food pictured here for under $10, total. Go forth and gorge.

  • Daniel, you have made it clear that one of the priorities for my next job is its proximity to Chinatown.

  • Thanks for that awesome story and pictures from Lan Zhou.

    Those dumplings look incredible, just like the steamed and pan fried dumplings my mother has made for me and the family all our lives. I love the fact that the steamed dumpling skins are slightly translucent to show the slightly pinkish ground pork fillings with with tiny flecks of scallions right through the appropriately wrinkled dumpling/wonton skins.

    And those pan-fried dumplings, amazing! A nice crisp brown sear on one side with the rest of the dumpling skin still translucent and soft from the steam rising from water added to the frying pan to finish off the pan frying. There is something about that combination of soft/chewy and crisp fried wonton skin with the meat filling and soy/vinegar/sugar dipping sauce that can’t be beat!

    And are you kidding me? Eight for $2!

  • @Blondie,

    Chinatown Manhattan is ancient and mostly southern Chinese. For a true taste of china, go to flushing, start at the flushing mall food court. Don’t have to go during the work week, pick a weekend and make a trip out of it.

  • First, let me qualify my question and my subsequent comments by the admission that I am a retired “educator” who is NOT in favor of “globalism.” I think that the concept is VERY dangerous to the health and welfare to the citizens of the United States of America.

    That being said, I am infuriated by the daily reports of China’s shipping of poisonous food and food-related products into the U.S. China has inundated us with poisonous products including pet foods, fruits and juices, vegetables, meat products, seafood, toothpaste, and God knows what else.

    Many of our elected officials, who could not care less about our health, permit this travesty in the name of “open-trade” and “globalism.”

    • So, what can we do to protect ourselves from China’s poisonous products?
    • What are YOU doing to protect yourself?
    • What suggestions do you have for the rest of us?

    I know that “Midtown Lunch” is not a political forum, nor should it be. However, the problem of people being sickened (and in some cases, dying) from eating imported crap . . . insufficiently regulated by our government . . . is worthy of rational discussion.

    I have several PhD’s, by the way.

    And a young and vibrant wife. She’s an LPN, if that excites you. And proprietress of a successful laser hair removal salon.

    Plus I live a very comfortable life on my small horsefarm in Arkansas (you can see it in my profile).

    So what do you think?

    C.R.T., PhD

  • ooh. This place is awesome. I’ve had the pork bone and pork chop soup. has a great pic of the guy pulling his noodle.

  • I’m trying desperately hard not to make a dirty joke here…… must… hold… back….

  • Pork bone in his mancave….as Chucky pulls his noodle.

    And by the way, Chucky, you’re pushing 300lbs so don’t bloody bother with the health bollocks.Your just a zenophobic grit eating pig featured fuckwit.

  • It is called Lan Zhou – I have the business card!

  • Can other people pull their noodles there? That would be awesome! Especially since this place is a 3-minute walk from my apartment. Maybe he would bring his pork bone over to MY mancave…

  • This place is way overrated

  • This place is my favorite for hand-pulled noodles. I wish I worked in lunch proximity to it. I’d probably go every day.

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