Nan Zhou’s Hand Drawn Noodle Soup is My Idea of a Perfect Post Passover Meal

For the end of Passover, I had noodles on the brain. It seemed about time to finally check out Nan Zhou- Chinatown’s destination for hand-pulled noodle soup (recommended by Profiled Lunchers Earl and Ashley). Besides a few appetizers (think pig ears and tendon) the menu is all soup. So you better believe they know what they are doing. The soups are as follows: broth with wonton or beef/fish/meat balls, shaved noodles, or hand drawn noodles. Heat wave be damned, I decided on the beef rib soup with the hand drawn noodles, listed as “Braise Ox Spare Ribs Noodle Soup.” This set me back $5.75 plus I threw in a fried egg for an extra dollar.

The big bowl of noodles in steamy soup satisfied that carb itch. The few tables inside are stocked with chili oil, Sriracha, fish sauce, vinagar, and soy sauce, and I used all of them to get at the desired kick level of the already good tasting broth. I have never met a hand pulled noodle I didn’t like; these had that right chew to them, though they were a little clumpy and I do prefer a slightly bigger noodle. Also, I was expecting a runnier fried egg to plop in my soup, not a completely cooked one. Despite those criticisms, I fully enjoyed the salty broth, the chewy noodles, and the toppings of greens and pickled vegetable. The beef ribs were fine and fun to bite around, but not spectacular. I might try the roast duck variety next time around.

The staff at Nan Zhou seemed stern at first, but I was so appreciative when after inquiring about an order of shells that buzzed by my head, the waitress immediately offered me a small bowl of her snails in black bean sauce from the staff’s family meal. I didn’t include any pictures of it, since that would be a tease, but I urged them to put the yummy little snails on the regular menu.

For a properly leavened dessert, I turned to the nearest bakery, Saint Honore Pastries, two doors down (935 Race) and my choice was staring right at me- Fried Happy Ball? How could I not? Though it was mighty hard to not think about the calorie count in one of these, the happy ball was awesome. The outside is like a jelly doughnut and the inside is like a a Krispy Kreme. Happy ball indeed!

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Big bowls of salty broth to spice up as you like
  • Nothing beats a good hand drawn noodle

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The menu is limited if you aren’t a soup person- bring on the snails!
  • I would like my egg runnier
  • Cilantro alert- haters, beware

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House , 927 Race St (@ 9th St), 215-923-1550



  • I randomly wandered into here after a concert at The Trocadero one time. I remember loving it! I particularly enjoyed watching the noodles being hand pulled behind the counter.

  • They do have a heavy hand with the cilantro, but it’s all added at the end, so I just ask them to leave it off!

    • I often ask for no pickled veggies and they seem to make up for it (I think) with more cilantro. Which is just fine with me.

      Once I spice up the broth, I often ask for a small bowl of raw garlic. Nibble a bit off the clove, and quickly do the chopstick-and-soup-spoon combo of noodles and broth before the garlic burns your tongue off … it’s one of my favorite parts of the whole noodle meal!

  • Hey Jamie, I ran into you at the Nanzhou Noodle House. Just FYI, the long-and-then-spaghetti noodles most people get by default at this place are great, but the knife cut/chipped noodles (dao xiao mian) give you those thick, chewy wedges of noodle. That might be the thicket noodle you were craving. Their menu says they’ll make almost any dish with the knife-cut noodles, so try it out some time.

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    My girlfriend and I love this place. Their fish ball w/ meat inside are awesome! She normally get the duck noodle. Her mom doesn’t care for the noodle but love the containers 0-o. My brothers didn’t like it much though…

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    Ate here for the first time last Tuesday. Had a beef tripe hand-pulled noodle soup to stay (was rather unimpressed – there wasn’t really much going on with my broth on this occasion, or with any of the other ingredients either; though the noodles stood out well enough), and got an order of the hand-pulled noodle pork stir-fry to go. Now that’s where I think these folks excel. Even 30 minutes later after the El took me home, this was all kinds of awesome. Was only able to eat a few bites before putting the rest away for later that night, but it even re-heated better than I imagined it would.

    I’ll give their soups another try, but I wonder if maybe I have it backwards. Perhaps I should do the soups at Lan Zhou (where I was unimpressed with the beef tripe stir-fry) from now on, and the stir-fries at Nan Zhou? Also, it’ll be hard, but maybe I should try to branch out beyond my beloved beef tripe as well. Maybe that’s it. I think perhaps I’ll do oxtail or something next time I have a soup here…

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