Our Favorite Noodle Soup In SF

When it’s foggy or rainy out, noodle soup makes everything better.

Our Favorite Noodle Soup In SF guide image

photo credit: Julia Chen

We love noodles, and we love soup. And the two combined brings us fuzzy-weighted-blanket and Morgan-Freeman’s-voice levels of comfort, especially when it’s cold out. From pho and ramen to spicy kalbitang, here are 11 of our favorite noodle soups in the city.

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Daeho Kalbijjim & Beef Soup imageoverride image

Daeho Kalbijjim & Beef Soup

Soup: Spicy Kalbitang

Kalbijjim - the braised beef short rib stew that is doused in sauce and topped with white cheese - may get all the love (and local Instagram fame). But this beef-centric Korean restaurant in Japantown also makes a damn good kalbitang, which features thick chunks of beef. There’s a bit of customizing that goes into a kalbitang order, so get it with egg and, because this is a noodle soup guide, make sure to add the glass noodles. Either way, your order will be served with a side of rice and kimchi.

Soup: BBQ Pork Wun Tun Noodle Soup

As the name suggests, this Chinatown spot specializes in wontons, which you can get in bulk to cook at home, or in a bunch of different noodle soups with other things like fish balls, curry beef brisket, or pig’s feet. But the BBQ pork wun tun noodle soup, with its long, springy noodles and fantastic shrimp and pork wontons, is our favorite - it’s simple, comforting, and the edible equivalent of being tucked into bed next to a life-sized teddy bear. Be sure to add some of their chili oil on top for an extra kick.

Soup: Pho Bo Dac Biet

On grey, sun-less days, our first and most primal instinct is to make our way to Turtle Tower, one of our favorite pho spots in the city. Their simple combination beef pho is served Hanoi style (without bean sprouts and minimal garnishes), and comes with fat, chewy noodles, fragrant broth, and tripe and tender beef. Swing by any of their three locations (SoMa, Civic Center, and the Outer Richmond).

Soup: Hakata Tonkotsu

We could drink Marufuku’s creamy, super-rich pork broth by the ladleful, especially when winter rolls around and we order their Hakata Tonkotsu ramen more frequently. The thick ramen noodles are topped with melt-in-your-mouth char siu, wood ear mushrooms, bean sprouts, and a soft-boiled egg, which all come together to make an A+ bowl of soup.

Soup: Chicken Noodle

Tanglad is a Vietnamese restaurant in the Castro that offers a similar menu to its predecessor (Slurp Noodle Bar), including a variety of noodle soups, like bun rieu, pho, and beef meatball. If you want a lighter protein though, go with the chicken pho. This hot bowl comes with a ton of vermicelli and chicken strips, and a super fragrant broth.

Soup: Spicy Curry Chicken Vermicelli Soup

Not to be confused with PPQ Dungeness Island on Clement, this small Vietnamese spot in the Outer Sunset makes vermicelli bowls, rice plates, and garlic noodles. You should zero in on the #8: the curry chicken vermicelli soup. As much as we love noodles, we’re here for the aromatic broth that goes with it. It’s slightly sweet and a tad creamy, and the spice leaves a nice warming sensation on your lips. The soft chicken and big pile of rice noodles are an added benefit though.

Soup: Hinodeya Ramen

The Japantown ramen bar is one of our go-to spots whenever we want a warm bowl of ramen that’s both delicious and comforting. You can choose from four different types of ramen (all made with dashi broth), and two of which are completely vegan. The plant-based options are great, but we usually default to the house ramen, which comes with melty char siu, bamboo shoots, and a perfect soft-boiled egg.

Soup: Pho Dac Biet

This Vietnamese restaurant in the Richmond has vermicelli dishes, rice plates, and appetizers, but we come here for the pho. Their pho dac biet is brimming with thin noodles, rare steak, brisket, flank, tendon, and beef balls, all of which add up to one rich, meaty soup. While you’re there, also order their excellent grilled pork spring rolls.

Soup: Shiromaru Classic

You can’t really order wrong at this international ramen chain, but go with the classic Shiromaru ramen or the Karaka, a spicier version of the original. Their slow-simmered char siu is more tender than this video of a duck ordering Starbucks, and we’re big fans of their silky, thin-cut noodles.

Mandalay imageoverride image


$$$$(415) 386-3895

Soup: Ong No Kaw Soi

Ordering the coconut chicken noodle soup from this Burmese restaurant in the Richmond when it’s cold out is second nature to us at this point. The creamy soup has tender chicken, cilantro, lemon, plus crispy fried shallots on top, and is the soup-embodiment of self-care. Also know that no trip to Mandalay is complete without an order of their earthy tea leaf salad.

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Terra Cotta Warrior

$$$$(415) 681-3288
Perfect For:Big GroupsLunch

Soup: Qishan Spicy & Sour Pork Noodle Soup

Terra Cotta Warrior’s hand-pulled, Shanxi-style noodle dishes are always a great idea - but when all you want to do is wrap yourself in a fuzzy bathrobe and sit in front of a space heater, focus on their Qishan pork noodle soup. It’s got chewy, perfectly-cooked noodles bathed in a deep-red sour and spicy broth and dots of green onions. When you add to that bathrobe-space heater combo you have going on, you’ve got yourself a perfect night.

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