There has never been a better time to get noodles in our city. The vast variety available is staggering.
And no better time to dig in than March – National Noodle Month.
Here are my top 5 picks for best spots for noodles:
(Note: dishes and prices subject to change)
2029 Yonge St.
Balsamico has a long list of fresh pastas (gluten free and whole wheat also available) that won’t weigh you down or leave you in a food coma afterwards.
Everything is made with a light touch whether you dig into Tagliatelle al Ragu Bolognese ($16.95), Orecchiette Baresi ($17.95) with grilled Italian sausage, rapini and roasted peppers in light tomato sauce, or Ravioli All’Aragosta ($23.95) - large lobster ravioli and scallions flambéed in vodka tomato cream sauce.
1330 Dundas St. W.
Instead of lining up at a ramen house, come to Imanishi Japanese Kitchen instead.
Their Nagoyga Ramen ($9.80) with thin, chewy noodles in an enticing spicy broth with ground pork and chicken is the perfect winter warm up.
573 King St. E.
The "minimally processed/nutrient-rich" dishes here were made for Paleo followers. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can eat like a Caveman:
The Power Breakfast Bowl ($9.95) for brekkie comes with spinach, chorizo, scrambled eggs, salsa fresca, sweet potato and squash mash, avocado and green onions. No afternoon dozies here.
For dinner, select from mains of Spiced Flank Steak ($8.95), Roasted Chicken ($8.95), Bison Meatballs ($8.95) and Char-Grilled Salmon ($8.95).
3064 Dundas St. W.
You don’t have to opt for just noodles served in a soup or in a sauce. At Ro House, the menu boasts eight different fresh rolls range from vegetarian (tofu, avocado, sweet potato and Japanese pumpkin) to seafood and meat (prawn and pork, prawn cake, chicken and grilled pork). They come one or three per order.
All rolls have a combination of rice vermicelli, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, fried shallots, roasted sesames seeds, cilantro and mint leaves.
Try the Trai Bo Rolls – Avocado (1/$3.25, 3/$8.25). The first thing you’ll notice is the freshness of ingredients. Paired with a creamy homemade peanut sauce and added touches such as roasted sesame seeds. And get the Goi Cuo Rolls - Prawn & Pork (1/$3, 3/$7.50) too. This prawn and pork combo is different than the usual classic roll, thanks to sumptuous pork belly that’s not too fatty.
93 Harbord St
The freshly made and cut or shaved noodles at Magic Noodle are what make these dishes stand out from other restaurants.
Whether you get a soup or a fried noodle such as the Szechuan friar ($10.99) with the perfect blend of long hand-shaved noodles mixed with beef, chicken, pork, and crunchy veg, you’ll be extremely satisfied. With money still left in your pocket, to boot.
61 Kensington Ave.
Rasta Pasta in Kensington Market is a mashup of Jamaican and Italian cuisines brought together in one dish. In other words - heaven.
Pastas range from Irie Fettucini ($6 – housemade fettuccine sautéed in a creamy alfredo sauce with parmesan and bread crumbs) to Rasta Pasta ($10 – soft, fluffy gnocchi sautéed in garlic and olive oil sauce, served with ackee and saltfish). There’s pasta with jerk meatballs ($9), linguini with shrimp in a coconut curry sauce ($9), and even lasagna ($9) with steamed calaloo.
You’ll want to add a piece of their famous jerk chicken ($4) to your order as well. It's too much food for sure, but once you've had it, you can't go without it.