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A round plate of thick, cold noodles on a wooden table
Cold noodles, like these from Lao Peng You, are a treat no matter the weather.
Eater Chicago/Garrett Sweet

Where to Find Refreshing Cold Asian Noodles in Chicago

Korean naengmyeon, Japanese soba, Vietnamese bun, and more

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Cold noodles, like these from Lao Peng You, are a treat no matter the weather.
| Eater Chicago/Garrett Sweet

Chicagoans know that no matter the season, the city’s temperatures are hard to predict: Don’t like the weather? Just wait five minutes. As such, cool mornings can at first seem like a cue to snag a belly-warming meal but may turn into sweaty afternoons spent shedding layers. For a refreshing break, order a bowl of cold noodles. From Korean naengmyeon to Vietnamese bun and Japanese udon and soba, Chicagos restaurants have plenty of varieties to try. Below, find 10 of the city’s best chilly, slurpable submissions.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Me Dee Cafe

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4805 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 989-4444
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Ravenswood’s Thai hideaway is open late, which is good news for its many fans in the area. The menu is long and expansive with lots of familiar standbys, but tucked in the salad section patrons will find a delectable combination glass noodles, ground pork, shrimp, and vegetables. It’s a nice counterpoint to the restaurant’s popular congee, best suited to cold temperatures.

2. Cho Sun Ok Restaurant

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4200 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 549-5555
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Lincoln Square’s bustling Korean staple puts out a can’t-miss version of Mul NaengMyeon — thin, cold buckwheat noodles in a chilled beef broth. A study in clarity and depth of flavor, a bowl is at once comforting and refreshing. Mix it up with YeolMu NaengMyeon, a variation with radish kimchi, or Chik NaengMyeon, with arrowroot noodles.

3. Sochi Saigonese Kitchen

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1358 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 904-8511
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The couple behind this new Vietnamese hotspot in Lakeview have made a splash with their menu of dishes inspired by their hometown of Ho Chi Minh City. The flavors and textures are well suited to cold dishes, and Sochi’s Bến Thành Market salad — a tangle of rice noodles and juicy grilled pork with lettuce, basil, mint, daikon, peanuts, and sweet-and-sour fish sauce — is both light and satisfying.

4. BiXi Beer

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2515 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 904-7368
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Chef Bo Fowler’s Asian-influenced brewery and restaurant in Logan Square does a lot of things well, including noodles made on-site. Its soba noodle salad, available only at brunch, brings out the best in buckwheat with peanuts, edamame, fish sauce, and a citrusy burst of calamansi dressing. Be advised: Fowler says the noodles may disappear for a fall menu swap.

A dining room with four-top tables and a long bar with a mural of a cityscape on the wall
BiXi makes its noodles on-site.
Eater Chicago/Barry Brecheisen

5. Oiistar

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1385 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 360-8791
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One of Chicago’s top ramen spots, Oiistar doesn’t play by the rules — in lieu of traditional bowls of Japanese noodles, it puts out versions with ingredients like mussels and chicken masala. Cool off without sacrificing kick with a bowl of spicy zzolmen, chiled noodles with spinach, pulled pork, avocado, crispy almond, radish, and a fried egg.

6. Lao Peng You

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2020 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(872) 206-8624
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Chicagoans from all over the city beat a path to West Town to taste Chinese noodles and dumplings from a pair of suburban brothers sharing their family recipes. Their perfectly springy, toothsome cold noodles are seasoned with soy, chili oil, peanuts, and cilantro.

7. Momotaro

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820 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-4818
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Boka Restaurant Group’s glamorous Japanese destination also ventures into cold noodles: delicate soba with fragrant shiso buds, bottarga, and white tensuyu for dipping. The team makes its immaculate noodles on-site.

8. TenGoku Aburiya

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651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101A
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 846-6633
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The izakaya-style sister spot to Michelin-starred Omakase Yume, Ten Goku is a rare spot in Chicago for cold udon, thick Japanese wheat noodles that hold up beautifully under sauces and broths. The restaurant’s Bukkake Udon comes with crispy vegetable tempura, daikon oroshi, umami-rich tsuyu, and an optional additions like Japanese pickles and onsen eggs.

9. Xi'an Cuisine

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225 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-3171
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This Chinatown favorite pays special attention street fare of China’s northern region, and touts a selection of cold noodle dishes. There are lots of enticing options, like slippery black rice noodles and refreshing jelly noodles, but don’t overlook the top-notch vinegar and sesame sauce thin noodles with lamb.

10. Mom’s Chicago (Marz Community Brewing)

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3630 S Iron St
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 579-1935
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Tucked inside Bridgeport’s Marz Community Brewing, Mom’s embraces yōshoku — Western-influenced Japanese comfort food — with playfulness and joy. The cold soba noodle salad (greens, rice crackers, carrot-ginger dressing) makes for an excellent lunch with a size of inarizushi, seasoned pockets of tofu stuffed with sushi rice.

1. Me Dee Cafe

4805 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Ravenswood’s Thai hideaway is open late, which is good news for its many fans in the area. The menu is long and expansive with lots of familiar standbys, but tucked in the salad section patrons will find a delectable combination glass noodles, ground pork, shrimp, and vegetables. It’s a nice counterpoint to the restaurant’s popular congee, best suited to cold temperatures.

4805 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

2. Cho Sun Ok Restaurant

4200 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Lincoln Square’s bustling Korean staple puts out a can’t-miss version of Mul NaengMyeon — thin, cold buckwheat noodles in a chilled beef broth. A study in clarity and depth of flavor, a bowl is at once comforting and refreshing. Mix it up with YeolMu NaengMyeon, a variation with radish kimchi, or Chik NaengMyeon, with arrowroot noodles.

4200 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

3. Sochi Saigonese Kitchen

1358 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

The couple behind this new Vietnamese hotspot in Lakeview have made a splash with their menu of dishes inspired by their hometown of Ho Chi Minh City. The flavors and textures are well suited to cold dishes, and Sochi’s Bến Thành Market salad — a tangle of rice noodles and juicy grilled pork with lettuce, basil, mint, daikon, peanuts, and sweet-and-sour fish sauce — is both light and satisfying.

1358 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

4. BiXi Beer

2515 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
A dining room with four-top tables and a long bar with a mural of a cityscape on the wall
BiXi makes its noodles on-site.
Eater Chicago/Barry Brecheisen

Chef Bo Fowler’s Asian-influenced brewery and restaurant in Logan Square does a lot of things well, including noodles made on-site. Its soba noodle salad, available only at brunch, brings out the best in buckwheat with peanuts, edamame, fish sauce, and a citrusy burst of calamansi dressing. Be advised: Fowler says the noodles may disappear for a fall menu swap.

2515 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

5. Oiistar

1385 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

One of Chicago’s top ramen spots, Oiistar doesn’t play by the rules — in lieu of traditional bowls of Japanese noodles, it puts out versions with ingredients like mussels and chicken masala. Cool off without sacrificing kick with a bowl of spicy zzolmen, chiled noodles with spinach, pulled pork, avocado, crispy almond, radish, and a fried egg.

1385 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

6. Lao Peng You

2020 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Chicagoans from all over the city beat a path to West Town to taste Chinese noodles and dumplings from a pair of suburban brothers sharing their family recipes. Their perfectly springy, toothsome cold noodles are seasoned with soy, chili oil, peanuts, and cilantro.

2020 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Momotaro

820 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

Boka Restaurant Group’s glamorous Japanese destination also ventures into cold noodles: delicate soba with fragrant shiso buds, bottarga, and white tensuyu for dipping. The team makes its immaculate noodles on-site.

820 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

8. TenGoku Aburiya

651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101A, Chicago, IL 60661

The izakaya-style sister spot to Michelin-starred Omakase Yume, Ten Goku is a rare spot in Chicago for cold udon, thick Japanese wheat noodles that hold up beautifully under sauces and broths. The restaurant’s Bukkake Udon comes with crispy vegetable tempura, daikon oroshi, umami-rich tsuyu, and an optional additions like Japanese pickles and onsen eggs.

651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101A
Chicago, IL 60661

9. Xi'an Cuisine

225 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616

This Chinatown favorite pays special attention street fare of China’s northern region, and touts a selection of cold noodle dishes. There are lots of enticing options, like slippery black rice noodles and refreshing jelly noodles, but don’t overlook the top-notch vinegar and sesame sauce thin noodles with lamb.

225 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616

10. Mom’s Chicago (Marz Community Brewing)

3630 S Iron St, Chicago, IL 60609

Tucked inside Bridgeport’s Marz Community Brewing, Mom’s embraces yōshoku — Western-influenced Japanese comfort food — with playfulness and joy. The cold soba noodle salad (greens, rice crackers, carrot-ginger dressing) makes for an excellent lunch with a size of inarizushi, seasoned pockets of tofu stuffed with sushi rice.

3630 S Iron St
Chicago, IL 60609

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