Lifestyle & Culture

Sterling Schuyler: My picks for the 6 best noodle restaurants in Rotterdam (updated)

As winter makes itself known throughout the Netherlands, a simple tosti isn’t enough to warm the bones. When the sun is barely a flash in the sky and just looking at bare trees makes me shiver, I know it’s time for noodle soup in Rotterdam.

Hinoki Noodle Soup

A couple blocks west of the Markthal is a small ramen shop that is not great for groups, but is perfect for an intimate meal … with your bowl of ramen. Hinoki Noodle Soup is a popular spot for lunch and dinner, and people start to queue before it even opens.

They have their standard selection of tonkotsu (pork-based), shoyu (soy sauce-based), and miso ramen broths, in addition to rotating specials. And Hinoki is generous with their portions. Their broth is rich, the noodles are plentiful, and the toppings add wonderful pops of flavor and texture.

For those searching for a spicy bowl of noodles, the Tan Tan Men is a good choice. It won’t make you cry, but it will clear your sinuses, which will be perfect in this cold weather!

Hinoki Noodle Soup, Keizerstraat 52, 3011 GH Rotterdam | +31 10 413 3585

Tensai Ramen

Tensai Ramen resides at the southwest corner of the Beurs intersection, but as soon as you enter the restaurant, you’ll forget the cacophony outside. With just a handful of tables, this ramen spot is the perfect reprieve from the bustling city center.

If you’re searching for a noodle soup that sticks to your ribs, Tensai’s broths will warm you through and through. They offer pork and chicken-based soups, as well as a vegetarian option. And while many noodle joints make their own soup stock, Tensai is one of few places that makes their own ramen noodles as well.

I recommend the black tonkotsu ramen, which is a pork-based broth with black garlic oil drizzled on top. Add corn to your order as a fresh, crunchy contrast to the springy noodles and dense, creamy broth.

Tensai Ramen, Schiedamsedijk 1, 3011 EB Rotterdam | +31 6 42537046

Noo.Me

Not sure what type of noodle soup you want? Dining with an indecisive group? Noo.Me offers a variety of Asian dishes to satisfy everyone’s Asian food craving.

Usually, if a restaurant offers more than one type of Asian cuisine, they struggle to do any of the dishes justice. Noo.Me, however, chooses one or two dishes from various countries and then perfects their recipes. They hope to entice customers to learn more about Asian cuisines and cultures.

Noo.Me’s menu is full of good puns and great flavors. From Vietnamese Pho-bulous Me to vegan Malaysian Noo.Meat Laksa (get it? Noo meat?), they offer a variety of noodle soups to warm your soul.

Noo.Me, Botersloot 18A, 3011 HG Rotterdam | +31 10 737 1865

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar

Situated in a stand-alone octagonal building just a few blocks from Rotterdam Centraal, Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar serves noodle soups as well as vermicelli rice noodle dishes. If you’re looking for a quick, filling dinner before catching a movie, this is your spot!

It’s also great for people who haven’t tried Vietnamese food. Their menu has clear pictures of every dish with descriptions in English as well as Dutch.

If you’re craving a noodle soup, their pho bo and bun bo hue are quite satisfying. But if you’re looking for less broth and more noodle, any of their bun dishes with fresh vegetables and sauce will satiate your hunger.

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar, West-Kruiskade 1A, 3014 AJ Rotterdam | +31 10 307 0387

Cate Dak

This Chinese restaurant is unlike any other you’ll find in Rotterdam. You won’t find spring rolls or fried rice on the menu. They only offer a limited selection of noodle dishes, all of which are made to order – including the noodles.

These broad, chewy noodles (biang biang) are a signature dish from the Chinese province Shanxi (also spelled Shaanxi). Cate Dak serves them in peanut sauce, spicy hot oil, and even tomato sauce. It may sound confusing (tomato sauce goes with Italian pasta, right?), but the seasoning of the meat and vegetables have a distinctly Chinese flavor: smoky, earthy, and rich.

I highly recommend the Chef’s Special Noodle, which comes with seasoned pork, a hard-boiled egg, and vegetables in a tomato sauce. These noodles are a deliciously unique meal you must have in Rotterdam.

Cate Dak, Oostplein 115, 3011 KX Rotterdam | +31 6 26892198

Yokohama Ramen Saito

Technically, Yokohama Ramen Saito is in Schiedam, not Rotterdam, but it’s absolutely worth the quick metro ride! It’s by far the smallest noodle shop on this list, so arrive early to grab a table.

Yokohama Ramen Saito provides a truly intimate dining experience. Chef Daniel bounces between baskets of noodles and pots of broth, crafting every noodle bowl to perfection. If you happen to sit at the counter, he may personally deliver your steaming bowls of ramen.

And for his homemade noodles, Chef Daniel uses wheat flour from Molen de Vrijheid, a local windmill that still produces flour. You can see the windmills from the restaurant – a truly gezellig experience!

Rotterdam Ramen Saito, Parkweg 406, 3119 CV Schiedam | +31 6 41129532

BONUS

By popular demand, we’re adding Takumi Düsseldorf’s Rotterdam noodle shops.

Takumi Amsterdam

If you’re searching for ramen close to Rotterdam Centraal, Takumi is just a few blocks away! You can find yourself a bowl on both West Kruiskade as well as Aert van Nesstraat.

At their West Kruiskade location, their stocks are made with pork and vegetables, whereas their Aert van Nesstraat location uses broths made with chicken and vegetables. And while they offer a huge variety of ramen options, they all come with the same Sapporo noodles imported from Japan. They’re springy and cooked to perfection!

The shoyu ramen is a great option for anyone new to ramen, and for those who enjoy a pinch of heat, go for the tan tan ramen. And don’t forget to add a shoyu egg!

Takumi Rotterdam, Aert van Nesstraat 22 | +31 10 316 3190  / West-Kruiskade 9B | +31 10 302 7240

Ready for Asian Noodles in Rotterdam?

Rain, wind, and gloomy weather may discourage you from leaving your home. But these Asian noodle restaurants in Rotterdam will fill your belly and warm you up without a doubt!

About the author:

Sterling Schuyler moved to Rotterdam in June 2018 from Bavaria, Germany, but she is originally from the United States. As a result, she has restarted her career three times, and currently works as a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant.

When she’s not working, she enjoys board games, watching and reading science fiction, video games, cooking, grabbing a drink, and tending to her house plants.

You can find her on Twitter @TheAsianCraving and on Instagram @sterling.schuyler

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