Walking down the quiet Eldridge Street in Chinatown at night—specifically the block below Canal Street—may feel a bit sketchy, but don't let that deter you from getting fresh noodles at prices unheard of in the rest of the city. Unlike some other hand-pulled noodle shops, Super Taste seems to have translated most, if not all, of their menu in English, which should erase most people's fears of not having access to everything they offer.
In my group of four, everyone ordered the knife-sliced noodles as opposed to the more well-known hand-pulled noodles. The way each type of noodle is made is self-explanatory. Hand-pulled noodles come out as thin, mostly uniform ropes due the skilled dough-stretching of the noodle maker, while knife-sliced noodles come out as erratic slivers of varying length and thickness. While I found the slippery knife-sliced noodles harder to pick up with my chopsticks, I liked them more than the hand-pulled for their chewiness. The bigger the wheat shavings, the better.
My favorite of the four was my friend's spicy beef noodle soup with its thick, tender slices of beef swimming in red, chili oil flavored broth. However, I'm kind of glad I went with the non-spicy eel noodle soup, topped with slices of soft eel and Chinese spinach, so I wouldn't be blowing my nose and wiping away tears all night. Seafood lovers should go for the seafood noodle soup—for a whopping $6 (compared to $4.50 for most of the other noodle dishes), it comes with shrimp, mussels, clams, and fish cakes.
Also worth getting are the steamed pork and chive dumplings whose thin, slightly chewy skins are well stuffed with juicy, mildly sweetened pork.
26 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002 (b/n Canal and Division Street; map) 212-625-1198