The first rule of noodle club is we do not call them noods.

The second rule of noodle club is we do NOT call them noods.

The third rule of noodle club is: we do not fetishize handmade over dried. Because the stuff that goes with the noodle — sauce, broth, seasonings — is what holds the dish together. Perfectly bouncy, hand-pulled noodles ain’t shit if the rest of the bowl is neglected. Flavor trumps texture. Still with me?

Liu's tianshu noodles with some real saucy action.

It’s no secret that Berlin has gone noodle-crazy over the past four years. It all started when Liu Chengdu Weidao Nudelhaus opened in late 2018, introducing Berliners to the absolute culinary wonder that is a well-made bowl of Sichuan noodles. Then, the following year, came Chungking Noodles, drawing snaking lines of hungry diners from day one. By the time Wen Cheng followed in mid-2021, Berlin’s noodle obsession fate was sealed.

All this means that noodle fanatics like me can feast on Chengdu-style tianshui (sweet water) noodles on Monday, Shaanxi-style biang biang noodles on Tuesday, Beijing-style zhajiang noodles on Wednesday… you get the picture. This level of culinary diversity was unthinkable for Berlin merely five years ago. (And I’m not even including the excellent Japanese and Korean noodle joints that have opened—more on those another time.) 

But, the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

Yes, we have far more options than before. But many of these options are simply no good. The noodle hype is leading to a noodle glut. I’m here today to pinpoint one of the culprits: the prevailing obsession with hand-pulled noodles. If dropping the magic ‘H’-word on Instagram is enough to get people through the door, then it’s far too easy for restaurant owners to get lazy and neglect what really matters – flavor. Berlin’s food scene has simply put the cart before the horse. What’s the point in taking the time to make noodles by hand, then serving them with sad, soulless seasonings? I write this as someone who recently paid 12 Euros for a bowl of handmade noodles that tasted like nothing but watery chili oil. At least the pink terrazzo table looked pretty on Instagram?

Okay then, cranky internet lady, I can hear you saying. Where should I go for noodles then? Well, more than four years on, Liu Chengdu Weidao remains the champion of Berlin’s noodle scene. Even if just one of their dishes—the extra thicc, extra chewy tianshui noodles, served room temperature in a perfectly salty-sweet dressing of treacly soy, chili oil, sesame paste, and raw garlic—features handmade noodles. There’s no one standout dish; everything is good. Whether you order the zajiang noodles with seasoned minced pork, the shenjiang noodles with minced beef and fresh bird’s eye chili, or the Sichuan beef noodle soup, it’s all so damn tasty, layered with multiple dimensions of face-numbing flavor, I guarantee you won’t notice the noodles were ever once dried. (Full disclosure: I worked in the kitchen at Liu’s for a year—more on that in a sec.)

Photo Credit, Carla Drago

LIU Nudelhaus

LIU Chengdu Weidao is a restaurant located in the heart of Mitte, offering authentic Sichuan cuisine. With a menu full of flavorful dishes ranging from spicy hot pot to classic noodle dishes, LIU Chengdu Weidao is a go-to spot for lovers of Chinese food. The cozy and inviting atmosphere, along with the friendly staff, make for a wonderful dining experience. Whether you're in the mood for something spicy or something more mild, LIU has something for everyone. Be sure to try their famous dan dan noodles, a Sichuan specialty that's sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Get your noodles and dumplings to go for the ultimate spicy-saucy-numbing experience - smash them on the steps of one of the grand buildings on Gendermenmarkt and whisper "...so Ber-lan" to yourself, quietly.

With long waits for tables pretty much every night of the week, neither Chungking Noodles nor Wen Cheng need much introduction. If you like noodles, you won’t have a bad time at either joint. Chungking’s homemade lamian noodles (thinner, rounder) have a nice bounciness, and the meat is tender and nicely seasoned. Wen Cheng’s specialty is wide biang biang noodles (aka. belt noodles) from northwestern Shaanxi, with raggedy edges and a toothsome chew. These come topped with stewed beef chunks (eggplant for the vegans) with a bit less depth of flavor than I’d like. Wen Cheng’s version of that famous Xi’an dish, biang biang noodles with cumin lamb, is undeniably tasty, though the lamb—stewed ragout-style rather than wok-fried—has a muted rather than zippy cumin flavor.

If you like noodles, you won’t have a bad time at either joint.
'Biang Biang' Belt Noodles at Wen Cheng
...raggedy edges and a toothsome chew...
Team Wen Cheng

Wen Cheng

Wen Cheng is a popular Chinese restaurant in Berlin that is known for its delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine. The menu features a variety of dishes from different regions of China, all made with fresh and high-quality ingredients. The restaurant has a casual and unassuming decor, creating a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Due to its popularity, the restaurant can often have long lines, but the wait is definitely worth it for the delicious food and excellent service. Wen Cheng is a great choice for anyone looking for an authentic and satisfying Chinese dining experience.

The pro move is to get the cucumber salad to snack on the side to catch respite from the heat of the noodles. Also, come at odd hours to avoid waiting in line.

Started from the bottom, now we here

Personally, I’d tweak the bowl seasonings at both places, but I have strong opinions on such matters, which predate my cooking days at Liu Chengdu Weidao. Those were born during my childhood in Taiwan and China, where noodles were as essential to my life as bread is to a German’s. It was my mother who first taught me that making well-seasoned noodles starts at the bottom of the bowl: a splash of light soy, dark soy, vinegar. It was Lin, proprietress and chef extraordinaire of Liu Chengdu Weidao, who showed me how a vast array of flavor elements plopped at bowl bottom take your noodles from zero to 10 on the flavor scale. (This, by the way, is why thorough and constant mixing is a crucial part of the noodle-eating experience.) These bottom-of-the-bowl seasonings can make or break the dish.

Noodles cooking at Chungking

At Chungking Noodles, the seasonings are dominated by two strong and somewhat overwhelming flavors: the smoky style of chili oil, and the generous pour of vinegar. I’m not even sure Wen Cheng uses any bowl seasonings, or if they do, they are on the mild side. A splash of black vinegar helps. 

Bounce, bounce, bounce courtesy of Chungking
Chungking Interior

Chungking Noodles

The vibrant streets of Sichuan are on display at Chungking Noodles, a delightful eatery situated off the cobbles of Reichenbergerstraße in Kreuzberg. Indulge in the authentic flavors of traditional Chinese noodles, meticulously crafted with a perfect blend of seasonings and fresh, high-quality ingredients. Immerse yourself in a gastronomic experience that will transport you to the heart of Chungking, where each bite at Chungking Noodles offers a tantalizing taste of China's rich culinary heritage interpreted through a Berlin lens.


Noodles worth traveling for 

Of the many newer noodle spots, two are worth crossing the city for, even in this sticky heat. The first is Prenzlauer Berg’s Kongfu Chili, which makes a mean, hand-pulled belt noodle served in the northwestern youpo mian (oil-splashed) style, capped with minced garlic and chili flakes and doused in sizzling oil just before serving. (These bowls will be familiar to fans of the now-shuttered Grand Tang Xi Yu, though Kongfu Chili’s are less haphazard with more breadth of flavor.) The noodle texture is great and the seasonings top-notch. The standout dish is the “Three in One,” which combines the aforementioned youpo belt noodles with stewed beef and saozi: diced vegetables and pressed tofu sauteed in chili bean paste. The more (flavor) the merrier, I say.

'Biang Biang' Belt Noodles, Three-in-One with Beef
Zajiang Noodles with Beef

Kongfu Chili

Discover the bold flavors of Sichuan cuisine at Kongfu Chili, an exquisite restaurant nestled off Helmholtzplatz. Indulge in their meticulously crafted dishes that fuse traditional spices with modern culinary techniques, leaving your taste buds tingling with delight. Experience a vibrant dining atmosphere and savor the authentic tastes of China in this culinary haven.

Go for the vegetarian options - they are incredibly strong.

And don’t miss MingTastic, opened in summer 2022 in an unlikely location; the food court of the Bikini Berlin mall. On the menu are handmade noodles both the wide and thin (I find the former to have the better texture) and I give their bowl seasonings my personal thumbs up. My go-to order: the non-soup beef noodles, with the somewhat confusing name of Beef Bolognese Hand-Pulled Noodles. Bonus: the pan-fried shengjianbao—buns stuffed with pork or veggies—are among the best in town.  


Mingtastic at Bikini Berlin offers a fresh and modern take on traditional Chinese cuisine. The menu features classic dishes such as dumplings, noodles, and soups, as well as unique creations like their "Mingtastic burger" made with a Chinese bao bun. The restaurant's interior is sleek and contemporary, with a minimalist design that perfectly complements the food. The use of high-quality ingredients and attention to detail in the cooking process ensures that every dish is bursting with flavor. Whether you're in the mood for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner, Mingtastic is a must-visit spot for foodies in Berlin.

Get the dim sum and the hand pulled noodles.

Last but not least, I’d like to drop two honorable mentions: Chinese restaurants just doing their thing Out West in Berlin’s closest thing to a Chinatown (a.k.a. Wilmersdorf) – far off the beat of the hipster noodle hype. Shaniu’s House of Noodles is like the Old Faithful of Berlin’s Chinese restaurant landscape: homey, consistent, and affordable – well-loved amongst (homesick) Chinese students for those reasons. The “Chinese spaghetti,” Shaniu’s version of northern zhajiang noodles, tastes like something your Chinese mother would make. 

Shaniu's House of Noodles

Shaniu's House of Noodles is an iconic Chinese restaurant in Wilmerdorf and known for its unique combination of Shanghainese and Korean cuisine. The restaurant specializes in noodle dishes and offers a variety of noodles in different versions. The menu also includes dumplings and other Chinese specialties but the standouts are the cold noodles with veggies and minced meat, braised pork belly with homemade noodles, minced-meat-filled eggplant, braised pork ribs with rice and the chili wontons. There, order that. If you're looking for great Chinese food in Berlin that's NOT Sichaun or Xi An, Shaniu's House of Noodles is definitely worth a visit.

Reserve your table to avoid standing in line and make sure to order a portion of the oustanding Korean Fried Chicken

Then there’s Deli House, the current obsessive subject of all my Chinese food cravings. Noodle soups like addictive suan la fen (bouncy sweet potato noodles in a sour-spicy broth) comprise only a small part of the chef’s top-notch repertoire—the array of cold starters are particularly excellent. That’s the only thing wrong with this place: with so many delicious options, the choice is excruciating.

The new definition of drip.
Hand-cut wheat noodles are on offer as well at Deli House.
The fabled coriander beef of legend.

So there you have it: noodles and more noodles for every day of the week. Go forth and feast.

Just don’t let me hear you calling them noods.

Deli House

Embark on a culinary journey at Deli House, an esteemed restaurant in Berlin offering an extensive menu of elegantly prepared Chinese classics. From the moment you step in, you'll be captivated by the depth and variety of dishes, each meticulously crafted to perfection. Indulge in a symphony of flavors as you explore the rich tapestry of Chinese cuisine, experiencing the essence of traditional dishes elevated with a touch of culinary finesse. Deli House is a haven for food enthusiasts seeking an extraordinary dining experience, where the artistry of Chinese gastronomy takes center stage in every dish.

The coriander beef knocked our socks clear off with how delicious it was.

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