Momofuku Noodle Bar
The noodle bar that launched a career. When then unknown chef David Chang opened this unassuming East Village spot in the summer of 2004, no one—least of all Chang—had any idea that it was the first venture in a now-global restaurant empire. Despite Chang's present-day fame, diners still come to Momofuku Noodle Bar for the same reason they did back then: for the food. Chang serves traditional Japanese noodle dishes with a heavy American accent. The house variety ramen, a clear perennial favorite, comes with pork belly, pork shoulder, and a poached egg. Don't miss the miniature buns filled with options including roast pork, brisket, and shiitake mushrooms. This standout appetizer inspired the opening of Chang's second restaurant, Momofuku Ssäm Bar.