Where to Eat Cold Noodles When It’s Too Hot for Anything Else

If you think of noodles and noodle soups as a winter food, you're missing out on a whole world of chilly summer meals.

Spicy peanut noodles from Stock | Photo provided

Just like we love a warm soup in the winter, hot weather bring with it cravings for anything ice cold. But we can’t survive on watermelon alone, so when the craving hits, we reach for cold noodles. Dressed with rich broths and creamy dressings, they help us beat the heat and stay cool. As an added bonus, they deliver better than hot food, which means they’re perfect for the days when we can’t bring ourselves to hit the scorching sidewalks. (Just don’t forget to tip your delivery driver.)

Spicy peanut noodles from Stock
Stock actually has a whole section of cold noodles on their menu, including a cold Burmese noodle with tahini sauce and a spicy Szechuan chili noodle. The noodle that keeps us coming back time and time again, though, but is the spicy peanut noodle, which come tossed in a kaffir lime peanut sauce and topped with a lot of crunchy pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and your choice of protein (we like the grilled chicken.)

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Hiyashi chuka from Neighborhood Ramen
Yes, Neighborhood Ramen is a ramen spot, but they’ve revamped their menu for Brothless Summer, which means they’re serving a whole selection of luscious noodle bowls. The hiyashi chuka is by far the most refreshing, served chilled with asparagus, cucumber, tomato, nori, and tamago, the chilled Japanese omelet. Make it vegan by subbing tofu.


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Cold sesame noodles from Han Dynasty
Typically we think of the cold sesame noodles from Han Dynasty as a side dish to go with their double cooked pork, cumin beef, and dry fried chicken. In the summer, though, we opt for just the noodles, which are light enough to keep us from breaking a sweat, but rich enough to keep us full.


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Zaru soba from Sagami
Excellent soba noodles are pretty hard to come by in Philadelphia, but Sagami’s zaru (chilled) noodles are perfect – even good enough to distract us from Sagami’s sushi. They’re cooked to order and then shocked in icy water, then served with a light but savory dipping sauce that complements the nutty buckwheat noodles.


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Spicy and sour chicken noodles at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House
The noodles are obviously the main attraction at Nan Zhou, and while most of them feel comforting and warming, we love the spicy and sour chicken noodles, which are dressed in a light peanut sauce with pickled vegetables and luscious poached chicken. Add a few shakes of the vinegar they offer at each table for an added hit of brightness.


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Naeng myun from Dae Bak
Much like Philadelphia, summers in Korean can get quite hot and humid, so it makes sense that the cuisine includes dishes that are ideal for the heat of the summer. Naengmyun takes it to another level — the soup is not just cold, but slightly frozen for a slushy effect that compliments the chewy buckwheat noodles. Served with raw vegetables and your choice of protein (go for the LA galbi), it’s a dish that is sure to cool you right down.