Where: Momofuku Noodle Bar
Neighborhood: East Village
Address: 171 1st Ave.
Ingredients: Pork belly, pork shoulder, nori, scallions, fish cake, Bamboo Shoots, seasonal vegetables, poached egg
"Everyone says ramen is rigid; that it has to be one exact thing. It isn't, and it doesn't," says David Chang, the chef and brains behind the Momofuku empire. Chang's mentality is all about "making it taste good" which might explain why Momofuku's eponymous bowl has the depth and complexity it does. Take the broth, for example, which uses a classic base of roasted pork bones, but eschews other staples, like bonito, in favor of less-than-traditional ingredients, like bacon. Or, substituting a plain 'ol boiled egg for a poached egg. The overall effect is a wildly robust soup: unctuous slips of pork belly and moist shoulder meat, bouncy noodles, and a broth with richness and clarity. And while it may not be the city's best, there's no denying its deliciousness.