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After a day of sightseeing, accessory shopping on St. Mark’s or getting a prison tattoo, there are few things more welcoming than a hot, steaming bowl of ramen.

In the West Village, Niu Noodle House is unlike most filmy, hole-in-the wall ramen shops.  There is nothing Chinese about the decor, looking instead like the movie set of Gangs of New York without gangs or prostitutes.  Even the Washington Square Arch makes an appearance!

Start with soft, fluffy bao buns ($6, pictured) with tender duck in Niu’s special sauce. Shao mei ($7) firmly stands up to a good steam, and is always a good idea when drizzled in truffle oil.  Crabmeat and pork soup dumplings ($6) get an A+ in flavor, though the delicate skins must be handled most gingerly to avoid losing valuable slurpable liquid.

Noodles here are made fresh every day, and one standout is the Beef Trifecta ($14, pictured) with flank steak, short ribs, beef steak, asparagus, scallions, sweet corn, seaweed, crisp fish skin and fresh noodles–bathed in a milky, opaque broth that you know has been simmering for hours. Eases the pain of bad tattoo work.

Niu Noodle House
15 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10004

Photos courtesy of Niu Noodle House.