Award-winning dumplings in the West Village

By Nick Wilson

The first slurp of an extraordinary broth can transport you to a magical place, but at Niu Noodle House, there’s no mistaking you are still in the West Village, thanks to enormous photographs—taken by the restaurant’s owner—of the Washington Square arches and subway station. After admiring the adorable bull chopstick holders, place a generous scoop of sinfully salty, sweet, and fatty duck into crispy lettuce for a crunch-tastic starter. In the award-winning chicken dumplings, duck’s leaner cousin is improbably made just as flavorful thanks to ginger, scallion, and a quick pan-fry to add a golden shimmer. You’ll be tempted to stuff yourself with more fowl, but considering that “niu” is Chinese for cow, you can’t leave without an order of beef noodle soup. Save yourself the trouble of deciding which cut by ordering the Beef Trifecta—flank steak, short ribs, and beef shank served with fresh ramen noodles in a rich and balanced beef broth that’s lovingly made from scratch.

... on the side

eye for design
With wallpaper depicting an outdoor scene of local buildings and landmarks, the bold and funky décor offers a virtual (indoor) re-creation of the neighborhood. To find the restroom, just descend the stairs masked as the West 4th Street subway station. A mounted bull skull keeping an eye over the bar serves as a reminder that you need to order at least one beef dish at Niu.



Mon–Thu, Sun noon–11 PM; Fri–Sat noon–midnight

price range

$11 (Niu Veggie Heaven) to $23 (Chilean sea bass)