Udon noodle soup may be the one food for which I’m always hungry, no matter the occasion. The combination of fat, chewy udon noodles with steamed leafy greens leaves me feeling full, but healthy. When my go-to udon noodle soup provider switched over to thinner noodles last year, I had to go searching for that lost umami. As of now, I’ve found two Japanese restaurants that serve a soup up to my standards, but with the closing of O Sushi’s Back Bay branch, I’m getting nervous. Below are my best picks for udon soup in Boston, and if you know of anywhere else please share in the comments. Seriously.
When I worked in Boston’s Financial District, this was one of my only sit-down lunch venues so it was a splurge. Sometimes I even wanted to work late, just to justify a bowl of udon for dinner. In retrospect, I could have ordered this as take-out but there’s something serene about Sakurabana’s slotted window screens and the David Allen Boucher soft-rock (after the noontime rush, of course). I’ve heard great things about their sushi offerings but once I found their sansai udon I could not be deterred. Hearty, satisfying broth with plenty of yummy vegetables. Sansai translates to “mountain vegetables,” which, from what I can tell, are mushrooms, carrots, greens, and magic. The noodle soup offerings range from $9-12, at which point, you might as well get and edamame appetizer and a green tea.
57 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02109
2. O Sushi
O Sushi wins big points with me for this noodle-heavy soup. The broth can vary in strength and veggies depend on the day, but it is never short of tasty. The restaurant recently closed their Boston location near Copley but are still open in Harvard Square in a funky corner spot across from Charlie’s Kitchen. They have outdoor seating for nice days and a large sake menu. There were rumors of a new Japanese restaurant taking over their old place in Back Bay, but I refuse to get excited until I’ve tried the udon soup.
1 Eliot Street (Harvard Square)
Cambridge, MA 02138