I’ve never made noodles from scratch, and there’s a good chance I never will. But I still consider myself a low-key noodle connoisseur (same goes for spring rolls). Thing is, if there’s a way to screw up making good noodles, no Edmonton establishment that I’ve tried has found it (though I’m sure I could). And that makes standing out on the local noodle scene difficult.
But Thanh Thanh pulls it off, especially with its Shanghai noodle stir fry. The noodles are lighter — in colour and texture — with what tastes like a bit of curry. With only green onions, bean sprouts and carrots (you can add meat or shrimp), the noodles are the clearly the star of dish, for good reason. But you should always add spring rolls on the side, too. — Cory Schachtel
10718 101 St., NW, 780-426-5068, ThanhThanh.ca
This place has long been a favourite of this magazine’s staff, and has been mentioned on more than a few best-of lists we’ve put out in the past. This Laotian/Thai spot brings dish after dish that are aggressive in both flavour and spice. Glass noodles and/or rice noodles are served with wonderful medleys of chili peppers, vegetables and meat. But, if it’s your first time visiting Boualouang, go with drunken noodles, which amp up the heat just another notch. There are lots of theories on how the Thai dish got its “drunken” name, from that it’s a hangover cure, to the fact they’ll make you want more than a few beers to battle the heat. Would a noodle by any other name taste as great? — Steven Sandor
10569 97 St., NW, 780-423-4207, Boualouang’s Facebook page
If you’re looking for the spice of life then it’s time to eat at Cui Hua Gui Lin. The noodle shop on 97th street in the heart of Chinatown serves dishes that pack a hot and sour punch. The house-made noodles are served with peanut and sliced garlic, bamboo shoots, parsley and green onion and come with meat choices of lamb, pork, chicken and beef. We tried the Chicken Lo Noodle bowl, which was fresh and spicy. Make sure you have a glass (or two) of water and bring a friend because the portions are sharable. — Katrina Turchin
10626 97 St., NW, 780-938-1868, Cui Hua Gui Lin Noodle House’s Facebook page
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