Pure Thai’s Nakorn-Patom Duck Noodles Soup, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Later this year, we’ll pen our Best of New York issue, our annual love letter to what’s great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you’ll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

No. 74: Nakorn-Patom duck noodles soup from Pure Thai

Despite the prevalence of decent Thai restaurants in the neighborhood, there’s always a line for a table at Pure Thai, a narrow Hell’s Kitchen space where cooks stir pots in the open kitchen in the center of the room. It’s worth the wait. The spot turns out an array of stellar shophouse classics like wok-charred calamari, pad thai, and a fresh, crisp green papaya salad doused in tart lime and hit with a spark of heat. But even in the summer, we gravitate toward the noodle soups, and we fancy the Nakorn-Patom duck rendition most especially. The dark broth is light yet complex, richly layered with sweet-savory hoisin and lime, creating ideal umami. In it bobs slices of fat-laced duck breast, tender shreds of duck confit, fresh bean sprouts, and several stalks of bok choy, which float above a mass of thin, chewy white noodles calling to be slurped up. Pro tip: We like to order this dish spicy, which adds a blast of dry heat via a bit of chili paste. It’s guaranteed to make you sweat, so it’s probably best to have a Chang beer on hand.

No. 100: Taqueria Lower East Side’s carnitas
No. 99: Tartine’s steamed mussels
No. 98: Malu’s Cookie Monster ice cream
No. 97: Coppelia’s Havana salad
No. 96: Falansai’s clay pot catfish
No. 95: Uncle Boons’ Khao Soi Kaa Kai
No. 94: ABC Cocina’s salted caramel “impossible” flan
No. 93: Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine’s peanut noodles
No. 92: Distilled’s country-fried duck and waffles
No. 91: Calliope’s octopus salad
No. 90: Charlie Bird’s diver scallop crudo
No. 89: Silver Moon Bakery’s fig and pepper bread
No. 88: Stage Restaurant’s egg, cheese, and sausage on a roll
No. 87: Manzanilla’s Marbella’s Full Moon
No. 86: Bia’s Cary Ga
No. 85: La Newyorkina’s pineapple jalapeño paleta
No. 84: Empellón Taqueria’s skirt steak tacos
No. 83: Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s pistachio cupcake
No. 82: El Chivito d’Oro’s skirt steak
No. 81: Saro Bistro’s satarash
No. 80: Oda House’s adjaruli khatchapuri
No. 79: Hill Country Chicken’s pie milkshake
No. 78: Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue’s chili mac
No. 77: The Musket Room’s steak and cheese pie
No. 76: Battery Harris’ Baked Patties
No. 75: Legend’s Dan Dan Noodles