While I love many restaurants in the city, if someone asked me what’s my favorite, my answer would still come fast: Republic.
Republic is a popular stop for the young hip of New York. But I pride myself in having discovered it on my own. My first year in New York, after returning from a trip to London, I wondered if I could find a New York restaurant similar to Wagamama’s, my favorite London restaurant. The decor there is white, modern and stark, with long communal tables and benches. The service was short and snappish. And the food–huge bowls of delicious noodle dishes. I thought there must be something like that somewhere in NY.
So I did research. Looked up noodle shops online. I came across a review of Republic which likened the placed to Wagamama’s and I thought “this is it.”
Republic is firstly a good bet for dinner because of location. With so many subway lines, Union Square is convenient to get to from practically anywhere in the city. Right across from Union Square Park, Republic offers a great meeting spot and a park to stroll around in after your meal.
The place’s interior has a similar vibe to Wagamama’s: modern clean, simple. But a little more edgy. A little more color. A little more of huge photos of people eating noodles. And at their long cafeteria-style tables, there is a little shelf underneath where you can put your coat or purse. Ingenious.
The menu has plenty for vegetarians and meateaters alike. My favorite’s the Tofu Udon, with lovely miso broth, tasty seaweed, and delicious noodles. I’m getting hungry just thinking of it. But fear not, there’s chicken and beef available. And they make a yummy cosmo.
Then there’s the price. That dish I just described will fill you up for under $8. Not bad for a chic place in the city. Good to know that I don’t have to travel to London to eat cheap noodles at my favorite restaurant.