Head to this long, long street lined with all manner of restaurants and outdoor shāokǎo (barbecue) places. You can get noodles, of course, but also hotpot, dumplings and fried dishes. It gets lively late in the evening, when it’s a good place for a beer and a chat with the locals. It's always busy, but fun.
The street runs north off Zhonglou Jie; look for the Qing-era arch and go through it.