With just 30 stools and a no-reservations policy, you'll always have to wait to cram into this bustling phenomenon. Queue for the namesake special: homemade ramen noodles in broth, served with poached egg and pork belly or some interesting combos. The menu changes daily and includes buns (such as brisket and horseradish), snacks (smoked chicken wings) and desserts.

The open kitchen creates quite a bit of smoke, but the crowd remains unfazed.

Momofuku is part of David Chang's crazy popular, now global, restaurant empire (www.momofuku.com). Outposts in New York City include two-Michelin-starred Momofuku Ko, which serves up pricey ($195) tasting menus and has a prohibitive, we-dare-you-to-try reservations scheme; Momofuku Ssäm Bar, which features large and small meat-heavy dishes; and Momofuku Milk Bar, with its decadent desserts and snacks.