Talon Top 5: Soup Spots to Warm the Soul

Whether because of the weather, for a cold or due to some spontaneous craving, there is sure to be a soup that will satisfy your needs. Throughout the many restaurants in the Mountain View and Los Altos area, there are a plethora of soups to get you through any cold winter day. To save you the trouble of googling the best ones, we’ve made a list of the top 5 soup restaurants in the area.

1. Chicken Tortilla Soup – Main Street Cafe
If I ever go to Downtown Los Altos for lunch on any winter day, I would run down to the Main Street Cafe without exception. Their Chicken Tortilla soup is the perfect medium to warm you up on any occasion. Combined with various vegetables and broth, this soup truly elicits the taste of chicken. The spice level is mild enough that one would not have to burn their tongue while enjoying this classic soup. The cafe atmosphere is exemplary for appreciating the soup, with welcoming employees and a clock that dances every hour. No matter how bad of a day you had, Main Street Cafe’s chicken tortilla soup is sure to “spice” up your day.

2.Maruichi-Kuro Ramen
The scene at Maruichi represents that of a traditional ramen house. It is always very busy, but the service is so quick that customers have the option of getting in and out quickly. The menu offers many types of ramen, many of which include bean sprouts, eggs and pork. The Kuro Ramen option has a tar-like appearance due to the black garlic, but a very savory broth. In addition to the warm soup that they serve, customers often add a side of California Rolls, rice, fried chicken, pot stickers or others. The large porcelain bowl is to be gulped down with chop sticks, a maneuver quickly performed by the more skilled of noodle eaters. Maruichi makes its own noodles in the restaurant for all to see. These homemade noodles in combination with the tender pork and flavorful broth makes this restaurant a terrific soup option. Many of the types of ramen offer similar components and so one of the main decisions is which broth to order. Choose yours and enjoy a delicious bowl of Japanese cuisine.

3. Meatball Noodle Soup with Steak – Pho Garden
You don’t have to be a noodle-eating champion to appreciate Pho Garden’s various dishes (although if you are, I recommend doing their Pho Challenge). Whether it be curry, fish or noodles, Pho Garden provides a huge selection of Vietnamese cuisine to choose from. I found their signature meatball noodle soup to be the most appealing. For $6, you are served a bowl full of Vietnamese noodles saturated with pho broth and topped with Asian meatballs (you can always upgrade to a large if you are especially hungry). Although the meatballs are nothing short of scrumptious, the noodles are irreplaceable. They fuse perfectly with the broth and are even better with a dash of sriracha hot sauce. With a few spring rolls on the side, you have yourself an extremely filling Vietnamese meal.

4. LeBoulanger Clam Chowder
LeBoulanger offers a variety of soups, many of which are more generic than a lot of these cultural bowls. Served with bread on the side, both the warm clam chowder or the creme of tomato soups are very simple but appetizing options. The clam chowder is always a favorite during the cold weather with its heavy and rich broth over small bits of fish. The creme of tomato is a sweet and consistent cold weather alternative if clams don’t appeal to you. A nice option in the center of downtown, LeBoulanger provides any soup from a small cup to a large bread bowl. The service is very quick for the soup is already prepared, making LeBoulanger a practical as well as satisfying option.

5. AG Ferrari Tuscan Bean
AG Ferrari is known more for its sandwiches and European goods, but it also offers nutritious soup options. Although only one soup option is offered at a time, it tends to have a variety of ingredients slightly more adventurous than usual soup options. The Tuscan bean contained lots of vegetables, bits of pasta and, of course, beans. This makes it one of the more filling, solid soups. It is not nearly as brothy as many of these others. And although the presentation of the soup is very mediocre, served in a paper cup, the actual meal is a wholehearted and warm meal served with slices of bread.