Lam Zhou [144 East Broadway (bet. Pike and Rutgers Sts.), Menu]
Also known as Lan Zhou, but always known for great noodles, this is not a place that you go for the ambiance. You do, however, go here for excellent and authentic Chinese noodles and dumplings at very low Chinatown prices (dinner will cost you less than $10 for sure). Oh, and most importantly, you go to watch your noodles get made in front of you!
The experience of watching hand-pulled noodles get made is something like this, but louder and more like magic. A ball of dough becomes the noodles in your soup in a matter of moments and Lam Zhou is worth the trek for that reason alone. I recommend the Beef Soup Noodle for the tender chunks of beef and the best broth. Other options like the pork or duck can have meat that's too bony and bothersome to eat. In addition to noodle soup, the dumplings are a must. They are thin-skinned, filled with pork and chives, and taste very similar to many of the dumplings I had in Beijing. Overall, Lam Zhou is a great Chinatown experience and a good place to kick off a night out on the Lower East Side.