Xi'an Famous Foods Opening on Upper East Side
UPPER EAST SIDE — Xi’an Famous Foods is at it again.
The Chinese noodle shop with a cult following is bringing its latest eatery to the Upper East Side to join the seven others it has opened around the city since 2005.
Restaurant CEO Jason Wang signed a lease Friday on the space at 328 East 78th St., between First and Second Avenues, saying he hopes to have the new outpost up and running by summer.
Wang, whose father started the business as a food stall in Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall in 2005, said this latest expansion was driven by customer requests.
“We did a survey about Midtown a few years ago to look at lunch options in the area,” he said. “What happened is that people started to add their own comments about what they wanted and the Upper East Side came up then.”
Xi’an will be in good company with other niche food stores that have recently moved to the Upper East Side.
“You see Luke’s Lobster up there and you see The Meatball Shop and that made me think, 'We should be there as well,'” Wang said. “They cater to a younger crowd who doesn’t have much time to cook, and that’s who we focus on as well.”
Xi’an Famous Foods serves traditional dishes from northwestern China, where Middle Eastern flavors have a strong influence. The simple menu includes dishes such as hand-ripped noodles fried in hot oil and a spicy cumin lamb burger served on homemade flatbread. Most items cost about $7, with prices topping out at $10.
The pace of Xi’an’s expansion hasn’t surprised Wang, who said he is also shopping around for a second Brooklyn location. His short-term goal is to have a dozen locations in New York City, and outposts in Boston and Washington, D.C., within five years.
“We have a lot of confidence in our product," he said. "It’s based on personal recipes and we felt like we like this, so other people will too."