Noodleholics spicy beef noodles

Sichuan spicy beef noodles, $11, feature housemade wheat noodles in a numbingly sour broth at Noodleholics. 

Noodleholics is the kind of place that people drive for. Since it opened in 2018, the midtown noodle shop has gained a cult following for its irresistible homemade wheat noodles and rare rice noodle soups from Guilin, China.  

So when the pandemic hit, owner Claire Wang started to get delivery requests from customers up in the Dove Mountain and Marana areas. They were located outside of Doordash's radius, and were having trouble getting their Sichuan beef noodle fix. This got Wang thinking, maybe she should open a second location up north. 

"Since we have the time to slow down during the pandemic, we were just doing a lot of planning and thinking ... looking around seeing what is open on the northwest side," she said. 

Well now her idea is finally coming to fruition. She plans to open the doors of her second Noodleholics location in mid- to late May, inside the Plaza Escondida shopping center with the Trader Joe's. The Oro Valley spot is located at 7850 N. Oracle Road, which most recently held Ragazzi Northern Italian Cuisine. It is next door to a Panda Express, but Wang isn't worried because she thinks the two have different vibes and things to offer.

Noodleholics is actually the second popular Asian restaurant to announce an opening in Oro Valley, after Tuk Tuk Thai revealed plans to open at the Oro Valley Marketplace this April.

Wang said that she was attracted to the space because it has a nice patio area that seats around 22 people. The new space also has higher ceilings and a brighter look, which will translate well with Noodleholics' signature clean white tile. She is also installing wooden benches along the wall, and plans to incorporate the bar area into the noodle shop as a casual eating option. 

The space also has a larger kitchen, which will allow Wang to add a few more noodle dishes to the menu. She's thinking of classic Cantonese dishes like chow mein and beef chow fun, a stir fry of wide flat rice noodles with bean sprouts and green onions. And of course, she'll still have the homemade wheat noodles that put her restaurant on the map. If you haven't yet been, here's an article I wrote back in 2018 declaring my love for this restaurant, and talking about why I want to eat it for every meal.  

"We want all of the locations to taste the same and have the same quality," she said. "We split the chefs into two locations, and we have the old people training the new people." 

Unless the pandemic gets out of control again, Wang expects both locations to be open for dine-in service by May. 

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You can find #ThisIsTucson's food writer Andi Berlin at a taqueria near you, taking tiny bites and furiously scribbling into an old notepad.