Document and Entity Information Document and Entity Information - shares
9 Months Ended
Oct. 01, 2019
Nov. 01, 2019
Document Information [Line Items]    
Title of 12(b) Security Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share  
Entity Address, Address Line One 520 Zang Street, Suite D  
Entity Address, City or Town Broomfield,  
Entity Address, State or Province CO  
Entity Address, Postal Zip Code 80021  
Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code DE  
Document Quarterly Report true  
Entity Registrant Name NOODLES & COMPANY  
Entity Central Index Key 0001275158  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity Filer Category Accelerated Filer  
Document Type 10-Q  
Document Period End Date Oct. 01, 2019  
Document Transition Report false  
Entity File Number 001-35987  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2019  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q3  
Amendment Flag false  
Entity Emerging Growth Company false  
Entity Small Business true  
Entity Tax Identification Number 84-1303469  
City Area Code 720  
Local Phone Number 214-1900  
Trading Symbol NDLS  
Security Exchange Name NASDAQ  
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes  
Entity Interactive Data Current Yes  
Entity Shell Company false  
Common Class A    
Document Information [Line Items]    
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   44,122,121