Ikebukuro, known as the second busiest station just behind Shinjuku Staion, is the mecca for the ramen shops, izakayas, and conveyor belt sushi restaurants where they exist almost every block in town. Food lovers often visit Ikebukuro to "eat til drop" as the dining places in Ikebukuro are relatively cheaper and competitive enough to be much more higher standard in taste.
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Address: 2-60-7, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: 10 minute walk from the Ikebukuro Station west exit
Open Hour: [Mon, Wed - Sat] from 11:30 - 15:00
Restaurant: Hanada Ikebukuro Ten (花田 池袋店)
Address: 1-23-8, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Higashi Ikebukuro ISK Building
Nearest Station: JR Ikebukuro Station 5 minute walk from East Exit
Open Hour: [Mon - Sat] from 11:00 - 23:00
Close: Year-end and New Year holidays
Another place that is worth checking out at Ikebukuro is Hanada, which has long been a very popular spot with locals and foreigners who live in Tokyo. If you are a fan of miso based ramen, it is impossible not to like Hanada's ramen. The soup is made of high salt miso which is not spicy but rather sweeter in an unique way. The special yellow noodles inside are thick enough to feel the chewiness and for the toppings you will find the whole fresh vegetables with a slice of tasty chashu pork right next to them that all blend well with its dense miso based soup. It is so good that you might get caught in a situation to decide on whether you should do a second bowl. You must not leave Hanada without trying its miso based ramen (790 Yen).
Address: 2-23-9, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo Kishino Building 1F
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station West exit, 8 minute walk
Open Hour: [Mon - Fri] from 11:00 - 15:00
Address: 1-13-12, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: 8 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station East Exit
Open Hour: [Mon - Sat] 11:30-15:00, 18:00-22:00
One of the very unique ramen shops around Ikebukuro that only has 5 counter seats available inside. After you pass those bizarre ornament of bones hanging on the wall at the entrance and get seated, you will find a note on a wall that says "you are not allowed to use your cell phones while eating!" The Red Devil Ramen, so called Aka Akuma, is a one spicy broth of ramen made of medium thin straight al dente that shines in the delicious salt based soup. A few slices of juicy chashu pork on top of the noodles are unbelievably tasty and tender which almost melt in your mouth and they surely match perfectly with its soup. Every bite in Ganko is really pleasure to remember. They often do special menus using different ingredients which is one of the reasons why people love the place and the owner's playful mind, with price ranging from approximately 700 - 1000 yen which is very reasonable for the quality.
Address: 2-48-2, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo reply Tague Ikebukuro 1F
Nearest Station: 4 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station North exit
Open Hour: 11:30 - 16:00, 17:30 - 23:00
Another excellent Tsukemen shop near North exit of Ikebukuro Station. What makes the bowl of Tsukemen in Enji eminent is its dense potage-ish soup. The soup is not so oily heavy, but rather fresh tasting. Not too salty and the flavors are just outstanding. It contains the fatty upper part of the whitefish that makes it look creamy on the surface and the juicy chashu pork with bamboo shoots and mizuna green impressively match with the its seafood based. Once you try dipping 2 or 3 strands of noodles into the soup, you will realize its first rated quality. You must not leave Enji without trying its Vegepota Tsukemen 800 Yen. It is undisputedly a tsukemen house that you cannot miss out on when you are in Ikebukuro.
Address: 1-32-2, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo Ogawa Building 1F
Nearest Station: 5 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station East Exit
Open Hour: From 11:00 to 22:00
For those who have never heard of Tsukemen before, it is like a cousin of ramen. The big difference is you basically dip the noodles into the dense Tsukejiru soup to eat it unlike the ramen noodles that are already inside the soup. Interestingly, some of the locals prefer Tsukemen more than the ramen, so you may also be able to find out why there are so many local fans of Tsukemen in Japan once you taste it.
It might not sound too much to call Ikebukuro a mecca for Tsukemen as there are in fact a considerable amount of Tsukemen shops in Ikebukuro, but we believe Mamiana offers one of the best of it in town. Try the Noukou Tsukemen 780 yen and you will be stunned of how tasty the Tsukejiru soup is in Mamiana which is a mixture of animal bone and seafood based that looks quite heavy for the first timers, but once you dip the strands of shining al dente with your chopsticks into the soup, it will definitely make you go weak in the knees.
Address: 1-7-8, Nishi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo Seki building 1F
Nearest Station: 5 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station West Exit
Open Hour: 11:30 - 13:15 (L.O), 17:00 - 22:30 (L.O)
Close: Sunday, holiday
Restaurant: Sumibi Yakitori Omoya (炭火焼鳥 母家)
Address: 1-12-6, Minami Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo Omoya Bld 1F
Nearest Station: JR Ikebukuro Station East exit
Open Hour: [Mon - Sat] 11:30 - 13:30, 17:00 - 22:30 (L.O)
[Sun] 16:00 - 21:30 (L.O)
[Holiday] 11:30 - 13:30, 16:00 - 21:30 (L.O)
Close: New Year holidays, Obon Holidays, GW
A short walk and an easy access from the Ikebukuro Station. Sumibi Yakitori Omoya is a fine local Japanese restaurant where you can enjoy the high quality grilled Yakitoris in a very reasonable price. The focus here must be their exceptional liver, chicken meatloaf (tsukune), and the super fresh white meat (sasami) which are absolutely a top notch. The perfect timing of skewing the fresh meat over the charcoal in Omoya is almost like an art which needs the most proficient technique they must have cultivated over the years to deliver best Yakitoris to the customers in a best condition. And of course, a glass of cold Japanese beer right next to the exceptional grilled chickens makes your foodie experience even deeper. The restaurant inside is a very Japanese style and relaxing place.
You may also have the Yakitori set menu (1080 yen) at lunch time which comes with the outstanding piece of grilled chickens on top of its bowl of rice and a miso soup. Enjoy!
Address: 1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 23-11
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station East exit
Open Hour: 11:00 - 14:00, 17:00 - 23:00(L.O.22:30)
Address: 2F Daini Shanpole 2-40-1, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station West exit
Open Hour: 17:30 - 04:00 (L.O.03:00)
Close: Year-end and New Year (12/31 - 1/4)