The east exit side of Ikebukuro Station is the hot spot for ramen. Here are the ramen restaurants all ramen lovers have been to at least once. From well-established restaurants and ones that have shown true strength to chain stores, all of these are very popular. A total of 11 restaurants made the cut out of a total of nearly 200 ramen joints in Ikebukuro. You may actually have trouble deciding which one to go.
Tokyo has an incredible number of ramen joints (over 3,000!), and one of the fiercest ramen battlegrounds happens to be Ikebukuro. If you're relatively new to Japanese ramen and what to discover all the types and subtleties, you might want to try this fun foodie ramen tour in Ikebukuro. Booking the tour is possible on the same day.
If you're already an expert and want to go to those hard-to-get-in joints because of their massive popularity, well here's a list for you. They're all really tasty, must-go spots of different ramen genres that the local ramen freaks love.
The Main Store of Ikebukuro’s Famous Rich Miso Ramen Restaurant: Mendokoro Hanada Ikebukuro Store
A 5-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. It is located turning into a side street on the way walking down Sunshine Street. It is the main store that specializes in rich miso ramen.
Many people have their hearts taken away by the very thick noodles and the gooey rich miso-flavored soup that goes perfectly well together.
Many recommend going here, including the west exit, if you want to eat miso ramen in Ikebukuro. Try the ramen that receives huge marks at least once.
A Place Where You Can Eat Not “Tonkotsu” But “Tonkoku” Ramen: Mutekiya
A 2-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station, this restaurant is located 30 seconds from the south exit of Seibu Ikebukuro Line. It is a very popular restaurant in Ikebukuro that always has long queues. You may not have gone to this restaurant but you may have spotted the surprising long queue outside the store.
The main feature on their menu is the “Tonkoku Shoyu Flavored Ramen”. “Tonkoku” is the store’s special rich soup made from pork bones. As the name states, the soup that has body is very popular! The back fat that floats on the surface of the soup has the perfect sweetness.
The most popular “Honmaru-men” is ¥800.
The Famous Restaurant in Takadanobaba is Also in Ikebukuro East Exit: Ore no Sora Ikebukuro Store
An approximately 10-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. This branch of “Ore no Sora” is the Ikebukuro store that is famous in Takadanobaba. The sign curtain that hangs in front of the entrance is the landmark.
Like the main store, the “Kake Buta Soba (Pork Ramen in Hot Soup)”, the “Tsuke Buta Soba (Pork Ramen in Dipping Sauce), and the Ae Buta Soba (Mixed Pork Noodles) are the basic three.
There are also flavors including “hot” and “curry” that add accents to the regular seafood and pork base soup.
Mixed Pork Soba ¥830
Opened Also in Ikebukuro! The Restaurant that has the Yellow Sign: Ramen Jiro Ikebukuro East Exit Store
A 5-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. When it comes to yellow signs, there is no other restaurant other than Ramen Jiro. Jiro also exists in Ikebukuro as well.
Among all the Jiro restaurants, this one in Ikebukuro has a light taste. Ramen Jiro is known for its ramen topped with lots of vegetables but if you do not order additional toppings, the portion can be eaten by beginners too. Long lines are often made so it is recommended for you to go with lots of time.
The Only Light Shio Ramen in the East Exit Side of Ikebukuro: Kuwabara
About a 5-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. It is located in the back street of Sunshine 60 Street. It was originally called “Marukyu Ramen” but it was renovated and changed its name to “Kuwabara”.
Ramen with a rich soup are basically served in the ramen restaurants on the east exit side of Ikebukuro but you can eat shio (salt) ramen with a clear soup here.
Although it is light, this ramen restaurant is popular because it has umami from chicken dissolved in the soup so the ramen can be enjoyed until the end without feeling unsatisfied.
A Popular Ramen Restaurant with its Soup as Rich as Potato Soup: Tori no Ana
A 5-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. This restaurant is located a little passed the street in front of the Toshima Ward Office. Just as its name says, you can eat ramen that is based on chicken.
The feature on their menu is the “Sayu Ramen” that gained instant popularity over these past few years. The thick creamy soup is so rich that it is expressed as “potato soup”. The roast chicken is a very popular topping.
The Famous Restaurant for Tonkotsu Ramen in Tokyo: Tonchin Main Store
An approximately 5-minute walk from both the east exit and the Seibu exit of Ikebukuro Station. This year marks their 23th anniversary since their opening. It is a very popular restaurant for “Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen”.
Its ramen is slightly different from the tonkotsu ramen in Hakata. Many people become addicted to the combination of the soup that has soy sauce faintly added and the medium-thick curly noodles. Tonchin also offers large, medium, and regular servings, all for the same price! It is recommended for those who want to eat delicious ramen to your stomach’s content at a reasonable price. There are many branches now but it has queues when it is lunch time.
From the Standards to the Originals: Menba Shichinin no Samurai
About an 8 to 10-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. The ramen restaurant, Shichinin no Samurai is located in the back street. It offers Chinese-style ramen and dipped noodles like Jiro so it is the perfect restaurant for when you have trouble deciding what to eat.
The three types you can eat at this restaurant are: the standard “Chuka Soba” (Chinese Noodles); the ramen with a rich seafood and pork base soup, “Tsuke Soba” (Dipped Noodles); and the Jiro-inspired ramen, “Saburo”.
The noodles at Shichinin no Samurai have body and you can taste chewy noodles. One thing to note is that the Jiro-inspired ramen, “Saburo” is only offered from 3 p.m.
A Rich Bowl Filled with Umami from Seafood: Miharu
An approximately 5 to 6-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. This restaurant also has a branch in Ebisu and is a famous restaurant that is frequently introduced in magazines and on TV.
The ramen here uses skipjack tuna in its rich seafood base soup. It uses no chemical seasonings which is another feature and its hard noodles are also popular among many.
This restaurant is recommended for those concerned with food additives and chemical seasonings and for those who love seafood-based ramen.
A hidden little ramen heaven far away from the major streets: Uchi
Uchi is a small shop located on a back street of the west side of the Ikebukuro station, approximately 8 minutes away from the west exit. It is one of those hidden places you probably wouldn't run into unless somebody recommended it to you.
Uchi's succulent soups are made of seafood and pork stock. Expect a thick flavored taste with a hint of yuzu lemon and chewy noodles. A must-try among many choices served with delicious chashu pork slices and bamboo shoots would be the exceptionally good tokusei soba at 980 yen. Locals are said to be addicted to this place so be sure to try it out!
An awesome authentic Japanese ramen: Bassodrillman
This shop's owner prides himself in making the tastiest on-location noodles made of Japanese flour. So by eating here you are also helping local farmers. Furthermore, the pork and seafood broth is actually MSG-free(!!!), which is a rarity for ramen shops these days. You experience a rich, natural flavor here. The tsukemen dishes (noodles and soup served in separate bowls) are a popular option and can be upgraded to a large size at no extra cost.
This is the most popular ramen served at 'Rokkando.' Both the taste and appearance are fresh and green! The toppings on the noodles are menma, diced red onion, two types of chashu (chicken and pork), mitsuba (the greens), and grated yuzu.
This ramen lets you enjoy the beautiful, fresh fragrance of yuzu and crisp texture of the mitsuba.
Here are the ramen restaurants located in the area of the east exit of Ikebukuro Station.
There are many restaurants that offer rich ramen in the east exit of Ikebukuro Station. Isn’t this the dreamland for those who love strong-flavored ramen? The area on the east exit of Ikebukuro is the battleground for ramen so there are many new restaurants and popular stores that spring up. We will introduce you to restaurants again when more open.