Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
3 Super Popular Ramen Joints In Ikebukuro Worth Lining Up For
Ikebukuro is a hotspot for ramen. Today, we'll be introducing three ramen joints in the area that we highly recommend to visitors. All will probably require waiting in line, but these places sure are worth it. A must-read for ramen lovers!
Written by Inubushi Yoshiyuki
Ikebukuro is known as a ramen hotspot. There are so many ramen joints in this area that unless you're a noodle master, you will probably not know where to start. Today, we'll be introducing three ramen spots in Ikebukuro that we highly recommend for anyone craving ramen noodles in Japan.
1. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen: Ichiran
Our first stop is Ichiran. So famous is this restaurant that some travelers claim to have come to Japan just to get a bowl of this ramen. Ichiran has joints throughout Japan, but they say the Ikebukuro store is seeing more and more customers from overseas, thanks to its easily accessible location. You will also find convenient English, Chinese (traditional), and Korean menus and photos, making ordering easy for visitors from abroad. The place is open 24 hours!
The only dish that Ichiran Ikebukuro offers is the Tennen Tonkotsu Ramen (790 yen). The cloudy tonkotsu soup consists of plenty of natural collagen, and has a rich and mellow flavor. The thin noodles mix very well with the soup. It is also known as the world's first trans fat-free ramen.
2. Tonkotsu Ramen: Mensobo Mutekiya
Mensobo Mutekiya is also famous for its tonkotsu ramen. The ramen at Mutekiya is unique for its extremely rich soup and meaty char siu. The taste is popular among both Japanese locals and tourists from overseas, and there is a very high probability that you will have to wait in line for your turn. The restaurant is a three-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station's east exit. You will find it under a large pot-covered sign.
This is Mutekiya's number one ramen, the Nikutama (1050 yen). The noodles are topped with char siu, flavored soft-boiled eggs, and other ingredients.
The white cloudy soup is full of the sweetness and umami of the pork it is made from, and has no oily smell. The soup is prepared three times a day, allowing for fresh soup to be available at all times. One sip of this specialty soup and you'll be hooked.
With chewy medium-sized noodles and toppings made to match perfectly with the soup, it's a dish that is sure to have you satisfied.
Mutekiya is available only in Ikebukuro, so we highly recommend stopping by.
Menus are available in Japanese, English, Chinese (traditional), and Korean.
3. Original Tsukemen: Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken
The last ramen shop we'll be introducing is Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken. Taishoken is famous for being the origin of tsukemen noodles. The main store in Higashi-Ikebukuro is especially popular, with fans lining up even before the restaurant opens. Recently, there has been a rise in the number of customers from overseas as well. Menus are available in English and Chinese (traditional).
Taishoken's Tokusei Morisoba (750 yen) is also known as the original tsukemen, and is the chain's most popular dish. The pork and chicken-based soup have a taste of niboshi (dried sardines) and gyofun (dry fish powder). The flavor is adjusted with sweetened vinegar and soy sauce, creating a slightly sweet and sour, but also spicy taste. You will be able to enjoy the fresh umami of the ingredients. The noodles, char siu, and bamboo shoots are handmade.
The tastes of the founder and spirit of the chef can only be found here at the long-established Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken. We highly recommend stopping by when in the Higashi-Ikebukuro area.
There are many more amazing ramen restaurants in Ikebukuro. The places we introduced today are especially popular and often have a line out front, so we recommend you visit when you have some time on your hands. Make sure to be kind and have good manners when waiting in line so everyone can enjoy their delicious ramen in peace. You'll find that the wait is well worth it.
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Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-39-11 Sunnyside Building 102
Hours: 24 hours
Credit Cards: -
Language: English, Chinese (not always)
Menus in Other Languages: English, Chinese (Traditional), Korean
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station (JR Lines, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Fukutoshin Line, Tobu Tojo Line, Seibu Ikebukuro Line)
Access: 2 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station east exit
Price Range: up to 1,000 yen
Phone Number: +81-3-3989-0871
Official Website: Ichiran Ikebukuro
Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-17-1
Closed: December 31-January 3
Credit Cards: -
Languages: English, Chinese (not always)
Menus in Other Languages: English, Chinese, Korean
Access: 3 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station east exit
Price Range: up to 1,200 yen
Phone Number: +81-3-3982-7656
Official Website: Mensobo Mutekiya
Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken Main Store
Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-42-8
Hours: 11:00-22:00 *Closes when they are out of soup
Credit Cards: -
Menus in Other Languages: English, Chinese (Traditional)
Nearest Station: Higashi-Ikebukuro Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)
Access: 1 minute walk from Higashi-Ikebukuro Station exits 6 and 7
Price Range: from 750 yen
Phone Number: +81-3-3981-9360
Official Website: Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken Main Shop (Japanese)