Ikebukuro Ramen - our top picks! From rich miso to ramen seasoned with rock salt, Ikebukuro has it all!
Ikebukuro in Tokyo is noisy, crowded, and perhaps even rough around the edges. But it has some AMAZING ramen shops.
1. Tori no Ana (鶏の穴) – Creamy Chicken Ramen
Tori no Ana specializes in rich chicken ramen (tori paitan). The broth is like a less heavy and less thick Thanksgiving gravy that’s assisted with sea salt seasoning.
Staying true to the chicken motif, it’s adorned with beautiful minced and sliced chicken toppings. Medium thick and round noodles help you mop up the delicious broth. Spicy and tsukemen (dipping noodles) versions are also available.
2. Rokkando (麺屋 六感堂) – Unique Green Ramen
Menya Rokkando serves a shio (salt) or shoyu (soy sauce) ramen with…green noodles (thanks to euglena)! In fact, the ramen shop fully commits to the color green, even having green decorations. The shio is a 4 salt blend, with a niboshi fish and kelp broth.
Get the wontonmen with all toppings. Sweet, succulent dumplings and slow-cooked pork and steamed chicken are a gentle contrast against crunchy, thin slices of menma and a dash of raw onions. Mitsuba placed appropriately in the center is a showpiece of sorts. It’s bright green, of course.
3. Rokubou (六坊担担麺) – Zesty Tantanmen
Every best 10 ramen list has to include tantanmen. Ikebukuro’s top tantanmen is at Rokubou. Like many tantanmen shops these days, at Rokubou choose soup or soupless. Also choose your spice and numbing pepper (shibire) levels from 1-5.
Their soupless tantanmen has a meatier flavor and the soup version is more about sesame. Both are well-balanced and even include tiny dried shrimp – another current trend. If you want to make things creamier, order the runny egg (onsen tamago) as a topping.
4. Mutekiya (無敵家) – Heaviest here
Mutekiya is the most touristy on this list – there’s always a line outside. Warranted or not, Mutekiya is a very famous Ikebukuro ramen shop. They have good variety and their heavier style of ramen handily helps after a night of drinking.
For first-timers, grab any of their classic tonkotsu shoyu ramen, like the “Mutekiya” or “Honmaru” options. The broth flavors are similar to Yokohama Ie-kei style. If you’re feeling especially hungry, the “Mutekiya Special Roasted Pork Fillet Ramen” includes a whole pound of pork chashu toppings!
5. Kissui (生粋 池袋本店) – Unique Saury Ramen
Kissui uniquely uses sanma (Pacific saury) – a long, silver fish. They grill it and this provides a smoky body to the ramen, but one that isn’t too fishy. Choose shio or shoyu as a base. The broth also has a certain richness. You’ll notice some of the fattiness sticking to your lips.
In addition, the broth is slightly sweetened with bits of floating negi. Wakame toppings hint of the sea and crunchy tsukune meatballs hint of land. Lastly, thin and firm noodles are provided by Taisei Shokuhin.
6. Hanada (花田 池袋店) – Buttery Miso Ramen
Hanada does a mean miso ramen. It’s wonderfully buttery but also has a salty twang. As should always be the case with miso ramen, there’s a nice smoky aroma coming from stir-frying the miso and vegetables.
Outside you’ll notice two entrances. Hanada’s miso ramen shop is on the right. On the left hand side is Handa’s tanmen (another style of ramen) shop. The tanmen is prepared with the same care in the Hanada ramen laboratory. Left or right, you can’t go wrong.
7. Hulu-lu (麺屋フルル) – Hawaii-Themed
While a Hawaii theme may seem gimmicky, there is nothing gimmicky about Hulu-lu’s ramen in Ikebukuro. It is legit – both their shoyu and shio are high-level and have a chicken base.
Floating in the broth are little yuzu citrus and plentiful crunch from bamboo shoots and kaiware sprouts. Their ramen also features excellent peppery bits of minced pork and slow cooked chashu pork. To keep with the Hawaii theme, make sure to order the spam musubi on the side!
8. Kikanbo (鬼金棒 池袋店) – for Spice Lovers
Kikanbo has always been a game changer with its “uma kara” ramen. It’s the absolute union between savory and spicy. Like their flagship shop in Kanda, in Ikebukuro they use pork and chicken bones.
It’s an explosion of complex flavors coming from blends of miso, various vegetables and herbs, red peppers, etc. Go early if you – the line gets pretty long here too. You will be rewarded if you wait.
9. Kuwabara (桑ばら) – Rock Salt Ramen
Kuwabara does shio ramen with a twist. The shio is rock salt from Mongolia and the Andes! The broth’s overall taste is therefore more mineral-like. On top of this, the noodles really lock in the rock salt and fatty Daisen chicken flavor. On top of the seaweed you’ll also find scallop powder.
I don’t normally like to add condiments. But if there’s yuzu kosho (citrus pepper), I cant say no. Yuzu kosho is a lovely addition to Kuwabara’s shio ramen. On the flip side, I’m not a big fan of Kuwabara’s super fatty pork slab topping or the egg topping. But their broth more than makes up for it.
Shop Hours: 11:00 am ~ 10:00 pm, Every day
10. Tanaka (志奈そば 田なか) – Fish Ramen with Truffle Oil
Rounding out the list is a ramen soup that mainly consists of kelp and niboshi fish (sardines and mackerel). The owner at Tanaka is an avid surfer. It simply made sense to create an ocean inspired ramen.
While the signature “Niboshi Truffle Soba” is all about fish and kelp, it’s not as fishy as you’d think. The aforementioned truffle oil isn’t overdone, complimenting everything. More details on this shop here.
All in all, Ikebukuro ramen is extremely diverse and delicious. Pushing through the crazy crowds of Ikebukuro to reach any of these ramen shops is well worth it.
If you’d rather avoid the crowds and wait time, book a Tokyo Ramen Tour!