Ikebukuro is one of the foremost battlegrounds for ramen restaurants in Tokyo. Here are 5 ramen restaurants you should definitely try at least once.
1. Kohmen Ikebukuro Main Branch
This restaurant was the pioneer of tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen in Tokyo. Pork and chicken bones are boiled for a long time to create a rich, flavorful, creamy flavor. They offer this broth with various dishes, such as tonkotsu soy sauce, seafood soup, tantanmen (offered in red spicy or black spicy), and blended salt. The noodles are matched to the type of soup, from fat, thin, and curly, and they're served slightly hard. The recommended dish is the Jukusei Kohmen Tonkotsu Shoyu (760 JPY (incl. tax)). They also have a large menu of toppings and side dishes, so please try matching some of their various dishes.
2. Mendokoro Hanada Ikebukuro Branch
This restaurant is so popular that it's said that if you're going to eat miso ramen in Ikebukuro, this is the only place for it. The thick, rich miso-based soup is this restaurant's main distinguishing characteristic. The menu includes miso ramen (790 JPY (incl. tax)), and this soup clings to the fat, chewy noodles for an addicting deliciousness. The rich soup goes very well with stir-fried vegetables. Large servings of vegetables and garlic are free, while a half-bowl of rice is free during the weekday lunch period, so you can eat until you're stuffed. It's a popular restaurant, so it's usually very crowded, but please come to fully enjoy miso ramen!
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
3. Mouko Tanmen Nakamoto Nishi-Ikebukuro Branch
This popular ramen is spicy but delicious! Inside the spiciness is the sweetness of vegetables and the richness of miso soup, and the deliciousness lingers. Their most famous dish is the Mouko Tanmen (800 JPY (incl. tax)), which is made with a broth made from meat and vegetables boiled for a long time and miso tanmen ramen topped with their special mustard mapo tofu. The spiciness depends on the dish, from a spicy level 0 to 10 (incredibly spicy), so people who can't handle spicy and people who love it can enjoy eating here together.
4. Bushikotsumen Taizo Ikebukuro Higashiguchi Branch
Their soup, made from a blend of carefully selected seafood, pork, and chicken, is characterized by the fishy flavor from fish flakes and richness from plenty of pork backfat. This restaurant prefers rich flavors. The medium-thick noodles with a chewy texture picks up the thick soup, so it's a ramen that calls to people that like rich flavors. The recommended meal is their famous Bushikotsu Kotteri Taizo Ramen (800 JPY (incl. tax)). It's free to get a large serving of noodles, so this place is recommended for people that want to eat a lot.
5. Muteppou Nishi-Ikebukuro Branch
This restaurant is known for their rich, seafood soup. They add grilled flying fish, dried sardines, and bonito flakes to a tonkotsu base to create a deeply flavored soup. The recommended dish is the soy sauce ramen (730 JPY (incl. tax)). The piping hot soup comes with their homemade super fat, curly noodles for a very well-matched, delicious dish. The levels of spiciness come in regular, slightly spicy, fire, and bomber, so you can pick the level you like. You can order it with mugimeshi (150 JPY (incl. tax)), a mix of rice and barley, and when you finish the noodles you can pour the soup over it and enjoy it as ojiya, a mix of rice and soup.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
Ikebukuro has a lot of restaurants where the ramen is richly flavored. For people who like rich ramen and want to try some with a flavorful punch, please make your way over to Ikebukuro.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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