HOME Tokyo and Surroundings Tokyo Ikebukuro 15 Must-Try Restaurants in Ikebukuro: From Aged Yakiniku to All-You-Can-Eat Sushi, Plus Adorable Animal Cafés
15 Must-Try Restaurants in Ikebukuro: From Aged Yakiniku to All-You-Can-Eat Sushi, Plus Adorable Animal Cafés

15 Must-Try Restaurants in Ikebukuro: From Aged Yakiniku to All-You-Can-Eat Sushi, Plus Adorable Animal Cafés

Date published: 25 March 2024

Located along the bustling JR Yamanote Line and connected to various subway routes, Ikebukuro is a vibrant Tokyo district renowned for its shopping malls and diverse stores. But it's not just about shopping – Ikebukuro offers a rich culinary scene too, with a variety of restaurants to explore.

In this guide, we'll highlight 15 must-try restaurants in Ikebukuro, ranging from yakiniku shops to cozy cafés, ensuring you find the perfect spot for any occasion.

Main image: LIVE JAPAN articles, kkday, Gurunavi (Top left: Yakiniku TORAJI, Bottom left: Tora Fugu Tei, Top right: Kushikamishu MONOGATARI, Bottom right: Happiness Pancake)

Table of Contents
  1. Tokyo's Shopping Paradise and Gastronomic Haven! Dining Destinations in Ikebukuro
  2. Yakiniku Restaurants in Ikebukuro
  3. Seafood Restaurants in Ikebukuro
  4. All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants in Ikebukuro
  5. Ramen Shops in Ikebukuro
  6. Sweets and Coffee Shops in Ikebukuro
  7. Themed Experience Cafés in Ikebukuro
  8. More Ikebukuro Dining Gems Not to Miss!
  9. Enjoy a Culinary Adventure in Ikebukuro!

Tokyo's Shopping Paradise and Gastronomic Haven! Dining Destinations in Ikebukuro

Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0001318
Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0001318

Ikebukuro is home to numerous large department stores and shopping centers, catering to various shoppers interested in fashion, cosmetics, electronics, and more. Ikebukuro is also a subculture hot spot, with the Animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store, multiple anime specialty shops, and themed cafes. For anime fans, it's a must-visit destination!

As a shopping paradise, Ikebukuro truly lives up to its reputation. But what if you get hungry while shopping? No worries! Ikebukuro is also a gastronomic haven with a wealth of dining options!

The East and West exits of Ikebukuro station are lined with food streets offering a wide selection of popular yakiniku joints, casual izakayas, and unique snacks. Well-known spots like Isomaru Suisan, Anan Yakiniku, and Torikizoku are conveniently located near the station's exits, making dining easy to find.

If you're looking for a more luxurious experience, treating loved ones to upscale Japanese cuisine, or traveling with kids and seeking a comfortable dining environment, head to the dining streets in Sunshine City, Tobu or Seibu department stores, and LABI1. There, you'll find more refined restaurants with top-notch service!

Yakiniku Restaurants in Ikebukuro

1. Kin No Nikunchu

Photo: Klook
Photo: Klook

In Ikebukuro, you'll find the third branch of the yakiniku restaurant Kin No Nikunchu, originally gaining fame in Tokyo's Shimokitazawa and Sangenjaya neighborhoods. The restaurant's driving philosophy is simple: to provide delicious cuisine to its guests. With that in mind, they prioritize quality over specific brands or grades when sourcing their meat, selecting only the finest cuts available each day.

Their pride and joy lie in their specially aged meats, including beef tongue, fillet, and hanger steak, which are meticulously aged for an extended period in their dedicated aging chamber. For those looking to try something different during their travels in Japan, the restaurant also offers a variety of high-quality raw beef dishes!

Hana's Notes:
  • "Kin No Nikunchu employs certified personnel and equipment for handling raw meat, licensed by local health authorities, ensuring the quality and safety of their raw meat offerings. Even first-time adventurers can indulge with peace of mind! While I highly recommend trying raw beef, it's important to note the risk of foodborne illness. Pregnant women, children, the elderly, or those with weaker constitutions or underlying health conditions are advised to avoid consuming raw meat as much as possible!"

2. Ikebukuro Yakiniku Horumon Takeda

Photo: kkday
Photo: kkday

Beef offal dishes might not be unfamiliar to all international travelers, but grilled beef offal might still be a bit of a novelty. If you're up for the challenge and want to try this crowd-pleasing comfort food that impresses Japanese gourmets, head to Ikebukuro Yakiniku Horumon Takeda in Ikebukuro!

While the restaurant specializes in fresh and delicious high-quality Japanese Black Wagyu beef and beef offal, the prices remain budget-friendly because all the meat is sourced directly by the restaurant. Favorites like A5-grade Wagyu beef belly, TAKEDA beef tongue, and assorted offal, which are must-try dishes for every customer, are all priced at just 1,000 yen, offering unbeatable value!

Combine this with the restaurant's lively atmosphere, and you'll enjoy the delicious taste of top-grade Wagyu beef in a truly enjoyable setting!

Hana's Notes:
  • "From JR Ikebukuro Station East Exit, it's just a quick 2-minute walk to the restaurant, making it incredibly convenient and easy to find. So, if you return from an excursion feeling hungry and tired, you can head straight here!"
  • "For those who enjoy a drink, each table is equipped with a lemon sour dispenser, so there's no need to bother the staff for refills—it's super convenient! Plus, with a tax-inclusive 605 yen per 60-minute all-you-can-drink option, you can enjoy unlimited lemon sours to your heart's content!"

3. Yakiniku USHIGORO

Photo: Klook
Photo: Klook

In August 2023, the brand-new Ikebukuro location of Yakiniku USHIGORO opened its doors, joining its restaurants in Ginza, Omotesando, Shinjuku, and elsewhere. Like its counterparts, this location boasts an elegant and sophisticated interior, making it perfect for those seeking a quiet, comfortable dining experience or looking to celebrate a special occasion during their trip to Japan.

The restaurant prides itself on serving only the highest quality beef, including thick-cut black wagyu tongue, select top-grade shoulder, and premium thick-cut sirloin. With excellent quality and mouthwatering texture, each bite bursts with flavor, offering your taste buds an unparalleled experience. Don't forget to try the Ikebukuro branch's exclusive dishes, such as the selected wagyu with caviar and raw beef!

Hana's Notes:
  • "If you're traveling with your parents and want to treat them to something special, I highly recommend Yakiniku USHIGORO for its luxurious ambiance. Not only is the quality of the meat top-notch, but the attentive service and beautiful presentation add an extra touch of excellence!"
  • "In addition to à la carte options, the restaurant also offers set menus starting from 6,100 yen, making it convenient for those who are undecided about what to order. If you visit during lunchtime, don't miss out on the Ikebukuro branch's exclusive raw beef and black wagyu hamburger steak set, which offers excellent value for your money!"

4. Yakiniku TORAJI

Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0004704
Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0004704

If you're in a rush and craving yakiniku in Ikebukuro, Yakiniku TORAJI is your safest and most guaranteed choice! Originating in Tokyo's Ebisu district, TORAJI has branches all over Japan and is highly regarded as a top yakiniku restaurant by many Japanese.

The restaurant emphasizes providing high-quality ingredients that are fresh, healthy, and beautifully presented. While the à la carte menu offers a wide selection, we highly recommend going for one of their set menus, available at various price points. With these sets, you won't have to rack your brain deciding what to order—you'll get to enjoy appetizers, mouthwatering yakiniku, and dessert hassle-free!

Hana's Notes:
  • "In order to provide even higher quality beef, TORAJI has also established TORAJI FARM, where they raise delicious beef with top-notch quality that you can enjoy with peace of mind. For those eager to indulge, mark your calendars for the monthly 'TORAJI Wagyu Day' on the 29th!"
  • "Yakiniku TORAJI has three branches in the Ikebukuro area: East Exit, West Exit, and Sunshine City. There's always one conveniently located near your hotel. The East Exit and West Exit branches are just about 1 to 2 minutes away from the station, making it super convenient for you to start feasting as soon as you get off the train!"
YAKINIKU TORAJI Ikebukuro West Exit Restaurant
  • Address: Lumiere Building 6F, 1-17-7 Nishi Ikebukuro, Toyoshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0014
  • Hours: Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30 AM - 3 PM (last order 2:30 PM), Weekends and national holidays, 12 PM - 3 PM (last order 2:30 PM); Dinner: Monday - Friday 5 PM - 12:30 AM (last order 11:30 PM), Weekends and National Holidays 5 PM - 12 AM (last order 10:50 PM)
  • Closed: Open daily

5. Sansantei

Photo: Gurunavi
Photo: Gurunavi

The yakiniku chain Jojoen is synonymous with top-quality grilled beef. Jojoen is very popular, so if you cannot make a reservation or find it a bit pricey, why not try its sister restaurant Sansantei?

Located near the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station, Sansantei is close to the Seibu Department Store, PARCO, and Don Quijote, making it a convenient dinner spot after shopping. With a tranquil, comfortable atmosphere, it's also perfect for those looking for a place to enjoy a peaceful meal!

Hana's Notes:
  • "Sansantei can be considered the budget-friendly version of Jojoen. While the delicious beef and excellent service are identical to Jojoen, the overall price point is lower and more accessible. For example, the same pot-marinated beef belly yakiniku that Jojoen offers for 4,000 yen, you can enjoy at Sansantei for just 2,900 yen!"
  • "In addition to à la carte options, there are set menus starting from 7,000 yen, featuring 12 dishes, which I believe will satisfy diners of all ages and genders. With lunch starting from 1,500 yen, offering exceptional value, it's perfect for those on a budget who still want to enjoy delicious food!"
Sansantei restaurant information

Seafood Restaurants in Ikebukuro

1. Ikanimo

Photo: Klook
Photo: Klook

Many fans of Japanese food come to Japan specifically to savor fresh seafood dishes. In addition to sashimi and sushi, crab dishes are another must-try! In Ikebukuro, Ikanimo is a crab specialty restaurant operated by the renowned fugu (blowfish) restaurant Genpin.

Here, you can enjoy Genpin's expertly crafted fugu dishes and indulge in high-quality king crab and snow crab at reasonable prices. Ikanimo is beloved for its diverse crab dishes, featuring fresh top-quality crabs that are equally delicious whether served raw, deep-fried tempura style, grilled, or in a hot pot. The variety of dishes available will surely allow you to rediscover and savor the exquisite taste of crab meat!

Hana's Notes:
  • "As a budget-conscious foodie, I've always loved crab but have been hesitant to indulge in crab dishes due to their typically high prices. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this restaurant offers several economical set menus. For around 10,000 yen, you can enjoy a variety of delicious dishes including appetizers, fresh snow crab, crispy fried snow crab, snow crab hot pot, and crab rice porridge. It's a fantastic opportunity to thoroughly enjoy the deliciousness of crab in different ways all at once!"

2. Isomaru Suisan

Photo: Klook
Photo: Klook

If you've been to Tokyo, chances are you've seen an Isomaru Suisan. With locations in busy areas across the city, Isomaru Suisan has four in Ikebukuro alone. Despite the multitude of restaurants lining Tokyo's streets, Isomaru Suisan's prominent signage and the tantalizing aroma of grilled seafood will instantly catch your attention.

Apart from sashimi, sushi, and other izakaya-style dishes, the restaurant is best known for its signature "Isomaru Yaki." Various shellfish like scallops, abalone, and surf clams are kept in tanks inside the restaurant and grilled on the tabletop grill only after ordering.

Thanks to the freshness of the shellfish, they have an exceptionally firm texture, unlike frozen products. Each bite bursts with flavor, offering a truly delightful experience!

Hana's Notes:
  • "Even now, I find it hard to forget the first time I dined at Isomaru Suisan with my family when we first visited Japan. The sight of various shellfish, large shrimp, and grilled crab shells filled with crab roe right in front of us was unforgettable. The aroma of the juicy grilled seafood made my mouth water. Before satisfying our appetites, our senses of smell and sight were already treated to a feast!"
  • "I also love the lively atmosphere in the restaurant, filled with Edo-era vibes. Every visit feels like an emotionally charged experience!"

3. Torafugutei Ikebukuro East Exit Restaurant

Photo: kkday
Photo: kkday

Sushi, yakiniku, and ramen, among other Japanese must-try dishes, are readily available in many places around the world. However, fresh fugu (blowfish) is something you can rarely find outside of Japan. Torafugutei specializes in fresh fugu dishes. All the fugu served in the restaurant is sourced directly from Nagasaki Prefecture, ensuring the highest quality.

To guarantee freshness, the fugu are transported live and live in tanks in the restaurant until served, resulting in a firmer, more chewy texture and an exhilarating sensation for your palate!

Hana's Notes:
  • "Before coming to Japan, I had never tried fugu, and I believe many of you might feel a bit apprehensive about trying it for the first time, just like I did! However, it's important to note that all the fugu served at Torafugutei are expertly bred by professionals until they are shipped out. Additionally, each restaurant has skilled chefs with specialized knowledge and techniques, ensuring that you can enjoy safe, high-quality fugu!"
  • "Their highly recommended 'Live Fugu Banquet' is priced at around 7,000 yen and includes seven items such as fugu sashimi with skin, fresh thin-sliced fugu sashimi, and a variety of fresh fugu hot pot dishes. It's a truly lavish spread!"

All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants in Ikebukuro

1. Hina Sushi

Photo: kkday
Photo: kkday

For those with a hearty appetite, dining at a high-end sushi restaurant could lead to a not-so-welcome bill at the end. If you're looking to enjoy your fill of sushi without compromising on quality and cost, head over to Hina Sushi in Ikebukuro! Conveniently located inside the LABI Yamada Denki building, it's a breeze to visit after doing some tax-free electronics shopping.

Despite being an all-you-can-eat establishment, all the sushi at Hina Sushi is expertly handcrafted by chefs right in the restaurant, ensuring top-notch quality. With over 60 varieties including tuna, sea urchin, salmon, and salmon roe, all made with carefully selected ingredients and delivered fresh daily, freshness is guaranteed.

In terms of pricing, it's a steal at around 4,609 yen for women and 4,939 yen for men. So, for just around 10,000 yen, two can enjoy a fantastic sushi feast!

Hana's Notes:
  • "Many all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants typically start off with a platter of assorted sushi upon ordering. However, at Hina Sushi, the all-you-can-eat option allows customers to order dishes of their choice from start to finish, allowing them to freely indulge in their favorite sushi selections. It's simply blissful!"
  • "In addition to the basic selection of over 60 types of sushi, the restaurant also offers limited edition sushi made with seasonal ingredients every month. Each all-you-can-eat customer gets to enjoy one serving of these special creations!"

2. Shichirin Yakiniku Anan Ikebukuro West Exit Restaurant

Photo: Gurunavi
Photo: Gurunavi

For those looking for a hearty meal, Shichirin Yakiniku Anan Ikebukuro Nishiguchi is your best bet! Anan offers two popular all-you-can-eat options: the "Dai Manzoku" set for 2,750 yen and the "Anan" set for 3,300 yen. If you're aiming for the highest tier, which includes beef tongue and seafood, go for the "DX" set at just 3,960 yen. All three sets have a dining time of 100 minutes (last order taken 80 minutes before the end), allowing you ample time to savor the delicious meats!

Hana's Notes:
  • "You might be concerned about the quality of such affordable yakiniku. However, Anan is a well-known chain across the country, ensuring a certain level of quality. The reason for the low prices here is mainly due to bulk purchasing by the restaurant, followed by efficient management through their own logistics center, which significantly reduces logistical costs. Additionally, they have their own facilities to strictly manage the processing and quality of the meats. So, rest assured, you can enjoy the yakiniku here with peace of mind!"
Shichirin Yakiniku Anan Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Restaurant

3. Kushiya Monogatari LABI1 Ikebukuro

Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0003605
Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0003605

Kushiya Monogatari is a restaurant specializing in all-you-can-eat deep-fried skewers. Each table has its own deep-fryer, allowing guests to choose ingredients and cook them right at their table. It's a fun and interactive dining experience!

There's a wide variety of skewers, including chicken, pork, seafood, vegetables, and even cheese. The ingredients are already cut into bite-sized pieces and skewered, so all you need to do is coat them in batter and breadcrumbs, fry them up, and voila! With instructions provided, everyone can easily create their own crispy golden skewers!

If you're traveling to Tokyo with kids, Kushiya Monogatari is a must-visit for a fun dining experience. It's sure to be a hit with the whole family!

Hana's Notes:
  • "In addition to deep-fried skewers, the restaurant also offers main dishes like curry, rice with tea, and pasta. There are also salads, side dishes, and desserts available, so you can mix things up and get creative with your own combinations while enjoying the skewers!"
  • "Kushiya Monogatari isn't just for dinner; they also offer a 90-minute all-you-can-eat lunch menu! Plus, they have special events from mid-February to the end of March, like the Strawberry Festival, where you can indulge in all-you-can-eat strawberry roll cakes and strawberry cheesecakes! If you're visiting during this time, it's definitely worth checking out."
Kushiya Monogatari LABI1 Ikebukuro Restaurant
  • Address: LABI1 Nihon Sohonten Ikebukuro 7F, 1-5-7 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0013
  • Hours: 11 AM - 10 PM (last order 9:30 PM)
  • Closed: Dependent upon LABI1 closures

Ramen Shops in Ikebukuro

Mutekiya

Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0003601
Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0003601

Mutekiya is a trendy ramen shop among tourists, and the sight of a long line outside is common. But what exactly draws people to wait in line?

Established in 1994, Mutekiya is known for its meticulously prepared tonkotsu broth, simmered for 13 hours. Enriched with flavorful pork back fat and rich soy sauce, the broth has a smooth texture without feeling greasy, leaving a lingering aroma in every sip.

The attention to detail extends to other ingredients as well. The thick-cut chashu pork prepared in-house is tender, while the noodles are crafted from famed Hokkaido "Haruyokoi" flour. The harmony of the broth, noodles, and chashu creates a perfectly balanced, flavorful bowl of ramen.

Hana's Notes:
  • "While Mutekiya's ramen is undeniably delicious, its flavor profile tends to be on the richer side. Thankfully, the restaurant is considerate enough to provide cold water and ice jasmine tea for customers, refreshing the palate after indulging in the savory broth!"
  • "Mutekiya isn't just beloved by locals; tourists from around the world flock to Ikebukuro just to try it. To accommodate its diverse clientele, the restaurant offers menus in multiple languages, so you won't have to worry about misordering from a Japanese-only menu!"
Mutekiya

Sweets and Coffee Shops in Ikebukuro

1. Maison Kayser Ikebukuro Sunshine

Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0001634
Photo: LIVE JAPAN article a0001634

Calling all bread lovers! If you can't resist the allure of freshly baked bread, then you have to check out Maison Kayser in Ikebukuro's Sunshine City. This popular bakery uses its own wheat flour, specially crafted high-quality butter, and natural yeast to create its bread, and just passing by its storefront will make it impossible not to stop and admire the neatly displayed loaves of bread.

Beyond takeaway options, Maison Kayser also serves breakfast, and after 4 p.m., burger or dessert sets you can enjoy in-store. If you've been shopping till you drop in Sunshine City and need to refuel, we highly recommend their all-you-can-eat lunch.

Apart from the main dish, the lunch sets come with a platter of assorted daily bread recommendations. If you still have room after that, you can ask for more of your favorites or even take some home. The portion sizes are already generous enough to leave you feeling completely satisfied. So, if you're ever unsure about what to eat for lunch in Ikebukuro, Maison Kayser is a wonderful choice!

Hana's Notes:
  • "When I visited the store, I noticed quite a few parents bringing their kids for lunch. That's when I realized that the restaurant not only offers children's meals but also provides high chairs and children's utensils, making it extremely family-friendly."
  • "If you're looking to have a leisurely chat with friends, you can also opt for the outdoor seating area, which has a wonderfully open atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and unwinding!"
Maison Kayser Ikebukuro Sunshine
  • Address: Sunshine City Alpa 1F, 3-1-2 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0013
  • Café Hours: Mon-Fri: 8 AM - 10 PM (last order 9 PM); Weekends & holidays: 11 AM - 10 PM (last order 9 PM)
  • Bakery Hours: Mon-Fri: 8 AM - 9 PM; Weekends & holidays: 10 AM - 9 PM

2. Shiawase-no Pankeki (A Happy Pancake)

Photo: Gurunavi
Photo: Gurunavi

A few years ago, Japan experienced an unprecedented craze for fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes, and even today, they have a devoted following. Located near Ikebukuro Station's East Exit, Shiawase-no Pankeki (A Happy Pancake) is a popular spot representing the trend of "airy" pancakes. Their ability to achieve such a fluffy, soft, and light texture is attributed to their exclusive cooking method and strict temperature control. Each pancake is meticulously cooked one by one. Although you might have to wait about 20 minutes after ordering, the experience guarantees every customer a "feeling of utmost happiness" when they take a bite!

Hana's Notes:
  • "The best thing about Shiawase-no Pankeki is that they offer a variety of flavors regularly, and they even have seasonal or special holiday limited-time flavors. Whether you visit with different friends at any time of the year, you can always taste something unique and delicious! Additionally, they also offer pasta, pizza, and savory pancakes, so even friends who don't have a sweet tooth or guys can enjoy themselves."
  • "The restaurant also prioritizes the safety of ingredients, striving to use gentle, body-friendly ingredients. For instance, they source fresh eggs from contracted farms, use cream made from fresh milk from Hokkaido, and high-quality Manuka honey from New Zealand. Not only does this ensure peace of mind while eating, but it also enhances the natural aroma and flavor of the pancakes."
Shiawase-no Pankeki Ikebukuro information

Themed Experience Cafés in Ikebukuro

Kotsumate Cafe

Photo: Klook
Photo: Klook

Kotsumate Cafe isn't a typical café where you sit down for a drink. Instead, it's a place where you can interact with adorable little animals!

Inside, you'll find otters, hedgehogs, and flying squirrels—creatures you don't often see in regular zoos, making it a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. They offer 30- and 60-minute packages, allowing visitors to take turns observing, touching, or feeding these cute animals.

If you're bringing kids along, remember that teenagers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Be especially aware that otters have longer claws and might nip if startled, so be sure to follow the staff's instructions for a safe and enjoyable experience!

Hana's Notes:
  • "Many customers might be drawn to the café for the adorable otters. However, after visiting myself, I found myself captivated by the tiny and endearing flying squirrels! Watching them tremble slightly while feeding and their affectionate gestures as they climb onto your hand is incredibly soothing! The otters, on the other hand, are like playful children, full of energy and mischief. If you adore small animals like I do, a visit to Kotsumate Cafe in Ikebukuro is a must!"

More Ikebukuro Dining Gems Not to Miss!

Enjoy a Culinary Adventure in Ikebukuro!

When you step into Ikebukuro, get ready for a culinary adventure! From traditional, crowd-favorite ramen shops to stunning all-you-can-eat sushi, every restaurant promises to deliver a satisfying experience. If you're out shopping and exploring Ikebukuro, consider these 15 recommendations to dive deep into the area's captivating food culture! During cherry blossom season in March and April, it's advisable to make reservations in advance using the links provided above!

(*The information in this article is accurate as of March 2024. For the latest updates, please refer to the official websites of the respective establishments.)

Written by:

Wong Man Yee

Wong Man Yee

Man Yee has been residing in Tokyo since 2016. With a keen interest in Japanese travel and translation, she holds JLPT N1 and Kanji Kentei Level 2 qualifications. She has explored all 47 prefectures of Japan and penned over 300 articles to date. Skilled in discovering novelties in lesser-known suburban areas of Japan, she writes from a Hongkonger's perspective, aiming to boost their popularity and revitalization. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to different Japanese cities and has a penchant for Japanese curry shops, having visited over 100 of them across Japan.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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