Ikebukuro, Mejiro

West Side

Konaya (Udon). 5391-2811
The thick udon noodles here are served in a rich, very tasty curry-flavored broth, and served with shrimp tempura, bananas or mochi (rice cakes).
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-1-25, Tobu Spice 11F. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Daidaiya (Asian fusion). 5957-7057
Daidaiya serves up innovative fusion cuisine drawing on Korean, other Asian and Italian influences - their "modern" sushi variations are especially interesting. Smaller than most, the Ikebukuro branch is snazzily decorated and it offers views of Western Ikebukuro. Lunch is served till 4pm.
decorSunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-1-25, Tobu Spice 13F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Takewaka (Japanese). 3987-2121
The fish here is absolutely fresh, caught from big pools at the center of the wrap-around counter. Full-course dinners are Y5000-12,600, and lunches start at Y1260. Fugu is available in season.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-10-10, Spice 2 Bldg. B1F. Open 11am-4:30, 4:30-11pm daily.
!Rikyu (Yoshoku). 5952-0404
One of several Tokyo outlets of this popular Sendai-based beef-tongue specialist, this branch offers an especially wide menu. The more than a dozen dishes range from tongue sausages, meatballs, and deep-fried tongue to curries, European-style stews and tongue sushi. The piece de resistance though is the excellent charcoal-grilled tongue - a popular regional specialty of Sendai, where this small chain restaurant originates. The menu is rounded out by creative and original izakaya fare, with a nice selection of Sendai-area sake to wash it all down. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-12-1, Esola Ikebukuro 7F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Amapola (Spanish). 5951-6531
Many varieties of paella (from Y3200 for a two-person portion), Spanish standards, and Spanish wines from Y1900 per bottle.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-11-1, Lumine Ikebukuro 8F. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Good Morning Cafe (Cafe). 5954-8155
This department-store branch of the popular Sendagaya cafe serves Neapolitan-style pizzas, gourmet burgers, salads and lots of market-fresh vegetable dishes. Budget around Y1000 for lunch, Y2000 for dinner.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-11-1, Lumine Ikebukuro 8F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
Keishoan (Yakitori). 5954-8139
Nagoya cochin, an heirloom breed of chicken prized for its flavor, is the main bird here, in the form of yakitori, fried chicken wings, nabe-style stews, and a fantastic version of oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice). They also use a different specialty breed called Mikawadori, which has a lower fat content than average, for their very crunchy and tasty deep-fried karaage chicken. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-11-1, Lumine Ikebukuro 8F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Pesri's Kitchen (Thai). 5954-8118
Good, very affordable Thai cuisine from the popular Tokyo-based Tinun chain; budget around Y1300 for food at dinnertime, or Y900 for lunch.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-11-1, Lumine Ikebukuro 8F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Harvest (Japanese). 5954-8152
Harvest provides a natural-foods buffet with more than sixty different mostly Japanese-style dishes, including lots of vegetables. The price is Y1888 at dinnertime and Y1573 at lunchtime.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-11-1, Lumine Ikebukuro 9F. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
!Mango Tree Cafe (Thai). 5954-8106
Accessible Thai cuisine buffet service from the Bangkok-based Coca chain. The lunch buffet is Y1600 and is served from 11am-3pm (last order at 2pm; 90-minute limit). At dinnertime the price is Y2100, with service from 5-10pm (120-minute limit). Between 3 and 5pm you can order a smaller Y800 lunch set or pancakes.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-11-1, Lumine Ikebukuro Ikeresu 9F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Yamaya (Ike. west) (Liquor shop). 5950-1321
Well worth the long hike from the station; they offer an excellent selection of wines from around the world at discount prices, as well as liquor and some cheeses and imported foods.
SunmapToshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-68-5. Open 10am-10pm daily.
Palmyra (Middle Eastern). 3981-8293
Syrian cuisine; prix-fixe dinner menus from Y2800, or a la carte.
SunmapToshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-58-8, TO Bldg 2F. Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
Phrik (Thai). 3984-7273
Very authentic Thai cooking served in a modest little shop. They also run a small Thai grocery store across the street.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-62-6. Open 4pm-3am (LO) daily.
Marhaba (Pakistani). 3987-1031
From the owner of Al Flah supermarket, an authentic Pakistani restaurant popular with Pakistani customers. All meats are halal, and curries average Y800-900.
SunmapToshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-63-6, Palace Garden Milano 1F. Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily.
!Miyarabi (Okinawan). 3971-5061, 5396-4866
This is Okinawan food as haute cuisine, with a good number of special Royal-style dishes in addition to the usual champuru stir-fries. Recommended dishes are the minudaru (tender roast pork with a sesame-based sauce), the rather lean rafti (braised pork), the Okinawan soba and the excellent peanut tofu. There's a short nightly performance of Okinawan dance at 8:30. Prices are a bit higher than the typical Okinawan izakaya; budget around Y6000 for dinner and drinks.
mapToshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-45-1, Ark City Ikebukuro B1F. Open 5:30-10:45pm (LO). Closed Sundays, holidays.
Beer Saurus (Beer bar). 5992-8217
This large late-night bar offers an excellent selection of beers from around the world, including some very nice US microbrews, at decent prices. The happy hour from 6-8pm is an especially good deal, with many drinks half-price. The extensive food menu offers varied international fare such as Buffalo chicken wings, tacos, pork chops, pizzas and pastas.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-38-5, Seiko Bldg 3F. Open 6pm-3:30am (LO) daily.
Agalico (Misc. Southeast Asian). 3590-3170
Billing themselves as an "Oriental Bistro," this late-night drinking spot serves Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian fare at very reasonable prices. The front of the restaurant is open to the street during the warmer months of the year, adding to the festive atmosphere. Open until 8am (Sunday nights until 5am). Budget around Y2000-3000 for food and drink.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-10-6. Open 6pm-8am daily.
Mocha (Cat cafe). 5927-8828
Located overlooking West Ikebukuro Gate Park, this cat cafe is a little oasis of relaxation in the heart of the city. As soon as you climb the stairs to the third floor and enter the cafe, the warm natural wood decor and cool instrumental jazz soundtrack take you far away from the grit of Ikebukuro. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-15-6, 3F. Open 10am-8pm (last entry 7:30pm) daily.
Owl Park (Bird cafe). 3984-1097
One of a growing number of owl cafes in the city of owls, Ikebukuro, Owl Park opened in September 2015 in the middle of a bustling nightlife district. A spacious room on the second floor of a busy entertainment building, it offers a dozen friendly owls. The owls are mostly smaller varieties such as scops, little owls and barn owls, but there are three larger types - brown wood owl, Ural owl and eagle owl. The pastel-wash walls are decorated with vivid plastic foliage and colorful acrylic paintings by Africa-trained Japanese artist Shogen. [Show more]
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 3-30-11 2F. Open 11am-7pm. Closed Mondays.
Mimi (Rabbit cafe). 070-5079-3841
Mimi has some of the friendliest and most relaxed rabbits we've encountered in Tokyo - we were impressed with how well they get along with each other, and how easy-going they are with human visitors. Unlike other cafes that allow only one or two rabbits out of their cages at one time, the playroom at Mimi is a non-stop rabbit party. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-13-9, Karasukoma #2 Bldg 8F. Open 11am-10pm daily.
Belg Aube (Belgian rest/beer bar). 3987-7895
Located in the unadorned lobby of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater, this branch of the popular Delirium Cafe chain has somewhat less atmosphere than usual, although there is a bit of outdoor seating and the location is very convenient. They offer around half a dozen Belgians on tap and maybe a hundred more by the bottle, at prices that are average for Tokyo. There's also a decent food menu to go with your beers.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-8-1, Tokyo Metropolitan Theater 1F. Open 11:30am-10pm (LO; drinks LO 10:30) daily.
Mekong (Thai). 3988-5688
A leftover from the days before Nishi-Ikebukuro went relatively upscale. Delicious curries and ambitiously tacky decor. On weekends there's a good lunch buffet.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 3-26-5. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays.
Nonsuch (British pub). 3981-4811
English beers and UK rock music are on tap at this cozy second-floor bar; they're named after an album by XTC. The British-inspired menu includes fisherman's pie, traditional fish and chips, and beef-tendon stew in beer. Fuller's ESB and Iwate Kura Real Ale are on tap, along with a guest tap an a guest cask of real ale. Pints are Y1200-1350. There's also a good selection of gin and whiskey.
latemapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 5-1-6, 2F. Open 7pm-4am. Closed Sundays.
Akiyoshi (Yakitori). 3982-0601
It's not fancy, but with its reliable food and very reasonable prices, this small yakitori chain offers good value for money.
mapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 3-30-4. Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Malay-chan (Malaysian). 5391-7638
Well-prepared Malay and Malay-Chinese dishes.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 3-22-6. Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Yugi Shoten (Retail). 5950-3588
One of the best places in town to buy Chinese groceries, from fresh fish and vegetables to frozen and dried foods, seasonings and liquor.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-28-6, Yamato Sangyo Bldg 4F. Open 10am-midnight daily.
Nikko Asia Shokuhin (Retail). 3988-0575
A multi-story ethnic supermarket covering all your Taiwanese-ingredient needs, from fermented bean curd and dried tangerine peel to fresh vegetables and frozen dim sum.
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-37-2. Open 11am-11:30pm daily.

East Side

Miyagi Furusato Plaza "Coco Miyagi" (Antenna shop). 5956-3511
The highlight of this mid-sized prefectural antenna shop is probably their big selection of Miyagi-ken sake - some fifty or sixty varieties on sale in the second-floor liquor area. Down on the ground floor you'll find lots of natto, pouches of tongue stew and tongue curry, and a small beef-tongue restaurant at the back of the shop.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-2-2, Higashi-Ike Bldg 1/2F. Open 11am-8pm daily.
Yamaya (Liquor shop). 3980-2977
Discount wines and liquors, with some cheeses and other imported foods.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-43-6, D-Box 1F. Open 10am-10pm daily.
Club of Famous Curry Diners (Curry). 5985-4215
Five of Tokyo's most popular Japanese curry shops are assembled in this casual one-stop destination, where you can try their curries individually or in various combinations. A set of all five curries is priced at Y2600.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-28-1, Seibu Ikebukuro 8F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Katsu (Sushi). 6914-1185
Run by the well-known (and always crowded) Midori-sushi chain, this conveyor-belt sushi shop is perhaps even more popular than the parent chain, with very long lines at mealtimes, especially on weekends. The selection is budget-priced and includes a number of interesting vegetable sushi options.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-28-1, Seibu Ikebukuro 8F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Bincho (Unagi). 5956-5756
Excellent Nagoya-style grilled unagi eel is served here, grilled over only the finest binchotan charcoal and served with their own special low-salt tamari sauce. Hitsumabushi (a traditional Nagoya serving style) menus are Y3150-5900 at dinnertime; lunch is Y1480-2380.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-28-2, Ikebukuro Parco 8F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza Ikebukuro (Antenna shop). 3982-0170
The smallest of the four Hokkaido antenna shops in Tokyo, this branch is located at the north end of the ISP underground shopping complex next to Ikebukuro station. There's the usual dried fish, frozen seafood and dairy products, along with various flavors of ramen and soup curry, and novelty caramel candies in flavors like Hokkaido butter, condensed milk, melon and corn.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-29-1, Ikebukuro Shopping Park North Wing B1F. Open 10am-8:30pm (Sun -8pm) daily.
Kushiya Monogatari (Kushiage). 5953-2460
This popular Osaka-based shop lets you cook your own kushiage skewers in a deep-fryer right at your table. It's all you can eat, including various side dishes and a big variety of skewered tidbits. Y2625 per person at dinnertime, with a 90-minute limit.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-5-7, Labi 1 Ikebukuro 7F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Saigon Restaurant (Vietnamese). 3989-0255
Good food and service and a lively atmosphere. Cheap lunch specials (Y680 including coffee).
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-7-10. Open noon-2:30, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
Iroha (Gyukatsu). 3971-2838
Iroha's gyukatsu is covered with a thin, crunchy coating that softens quickly when dipped in sauce. Each diner is supplied with a miniature brazier with which to heat up individual slices of beef that may have cooled off on the plate. The meat is quite tasty after ten seconds on the grill and a brief dip in freshly ground salt, but a splash of the intensely flavored onion sauce makes it even better. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-9-7, Tomoaki Bldg B1F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Wolfgang Puck (International). 5957-2833
Accessible California cuisine - gourmet pizzas and interesting takes on American standards like meatloaf and Cajun chicken.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-21-13, Ore Ikebukuro 12F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Ikefukurou Cafe (Bird cafe). 5904-8344
Located just a few minutes south of Ikebukuro Station, the delightfully named Ikefukurou has fourteen owls for your viewing, photographing and petting pleasure. The place runs like clockwork as visitors are called in by name, given a short safety talk, and then allowed to spend the rest of the hour with the owls. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-17-1, 6F. Open 2-5, 6-9pm daily.
Ganko (Ramen). unlisted
Ganko's shio ramen uses a closely guarded family recipe. If the soup isn't perfect on a particular day they might be closed.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-13-12. Open 11:30am-3, 6-10pm daily.
!Vivo (Beer bar). 3987-1588
The amply punctuated Vivo! Beer + Dining Bar serves interesting beers and foods from around the world. There are some twenty beers on tap, including local brews like Yona Yona real ale on draft and Baird Beers from Numazu; there are also plenty of Belgian and German beers by the bottle.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-20-5, B1F. Open 6pm-3am (LO) daily.
Moyan Curry (Curry). 6909-3398
Moyan offers a huge variety of tasty Japanese-style curries and ethnic-style side dishes, along with inexpensive wines and cocktails. [Go to branch review]
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-28-3, Ishikawa Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Zaian (Izakaya). 5957-2207
The funky basement space and sixties-jazz soundtrack give this cozy little izakaya the relaxed atmosphere of a neighborhood drinking spot. The food menu offers good, solid fare - down-to-earth rather than fancy, and especially strong in daily fish specials, seasonal vegetables and grilled pork dishes. The main reason to come here, though, is the impressive sake list - several dozen labels from small regional breweries, often including multiple varieties from the same brewery. [Show more]
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-31-1, Barack Court B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-midnight (LO). Closed Mondays.
King Kong (Ramen). 6914-2070
The draws here are the great tsukemen noodles, herb-grilled pork, and a sweet fish-pork blend soup that incorporates blueberries and other fruit.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-32-2. Open 11am-11pm daily.
!Rock'ando (Ramen). 5952-6006
The first thing you'll notice at Rock'anDo is the color scheme. Green is everywhere, from the signage to the little green army men on a shelf. This should clue you in - you'll be eating green ramen. Rock'anDo's signature dish uses a "superfood" called Euglenids, a kind of algae-like organism rich in vitamins A, C, and E. [Show more]
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 2-57-2. Open 11am-9pm daily.
Buffalo Tap (Bar). unlisted
Bottled craft beers and Swedish-style calzones are served at this small neighborhood bar; you'll also find wine, steak tacos and quesadillas. Note that on some nights they don't open until 7:30pm or so.
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Kami-Ikebukuro 1-6-8. Open 6-11:45pm. Closed Tuesdays, Thursdays.
Toriyoshi (Ikebukuro #2) (Yakitori). 5979-7766
Spicy chicken wings, yakitori and Nagoya miso specialties.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-20-1, Yokota Bldg. Open 4-11pm (LO; 4am weekends) daily.
!Tsukada Nojo (Japanese regional). 5928-5611
At first glance it looks like just another cheap and cheerful budget izakaya - unpretentious rustic decor, bouncy J-Pop background music, enthusiastic young staff and boisterous after-work drinkers. But then you notice that, unlike most izakaya, the walls here are decorated with giant photos of farms, farmers, and free-range chickens going about their business. A quick look at the menu confirms that they do indeed take their food seriously here at Tsukada Farm - focusing heavily on top-grade Miyazaki chicken as well as many other regional delicacies from southern Kyushu. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-16-8. Open 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Toriyoshi (Ikebukuro #1) (Yakitori). 5391-3479
Scrumptious fried chicken wings, yakitori, chicken sashimi and much more.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-27-8. Open 4pm-midnight (LO) daily.
Cafe Pause (Cafe). 6912-7711
A very stylish cafe on an Ikebukuro backstreet; they serve cocktails and a limited snack menu as well as coffee and tea. This is also headquarters for the hip toy company Roughtoyz.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-14-12. Open noon-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Ippudo (Ramen). 6907-8305
A branch of the famous Hakata ramen chain, featuring thin, slightly chewy noodles in a pork-based broth ("red" or "white"), with or without extra chashu. You can add your own freshly grated garlic.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-26-10. Open 11am-2am (Fri, Sat -3am) daily.
Sekai no Yamachan (Izakaya). 5950-0747
One of Nagoya's most popular izakaya chains, Yamachan serves regional delicacies such as spicy fried chicken wings and miso-based stews, all at very reasonable prices.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-16-20, Nukariya Bldg B1F. Open 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Hanamasa (Retail). 5951-2941
Relatively inexpensive meats and produce, 24 hours a day.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 3-9-5. Open 24 hours a day.
Pump (Beer bar). 5927-9733
Pleasantly modern in its decor, Pump Craft Beer Bar is quieter and more low-key than the other craft beer bars in Ikebukuro, offering a decent selection of both imports and domestic beers from its ten taps, along with a fairly ordinary pub menu and a rock music soundtrack. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 3-8-3. Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Mondays.

Sunshine City, Alpa

Maison Kayser (Bakery). 3980-8880
Excellent pastries and breads to go from this French bakery, or you can relax with a cup of coffee or tea and a snack in the cafe area. There are a few outdoor tables for when the weather permits. The bakery is open from 8am.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-2, Sunshine City Alpa 1F. Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
Aux Amis 59 (Wine bar). 5960-4121
This wine bar with a view offers lunches from Y1500 and prix-fixe dinner menus from Y5000. The all-French wine list is quite extensive, ranging from Y4,000 - 99,000 per bottle.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-1, Sunshine 60, 59F. Open 11am-11:30pm daily.
Joe's Shanghai (Dim sum). 5952-8835
A branch of the original Joe's Shanghai in NYC, known for their first-rate shoronpo (xiaolongbao) and other dumplings. Budget around Y1500 for lunch, Y5000 at dinnertime.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-1, Sunshine 60, 59F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-9pm (LO) daily.
Vinos Yamazaki (Liquor shop). 6907-8351
A well-stocked wine shop with a decent cheese selection. There's a pretty good selection of wines by the glass at the tiny, five-seat bar area.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-2, Sunshine City Alpa 1F. Open 10am-10pm daily.
Namja Gyoza Stadium (Gyoza). 5950-0765
Around a dozen famous gyoza shops from around the country are gathered here in this unusual dumpling-centered theme park inside the very noisy Namja Town game center. (Weekdays tend to be quieter.) Portions are small so you can try several different types, choosing from the picture menus at each stall. [Show more]
decorSunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-2, Sunshine City Alpa 2F. Open 10am-10pm daily.
!Agio (Italian). 3980-1626
Agio call themselves a "market restaurant," and serve delicious grilled fish and meat and brick-oven-baked pizzas.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-2, Sunshine City Alpa 3F. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Ringer Hut (Japanese regional). 6907-7421
This budget chain serves two kinds of Nagasaki-style noodles - sara-udon (crisp fried ramen noodles topped with vegetables, pork and seafood in a thick sauce), and Nagasaki champon (similar to the above but in a pork-based soup). Side dishes include gyoza dumplings (regular, cheese, and mentaiko-cheese) and fried rice.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-3, World Import Mart Bldg B1F. Open 10am-10pm daily.
Malaychan Dua (Malaysian). 6914-2051
The second branch of this popular ethnic restaurant, located just above Higashi-Ikebukuro station, serves up Malay and Malay-Chinese dishes at very reasonable prices. Some specialties include their satay skewers, chicken rice, nasi goreng and Chinese braised pork. Open all afternoon on Sundays.
SunmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 4-6-12. Open 11am-2:15, 5-10:15 (LO) daily.


Kushikoma (Izakaya). 3917-6657
The specialized sake selection at this small neighborhood izakaya is beyond reproach, while the food menu is notable for its sake-infused dishes such as ginjo-steamed chicken with apricots and wasabi as well as more standard pub fare. Budget around Y2500-4000 for food and drink.
SunmapToshima-ku, Kita-Otsuka 1-33-25. Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
Vivo Daily Stand (Wine bar). 5972-4622
Cheeses, pates and other snacks are just Y400, while wine ranges from Y500-700 per glass at this casual neighborhood wine bar.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Kita-Otsuka 2-12-6. Open 5pm-2am daily.
Bakushuan (Beer bar). 3915-4550
Although it looks like an old-fashioned izakaya inside, Bakushuan serves a modern selection of ten Japanese and US craft beers on tap in addition to its very respectable sake list. The food menu is well above average for a beer bar, featuring sake-friendly nibbles and oysters prepared in various ways.
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Kita-Otsuka 2-27-1, Yoshimatsu Bldg 2F. Open 6pm-1am. Closed Mondays.
Bistro Juillet (French). 3949-7721
Lunch Y1,500-5,000. Dinner Y3,500-Y8,000. "Pub time" starts at 9pm, with a limited a la carte food menu.
SunmapToshima-ku, Kita-Otsuka 2-3-12. (north exit and turn left -- it's along the tracks) Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-9pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
!Shinasoba Tanaka (Ramen). 3988-0118
The master at Tanaka commutes in to this shop every day from the far side of Chiba, about two hours away. He is a surfer, and that part of Japan has some nice waves in the morning. That part of Japan is also famous for seafood, and the bowl at Tanaka reflects this. [Show more]
no smokingmapToshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 2-19-2. Open 11am-3, 5-10pm (Sat 11-3). Closed Sundays.
Nabeya (Nabemono). 3941-2868
The top-level seasonal Japanese nabe stews here are served in private tatami rooms and come with a serious pricetag. The menu changes almost monthly and is priced at 17,000-19,000; from November through March you'll also find a complete fugu menu (Y25,000 per person).
mapToshima-ku, Minami-Otsuka 1-51-14. Open 5-7:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Donaiya (Takoyaki). 3984-5115
The takoyaki here embodies a dramatic contrast of textures - a firm and slightly chewy outer shell surrounding an interior that's squishy and gooey, ready to come gushing out when prodded with chopsticks. The octopus, when you can find a piece, is remarkably soft and tender. Mentaiko (codfish roe) mayonnaise sauce is an appealingly spicy topping, and worth the Y50 extra; other options include tart ponzu sauce, dashi, soy sauce and plain salt. [Show more]
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Otsuka 3-33-1, Atre Vie Otsuka 1F. Open 10am-9pm daily.
!!Souten (Minami-guchi) (Yakitori). 5944-8105
Tokyo has no shortage of good yakitori shops, but Souten really stands out from the the crowd thanks to the quality of both their chicken and their craft sake. The entrance sports an extra-large sugidama (cedar ball) - always a promise of good sake within - and the list here doesn't disappoint. Nor does the food - they serve only the finest free-range chicken and other birds in season, prepared by a master of the grill. [See FULL REVIEW.]
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Otsuka 3-39-13. Open 5:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Riddle Coffee and Bar (Beer bar). 6912-8331
Gourmet coffee, natural wines and craft beers are the focus of this self-styled gastropub. There's a decent selection of offbeat US imported craft beers by the bottle, and a few taps devoted to US breweries like Schooner Exact.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Otsuka 3-47-8. Open 11am-midnight daily.
Cona (Bar). 5927-1953
Known for their budget-friendly wines, pizzas and other snacks and drinks, this casual standing bar is located conveniently close to Otsuka station.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Otsuka 3-50-3. Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Tennoji Hachihachi (Akashiyaki). 3590-5688
Akashiyaki, takoyaki and Kansai-style oden are the mainstays at this very down-to-earth drinking spot, which is the Tokyo outpost of an Osaka-based shop. The akashiyaki has a soft and slightly runny consistency, and it tends to fall apart as you eat it. It's served here with red pepper, Szechuan-style sansho pepper, scallions and pickled ginger, with an aromatic hot dipping broth. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Otsuka 3-53-3. Open 11:30am-midnight daily.


!!Shilingol (Mongolian). 5978-3837
A charming, unassuming converted coffee shop where every surface is covered by bric-a-brac - spice jars, tea-making equipment, musical instruments, wooden carvings of horses, and the like. The food menu here is dominated by lamb dishes, such as nicely seasoned, spicy kebabs (Y1000 for 3); a richly flavored lamb and vegetable stew; garlicky lamb dumplings; and a shabu-shabu hotpot dish. There's a live performance of traditional Mongolian music every night at 8pm. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapBunkyo-ku, Sengoku 4-11-9. Open 6-9:45pm (LO) daily.
Tsuta (Ramen). 3943-1007
Tsuta, near Sugamo Station on the northern side of the Yamanote train line, can be a bit of a hassle to get to. They are only open for lunch, and often have a huge line. Expect a wait of twenty or thirty minutes. But if you were going to choose just one line to wait in, Tsuta wouldn't be a bad decision. [Show more]
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Sugamo 1-14-1. Open 11am-4pm. Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays.
Cafe Muji (Cafe). 3576-3212
Inexpensive bakery and deli items and salads from the famous no-brand design store Mujirushi. The surprisingly spacious interior features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the street.
SunmapToshima-ku, Sugamo 1-16-8, Atre Vie Sugamo 3F. Open 10am-9pm (LO) daily.
Ikoshi (Izakaya). 3945-1320
Great sake, from a list that changes every week, at this local, hole-in-the-wall drinking spot. You'll find bottles from small breweries that are seldom seen in retail shops, and the staff are ready with suggestions. The food menu is simple, and designed to support the sake.
SunmapToshima-ku, Sugamo 1-18-1. Open 5:30pm-midnight (LO) daily.
Konaya (Udon). 3940-6180
The thick udon noodles here are served in a rich, very tasty curry-flavored broth, and served with shrimp tempura, bananas or mochi (rice cakes).
SunmapToshima-ku, Sugamo 3-37-1. Open 11am-7:30pm (LO) daily.


Shimura (Cafe). 3953-3388
The kakigori at Shimura can be ordered on the second floor, above the traditional sweets shop that has been in the area for many, many years. Their kakigori menu features all the usual suspects, with the fresh strawberry being the most popular. Be sure to order it made with natural spring water from Yatsugatake in the Southern Alps of Japan. For only an extra Y100, you get some of the cleanest water in the country. The strawberries are only slightly sweetened, meaning this massive serving of kakigori is surprisingly easy to eat.
mapToshima-ku, Mejiro 3-13-3. Open 10am-6:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Tanakaya (Liquor shop). 3953-8888
This spacious basement shop near Mejiro station offers one of the best selections of American craft beers in Tokyo, along with Hasegawa Liquors (Yaesu) and World Beer Market (Kita-Senju). You'll also find an impressive stock of Japanese micros and Belgian craft beers, sake and awamori, Calvados, liqueurs and plenty more. Bring cash; they don't take credit cards. They will deliver though, via takkyubin.
mapToshima-ku, Mejiro 3-4-14. (on Mejiro-dori just a few seconds west of Mejiro station) Open 11am-8pm. Closed Sundays.
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