Ikebukuro, Takadanobaba, Edogawabashi
Cafes, bars and casual dining
Ikebukuro Sunshine City
Maison Kayser - Bakery: Ikebukuro
[Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.]
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.
Vinos Yamazaki - Liquor shop: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-10pm daily.]
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.
Namja Gyoza Stadium - Gyoza: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-10pm daily.]
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...
Katsu - Sushi: Ikebukuro
[Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.]
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...
Vivo - Beer bar: Ikebukuro
[Open 6pm-12:30am (LO; Fri, Sat -2am) daily.]
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...
Moyan Curry - Curry: Ikebukuro
[Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10:30pm (LO) daily.]
Moyan offers a huge variety of tasty Japanese-style curries and ethnic-style side dishes, along with inexpensive wines and cocktails.
Rock'ando - Ramen: Ikebukuro
[Open 11am-9pm daily.]
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"...
Cafe Pause - Cafe: Ikebukuro
[Open noon-10:30pm (LO) daily.]
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.
Garlic Chips - Bar: Takadanobaba
[Open 5pm-3am. Closed Sundays.]
Late-night cocktails, jazz, light meals, and garlic chips in a relaxed neighborhood bar. Some outdoor seating.
Milestone - Bar: Takadanobaba
[Open 1pm-midnight daily.]
A neighborhood hangout with jazz on the sound system, dim sum, Chimay beer and cocktails.
Cotton Club - Bar: Takadanobaba
[Open 11:30am-4am (LO) daily.]
Late-night cocktails and snacks, with jazz in the background. Terrace seating is available on the first and second-floor cafe areas.
10 Degree Cafe - Cafe: Takadanobaba
[Open 11am-midnight daily.]
A steady stream of students and local residents flip open their laptops and settle in for an afternoon of work or study at this well-populated three-story cafe. There's free wifi, with some window seats overlooking the Kanda River. Food is typical...
Vivo Daily Stand - Wine bar: Takadanobaba
[Open 5pm-2am daily.]
The draw at this chain of casual neighborhood wine bars is simple - decent-quality wines and snacks at a reasonable price. Generally a glass of wine and a small snack - such as pork rillettes or foie gras mousse - will come to less than Y1000.
Dekoboko Kitchen - Cafe: Takadanobaba
[Open 11:30am-3, 5:30-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.]
A charming little backstreet cafe, Dekoboko serves well-executed, up-to-date versions of coffeeshop standards like chicken cutlet, ginger pork and hayashi rice at lunchtime, with an eclectic world-music soundtrack in the background. In the evenings...
Tsubame - Cafe: Takadanobaba
[Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.]
Retro-chic furnishings and a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere are the attractions at this cute neighborhood cafe. The soundtrack ranges from bossa nova to sixties rock, and the drinks list features simple cocktails, nice herbal teas and...
Leckermaul - German: Edogawabashi
[Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.]
Flammkuchen - the Alsatian and southern German answer to pizza - is served here in versions both savory (black forest ham, zucchini-anchovy) and sweet (apple-cinnamon, banana-rum), along with wine by the glass or bottle. Although it's made without...
High Five Salad - Deli salads: Edogawabashi
[Open 11am-10pm (Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.]
"Step out of your comfort zone" reads the sign in front of the shop. Yes, it's another salad bar with a slogan and an accompanying manifesto. The salads are pretty good though, some focusing on gourmet ingredients (prosciutto and mimolette; smoked...
Garni - Yakiton: Wakamatsu-Kawada
[Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Tuesdays.]
Yakiton (charcoal-grilled pork on skewers) is the main dish here, but instead of a smoky izakaya the atmosphere is closer to a stylish wine bar, with a selection of wines by the glass (Y680-1000) to go with your skewers - a great combination.