Chinatown in Tokyo - North side of Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro's Chinatown is relatively new to town and is kinda a big deal since its pretty much in downtown Tokyo. Compared to the "Big Three" Chinatowns in Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki, this one is much smaller but still offers the same kind of authentic Chinese atmosphere you can expect in any other such place around the world.
First things first. Jufukuro is all about meat! Their speciality? Spit-roasted lamb and rabbit! Say Whaaatttt! Yes, these guys have taken Chinese cooking to extreme and put little spit-roast BBQs at each table! Located a two minute walk north-west of Ikebukuro station this should be number one on places to eat here.
The idea to get a bunch of friends and have a good ol' fashioned BBQ-up! Choose your meat and a couple of sides and you're set!
Once the meat starts to get crispy on the outside and renders the fat, you cut it up and finish it off on the BBQ grill below. Prices for a whole cut of meat start at around 5,000 yen.
Yang - Chugoku Katei Ryori 中国家庭料理 楊 2号店
Yang serves up traditional Szechuan cooking at a reasonable fare. It's a friendly and quaint little restaurant a little bit away from the heart of Chinatown, but if you have time try and make the trip there - you won't be disappointed. Located about 340m west of Ikebukuro station.
Something special they serve here you don't find much anywhere else is the soup-less Tantanmen (Noodles with spicy mince topping). This is what these guys are famous for so is what you should order when you go.
Apart from the noodles you might want to try the frisbee-like fried dumplings. Just take a look at these guys. Kind of irresistible with a crust as "wafery-looking" at that!
Chiin Shokudo 知音食堂
Chiin Shokudo is all about spice and chilli! Just one look at some the dishes below will make you think it's too spicy, but think not, the dishes are superbly balanced and offer a great way o experience Szechuan cooking! Just a minutes walk from Ikebukuro station.
One of my favourite dishes at any Chinese restuarant is the tofu and Chiin is on point with its Szechuan Tofu! Paired with some fried rice and you are ready for a terrific meal!
Now, if you think you're a hot shot when it comes to chilli, try this crispy chicken and mountain chilli dish! I kid you not - it is super spicy!
It's all in the name at Eisho - Shanghai fried dumplings. And lots of them! Located a a measly one minute walk from the north exit of Ikebukuro station, Eisho serves up some of the best fried dumplings around Tokyo.
If you've never tried these bad boys get down here ASAP - it's definitely worth the trip! Little fried pastry balls with juicy meat inside filled with lovely Shanghai flavours... it's making my mouth water!
Don't forget to try out the Hainan-style chicken - it's delish! Be careful though, the food is super addictive, and you'll soon realise that's why there's always people lining up to get in here!
Chugoku Chakan 中国茶館
Chugoku Chakan (Chinese Tea House) offers delicious Chinese tea and specialty treats. With over 70 different types you are sure to enjoy eating and drinking here. Just a 2 minute walk from the west exit of Ikebukuro station it'd in the heart of new Chinatown Tokyo.
They offer a number of different courses, including all-you-can-eat courses with as much tea as you like. Prices start from 2,500 yen.
One reason to come here is to simply try the breadth of all the interesting treats, including this cute yet scrumptious panda red bean pasted bun!