For Kyoto, I hadn’t really done much research on restaurants, so most of these were found as we explored (and with the help of reviews on google).
Just like Tokyo, most places are very small and cozy, but the food had BIG flavor. Check out all my Kyoto restaurant recommendations below:
LUNCH + DINNER
GYOZADOKORO TAKATSUJI SUKEMASA
• Hours: 11:30am – 2:00pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm Monday – Friday // 11:30am – 10:00pm Saturday – Sunday
• Address: 263 Horinouchicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8446, Japan
They only serve one type of gyoza with the option to add a few sides but MAN do they NAIL IT. We ended up eating here TWICE because it was just so good. Do yourself a favor and order the 12 piece meal with the rice, miso soup, and pickles. You’ll thank me later.
• Hours: 1:30am – 3:00pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm Monday – Friday // 11:30am – 10:00pm Saturday – Sunday
• Address: 373-3 Kiyomotocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0084, Japan
Another amazing place for ramen, this time in Kyoto. The restaurant is tucked away from the main streets and extremely small (2 communal tables that seat 8 people each), but we were lucky enough to get there right before a lined formed.
They have a few broth options including a lemon ramen. When we were there, they had a special sake broth that they only made a limited amount of each day, so we wanted to try that one. Of course, it was amazing.
• Hours: 11:00am – 3:00pm, Closed Sundays
• Address: ３６ Nanzenji Kitanobocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8446, Japan
Located near the Philosophers Path, we discovered this little udon restaurant that had already started forming a line (mostly locals) about 20 minutes before opening, so we decided this was the place to try.
The restaurant was small, but the service was efficient. The staff began taking orders of everyone in line so that once you were seated, your food would immediately be served, The noodles and broth had a wonderful texture and flavor and warmed us right up.
BREAKFAST + CAFES
• Hours: 8:00am – 4:30pm daily
• Address: 5-31 Fukakusa Kaidoguchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0805, Japan
• Cash only
Named after the color of the torii gates, this cafe and espresso bar is located right by the Fushimi Inari shrine. It’s the perfect pit stop after exploring the shrine with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We fueled up with some food, coffee, and tea. I ordered a matcha latte, a must since matcha originated in Japan and is a big part of their tea culture.
MARKETS + STREET FOOD
• Hours: 9:00am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday // 9:00am – 4:30pm Saturday // Closed Sundays
• Address: 609 Nishidaimonjicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8054, Japan
A narrow, 5-block long shopping street with tons of shops, food vendors, and restaurants.
You’ll find quite a few around the city, and this is a great way to try various snacks. From tea stands, to sweet rice balls, to hot sake, and more!
Looking for places to eat in Tokyo? Click here for my Tokyo Restaurant Guide, and don’t forget to check out the rest of my Japan City Guides:
JAPAN: THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
TOKYO CITY GUIDE
KYOTO CITY GUIDE
IWAKUNI, MIYAJIMA ISLAND, OSAKA