1. kawa café
From a terrace seat, you can gaze at Kamogawa in this fashionable café and bar. This old merchant’s house offers Italian cuisine, desserts and much more. The cuisine has a great reputation and it’s recommended that you view the Kyoto scenery while dining. Because it’s also quite popular with tourists from abroad, it has many foreign customers. By the way, “Kawa” means “River” in Japanese. The daily lunch special is ¥1000.
HP: www.kawa-cafe.com (Japanese Only)
Address: 176-1 Minoyacho Kiyachodori Matsubara Agaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
2. Wajouryoumen SugariRyosuke Hosoi/Flickr
This ramen restaurant is located in a 5 minute walking distance from Karasuma station. Despite being located in a back alley, there’s always a line leading to this popular restaurant. Inside the restaurant is a remodelled merchant’s house in true Kyoto style where you can have ramen made with motsu (entrails). When you enter the restaurant, you must first open the sliding door and buy a meal ticket from the ticket machine. Their motsu tsukemen is ¥900.
HP: tabelog.com/en/kyoto/A2601/A260201/26006820/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 471-1 Kannoudocho Nakagyo-ku Kyoto Kyoto (Google Map)
3. Miyako Yasai KamoJones0513/Flickr
This buffet-style Japanese food restaurant uses Kyoto’s organically grown, chemical and pesticide free vegetables. Lunchtime is only ¥880! Vegetables are the focus of this restaurant so it’s perfect for health conscious people! It’s also easy to access from the train station. In the morning time there’s an all-you-can-eat special for ¥490!
HP: nasukamo.net (Japanese Only)
Address: 297-2 Narayacho Kawaramachi Takoyakushi-dori Agaru Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
4. Vegan Burgers [cafe MATSUONTOKO]
Using konnyaku as a base to make items like their grilled veggie burgers, this restaurant’s concept is to offer vegan cuisine without using any animal products. If you’re longing for a burger during your stay in Japan, why not try their healthy burgers? Their lunch set and lunch plate cost ¥900.
Address: 538-6 Nakanocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8042, Kyoto (Google Map)
5. Katoya Shijo Nibojiro
Japanese ramen in Kyoto! The exterior is a stylish Kyoto merchant’s house and inside, there is high ceiling and quiet ambience. Beforehand, choose the kind of ramen you would like to buy at the ticket machine. It’s niboshi (dried sardine) soup so the portion is hefty but you can still eat it quickly. Niboshi ramen (100-300g) is around ¥700.
HP: www.katoya.biz/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 59-3 Tsukihokocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8492, Kyoto (Google Map)
This handmade soba noodle shop is in Arashiyama, just after you cross the famous Togetsukyo bridge. You can eat many varieties of handmade soba and udon noodles. Occasionally, this shop has time sales where you can get a set meal for a flat ¥900 so if you’re lucky you might be able to have lunch at a discount.
Address: Nakanoshima-cho, Saga Ukyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
A famous restaurant in Arashiyama. It’s a restaurant that has many tofu related set meals. Tofu and hamburgers, tofu and ginger-fried pork and so on. It is popular among tourists for its varied menu that pairs tofu cuisine with main dishes in a set meal. Fluffy tofu udon: ¥980/Teriyaki tofu: ¥870.
HP: www.yosiya.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 31 Zoro-cho, Tenryu-ji Saga Ukyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
Located at the entrance of Sakurin no Michi this is a standing and eating type shop with soba as the main. One of the selling points of this shop to say the least is the low price! If we’re speaking of the famous sightseeing areas in Arashiyama, any regular soba place would cost you upwards of ¥1000, so it’s pretty amazing that they offer it for ¥450! Nishin (herring) soba is about ¥450. However, most of the other items on the menu are about ¥500 and upwards. We’ve had nishin soba here. Because the price is what it is, we can’t call this an “exceptional recommendation”. But nevertheless, the flavor of the Kansai dashi (soup stock) is distinct.
Address: 2-1 Sagatenryuji Tateishicho Ukyo-ku Kyoto (Google Map)
9. Mishimatei (Daimaru Kyoto)
Established in 1873, Mishimatei is a veteran sukiyaki restaurant. Located in the basement first floor of the Daimaru Kyoto department store, you can also eat-in. Lunch is a little on the pricey side but you can be guaranteed a great taste! The tender, high quality meat is skillfully prepared. There are only 7 counter seats available so it’s recommended for 1-2 persons or small groups. Sukiyaki costs ¥1995.
HP: www.mishima-tei.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 79 Tachiuri Nishimachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
This shop boasts using only 100% carefully selected rice-bran oil to deep-fry its delicious tempura, giving it a crunchy texture and ingredients procured from the Sea of Japan for their distinct freshness that you can enjoy. Recommended for those who want to eat delicious tempura! Because it’s so popular that it’s not unusual for the store to be completely filled, make a reservation beforehand or get to the store early! Tempura bowl is ¥880.
HP: www.fun-no1.com/komefuku/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 657-5 Bantoyacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto (Google Map)
Located in Ayanokoji Dori is this store where you can eat things like rice bowls (don) and udon. The exterior of the store would be better referred to as a private house. Managed single handedly by an elderly woman, you can have a meal with the sense of being at home. There are few seats inside the store so it’s best for 1-2 people. Udon and soba cost ¥400, kitsune don is ¥600. Besides that, you will find many other menu items for no more than ¥800.
Address: 228 Ayazaimokucho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
If you want a place where you can eat delicious ramen in the Shijo Karasuma neighborhood, this place is famous. Established 70 years ago, one of the secrets of this long-standing shop is it’s simple yet delicious standard cutlets. From its rice bowls to its udon, one of its features is the wide selection available. Chinese-style soba is ¥650/Chinese-style soba and a mini kitsune don set is ¥830.
Address: 474 Niwatoribokocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
13. Hifumi Rokkaku-ten
At this standard udon shop, udon is a given, then there’s tempura, rice bowls, side menus, set meals and much more. As it’s a shop that serves Japanese-style food, the inside is a typical Japanese atmosphere where you can pass the time. Because the food is moderately priced at around ¥600-700, we also recommend their delicious dinner. Their daily special set meal is ¥650 (oyakodon small size + cold udon).
HP: tabelog.com/en/kyoto/A2601/A260201/26008404/dtlrvwlst/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 427-1 Izutsuyacho, Yanaginobaba-dori, Rokkaku-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
14. Sushi no Musashi (Main Branch)
If you’re talking about the most popular long-standing kaiten sushi restaurant in Kyoto, then it’s here. You can choose between 50 different kinds of sushi and with one plate costing ¥146/¥346 (tax excluded), you can freely enjoy Japan’s traditional sushi. Established in 1977, this restaurant is also very popular with foreign tourists.
HP: www.sushinomusashi.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 440 Ebisucho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
15. ShikuraRyosuke Hosoi/Flickr
Located close to the Hirano Shrine is this popular ramen shop. The small interior has a standing counter and 12 seats. For starters, the rule is you have to purchase a meal ticket from the vending machine and be prepared to stand in line. The tasty tonkotsu (pork bone) soy sauce soup and thick noodles is so delicious! Ramen (medium) is ¥650.
Address: 14 Hirano Miyakitacho, Kita-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
On tripadvisor, this is the no.1 steak restaurant among foreign tourists. If you come to Kyoto, this is a spot that we recommend you visit. Even their lunch has high quality meat that you can enjoy for a reasonable price. Their roast beef set is ¥1600/beef rib steak is ¥2000 (100g).
HP: www.otsukabeef.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 20-10 Sagatenryuji Setogawacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)