Top 16 Best Restaurants in Kyoto
Choosing a restaurant can be tricky in Kyoto- because they are all good! Use our guide to find out the top 16 restaurants in Kyoto.
You may only know Kyoto as a city of tradition and zen, but it’s also a city with a rich culinary tradition. With an abundance of information on Kyoto restaurants available, choosing one can be overwhelming. To remedy this, we’ve compiled a list of the top 16 restaurants in Kyoto based on quality, price, and accessibility. From sushi to top class wagyu beef steak, whatever you crave, we’ve got a restaurant for you.
1. Kyoto Gogyo
At first glance, the specks of char casually floating beside a half-boiled egg and chashu (marinated pork slice) in this ramen may look unappetizing. So why is this ranked number 1 on the list? The broth. Cooked in 300°C lard to add a uniquely smoky aroma and taste, this is world-class ramen. Try the soy ramen for a thinner, salty broth, or the miso ramen for a denser, stronger flavor; but we particularly recommend the Kogashi Miso Ramen for that smoky goodness.
Price: 800-1,500 yen
2. Hafuu Honten
Hafuu is a Japanese steakhouse, regarded as one of the best restaurants in Japan. Using wagyu beef raised in Kyushu, the famous wagyu sirloin steak melts in your mouth. Hafuu Shogoin is located in close proximity from Honten (the original), both providing the same menu.
Price: 3,000-6,000 yen
Hours: (Lunch) 11:00-13:30 (Dinner) 17:30-21:30
Website: Hafuu Honten
3. Katsukura Sanjo Honten
Looking for delicious tonkatsu (pork cutlet) at an affordable price in Kyoto? Katsukura Sanjo Honten offers crispy and tender tonkatsu with all-you-can-eat cabbage, miso soup, and barley rice. The restaurant is hidden in a narrow street so look closely if it’s your first visit. We recommend the tenderloin cutlet & prawn cutlet zen-set.
Price: 1,000-2,000 yen
4. Ippudo Ramen
Ippudo is a famous global ramen chain restaurant now accessible in over 12 countries. Because of its location (walking distance from Nishiki market) and popularity, groups of tourists from all over the world are likely to be lining up outside the restaurant. However, the rich flavor of Ippudo’s tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen and its crispy gyoza will be well worth the wait.
Price: 800-2,000 yen
Located in Arashiyama, a famous tourist district, Otsuka offers premium A5 grade wagyu beef steak. Murasawa beef is a high-quality wagyu beef produced in Nagano and here, it won’t cost the earth.
Price: 1,000-6,000 yen
6. Ryotei Kikunoi
At Ryotei Kikunoi, you can experience luxurious Kaiseki (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner) cuisine composed of 10-15 dishes made with seasonal ingredients and a lot of craftsmanship. The restaurant was awarded three stars in the Michelin Guide 2015 for the Kansai region, so they must be doing something right. Also, you can pack the leftovers in bento boxes and take them home if you get full before the meal ends.
Price: 4,000-30,000 yen
Hours: (Lunch) 11:30-13:00 (Dinner) 17:00-20:00
7. Gion Matsudaya
Gion Matsudaya is one of two Michelin-starred sushi restaurants in Kyoto. Matsuda Kazunori serves only 4 to 6 customers at a time and provides outstanding service and alongside its fantastic food. Matsuda uses fish delivered daily from Tsukiij market in Tokyo in order to keep his sushi fresh and seasonal at all times.
Price: 15,000-25,000 yen
Hours: 18:00-22:00 (Closed on Mondays)
8. Myoudai Omen Ginkakuji Honten
At Myoudai Omen, you can try udon “tsukemen” style. Similar to “zaru soba” (cold soba noodles dish), you dip your cold udon noodles in either a cold or hot broth. Also, be sure to compliment your noodles with some seasonal vegetables or light, crispy tempura. Moreover, within 5 minutes of Ginkakuji, the silver pavilion, the location is excellent. The restaurant has three branches in Kyoto and one in New York.
Price: 1,000-3,000 yen
Website: Myoudai Omen
9. Hyotei Honten
Located near the famous Nanzenji Temple, Hyotei Honten is a Michelin three-starred restaurant that serves refined traditional kaiseki cuisine. The restaurant has been passed down through 14 generations and has a history of 300 years. Take your time and enjoy a course meal in a private tatami room while looking out over the scenic traditional Japanese garden.
Price: 23,000-45,000 yen
Website: Hyotei Honten
10. Nanzenji Junsei
Buddhist monks have developed various tofu dishes over the years because of their stringent vegetarianism. The yu-dofu (boiled tofu) served here is no exception, originating, it is said, from Kyoto’s Nanzenji Temple. A spoonful of soft boiled tofu will keep your body warm and healthy.
Price: 3,000-8,000 yen
11. Tempura Endo Yasaka
Located in the Gion district, Tempura Endo Yasaka uses only the freshest seafood and vegetables for its tempura. Prices differ for lunch and dinner and only set meals are available.
Price: (Lunch) 4,000-8,000 yen (Dinner) 10,000-15,000 yen
Open Hours: 11:30-22:00
Website: Tempura Endo Yasaka
12. Chojiro Sushi
Chojiro is a conveyor-belt-sushi restaurant with iPad ordering that helpfully includes an English language option. Forget about the language barrier for a while and enjoy some top quality fish. Plate prices range from 300 to 500 yen.
Price: 3,000-5,000 yen
13. Kyoto Wakuden
Wakuden is a high-quality kaiseki restaurant famous for its great views of the city and its accessible location (the 11th floor of Isetan department store, connected to JR Kyoto Station). Wakuden (Muromachi) is another branch in Kyoto located near Karasuma-oike Station.
Price: 6,000-15,000 yen
Hours: (Lunch) 11:00-15:30 (Dinner) 17:00-22:00
14. Tempura Yoshikawa
Tempura Yoshikawa is both an inn and a restaurant. 11 counter seats around the chef are available for visitors or customers staying at the inn can enjoy a tatami room looking out onto the garden. The place is foreigner friendly and serves crispy tempura course meals with fresh ingredients.
Price: 3,000-10.000 yen
Hours: (Lunch) 11:00-13:30 (Dinner) 17:00-20:00
Website: Tempura Yoshikawa
15. Ittetsu Grazie
Ittetsu Grazie is a “yakiniku” (grilled meat) restaurant located near the Dimaru department store. Yakiniku originally derives from Korean cuisine but has established itself as one of the most popular foods in Japan.
Price: 1000-3000 yen
16. Kyo Taisanboku
Kyo Taisanboku is a nice little izakaya restaurant with both counter and table seats. We recommend the beef grill on a small hot lava stone operated yourself. Yuba (tofu skin) gyoza, tempura and sashimi are good side dishes that compliment the sake well. You can also indulge in a 3-hour long all-you-can-drink option.
Price: 3000-5000 yen
Open Hours: 17:30-24:00
Location: 424-2 Ikesu-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Website: Kyo Taisanboku
For recommendations and advice on other Kyoto restaurants, check out our ultimate guide to Kyoto restaurants: