Kyoto Restaurants – the Ultimate Guide

Need a Kyoto restaurant? We've got the ultimate guide to best of them. No matter your budget or taste, we've got a Kyoto restaurant for you.

Hungry? You’ve come to the right place. If you’ve found yourself in Kyoto, that is. 

We’ve got the ultimate collection of Kyoto restaurant recommendations available online. A virtual encyclopedia of Kyoto food is now at your disposal. So, whether you’re after a restaurant on the river or in Gion, a tasty budget joint or some Michelin stars, a traditional meal or something a little more contemporary, you’re in luck – we’ve got it all. 

The Best Restaurants in Kyoto 

Photo credit: Jun Seita via Flickr cc

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. 

Michelin Star Restaurants in Kyoto


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The famous Michelin Guide awards restaurants with prestigious stars based on the quality of their food as well as the status of “Bib Gourmand” for those that combine excellent quality with value for money.

Although known for its temples and shrines, Kyoto is no slouch when it comes to food – boasting 174 Michelin star restaurants. Of these, we’re here to introduce you to 16 of the very best.  

The Best Restaurants in Gion


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Tucked away in the heart of Kyoto between Yasaka-jinja Shrine and the Kamo-gawa river, Gion boasts beautiful wooden architecture and is the best spot for your first sight of a real geisha or maiko (geisha in training) pottering into one of the mysterious machiya (wooden houses). With an abundance of traditional restaurants in the Gion area, we have selected a handful of eateries that reflect the quality in the price, as well as some affordable alternatives.

Top Kaiseki Restaurants in Kyoto

Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen

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In addition to its holy sites, Kyoto is famous for its kaiseki. After a brief explanation of what kaiseki is, we’ll present to you the 11 best kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto.  

The Best Restaurants in and around Kyoto Station

Photo Credit: Shuichi Aizawa via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: Shuichi Aizawa via Flickr cc

The second-largest station building in Japan with a memorable, futuristic design, Kyoto Station draws quite the contrast with the usual ideas associated with traditional Kyoto. Besides serving as a transportation hub, the complex is home to, and surrounded by, plenty of fantastic restaurants. 

Find out more with our guide:

The Best Izakaya in Kyoto 

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Provided by Foursquare

If you’ve never heard of Izakaya, you should definitely give this great Japanese tradition a chance. We’ve selected the ten best Izakaya in the Kyoto city area for you to try and be inspired by. Be aware, however, that there are thousands of hidden gems out there, all waiting to be discovered. 

Top Kyoto Restaurants on the River 

Photo Credit : TOTORORO.RORO via Flickr cc

Photo Credit : TOTORORO.RORO via Flickr cc

Kyoto’s wooden terraces along the Kamo River, or “yuka” as they’re known, are one of the city’s best spots for a little al fresco summer dining. A tradition since the late 16th century, the yuka are where the people of Kyoto have always headed to enjoy the summer sun, relax and indulge their appetites. Today, restaurants continue to thrive along the banks of the Kamo, and the good news is, we’re here to introduce you to some of the best. 

The Best Sushi Restaurants in Kyoto 

Photo Credit: jen via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: jen via Flickr cc

Sushi can now be found all over the world, but undoubtedly, the best sushi is still found in Japan. It is an experience you should be at pains not to miss when in the country, although, with so much choice, deciding on the sushi joint for you can be a challenge. If you are popping over to Kyoto, have a look at our list of the city’s 10 best sushi restaurants – ranging in style and price, you’re sure to find somewhere that fits the bill.


After a place to stay or some things to do? Take a look at our other Kyoto guides:

Kyoto Sightseeing 

Jack Heslehurst

Jack Heslehurst

Tokyo-based writer and editor, originally from the UK, with a special interest in politics, history and travel.

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# Kyoto Restaurants # What to Eat in Japan

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