17 Outstanding Restaurants in Kyoto Selected by a Famous Japanese Gourmet Site

Publish-date: Dec 13 2017 Update-date: Nov 17 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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17 Outstanding Restaurants in Kyoto Selected by a Famous Japanese Gourmet Site

The ancient city of Kyoto is also famous for its numerous restaurants that serve a wide variety of cuisines. Below, you'll find a wide selection of outstanding restaurants in Kyoto that are featured in hitosara, a famous Japanese gourmet site, or have high ratings on social media.

1. Hyotei Main Branch (Sakyo)

1. Hyotei Main Branch (Sakyo)17 Outstanding Restaurants in Kyoto Selected by a Famous Japanese Gourmet Site

First up is the main branch of Hyotei - a restaurant with a 450-year history that's famous worldwide as a leading provider of Kyoto cuisine. This is the restaurant to go to if you want to enjoy outstanding Kyoto-style Kaiseki cuisine (traditional Japanese course cuisine). The dish that you must try is its specialty, [Hyotei Tamago], which is an egg dish with a viscous texture that carries the wonderful flavors of dashi (broth) and shoyu (soy sauce). Their [Asagayu (6,000 JPY)] (morning rice porridge) that is only available between July 31 - August 31 is also recommended. They only have private rooms, which all have a "wabi to sabi" (taste for the simple and quiet) feel. This is a restaurant where you can experience Japanese culture through both its food and interior.

Hyotei Main Branch (Sakyo)

Open: 11:00 am - 7:30 pm 
*Asa-gayu July 1 - August 31 8:00 am - 10:00 am, Uzura-gayu December 1 - March 15 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] From 27,000 JPY / [Lunch] From 23,000 JPY
Address: 35, Nanzenji Kusakawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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2. Shimogamosaryo Main Branch (Sakyo)

2. Shimogamosaryo Main Branch (Sakyo)

The main branch of Shimogamosaryo is a restaurant that continues to disseminate Kyoto-style cuisine and hospitality globally. It is a restaurant that has cherished the "dosan doho" style of cooking local ingredients in a manner that has been passed down in that region, and it has been instrumental in spreading knowledge about Kyo Yasai (heirloom vegetables originating from Kyoto Prefecture) globally. Its menu of unique, creative dishes based on authentic Kyoto-style cuisine that utilize plenty of Kyo Yasai and seasonal ingredients are all as beautiful as they are tasty. In particular, the flavors of [Kyo Yasai no Hiyashi-bachi] - a dish of kamo nasu (eggplant), a major Kyo Yasai vegetable, that's slow-cooked in dashi - is spectacular.

Shimogamosaryo Main Branch (Sakyo)

Open: [Lunch] 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm)
[Dinner] 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 16,000 JPY / [Lunch] 7,000 JPY
Address: 62, Shimogamo Miyagawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

3. Tankuma Kitamise Main Branch (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

3. Tankuma Kitamise Main Branch (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

The main branch of Tankuma Kitamise is a well-established Kyoto cuisine restaurant in Kawara-machi, an area that retains the atmosphere of the old Kyoto. Everything in the Kyoto cuisine served here - from the delicate yet florid [Zensai] (appetizers), to the aromatic [Yakimono] (grilled items) and fragrant [Wanmono] (items served in a bowl) - is lovingly prepared by the head chef. The [Wanmono] are particularly outstanding dishes that contain the umami (Japanese savory taste) of kombu (seaweed) and bonito enhanced by the water from Kyoto, ensuring that the moment you open the lid, you are enveloped in a soft and rich fragrance. Enjoy the seasons of Kyoto through their [Wanmono], which changes monthly.

Tankuma Kitamise Main Branch (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Open: [Lunch] 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm)
[Dinner] 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 20,000 JPY / [Lunch] 6,000 JPY
Address: 355, Nishikiyamachi-dori 4-jo-agaru Kamiya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

4. Kikusui (Sakyo)

4. Kikusui (Sakyo)17 Outstanding Restaurants in Kyoto Selected by a Famous Japanese Gourmet Site

Kikusui is a restaurant that prides itself on the Kyoto-style cuisine that it serves, including the Kyoto specialty, [Yudofu] (hot tofu), and Kaiseki courses made with plenty of seasonal ingredients, all of which are prepared with dashi taken from Ma-konbu from Hokkaido and katsuobushi (bonito flakes). In addition to the fantastic cuisine, this restaurant offers views of a beautiful and vast Japanese garden. You'll have a luxurious time savoring Kyoto-style cuisine while enjoying gorgeous seasonal views of plants and flowers.

Kikusui (Sakyo)

Open: [Lunch] 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 3:00 pm)
[Dinner] 3:30 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 12,000 JPY / [Lunch] 6,000 JPY
Address: 31, Nanzenji Fukuchi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

5. Wagokoro Izumi (Around Gojo-dori)

5. Wagokoro Izumi (Around Gojo-dori)

Masaki Izumi, the chef at Wagokoro Izumi, retains the flavors and style of Sakurada, a famous restaurant in Kyoto that is no longer in operation. The top recommendation at this restaurant is the [Hassun] - a tray full of delicacies that is served as a part of the [Yoru no Omakase (16,500 JPY)] (evening chef's selection). This menu item that consists of chirashi-zushi (a type of sushi), blood clam teppai (a regional dish from Kagawa Prefecture in which food is mixed with miso and vinegar), simmered Kawachi duck loin, boiled rapeseed, and roast Kameoka aitch bone, is an outstanding Izumi creation that is as beautiful as it is tasty.

Wagokoro Izumi (Around Gojo-dori)

Open: [Lunch] 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm (last entry at 1:00 pm)
[Dinner] 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm (last entry at 7:30 pm)
Closed: Monday
Average price: [Dinner] 13,000 JPY / [Lunch] 5,400 JPY
Address: 634-3, Karasumaru Bukkoji Higashi-iru Hitosujime Minami-iru Nioitenjin-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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6. Kinmata (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

6. Kinmata (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Kinmata is a well-established restaurant that retains the traditions and hospitality of Kyoto-style cuisine. There is no menu at this restaurant. Instead, the chef serves "the best tasting food that is in season", depending on the season and the customers' wishes. At Kinmata, be sure to ask for the [Otsukuri] (sashimi). You will be able to enjoy the best seasonal ingredients, such as sea bream, Japanese amberjack, and Japanese Spanish mackerel. The [Tempura], a standard in Japanese cuisine, is another outstanding dish that is highly rated.

Kinmata (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Open: [Lunch] 12:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm)
[Dinner] 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 7:30 pm)
Closed: Irregular (mainly Wednesday)
Average price: [Dinner] 20,000 JPY / [Lunch] 10,000 JPY
Address: 407, Gokomachi-dori Shijo-agaru Dainichi-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

7. Hafuu Main Branch (Around Nijo Castle and Gosho)

7. Hafuu Main Branch (Around Nijo Castle and Gosho)sakaki0214/Flickr

Hafuu is an understated meat restaurant in an area full of the atmosphere of the ancient city of Kyoto, near the Imperial Palace. The restaurant is managed by a butcher, so the quality and freshness of the meat is guaranteed. The steaks, which are in the 4,000 JPY range at lunchtime, are a great way to enjoy their fantastic flavors. This is the place for people who want to have a special meat meal in a stylish, contemporary space.

Hafuu Main Branch (Around Nijo Castle and Gosho)

Open: [Lunch] 11:30 am - 1:30 pm [Dinner] 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Closed: Wednesday (open if it is a National Holiday)
Average price: 6,001 JPY - 7,000 JPY
Address: 471-1, Fuyacho-dori Ebisugawa-agaru Sasaya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

8. Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo (Gion/Higashiyama)

8. Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo (Gion/Higashiyama)

Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo is the place to go if you want to enjoy Kyoto's fresh ingredients and flavors in tempura. At this restaurant, veteran chefs will skillfully fry traditional Kyo Yasai, seasonal seafood from Akashi and Wakasa, and freshwater fish from the clear Lake Oku-biwa, for you. You will be wowed by the fantastic flavors, as well as the perfectly timed pace at which the freshly fried tempura is placed in front of you. The [Tempura Course] and [Tempura Kaiseki] that start at 4,000 JPY (plus tax) for lunch and at 10,000 JPY (plus tax) for dinner are recommended.

Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo (Gion/Higashiyama)

Open: [Lunch] 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:45 pm)
[Dinner] 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm (L.O. 9:15 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 8,000 JPY / [Lunch] 5,000 JPY
Address: 566, Komatsu-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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9. Gion Tempura Tenshu (Gion/Higashiyama)

9. Gion Tempura Tenshu (Gion/Higashiyama)bryan.../Flickr

If you want to eat your fill of outstanding tempura at an established tempura restaurant, go to Gion Tempura Tenshu at lunchtime. The [Anago Tendon (1,100 JPY)] - a rice bowl with 3 super large, freshly fried anago (conger eel) - is a great recommendation. It is quite filling, so be sure to come to the restaurant hungry! Gion Tempura Tenshu is a very popular restaurant, so there are bound to be lines at lunchtime. If you can, go when it opens at 11:00 am.

Gion Tempura Tenshu (Gion/Higashiyama)

Open: [Lunch] 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
[Dinner] 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Closed: Wednesday
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY - 5,999 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY - 1,999 JPY
Address: 244, Gion Shijo-dori Nawate Higashi-iru Kita-gawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

10. Kome-Ryotei Hachidaime Gihey

10. Kome-Ryotei Hachidaime GiheyElie Lin/Flickr

Rice is the key to all Japanese cuisine, and Kome-Ryotei Hachidaime Gihey is a restaurant that serves rice at its finest by meticulously selecting the producer and strain, and cooking it in just the right way. Enjoy its bottomless rice together with items that go well with it, such as seasonal sashimi, grilled fish, pork loin teriyaki, and shrimp tempura. The top recommended item is the brand name egg, [Miyama no Komoriuta], which sells for 200 JPY each. Mix it with shoyu, and enjoy the rice covered in the raw egg and shoyu mixture.

Kome-Ryotei Hachidaime Gihey

Open: [Lunch] 11:00 am - 2:30 pm
[Dinner] 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY - 5,999 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY - 1,999 JPY
Address: 296, Gion-machi Kita-gawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: Official Homepage

11. Hisago (Gion/Higashiyama)

11. Hisago (Gion/Higashiyama)JUNO TSENG/Flickr

Hisago is a well-established soba (buckwheat noodles) restaurant, but its specialty dish that almost everyone who comes here orders is the [Oyako-don (1,010 JPY)] (rice bowl dish with chicken and eggs). Enjoy the combination of sweet dashi made from shaved katsuobushi and kombu, Tamba Jidori (free-range chicken) that's full of rich umami, Kujo negi (welsh onions), and soft and fluffy eggs with a bit of sansho (strong Japanese pepper) sprinkled on top. You will be amazed by the flavors!

Hisago (Gion/Higashiyama)

Open: 11:30 am - 7:30 pm
Closed: Monday (the next day if it is a National Holiday)
Average price: Up to 999 JPY
Address: 484, Shimokawara-dori Yasaka Toriimae-iru Shimokawara-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

12. Fugu Ryori Tomoe (Rakuhoku/Kitayama)

12. Fugu Ryori Tomoe (Rakuhoku/Kitayama)

Fugu Ryori Tomoe is one of Kyoto's most famous fugu (puffer fish) restaurants. You can only enter the restaurant if you have a reservation. This is done so that the chefs can calculate the timing that the food needs to be served to the customers, as they need to prepare by cutting up the fugu and letting it ferment for just the right amount of time. The fugu sashimi, [Tessa (4,500 JPY)], is an outstanding dish with umami that fills the mouth as you chew. This is a starred restaurant where you can enjoy the fantastic flavors of fugu.

Fugu Ryori Tomoe (Rakuhoku/Kitayama)

Open: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
Closed: Irregular (Closed from June - August)
Average price: 18,000 JPY
Address: 27-4, Murasakino Shimomikoshi-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
More Details

13. AWOMB (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

13. AWOMB (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)Hiro - Kokoro☆Photo/Flickr

AWOMB is a restaurant where you can enjoy sushi in a stylish renovated old house. The restaurant's specialty dish is the [Teori Zushi (2,340 JPY)], a menu item that allows you to make hand-rolled sushi yourself using a variety of colorful ingredients. Most of the ingredients are local Kyoto produce. It is not just tasty, but also fun and beautiful to look at, so it is recommended for a nice meal with friends.

AWOMB (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Open: [Lunch] 12:00 am - 3:00 pm
[Dinner] 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Closed: None
Average price: 2,000 JPY - 2,999 JPY
Address: 189, Ubayanagi-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

14. Gion MAVO (Gion/Higashiyama)

14. Gion MAVO (Gion/Higashiyama)

Gion MAVO is a reservation-only French restaurant that's known for its beautifully-presented dishes. The menu consists of just the chef's selection, [Omakase Course], in which the chef presents their world view by delicately expressing Kyoto's seasons. The main meat dish, which is smoked with pine cones, is an outstanding meal that you will want to savor. The restaurant also offers a [Tea Pairing] service, where they offer Japanese tea that goes well with every dish, so give it a try!

Gion MAVO (Gion/Higashiyama)

Open: [Lunch] 12:00 am - 2:00 pm
[Dinner] 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Closed: Tuesday, Wednesday
Average price: [Dinner] 18,000 JPY / [Lunch] 10,000 JPY
Address: 1F, Maifukan Bldg., Shimokawara-dori Yasaka Torii-mae-sagaru Kamibenten-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

15. IL GHIOTTONE (Gion/Higashiyama)

15. IL GHIOTTONE (Gion/Higashiyama)

IL GHIOTTONE is a restaurant that serves Italian cuisine made with as much seasonal Kyoto ingredients as possible. It is based on the idea of "if Kyoto were a province in Italy". The top recommended dish is the [Ironna Yasai Tappuri no Risotto (1,890 JPY)], which is made with a variety of local vegetables. It is an outstanding dish that is truly an amalgamation of Kyoto and Italy. This stylish restaurant, which is housed in a renovated old home, is a fantastic place to relax in.

 IL GHIOTTONE (Gion/Higashiyama)

Open: [Lunch] 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
[Dinner] 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Closed: Tuesday, Irregularly on Wednesday once a month
Average price: 10,000 JPY
Address: 388-1, Shimogawara-dori Tonomae-sagaru Yasaka Kami-machi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

16. Hyoto (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

16. Hyoto (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Hyoto is a restaurant where you can enjoy beautiful Kaiseki cuisine made with carefully selected seasonal ingredients, such as brand name pork from Sakura-jima in Kagoshima Prefecture, and the season's Kyo Yasai. A popular menu item at this restaurant is the [Dashi Shabu (3,000 JPY (plus tax))]. The dashi in this shabu-shabu (sliced meat parboiled with vegetables) is taken from carefully selected bonito and kombu, ensuring that it enhances the flavors of the pork and seasonal vegetables. The soba that can be added when you nearly finish this [Dashi Shabu] is also exceptional, so be sure to order it.

Hyoto (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Open: [Weekdays] Lunch 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 p.m.)

[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm)
[Friday, Saturday, Day before National Holidays] Dinner 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
[Monday - Thursday, Sunday] Dinner 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)"
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 7,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,500 JPY
Address: 1F, Meirin Bldg., 550-1, Yamabushiyama-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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17. Kakurega Shijo Kawara-machi Branch (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

17. Kakurega Shijo Kawara-machi Branch (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Kakurega is a restaurant that is just a 3-minute walk from Kawaramachi Station. It is popular as a place to casually enjoy tasty meat dishes. The top recommendation among the wide selection of quality meat dishes served at this restaurant is the [Cheese Dak Galbi (1,280 JPY)] - a yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) dish with a generous serving of carefully selected cheese that's melted on chicken and vegetables. It goes perfectly with beer!

Kakurega Shijo Kawara-machi Branch (Sanjo/Shijo Karasuma/Shijo Kawara-machi)

Open: 4:30 pm - 00:00 am
Closed: Irregular
Average price: 2,800 JPY
Address: B1F, Shokakuji Akamon Bldg., Uraderacho-dori, Takoyakushi-sagaru, Uradera-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.

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Publish-date: Dec 13 2017 Update-date: Nov 17 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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