The 10 unmissable restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka area, January 2019

Publish-date: Jan 11 2019 Update-date: May 11 2023
The 10 unmissable restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka area, January 2019

Planning a trip to Kyoto and Osaka area and looking for something specific to eat? There are plenty of restaurants to suit every tastes. Discover the best places to eat here, from traditional meal and quintessentially comfort food to western-style dishes and varied ethnic cuisine.

1. Setsugetsuka Hanare

Setsugetsuka Hanare cuisine
Setsugetsuka Hanare floor
Extra-large, meaty, wild [Abalone] from Sanriku. Silky [Foie Gras]. High-quality ingredients like these are exactingly selected and cooked right in front of diners on a griddle here for the perfect amount of time needed to bring the umami (Japanese savory taste) to its full potential, a feat that earned the restaurant a star in 2014. Setsugetsuka Hanare was opened in Sannomiya in 2014 with the goal of creating delicious dishes that would surpass the main location. The stunningly delicious [Kobe Beef Sirloin Steak] is made with Kobe beef that's been aged over a long period of time, resulting in superb umami and texture. This steak's exterior is seared with a high flame, creating a crisp outside texture, and the ingenious cooking process makes for a melt-in-your-mouth piece of meat. There are private rooms available for parties of 5 all the way to parties of 16. When you've finished eating, relax and enjoy the beautiful nighttime views from the restaurant.

Setsugetsuka Hanare

Open: [Weekdays, Day before National Holidays] 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 20,000 JPY
Access: Exit JR [Sannomiya Station] West Exit and head north. Go straight towards the corner with the docomo store and turn left at the second Lawson store. Cross the road to the right at the next light, and it will be next to Nakahyogo Shinkin Bank.
Address: 8F, La Doll Ray Kobe Sannomiya Bldg., 1-25-6, Nakayamate-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo (Map)
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2. Kodaiji Toyokawa

Kodaiji Toyokawa cuisine
Kodaiji Toyokawa floor
[Kodaiji Toyokawa] is located in the between Yasaka-jinja Shrine in the north, Higashiyama Kennin-ji Temple in the west, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple in the south. We offer delicious kaiseki (traditional Japanese cuisine) with a beautiful appearance, using various vegetables from Kyoto and Ohara. Our most recommended dish is exquisite [Sesami Tofu] which is indispensable to our kaiseki courses. Its pure white color comes from [Migaki Sesame]. Enjoy its aftertaste with a slight aroma of sesame after swallowing. In addition to traditional kaiseki cuisine, we also offer vegetarian courses without any animal ingredients with advanced reservations. Have fun at our counter seats, or enjoy a private moment in our private rooms. Our cheerful and gentle-mannered owner offers a satisfying service to many guests every day.  

Kodaiji Toyokawa

Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch from 11:00 am (L.O. 1:30 pm) / Dinner from 5:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)
Closed: Wednesday
Average price: [Dinner] 8,000 JPY / [Lunch] 5,000 JPY
Access: From [Gion Shijo Station], go towards the direction of Yasaka-jinja Shrine. Go south for approximately 4 minutes along the road with the south gate and stone torii gate of Yasaka-jinja Shrine, then on your right
Address: 427-2 Kamibenten-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto

3. Menkiya Kawaramachi Branch

Menkiya Kawaramachi Branch cuisine
Menkiya Kawaramachi Branch floor
Just 5 minutes on foot from the Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line, you'll find Menkiya Kawaramachi Branch. The restaurant serves under the concept of "ramen you can eat every day." They make sure to use ingredients that are harvested from the prefecture of Kyoto in all their dishes. Their ramen has a taste of that you'll never be tired. It comes with a light shoyu tonkotsu (soy sauce and pork bones) base using top-quality ingredients. They also have karamen (spicy noodles), miso ramen, and not-your-ordinary curry noodles. Being able to enjoy quality ingredients at a reasonable price satisfactorily is what makes the restaurant appealing to diners. Adding to this is their after-meal treat, authentic Uji matcha (a type of high-quality powdered green tea from Uji, Kyoto), which is offered for free. The tea is from a matcha producer that has been in the business for around 120 years. Here, you will be able to experience the "tastes of Kyoto" from start to finish.

Menkiya Kawaramachi Branch

Open: 11:00 am - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 1,500 JPY / [Lunch] 900 JPY
Access: 5-minute walk from [Kawaramachi Station] on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line
Address: 595-11, Uradera-cho, Shinkyogoku Higashi-iru, Takoyakushi-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

4. Gontaro Okazaki branch

Gontaro Okazaki branch cuisine
Gontaro Okazaki branch floor
[Gontaro Okazaki branch], in a cultural zone with the Heian-jingu Shrine and Kyoto Municipal of Museum of Art, is a renowned historical restaurant since the Meiji period, serving soba (buckwheat noodles) and udon (thick noodles). We currently have 3 branches in Kyoto city. The secret to our delicious dishes is our clear amber-colored [golden broth] which is made with carefully selected ingredients and carefully created by our skillful chef. Enjoy its delicate and deep taste. The most recommended dish is our specialty [Gontaro Nabe], a Kyoto-style hot pot with udon where you can fully enjoy various savory blessings from the mountains and the ocean in our proud broth. Also, enjoy our home-made udon served as a last hot pot ingredient to finish the dinner. Inside our restaurant is filled with Japanese atmosphere, with table seats, raised tatami-floored seating area, and a great hall. We also have a beautiful garden with a sense of the season. Fully enjoy having a beautiful moment with us.

Gontaro Okazaki branch

Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 11:00 am - 9:30 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)
Closed: Wednesday
Average price: [Dinner] 2,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: 15 minutes walk from [Higashiyama Station] on Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line / 5 minutes by Kyoto Municipal Bus, then 1 minute walk from [Dobutsuen-mae Bus Stop]
Address: 19 Okazaki Minamigosho-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto

5. Benvenuto

Benvenuto cuisine
Benvenuto floor
Our restaurant has a high ceiling, stone walls with a warm atmosphere, and wide tables. Old lumber from a 150-year-old bridge in the U.S. was installed for the wooden frame of the building and the wine rack. The restaurant is filled with the mild sunlight in the daytime, and illuminated at night, which creates another charm. We offer a wide variety of authentic Italian dishes created by our chef with a sense and tongue, who accumulated experiences in Italy. Our large-sized restaurant of approximately 1,980 m2, with spacious parking, faces the road. Even when we are very crowded, you do not have to worry about parking. Thoroughly enjoy a luxurious moment, forgetting your everyday life, with our cuisine at our spacious restaurant. 


Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
Closed: Wednesday, National Holidays
Average price: [Dinner] 7,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: 1,210 meters from Gakuenmae Station by car
Address: 1-2-14 Tomigaoka, Nara city, Nara

6. Mahoroba

Mahoroba cuisine
Mahoroba floor
Enjoy a variety of innards at [Mahoroba], located in Shinsaibashi, Osaka. A wide range of innards is stocked here, from the classic tecchan (large intestine), teppo (rectum), and senmai (omasum), to rare cuts that are hard to find elsewhere like the lungs and pancreas. What's more, the portion sizes are smaller than average, allowing customers to taste and compare an even wider range of cuts. Not only offal cuisine is served here - there is also an extensive grilled cuisine menu, such as the hearty on-the-bone kalbi (Korean-style barbecued ribs). A variety of pork offal is also available, including donatsu (cartilage around the larynx) and the uterus. This restaurant has a range of seating available, making it ideal for a number of different occasions. For example, there are counter seat ideal for those who wish to eat alone, as well as rooms with tatami flooring that are great for large groups to kick back and relax in.


Open: Dinner 5:00 pm - 3:00 am (L.O. 2:30 am)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY
Access: 3-minute walk from Nagahoribashi Station, 7-minute walk from Shinsaibashi Station.
Address: 1F, Chusei Bldg., 1-8-5, Higashi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

7. Kyoto Ayanokoji Mangetu-no-Hana

Kyoto Ayanokoji Mangetu-no-Hana cuisine
Kyoto Ayanokoji Mangetu-no-Hana floor
Enjoy a relaxing moment at our [Kyoto Ayanokoji Mangetsu-no-Hana] with a nostalgic space in an old machiya (Japanese townhouse) in Kyoto. We serve a wide variety of dishes, such as local dishes using the ingredients from or around Kyoto prefecture, healthy vegetable dishes using an abundance of vegetables, and savory meat and fish dishes which go well with alcohol. Set meals are offered during lunchtime. At night, we serve courses mainly with meals or one that goes well with alcohol, banquet cuisine, and a-la-carte dishes, so that you can visit us for various occasions. We also offer various tasty sake (Japanese alcohol) from all over Japan, including many rare ones which can be seldom found, and sake sets to compare different tastes. Alcohols other than sake are also available, of course.

Kyoto Ayanokoji Mangetu-no-Hana

Open: [Monday, Wednesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 1F Japanese Cafe; 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Lunch; 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm), Alcohol and Side Dishes;  5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (Food L.O. 10:00 pm, Drink L.O. 10:30 pm) / 2F Rental Space 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed: Tuesday
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: 5 minutes walk from [Karasuma Station] on Hankyu Kyoto Line / 5 minutes walk from [Shijo Station] on Kyoto Subway Karasuma Line
Address: 206-1 Ayanokoji-dori Sakaimachi Higashi-iru Ayazaimoku-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto

8. Kobe Beef Hamburger Steak & Steak Ichi

Kobe Beef Hamburger Steak & Steak Ichi cuisine
Kobe Beef Hamburger Steak & Steak Ichi floor
[Kobe Beef Hamburger Steak and Steak Ichi] is on Tenjimbashi-suji Shopping Street, near to [The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living]. We serve high-quality Kobe Beef at a reasonable price. Gorgeously enjoy various exquisite Kobe Beef dishes, such as [Combination of Hand-Kneaded Kobe Beef Hamburger Steak and Steak] to enjoy two of our specialties at one time, [Steak of Carefully-Selected Rare Cuts] to fully enjoy several different kinds of rare cuts, and [Bolognese], a  hidden menu popular among our fans. We also offer a wide variety of wines to enjoy the ultimate pairing with them. We are fully-equipped with English menus, as many foreign tourists also. Visit this influential restaurant which is spreading Kobe Beef to the world. 

Kobe Beef Hamburger Steak & Steak Ichi

Open: Lunch 11:00 am - 3:30 pm / Dinner 3:25 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: A 7-minute walk from [Tenma Station] on JR Osaka Loop Line
Address: 6-6-19 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka city, Osaka

9. Nagomi

Nagomi cuisine
Nagomi floor
Our restaurant serves udon (thick noodles) and rice bowls on the second floor of a building along Akezu-dori street in Kyoto, which goes north from Ryokan-dori street. We serve more than 10 kinds of udon with carefully-selected broth, soup, and noodles. We also offer voluminous toppings such as tempura, fried tofu, and meat at a reasonable price. In our relaxing restaurant with a warm feeling of the wood,  tables seats are set spaciously, so you can relax and enjoy the meal even when you are alone without concern about others. We also offer small-sized udon and rice dishes, which may be good for a casual lunch with your family, or while sightseeing. Our large-size meal will even satisfy workers who need lots of energy as well. 


Open: [Tuesday - Sunday] 11:30 am - 8:00 pm (L.O. 7:30 pm)
Closed: Monday
Average price: [Dinner] 1,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 5 minutes walk from JR Kyoto Station
Address: 2F, 736 Higashi Shiokoji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto 

10. KYOU Karasuma

KYOU Karasuma cuisine
KYOU Karasuma floor
“Kyou Karasuma” is located in the basement of the “Noku Kyoto Hotel,” situated near the Marutamachi station on the Karasuma line of the subway. Enjoy a variety of high-quality brand-name meats, such as Omi beef and Kyoto beef, carefully selected by the chef and offered at reasonable prices. We’ve chosen the best Japanese wines to pair with our dishes. The restaurant is spacious, able to accommodate parties of up to 80 people. There are also three private rooms that can be reserved for parties of two, and they’re well-suited for meetings, business entertainment, or just eating together. As there are only three rooms available, please make sure to reserve them in advance.

KYOU Karasuma

Open: Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm) / Bar 5:00 pm - 0:00 am
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: 1-minute walk from exit 4 of Marutamachi Station (Subway Karasuma Line).
Address: B1F Noku Kyoto Hotel, 205-1 Okura-cho Karasuma-dori-Marutamachi-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.
Publish-date: Jan 07 2019 Update-date: May 11 2023

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