Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Publish-date: Jan 18 2018 Update-date: Nov 27 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

"Kyo-ryori" refers to Kyoto's local cuisine, as well as cuisine developed locally that eventually became one of the representatives of Japanese cooking. This article will feature the top 15 izakaya (Japanese pubs) in Kyoto that serve delicious Kyo-ryori and alcohol. They serve a variety of dishes, including Kaiseki cuisine (traditional Japanese course cuisine with tea) and common dishes.

1. Kawamura Ryori Hei Gokomachi Branch (Kawaramachi)

1. Kawamura Ryori Hei Gokomachi Branch (Kawaramachi)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Located near Nishiki Market Shopping District (Nishiki-shijo Shoten-gai), which is also called the "kitchen of Kyoto" for stocking most of the ingredients for Kyo-ryori, Kawamura Ryori Hei is known for its dishes that are made mostly of local seasonal ingredients. For those visiting for the first time, the recommended dish would be the [San Tan] (3,000 JPY (plus tax)). It consists of 8 items that could be enjoyed even by a solo diner. They also serve a wide variety of dishes that go well with their wine and liquor selections, such as sake (Japanese alcohol) from local breweries and other parts of Japan, wines, shochu (another type of Japanese alcohol), and cocktails. In addition, they have private rooms that let you spend quality time with friends, as well as counter seats to accommodate solo diners.

Kawamura Ryori Hei Gokomachi Branch (Kawaramachi)

Open: Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,950 JPY
Address: 391-1, Funaya-cho, Nishiki Koji-agaru, Gokomachi-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

2. Kyoraku (Sanjo)

2. Kyoraku (Sanjo)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Kyoraku is a hole-in-the-wall izakaya that’s located on the 5th floor of a building in a corner along Takase River (Takase-gawa) in Kiya-machi. They offer Kyo-ryori made with carefully-selected Kyo-Yasai (vegetables raised and produced in Kyoto). One of their must-try dishes is the [Kuroge Wagyu Beef Sirloin Toban-yaki] (1,680 JPY (plus tax)) (Kuroge Wagyu sirloin grilled on a ceramic plate). You will surely love its melt-in-the-mouth, marbled texture and sweet taste, which is a unique attribute of good Japanese beef. As for their liquor selections, they have ji-zake (Japanese local alcohol) and wines that are best enjoyed through a 2-hour all-you-can-drink course.

Kyoraku (Sanjo)

Open: 5:00 pm - 5:00 am
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,800 JPY
Address: 5F, Yurika Bldg., 528, Kami Osaka-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

3. Iiemon (Kyoto)

3. Iiemon (Kyoto)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

The southern part of Kyoto is the home of Japanese tea, and this izakaya is known for serving creative cuisines and drinks that are generously infused with Kyoto's famous green tea. The best-selling drink is the [Matcha Beer] (650 JPY) (beer infused with matcha (powdered green tea)). It is loved by many because of its smooth, easy-to-drink texture and refreshing taste. Their specialty dish is the [Seiro no Ryokucha Mushi] (1,480 JPY), which consists of a combination of vegetables from Kyoto and pork in a green tea dashi (broth). It in an exquisite dish, thanks to the chewy texture and rich, sweet taste of Kyoto mochi-buta (a type of pork). The izakaya's rooftop also serves as a beer garden, which can be used for drinking and grilling. It's one of the best ways to enjoy grilling with friends while sipping [Matcha Beer]. Try it!

Iiemon (Kyoto)

Open: [Monday - Thursday, Sunday, National Holidays] 4:30 pm - 12:30 am (Food L.O. 11:30 pm, Drinks L.O. 12:00 am)
[Friday, Day before National Holidays] 4:30 pm - 3:00 am (Food L.O. 2:00 am, Drinks L.O. 2:30 pm)
[Saturday] 4:30 pm - 5:00 am (Food L.O. 4:30 am, Drinks L.O. 4:30 am)
[Beer Garden] 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: 3,000 JPY
Address: 3F, K-UP Shichijo Bldg., 210, Maoya-cho, Higashi no Toin Nishi-iru, Shichijo-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

4. Takarado Karasuma (Karasuma)

4. Takarado Karasuma (Karasuma)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Takarado is an izakaya that’s in a refurbished 100-year-old Kyo-machiya (Kyoto townhouse). On the 1st floor, you can enjoy creative dishes, as well as charcoal-grilled dishes, in a retro atmosphere with illuminations from a naked lightbulb on the ceiling. The 2nd floor houses banquet seats for those who want to have course meals, and the wall is adorned with etched artworks. If you want to enjoy a dish that showcases Kyoto’s taste, try the [Yurine Manju Yuba-an] (580 JPY (plus tax)). It is a rich-tasting fried bun filled with lily bulb, taro, and duck meat. They serve sake produced from all over Japan, wines from various countries, shochu, and so on. The [Yamitsuki Avocado] (450 JPY (plus tax)) is the best and recommended choice for your first glass. Try this avocado-infused cocktail, and you’ll find yourself asking for more!

Takarado Karasuma (Karasuma)

Open: [Monday - Thursday, Sunday, National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (Food L.O. 11:00 pm, Drinks L.O. 11:30 pm)
[Friday, Saturday] 5:00 pm - 1:00 am (Food L.O. 12:00 am, Drinks L.O. 12:30 am)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: 3,000 JPY
Address: 369-4, Shijo-cho, Shijo-sagaru, Shinmachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

5. Odaidokoro Roji (Uji)

5. Odaidokoro Roji (Uji)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Odaidokoro Roji is a creative Japanese izakaya located near the World Heritage Site, Byodoin Temple. They are known for preparing dishes from local Kyoto ingredients. For example, they get their vegetables and rice from local farmers, their shoyu (soy sauce) and miso from well-established local shops, and their seafood from an area in the northern part of Kyoto that faces the Sea of Japan. They sell locally-brewed junmai-shu (sake made from rice, water, yeast, and koji - a fermentation aid), gen-shu (unprocessed sake), and ume-shu (ume plum wine). They also serve delicious dishes during lunch, such as their best-seller, the [Roji's Famous Kyoto Tango Tennen-gyo Sashimi-zen] (2,500 JPY) (set meal with vegetables and sashimi made of fish from Tango, Kyoto), and [Kyoto Kamigamo Yasai to Buta no Seiro-zen] (2,000 JPY) (steamed Kamigamo vegetables and pork).

Odaidokoro Roji (Uji)

Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm) *Needs reservations at least a day prior for weekends and national holidays, Dinner 5:30 pm - 11:30 pm (Food L.O. 10:45 pm, Drinks L.O. 11:00 pm)
Closed: Monday
Average price: [Dinner] 4,500 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Address: 171-14, Ujimyoraku, Uji-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

6. Sobashusai Sakaean (Karasuma)

6. Sobashusai Sakaean (Karasuma)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Especially known for their selection of alcohol, this izakaya is also known for their delicious soba (buckwheat noodles). Their sake come from all over the country, and their shochu are brewed from a variety of ingredients, such as potatoes, barley, soba, and so on. As for their dishes, they specialize in Kyoto-raised duck meat, such as their best-selling [Kamo no Tataki] (850 JPY), which is lightly grilled on the surface and has a confined umami (Japanese savory taste). They also take pride in their soba that’s freshly made every morning, and you can taste them through the classic [Zaru Soba (680 JPY)] (cold soba) and [Original Creative Soba] (880 JPY) that’s topped with seasonal ingredients. Try them all!

Sobashusai Sakaean (Karasuma)

Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (Food L.O. 10:00 pm, Drinks L.O. 10:30 pm)
Closed: Monday (except the beginning and end of the year)
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 800 JPY
Address: 2F, Satake Bldg., 571, Obiya-cho, Nishikikoji-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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7. Kushiage Shusai Momoya (Karasuma)

7. Kushiage Shusai Momoya (Karasuma)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Located next to Nishiki Market Shopping District, which is known as the "kitchen of Kyoto", Momoya serves breaded and deep-fried vegetables, meat, and fish skewers. The restaurant uses specially formulated vegetable oil, giving their dishes a light yet crispy texture. Each stick is reasonably priced at 80 JPY. They also have [Kushi no Koshin] (3,500 JPY (plus tax)), which is a course where 20 kinds of skewers are fried until you ask to stop. As for their liquor selection, they have delicious yet inexpensive wines that go very well with their deep-fried skewers.

Kushiage Shusai Momoya (Karasuma)

Open: [Weekdays] 5:30 pm - 1:00 am 
[Weekends, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 2,500 JPY
Address: 1F, Glamorous Food Bldg., 596, Nishi Uoya-cho, Takakura Nishi-iru, Nishikikoji-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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8. Enmado (Shijo)

8. Enmado (Shijo)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Enmado is another izakaya in Kyoto that’s housed in a refurbished 100-year-old townhouse. They have private rooms with a variety of designs, including rooms with tables that offer a view of a small patio that’s full of Japanese atmosphere. They also have rooms with sofas so that guests can relax while drinking and enjoying their meal. They offer [Obanzai], which is a generic name for dishes traditionally eaten in most Kyoto households. 20 kinds of [Obanzai] are piled in a large container on the restaurant's counter, so you can have view of these colorful dishes. An example is the [Tebasaki Bomber] (302 JPY for 1 piece), which is an exquisite dish made of sweet and spicy grilled chicken wings. They also have a liquor selection that includes ji-zake, sake, and wines, which pair well with every item on their menu.

Enmado (Shijo)

Open: 5:30 am - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY
Address: 329, Kamiyanagi-cho, Karasuma Higashi-iru, Bukkoji-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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9. Shisui (Sanjo)

9. Shisui (Sanjo)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Shisui is an izakaya that’s located on the 4th floor of a building facing Kiyamachi Street (Kiyamachi-dori), where many stone monuments about history are built. Aside from offering a cozy environment, they also offer Kyo-ryori using vegetables, seafood, beef, and other local seasonal ingredients, including yuba (tofu skin). One of their must-try dishes is the [Kyo Yuba no Osuimono] (580 JPY), which is an exquisite dish where you can taste the elegant flavor of the dashi, made from dried bonito flakes. They also offer  [Obanzai]. They have ji-zake that complement their dishes, as well as sake, shochu, fruit wines, and cocktails.

Shisui (Sanjo)

Open: 5:00 pm - 5:00 am (L.O. 4:00 am)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,800 JPY
Address: 4F, Yurika Bldg., 526, Kami Osaka-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

10. Monakado (Kawaramachi)

10. Monakado (Kawaramachi)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Located on the 2nd floor of a building in a narrow alley near Kawaramachi Station, Monakado is an izakaya that’s known for their healthy and creative dishes that have generous servings of seasonal vegetables. One example is the [Avocado Sonomama Gratin] (550 JPY), which is an exquisite dish made of avocados, with thick and creamy cheese. They serve sake, shochu, and umeshu, as well as a wide variety of cocktails (from 500 JPY - 550 JPY).

Monakado (Kawaramachi)

Open: [Weekdays] 6:00 pm - 1:00 am (L.O. 12:30 am) 
[Saturday] 5:00 pm - 1:00 am (L.O. 12:30 am) 
[Sunday, National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: 4,000 JPY
Address: 378, Komeya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

11. Roppakuya KADO (Karasuma)

11. Roppakuya KADO (Karasuma)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Roppakuya KADO is a dining bar where you can taste creative cuisine made with local pork and vegetables, Shiga-raised beef, Okayama-produced oysters, and other carefully-selected ingredients. The store has 3 floors: the 1st floor contains counter seats, the 2nd floor has table seats, and the 3rd floor houses private rooms with horigotatsu (sunken kotatsu tables). Hence, it is a perfect place to visit, regardless of if you’re dining alone, with friends, or during special occasions. Some of their must-try dishes are: the [Stewed Omi Beef Tendon in Gratin (with Baguette)] (1,150 JPY (plus tax)) and [Pizza with Rich Kyo-Yasai Toppings] (1,150 JPY (plus tax)). As for their liquor selections, they have a wide variety of wines, fruit wines, and cocktails.

Roppakuya KADO (Karasuma)

Open: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY
Address: 453-1, Kannondo-cho, Muro-machi Shin-machi no Aida Shijo-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
More Details

12. Tsubomi (Shijo)

12. Tsubomi (Shijo)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Tsubomi is an izakaya facing Hanamikoji Street (Hanamikoji-dori), which passes though the center of Gion, Hanamachi. In this area, most of the old cityscape remains, and you can also see maiko and geiko (traditional female entertainers) heading for ozashiki (dinner parties in a tatami room). The izakaya serves [Obanzai], as well as a variety of other dishes that start from 400 JPY each. For lunch, they serve up to 20 orders of the following: a set with 5 obanzai dishes and rice for 1,500 JPY, a 9-dish obanzai set for 1,800 JPY, and a 5-dish obanzai set with sashimi for 2,000 JPY. They also have a wide variety of liquor, including ji-zake, sake, and shochu made from barley, potatoes, rice, and many other ingredients.

Tsubomi (Shijo)

Open: Lunch 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm) *Limited to 20 servings, Dinner 5:30 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: Monday *If it falls on a national holiday, it will be open on Monday. Irregularly closes on Sunday.
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY *Limited to 20 servings
Address: 2F, Daisan Manji Bldg., 570-232, Gion-machi Minami-gawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

13. Madoi (Toji)

13. Madoi (Toji)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Madoi is located near To-ji Temple, where the Five-Storied Pagoda - known as the symbol of Kyoto - stands. The izakaya is run by a proprietress, and she also serves as the restaurant's manager and chef. They offer creative Kyoto-style dishes, one of which is the [Koimo no Yuba Ankake] (700 JPY), which is an exquisite dish made of young taro with thick sauce made from yuba. Another dish to note is the [Pinta] (600 JPY), which is a dish made from tuna cheek meat - a rare part of which there are only 2 pieces of per whole fish. It is grilled so that you can enjoy its rich umami. Their liquor menu consists of famous sake brands, shochu (made of potatoes, barley, rice, and various other ingredients), and fruit wines.

Madoi (Toji)

Open: [Weekdays, Weekends] 6:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 10:30 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: 3,500 JPY *Average price for banquets is 3,000 JPY, but with an all-you-can-drink course, it changes to 4,500 JPY
Address: 70, Nishi Kujo Hieijo-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

14. Kyo Asobi (Gion-shijo)

14. Kyo Asobi (Gion-shijo)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Located in a hidden alley in Shijo Hanamikoji, Kyo Asobi is known for its charcoal-grilled yakitori (grilled chicken skewers). One of their specialties is the [Homemade Gion Tsukune] (1 stick for 170 JPY - 210 JPY, but at least 2 sticks per person), which is a grilled chicken meatball skewer dish. They use 2 kinds of minced meat - coarse and ultra fine - which are manually shaped into balls. They also have [Yakitori-gushi] (grilled chicken skewers), which can be ordered for anywhere from 170 JPY - 380 JPY per stick. For lunch, they have the [Charcoal-grilled Tamba Jidori Oyako-don] (1,000 JPY), which is an exquisite dish that consists of rice topped with charcoal-grilled Tamba chicken and eggs. They also have a variety of shochu, ji-zake, umeshu, beer, cocktails, and many more. Enjoy a drink while having yakitori on the side!

Kyo Asobi (Gion-shijo)

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday] Dinner 6:00 pm - 3:00 am 
[Sunday, National Holidays] Dinner 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Closed: Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY
Address: 270-4, Gion-machi Kita-gawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

15. Shikisai Hitokuchi (Iseda)

15. Shikisai Hitokuchi (Iseda)Top 15 Japanese Pubs in Kyoto That Serve Delicious Local Cuisine

Located 2 minutes away by foot from Iseda Station, Shikisai Hitokuchi is a izakaya where you can enjoy a full Kaiseki menu (Japanese cuisine with alcohol). The restaurant owner is keen on high-quality service, so you can be sure of great food - from the preparation, right up to the actual serving. One of their must-try items is the [5-kind Obanzai] (1,200 JPY). Not only does it appease your taste and appetite, but also your eyes, as it is a very colorful platter. They also have [Sliced Duck Roast] (900 JPY). The duck is carefully stewed to create a flavor that bursts in your mouth with every bite. For their liquor selection, they have sake from local and national breweries, as well as shochu.

Shikisai Hitokuchi (Iseda)

Open: 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
Closed: Monday *Irregularly closes once a month
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY
Address: 1F, Peace Court, 26-2, Hiraki-cho, Uji-shi, Kyoto
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

Kyo-ryori is known to combine a variety of ingredients, with a focus on seasonal vegetables. They take great care in the preparation and cooking, making use of the taste and color of each ingredient. The dishes will surely be a delight to your sight, taste, and the rest of your 5 senses.

Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.

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Publish-date: Jan 18 2018 Update-date: Nov 27 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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