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5 Best Michelin Restaurants in Kyoto

Looking for the best Michelin restaurants in Kyoto?

There are 196 Michelin restaurants in Kyoto as of this writing. We understand it's overwhelming to choose which ones you should try. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. On this list, we’ve chosen the best Michelin restaurants in Kyoto with three stars. Having three stars means they have exceptional cuisine and they’re so worth visiting. Only 6 restaurants have this distinction in Kyoto. Without further ado, here are the best Michelin restaurants in Kyoto:

1. Gion Sasaki

Image courtesy of Gion Sasaki

On a peaceful street a few blocks from Kennin-ji Temple, Gion Sasaki made a name for itself for its unique old Japanese-meets-west culinary style, all transpiring in a remodeled 90-year-old wooden house. Owner-chef Hiroshi Sasaki and his team use a stone oven to come up with fun and creative delicacies on top of the classic traditional Japanese dishes that diners love. Be warned, though—Gion Sasaki is one of the few Kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto that’s hard to book a reservation at.

Location: 566-27 Komatsucho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

Price: From 7,000 yen for lunch, 20,000 yen for dinner

Open: Lunch 12:00 p.m., Dinner 6:30 p.m.

Close: Sundays

Phone: +81-75-551-5000

2. Kikunoi Honten

Image courtesy of Kikunoi Honten

From the backyard garden to the restaurant building and cuisine, Kikunoi Honten has perfected every aspect of a ‘ryotei,’ a traditional Japanese restaurant specializing in haute-cuisine. Yoshihiro Murata, the present and third-generation chef, believes perfume, texture, and the element of surprise are three principal ingredients of Japanese cuisine. Built in 1912 by the granddad of Murata, Kikunoi Honten has become one of the most popular restaurants for Japanese cuisine. The restaurant sits within one-third of a 3,000 square-meter land near Kodaiji Temple and Yasaka Shrine.

Location: 459 Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

Price: From 29,000 yen

Open: Lunch 12:00 p.m., Dinner 5:00 p.m.

Close: Tuesday

Phone: +81 75-561-0015

3. Mizai

Image courtesy of Mizai

Celebrating its 20th year in 2023, Mizai has been on the bucket list of many gourmands who want to visit at least once in their lifetime. At Mizai, all five senses are meant to be stimulated by food, cookware, garnish, flowers, and scenery. Owner-chef Hitoshi Ishihara, who started his cooking journey at age 15, believes in the principle of “limitless,” which is what Mizai literally means in the Zen language. Located on the corner of Maruyama Park, this kaiseki restaurant can accommodate up to 20 guests, including private rooms. All guests are accepted at 6:00 p.m. as the restaurant opens to give them time to savor the food, the place, and the camaraderie together. They operate on a cash-only basis.

Location: 613 Maruyamacho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

Price: 55,000 yen - 80,000 yen

Open: 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Close: Wednesday

Phone: +81 75-551-3310

4. Isshi Soden Nakamura

Image courtesy of Kyoto Nakamura

Nakamura Kyoto cuisine has pursued its zashiki-style (a room with a tatami floor) seating that started in the Edo era (1603-1867). The tradition ‘isshi soden’ passes selects of recipe to only one son and heir. Rice dumpling soup seasoned with white miso paste with no seasoning or broth is the ultimate signature dish that gets passed on, which is something you will enjoy at Isshi Soden Nakamura. The owner-chef has preserved the Nakamura taste so well with their signature miso and soy sauce flavors adjusted to match the season. Motokazu Nakamura, the current and sixth-generation owner-chef, speaks highly of their harmony of five flavors that come together in the menu: saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and umami.

Location: 136 Matsushitacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Price: From 19,000 yen

Open: Lunch 12:00 p.m., Dinner 5:00 p.m.

Close: Sunday

Phone: +81 75-221-5511

5. Hyotei

Image courtesy of Michelin

A culmination of over 450 years of cooking and service, Hyotei is a terrific haute cuisine experience that strikes a balance between simplicity and elegance in one menu. Wisdom and tradition are both at the foundation of every Hyotei course, enjoyed by generations of locals. No frills, just timeless goodness. From the outside, Hyotei looks unassuming with its wooden structure with cream-tainted stucco walls that almost cling onto the narrow stone street. Hyotei has been in the same lineage for 15 generations already but has kept up with the times surprisingly well, thanks to the current owner chef, Yoshihiro Takahashi.

Location: 35 Nanzenji Kusagawacho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

Price: From 41,000 yen

Open: Lunch 12:00 p.m., Dinner 5:30 p.m.

Close: Wednesday

Phone: +81 75-771-4116

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