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Kyoto Food Guide: Best Places to Eat in Kyoto, Japan

[Hyotei | Image Courtesy of City Foodsters / Flickr]

Kyoto Food Guide: Best Places to Eat in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto’s thousand-year-long history has played a huge part in its cuisine, resulting in what we call “Kyo-ryori.”

Kyo-ryori (“Kyoto Cuisine”) is not just about eating but experiencing food using all of the human senses.

In this Kyoto food guide, this is what we want you to experience. Here are five of the best places to eat in Kyoto, Japan so you can experience Kyoto Cuisine.

1. Kikunoi

[Kikuno | Image Courtesy of sstrieu / Flickr]

Kikunoi is a ryotei or a traditional Japanese fine-dining restaurant tucked away in the Gion-Maruyama district, the lifestyle and entertainment center of Kyoto. Led by Michelin-starred chef Mutara, the restaurant offers a range of dishes that have been a part of Kyoto. But the star of the pack is its kaiseiki — its most prominent specialty. Kikunoi, however, is not meant for everyone to experience because it’s always jam-packed. Make sure to book your slot at least one month in advance.

2. Tankuma Kitamise

[Tankuma Kitamise | Image Courtesy of J Hotel]

Founded in 1928, Tankuma Kitamise is one of the long-standing kyo-ryori (“Kyoto-style cuisine”) restaurants located at the heart of the city in Kiyamachi. Though it has been around for nearly a century, Tankuma Kitamise boasts its preservation of flavors that have been handed down to three generations already. The restaurant has cemented itself as one of the most established kyo-ryori as it is in fact quite a favorite spot among local businessmen and notable personalities. We highly recommend doing a full-course meal at the restaurant so you get to experience what Kyoto cuisine is like. Tankuma Kitamise has a branch in Horikawa in case.

3. Sushi no Musashi

[Sushi no Musashi | Image Courtesy of Pikabu]

Kaiten-sushi or a restaurant serving sushi on a conveyor belt is something unique to Japan. Foods are served on a running conveyor belt, yes, like your checked-in luggage at the airport. In Kyoto, there are quite a few top-rated kaiten-sushi that you can visit. One of them is Sushi no Musashi. What makes this restaurant the go-to place among gourmands is its affordable ¥146 (~$1) sushi. It’s not the best, we must say, but you get to experience a whole new dining encounter like no other.

4. Menami

[Menami | Image Courtesy of Tabelog]

If you are looking for obanzai (homestyle Kyoto) cooking, Menami is one of the best places to eat in Kyoto, Japan. A wide array of dishes are on display ready for the taking, from sashimi, tofu skin, and sushi to spring rolls, grilled lamb, and quail. Obanzai only uses seasonal ingredients so you get the best of Kyoto’s local produce. If you want to try out more meals than you normally would eat on a normal day, make sure to have enough room in your stomach by eating only a little of this and a little bit of that. It will be all worth it!

5. Hyotei

[Hyotei | Image Courtesy of City Foodsters / Flickr]

Hyotei is one of the oldest — not to mention one of the most attractive — traditional restaurants in Kyoto. This Michelin three-star kaiseki restaurant offers kaiseki courses in private tearooms and makes a few concessions to foreign taste buds. Hyotei’s menu tends to be fish and vegetables-heavy, so be sure to think about that. If you are looking for traditional kaiseki served in a genuinely refined atmosphere, Hyotei is rather a good choice.

Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.

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Kyoto is heart of Japan and have the rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. You will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture.

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Photos Provided by Mon petit voyage a Kyoto