As the epicenter of arts and culture, Kyoto offers a wide range of dining experiences. These 20 best restaurants in Kyoto is a sampling of the many incredible restaurants to choose from. What I love most about Japan is how each restaurant specializes in a cuisine.
Kyoto restaurants do a great job of showing Japanese cuisine in an elevated way. You’ll find restaurants often hidden throughout the city, and even near Kyoto Station. Japanese food has so much diversity to it, making it easy to choose from different restaurants. We found ourselves loving the cuisine more than we realized, and some of our most talked about experiences were food related. So whether you go for the sights or arts, you’ll certainly stay for the food in Kyoto.
20 Best Restaurants in Kyoto
An understated, 12 seat restaurant serving incredible food. Be sure to reserve in advance.
2. Honke Daiichiashi
While in Kyoto, this hole in the spot serves ramen to practically a only local clientele. It’s the spot to be if you want to get a taste of daily culture. The tempura here is also very popular.
3. Kaiseki Mizuki
One of the best traditional kaiseki experiences in Kyoto is at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where multiple courses are served beautifully. Be sure to get the full tasting menu at dinner.
A must eat for the vegan lovers. *Reserve in advance.
This sweet-tooth restaurant has classics like shaved ice, all set alongside beautiful koi ponds.
6. Beer Komachi
Head down an alley of food stalls and find yourself at a craft beer joint that serves delicious small bites.
7. Vermillon Cafe
Great spot for local pastries or a light lunch.
8. Ichiran Ramen
It’s never a trip to Japan without at least one vending-machine style ramen. Head here for the iconic experience and delicious ramen.
9. Saryo Tsujiri
If you’re craving matcha-themed bites, then head here and be sure to get the soft serve.
10. Chao Chao Sanjo Kiyamachi
We must have eaten here at least 3 times, as their gyoza is addicting. Trust me that the line out the door is worth the wait.
11. Pass the Baton
It’s a delicate tea service and dessert house, all set along the iconic canals.
12. Manmaru no Tsuki
If you’re looking for okonomiyaki, head here.
13. Wife & Husband
Though it is a coffee shop at the heart of it, they also serve Japanese-style toast which is incredibly addicting.
14. Omen Noodle House
Old-world style udon is best found at this location.
If you’re looking for the most expensive, kaiseki meal that is over the top, than come here.
16. Ganko Sushi
A combo of locals and tourists, their sushi is truly excellent.
Yakitori is at its finest here with various options in a beautiful space.
If you’re looking for a Japanese-diner, head here with a great menu serving various foods.
19. Den Shichi
Head here for an approachable sushi bar, where you’ll find the classic setting for sushi.
20. Kiyamachi Sakuragawa
A great introduction spot to kaiseki dining, where you can try multiple dishes.
Useful Links for Where to Eat in Kyoto:
- Top tips before visiting Japan.
- Breaking down dining in Japan.
- 7 coffee shops not to miss in Kyoto.
- The ultimate guide to Kyoto.