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Updated October 2023

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.

Best Restaurants in Kyoto

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.

Kyoto also has a vibrant coffee scene. See my guide to Kyoto’s best coffee shops for more!

Planning a Trip to Kyoto? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in Kyoto:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, for the best downtown Kyoto hotel
  2. The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West, for the best central Kyoto hotel
  3. Four Seasons Kyoto, for the best Southern Higashiyama hotel
  4. Ryokan Inn Yoshida-sanso, for the best Northern Higashiyama hotel
  5. Hotel Kanra, for the best Kyoto Station hotel
  6. Suiran, for the best Arashiyama hotel

For everything you need to know about picking the perfect neighborhood and hotel for your trip, don’t miss my in-depth guide on where to stay in Kyoto. See my Kyoto travel guide and roudup of the most incredible things to do in Kyoto!

The 20 Best Restaurants in Kyoto


1. Monk

Monk is an understated, 12-seat restaurant serving incredible food. Be sure to reserve in advance.

Address: 147 Jodoji Shimominamidacho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8404, Japan

2. Honke Daiichiashi

Best Restaurants in Kyoto

While in Kyoto, this hole-in-the-spot serves ramen to practically only local clientele. Honke Daiichiashi is the spot to be if you want to get a taste of daily culture. The tempura here is also very popular.

Address: 845 Higashishiokoji Mukaihatacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8213, Japan

3. Kaiseki Mizuki at Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

Best Restaurants in Kyoto

One of the best traditional kaiseki experiences in Kyoto is at Mizuki in the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, where multiple courses are served beautifully. Be sure to get the full tasting menu at dinner.

Address: 543 Hokodencho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-0902, Japan

4. Stardust

Stardust is a must eat for the vegan lovers. *Reserve in advance*

Address: 41 Shichiku Shimotakedonocho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8412, Japan

5. Soujiki Nakahigashi

An intimate kaisake restaurant known for it’s focus on locally-sourced herbs and vegetables.

Address: 32-3 Jodoji Ishibashicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8406, Japan

6. Beer Komachi

Head down an alley of food stalls and find yourself at Beer Komachi, a craft beer joint that serves delicious small bites.

Address: 444 Hachikencho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0027, Japan

7. Vermillon Cafe

Vermillon Cafe is a great spot for coffee, local pastries, or a light lunch.

Address: 5-31 Fukakusa Kaidoguchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0805, Japan

8. Ichiran Ramen

Best Restaurants in Kyoto

It’s never a trip to Japan without at least one vending-machine-style ramen. Head to Ichiran for the iconic experience and delicious ramen.

Address: 598 Uraderacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8041, Japan

9. Saryo Tsujiri

If you’re craving matcha-themed bites, then head to Tsujiri and be sure to get the soft serve.

Address: Japan, 〒605-0075 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Nakanocho, 215

10. Chao Chao Sanjo Kiyamachi

We must have eaten at Chao Chao at least 3 times, as their gyoza is addicting. Trust me that the line out the door is worth the wait.

Address: 117番地 Ishiyacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8002, Japan

11. LURRA

An alluring blend of Japanese ingredients and Nordic techniques, LURRA is one of the most inventive dining experiences in the city.

Address: 396 Sekisenincho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0021, Japan

12. Cenci

Known for it’s focus on Kyoto produce and excellent wine list, Cenci offers a wonderfully Japanese take on Italian cuisine.

Address: 44-7 Shogoin Entomicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8323, Japan

13. Wife & Husband

Best Restaurants in Kyoto

Though Wife & Husband is a coffee shop at the heart of it, they also serve Japanese-style toast which is incredibly addicting.

Address: 106-6 Koyamashimouchikawaracho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8132, Japan

14. Omen Noodle House

Best Restaurants in Kyoto

A must, every time we visit Kyoto, Omen is the go-to spot for old-world style udon.

Address: Japan, 〒606-8406 Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, 銀閣寺バスプール南隣

15. Kitcho

Come to Kitcho if you’re looking for the most expensive, over-the-top kaiseki meal.

Address: Japan, 〒605-0802 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Yamatocho, 3−2

16. Ganko Sushi

A combo of locals and tourists, Ganko Sushi is truly excellent.

Address: Japan, 〒604-0922 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Higashiikesucho, 484-6

17. Yakitori Torito

Yakitori is at its finest at Torito with various options in a beautiful space.

Address: Japan, 〒606-8395 Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, Higashimarutacho, 9-5 神原ビルハイツ・ジェミニ 1F

18. Asuka

If you’re looking for a Japanese diner, head to Asuka with a great menu serving various foods.

Address: Japan, 〒605-0037 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 三条神宮道西入西町144

19. Denshichi Sushi

Head to Denshichi for an approachable sushi bar, where you’ll find the classic setting for sushi.

Address: 4-1 Saiintatsumicho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 615-0014, Japan

20. Sakuragawa

Sakuragawa is a great introduction spot to kaiseki dining, where you can try multiple dishes.

Address: 491 Kamikorikicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-0923, JapanWhere to Stay in Kyoto


Useful Links for Where to Eat in Kyoto


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Best Restaurants in Kyoto

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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