In a country where dining out can be tricky for vegetarians, Kyoto is the exception. Its vast number of Buddhist temples helped the city develop into a centre for shojin ryori – ‘devotion cuisine’ – tofu-based vegetarian dishes. For the non-vegetarian, Kyoto offers a diverse range of dining options from no-frills standing noodle bars to a candlelit yakiniku (Japanese barbeque) dinner on a restaurant terrace overlooking the banks of the Kamo River.
Luxury & Grand Recommendations
626 Maruyamacho, Yasakatoriimae Higashi iru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0071
If you want to try out Mizai you better book ahead, some people wait for months to get a table at this famed restaurant.
58, Susukinobaba-cho, Saga Tenryuji, Ukyo District, Kyoto 616-8385
Kitcho Arashiyama Honten has continued its kaiseki tradition ever since its founding.
607-8093 Oike-sagaru Tominokoji Nakagyo District, Kyoto
The story of Nakamura is rather simple. Seibei, the founder started peddling fish. To do this, he reportedly had to travel 75 km, all the way to Wakasa.
35 Kusagawa-cho, Nanzenji, Sakyo District, Kyoto
Hyotei is an old and established restaurant to say the least; it was founded over 400 years ago in a pine tree forest.
584 Minamigawa, Gionmachi, Higashiyama District, Kyoto 605－0074
Chihana (literally One Thousand Flowers) has been a fixture in Kyoto’s Gion district ever since its opening in 1946.
Mid-range & Affordable Recommendations
Ohashi Nishizume, Shijo, Shimogyo District, Kyoto, 600-8012
If you like Peking food you are at the right place as Tokasaikan restaurant specialises in Peking cuisine.
901 Higashi Shiokoji-cho, Karasuma-dori, Shiokoji sagaru, Shimogyo District, Kyoto
Located inside The Cube, a mall on top of Kyoto Station, Katsukura is a popular chain of Tonkatsu restaurants based in Kyoto.
459 Shimokawara-cho, Yasakatoriimae-sagaru, Shimokawara-dori, Higashiyama District, Kyoto 605-0825
You’ll find Kikunoi at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountain Range where it was established in 1912.
20-10 Sagatenryuji, Setogawacho , Ukyo District, Kyoto, 616-8376
Otsuka didn’t win first prize by accident. Through their attention to detail in preparation and presentation, their Wagyu beef is considered the best in all of Japan.
757-2, Minamiiseyacho, Kamigyo District, Kyoto 602-8153
If you want to try out something completely different, then Menbakaichidai, which specializes in creating havoc and setting your meal on fire is a pretty safe bet.
Budget & Economical Recommendations
8-3 Higashishiokojitakakuracho, Shimogyo District, Kyoto Omotenashi Komichi, Kyoto 600-8214
When you walk into the Kyoto Station complex, you would be forgiven to think a whole new world existed.
34 Okazaki Minamigosho-cho, Saikyo District, Kyoto 606-8334
People from all over Japan flock to Yamamotomenzo to try their famous homemade udon noodles (essentially extra thick noodles).
420 Matsuyacho, Shimogyo District, Kyoto 600-8105
Soba noodles are buckwheat noodles that are staples in a food-crazed town like Kyoto.
87-5 Hoshinocho Higashiyama District, Kyoto 605-0853
Founded in 2013 by Kenneth Shoji, who grew up in Kyoto, the % Arabica coffee shop has been growing ever since.
579-7-5 Nakanocho Shinkyogokudori 4-Jo Agaru, Nakagyo District, Kyoto 604-8042
If you’re up for an adventure then trying to find the Tiger Gyoza Kawaramachi on your own might keep you busy for a while.