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2019-01-24 13:28 / Posted by to Gourmet

Kyoto is famous for its tofu, its sublime kaiseki cuisine and its Buddhist vegetarian fare. It’s also a great place to sample all the main classics of Japanese cuisine.

Here are some of the five dishes I recommend to eat in Kyoto:

Soba & Nishin Soba (Herring Soba)


Saba Sushi


Green Tea Desserts

1. Soba & Nishin Soba

Address: Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, 東山区四条大橋東入ル川端町192

This is the very first restaurant that started serving Nishin Soba. The restaurant was opened by the Matsuno family in 1861. They had to close the restaurant during the war, but around 1946, the family started to expand the business of buying herring from Hokkaido. Now it is one of the iconic restaurants in the Gion district of Kyoto. Good for lunch

2. Obanzai

Address: Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Kiyacho, 通 三条 上る 中 島町 96

Obanzai is a bunch of small dishes, almost like a Japanese version of Spanish tapas, using fresh local vegetables in Kyoto. This is traditional home cooking native to the region.

Kyoto is famous for fresh vegetables, and there is even a Japanese term, Kyo Yasai (京野菜) for vegetables from Kyoto.

3. Sushi

Den Shichi


One of the best and most approachable sushi bars in Kyoto, Den Shichi serves mouth-watering sushi in a classic sushi-bar atmosphere.

Ganko Sushi



A vast downtown sushi specialist, Ganko Sushi is one of the most approachable and reasonably priced sushi places in Kyoto.

4. Tempura

Yoshikawa Tempura


Yoshikawa Tempura serves Kyoto’s best tempura in a beautiful old wooden building built around a sublime Japanese garden.

Yoshikawa is our favorite tempura restaurant in Kyoto because it hits all the right notes: The tempura is light and surprisingly non-greasy, the service is great (they’re used to foreigners), and the atmosphere is excellent. At lunch, you’ll sit at the counter and watch as the tempura chefs labor over their cauldrons of hot oil. Dinners are usually served in private tatami mat rooms, most of which have views over the wonderful little garden around which the restaurant and the adjoining ryokan is built.

5. Kyoto Ramen

Hataka Nagahama Miyoshi

Address: 115 Ishiyacho (Kiyamachidori) Nakagyo-ku Kyoto.

Really popular ramen restaurant where locals go after drinking. They serve Hakata-style Tonkotsu ramen, where the Tonkotsu style is originally from in Fukuoka. Expect to wait for 10-20 minutes outside depending on when you go. Do you not want to wait? Don’t worry, this restaurant is open until 6 am.

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