Kyoto remains alive with Japanese tradition and culture, and functioned as the country’s former capital for over a millennium. It is home to thousands of ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, splendid gardens and royal palaces. Kyoto today is a dynamic, modern city but still retains many of the elegant and ancient beauty of Japan. As part of its culinary appeal, Japan’s ancient capital also boasts some of the best quality Asian and international cuisine in the country. These are the 25+ best restaurants in Kyoto that we want to share with you. So, where to eat in Kyoto? Let’s check out our top rated 25+ top restaurants in Kyoto (Kyoto top restaurants) including Kyoto best restaurants (best restaurants in Kyoto), famous restaurants in Kyoto as well as good restaurants in Kyoto as follows!
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Kyoto also developed a vegetarian cuisine, vegetarian ingredients are grown and harvested locally, similar to the ingredients for savory dishes. Proud and developing traditional Japanese dishes, you will find few foreign style restaurants in Kyoto.
Menbakaichidai (Menbaka Fire Ramen) (# best restaurants in kyoto)
This fiery ramen noodle shop was born in the early years of the 20th century and has the full name Menbakaichidai. People often remember the restaurant with the name Menbaka Fire Ramen instead of its real name because the unique noodle dish is only available here. From the outside looking in, Menbakaichidai is like most other noodle shops in Japan. Distinctive dishes and a somewhat adventurous service style are the attraction of the restaurant.
The restaurant has complete instructions on how to enjoy fire noodles in the food selection list and on their website. Diners coming here do not need to make reservations in advance. Outside the shop door, there is a machine to take numbers so customers can arrange their entry into the shop. Diners are encouraged to only stay at the restaurant for about 30 minutes at a time. When eating, guests need to sit in the correct position. Those who do not eat fire ramen will be assigned another seat. Each person can only eat one bowl of fire ramen and cannot share together.
With more than 30 years of experience, chef Menbakaichidai shares the secret to making ramen noodles catch fire is green onions. Without onions, the fire will have no starting point to burn and the fire will not spread to the oil layer. Green onions when burned with oil also emit a strange aroma, making the dish more special. Don’t forget to try this super hot “fire ramen” when you come to Kyoto!
- Address: 757-2 Minami Iseyacho, Kamigyo-Ku, Kyoto 602-8153, Kyoto Prefecture
- Hours: 11 AM–3 PM, 5–9 PM/Tuesday: Closed
- Phone: +81 75-812-5818
La Mano di Marco (# best restaurants in kyoto)
La Mano di Macro is a small Italian restaurant located in the neighborhood near Kyoto’s Gosho Imperial Palace. This is the right place if you want to find some different flavors from Europe in Kyoto. The restaurant owner is also the main chef here – Marco, creating dishes with authentic culinary flavors from France and Italy. Top dishes to try here are tagliatelle with foie gras and porcini mushrooms, and scallops wrapped in Italian pancetta.
The dishes here are all made from very fresh and delicious food. The space at this Italian restaurant is very warm and the staff is enthusiastic. This is a place worth trying to experience European dishes but still have a little Japanese flavor during your trip.
- Address: 214 Kamiikesucho, Kojinguchi Kudaru, Kawaramachidori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0855, Kyoto Prefecture
- Hours. 11:30-15:00/17:30-22:30
- Phone: +81 75-744-1601
Izakaya Kyo Taisanboku (# top restaurants in kyoto)
Izakaya Kyo Taisanboku is a Japanese gem nestled on a side street in central Kyoto. Stepping inside and you’ll be greeted by smiling staff and the space is filled with the enticing scent of delicious grilled beef.
The menu has a rich variety of sake available, giving diners the perfect opportunity to try a variety of Japanese rice wines. Beef croquette is the best seller here, it is created with a crispy outer layer, served with mashed potatoes and fatty beef pieces. The food here is very fresh and beautifully presented, and this restaurant also has very good mid-range prices.
- Address 424-2 Ikesu Cho, Nakagyo, Kyoto 604-8216, Kyoto Prefecture
- Hours: 6PM-1AM
- Phone: +81 752313736
Hafuu Honten (# kyoto best restaurants)
Located in one of Kyoto’s best residential areas, Hafuu restaurant combines traditional Japanese cuisine with a modern twist of the times. The restaurant combines delicious Wagyu steak with juicy seafood to deliver unforgettable culinary experiences. Wagyu served at Hafuu is imported directly from Kyushu and more specifically from the Kumamoto region.
Hafuu Honten is located in one of the most upscale residential areas in Kyoto. This is a beautiful restaurant with a modern, luxurious space. This restaurant is one of the famous places in Kyoto. This place has a luxurious, classic space and interior design, creating a modern space for dining. In addition, there is a bar area and a large long dining table near the kitchen, where diners can enjoy delicious food. Hafuu Honten combines Japanese culinary traditions with a modern atmosphere.
The restaurant combines wagyu steaks with juicy seafood for an unforgettable dining experience. The wagyu beef served at Hafuu is imported directly from Kyushu and more specifically from the Kumamoto region. The area is known as one of the few remaining in Japan where cows are still allowed to graze freely, producing some of the tastiest meat in the world. The Wagyu at Hafuu is famous for its buttery flavor and intense tenderness.
This is one of the remaining areas in Japan where cows graze freely, producing the best beef in the world. Wagyu at Hafuu is famous for its buttery flavor and tender meat. This is a stop not to be missed when traveling to Kyoto, Japan.
Located in one of the best residential areas in Kyoto, Hafuu combines traditional Japanese cuisine with a modern atmosphere. Hafuu serves Wagyu steak, paired with succulent seafood for an unforgettable dining experience. The wagyu beef served at Hafuu comes directly from the Kyushu region and more specifically from the Kumamoto region. This is known as one of the few remaining places in Japan with free-grazing cows, with the best quality of tender, moist meat in the world. Wagyu at Hafuu is famous for its buttery flavor and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. For meat lovers, Hafuu is a must-stop on the Kyoto food trail.
For meat lovers, Hafuu is a must-stop when experiencing Kyoto cuisine. You should try the famous and best-selling dishes here including roast beef, shrimp appetizer, sirloin cut, wagyu beef fillet, and more.
- Address: Sasayachō, Nakagyō-ku Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu, 604-0983
- Hours: 11:30 AM–1:30 PM, 5:30–9:30 PM/Wednesday: Closed
- Phone: +81752571581
Beer Komachi (# kyoto top restaurants)
Komachi Beer Bar is one of the oldest and highest quality craft beer bars in Kyoto. This bar is located in a picturesque merchant’s alley, a quiet place hidden away from the bustling traffic of the city. This is a family beer bar, so the space feels extremely friendly and cozy. It’s that sense of closeness that makes it a great place to meet friends or date new people.
Although the drinks here are not too diverse, the craft beers on tap have very fresh flavors, most of which are produced domestically and internationally. The food here is prepared in Tapas style, and there are many types of beer at Beer Komachi. This is a chill spot that specializes in beer as it’s crafted and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends.
All dishes are prepared using local, organic ingredients. You should try their best-rated dishes including grilled lamb, tofu pizza and spicy scallops. In addition, there are also some dishes for vegetarians.
- Address: 444 Hachikencho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0027
- Hours: Tuesday: Closed/5–10 PM
- Phone: +81 75-746-6152
Shishin Samurai Café Bar & Restaurant (# famous restaurants in kyoto)
An intimate small restaurant and bar, Shinshin Samurai Cafe & Bar is a frequent haunt of locals. The shop is located in a 100 year old house, it fosters a great sense of community, they encourage you to meet and talk to new friends.
Shinshin Samurai cafe & bar exudes a close, warm and friendly atmosphere. Here, you can learn more about Japanese culture and the Samurai spirit by chatting with locals. The owner is a knowledgeable person of Samurai culture knowledge.
Don’t miss the ginormous Samurai burger and couscous salad. The walls here are painted in the image of ancient Samurai, making diners feel lost in the Samurai era of Japan. When enjoying the cuisine here, you can sit on tatami mats or traditional long wooden tables in well-off Japanese families. You can look out over the small garden or the fireplace by the window. The small space ensures intimacy, but you should make a reservation or arrive early to avoid leaving disappointed.
- Address: 230-1 Kamimyoukakujicho, Koromono Tanadori Oshikoji-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0025
- Phone: +81 752315155
Arash Kitchen serves Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Chef Arash, the mastermind behind the varied menu, is very friendly and welcoming and speaks both English and Japanese, providing help and advice. As the place is always flooded customer reservations are highly recommended, and while diners here are asked to try the grilled chicken and juicy chicken and roast beef.
Located in Sakyo-ku Ward, the restaurant is for tourists who are feeling a bit tired and bored after eating too much Japanese food. Named after the owner, Arash, a friendly chef who greets in both English and Japanese, always gives you the best advice when choosing dishes.
The dishes came out quickly, the kebabs were good, the appetizers were good and it was a safe bet to choose the lamb stew among the other Persian dishes. There are many vegetarian options for most guests. This place is always crowded so you need to book a table in advance and try choosing grilled chicken or grilled beef. Maybe after eating the first bite you will feel like you are lost in the Middle East or the beautiful turquoise Mediterranean seas.
The drinks menu at Arash, is quite extensive with everything from wine and cocktails to Japanese sake. Although this restaurant has a bit of a cramped space, believe me the good service and delicious food will make up for it.
- Address: Shogoin Sanno cho16-4 | 2F Sun Plaza, Kyoto 606-8392, Kyoto
- Hours: 11 AM–3 PM, 5–11 PM/Saturday, Sunday: 11 AM–11 PM
- Phone: +81 757464769
Le Bouchon is located on a side street behind City Hall in central Kyoto, serving a mix of Japanese and French dishes. This place has a manager who is a Japanese who has worked in France for many years. This is a casual and elegant spot to enjoy some classic French dishes.
The menu here is very diverse, and there are dishes for children. Two of the most popular dishes here are the quenelle à la lyonnaise and chicken breast with foie gras. And if you’re looking for something sweet to enjoy, don’t miss the caramel creme. The atmosphere at this restaurant also creates a gentle, enjoyable feeling like being in a pub.
- Address: 71 Enokicho, Nakagyo-ku | Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto 604-0931, Kyoto Prefecture
- Hours: 11:30 AM–2:30 PM, 5:30–9 PM/Monday, Thursday, Sunday: Closed
- Phone: +81 75-211-5220
Okariba is a cozy, warm place with decor based on a log cabin style, with low ceilings and rustic wooden seating. And this is the place to sample some hearty, meaty dishes, with wild boar, venison and salmon among the top choices on the menu. The owners are a friendly bunch. will suggest you choose suitable dishes.
The menu includes various meats such as wild boar (grilled or stewed), venison sashimi, along with novelties such as bee larvae and grasshoppers. With a range of hot and cold drinks available, guests can spend several hours enjoying themselves while immersed in this cozy space.
- Address: 43-3 Okazaki Higashitenno-cho, Sakyo-ku | Residence Okazaki 1F, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
- Hours: 5–10 PM/Monday: Closed
- Phone: +81 75-751-7790
Yoshikawa Inn Tempura
Yoshikawa Tempura Inn must say that the restaurant space is full of antiquity, from the traditional interior to the beautiful “futon” mattresses (Japanese sleeping mattresses) decorated here.
What used to be a tea house has now become a restaurant serving the best kaiseki tempura in Kyoto. Yoshikawa Tempura restaurant is built in a traditional style, with simple decorations from furniture to traditional Japanese artworks. The restaurant gives diners the feeling of time traveling to the ancient city of Kyoto. Each dish uses high-quality ingredients and is beautifully decorated.
The space is somewhat simple, seating is around the tempura counter, combos combining sushi and tempura create many flavors when eaten together, more importantly, everything is meticulously presented before serving diners. Along with tempura, the unique tentsuyu sauce is indispensable. Yoshikawa Tempura Inn’s sauce is famous for being especially delicious.
Yoshikawa Inn has been open as a restaurant for over 50 years and has the largest garden in downtown Kyoto. Yoshikawa Inn Tempura is the top place to try tempura in central Kyoto. Two large fixed price menus leave the eatery spoiled for choice with vegetable and seafood options.
It’s famous for its tempura kaiseki cuisine, which is served to guests staying at the ryokan but is also available to 12 lucky diners at their tempura counter, where they can watch the chefs prepare the deep-fried dishes made from the freshest seasonal ingredients.
The tempura here is not greasy and has a great atmosphere. At lunch, you can sit at the counter and watch the chefs prepare tempura. Dinner is often served in private tatami rooms and offers views of the beautifully lit garden.
- Address: 135 Matsushitacho, Tominokojidori Oike-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8093, Kyoto Prefecture
- Phone: +81 75-221-5544
Sou brings a Japanese culinary experience that goes from surprise to surprise for diners. Nestled in the vibrant Gion neighborhood, yet just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this cozy yet elegant restaurant serves high-quality dishes. One of the most popular dishes is A5 grade Wagyu beef. In Japan, only the highest quality beef can achieve this A5 grade. The owner and head chef at Sou will not let you down when preparing this dish from the finest meat for you.
Sou restaurant offers a wonderful dining experience. Nestled in the vibrant Gion central neighborhood, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this cozy yet elegant restaurant serves high-quality dishes. One of the most popular dishes is Wagyu A5. In Japan, only the highest quality beef can achieve the prestigious A5 grade. The owners and chefs at Sou have mastered this quintessential Japanese cooking art. The restaurant also has a great selection of wines and a team of skilled servers ready to help you choose the best and most suitable wines.
The restaurant serves a variety of wines and the wine experts at the restaurant will suggest which wine to order.
- Address: Japan, 〒605-0088 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 新橋上ル西之町216-2 大西ビルII 1F
- Hours: 5:30–11 PM/Sunday: Closed