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Where to Eat on a Kyoto Visit

I'll be traveling to Kyoto with my family, 2 adults and 1 teen boy. This will be our first time back to Kyoto in 20 years so we're quite out of touch with what is available food wise. We plan to spend 4 nights and 3 days there before heading for Tokyo.

Some initial research has turned up a few possible places and I am hoping to get some input from chowhounds familiar with Kyoto's restaurant scene, comments if you are familiar with any of these places and alternate suggestions would be welcome as well:

Izakaya - Kappa Nawate in Gion or Waraji Tei (from an older CH post).

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow...

Yakitori - Kokkekokko in Kyoto Station, Torisei in Fushimi-ku or Kushi Kura.

Ramen - Dai Ichi Asahi or Shinpuku Saikan both near Kyoto Station.

Unagi - Edogawa near Kyoto Station or Matsuno in Gion.

Udon - Mimiu near Kyoto Station, Omen in Kawaramachi or Gontaro off Shijo Dori.

Tonkatsu - Katsu Kura with several branches around the city

Tempura - Takasebune off Shijo Dori

Soba - Owari-ya near the Karasuma-Oike station

Morishige for curry and Ichi Yoken for old style westernized food, both in Kawaramachi.

So as you can see from the list of restaurants, I'm not planning on any expensive kaiseki meals that I know Kyoto is famous for. Still, I know we will manage to eat very well. Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. one quick question, do you speak Japanese? Can you read Japanese? There are blogs that review food in Kyoto but I am not sure if its in English.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bgazindad

      I neither speak nor read Japanese, but can eat like a native. My wife, who is of Chinese descent, speaks Japanese with near fluency, but her Japanese reading skills are limited.

      1. re: curiousgeo

        Can she read Chinese? A lot of the characters used are very similar with similar meanings, so if one reads Chinese, one can usually figure out Japanese and vice versa (other than kana, that is).

        Omen off Shijo on Gokomachi might be a better choice. This last time I was there (which was admittedly a couple of years ago), the nephew of the owner was the chef, and he speaks English fluently (lived in Buffalo), so he could help translate the menu for us. I really like their tempura--it's the crispy type, but it's very good.

        1. re: prasantrin

          She doesn't speak or read Chinese but can understand conversation, fluent in English and nearly fluent in Japanese. Long story actually. Thanks for the Omen information, sounds interesting and good.

    2. http://kyotofoodie.com/

      Check out the site above its in English and I think its what you are looking for.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bgazindad

        Thanks for the link. The tei-shoku at Asuka and the nabeyaki udon at Kakutani are just the kind of dishes I'm seeking. I also love the look of those two restaurants, exactly how I would picture old time Kyoto neighborhood establishments.

        1. re: curiousgeo

          I would greatly appreciate if you could report back on your experiences with those restaurants. I know I will be returning to Kyoto. it is my favorite Japanese city.

      2. Here's a link and map to Kokkekokko in case you have trouble finding it:

        http://www.bento.com/kansai/rev/7040....

        2 Replies
        1. re: Robb S

          (Er, that was a reply to a post about Kokkekokko which has since been deleted. Kokkekokko is quite good, and I go there often when I'm in Kyoto.)

          1. re: Robb S

            Go to Grill Miyata and eat their Kobe beef steak.

        2. I'm sorry to report we have had to put this trip on hold. Due to the recession, our family is experiencing salary reductions. Not to worry though, this is a temporary set back and we are still planning to go, although it may take another year or two to save enough to fund this trip. I'm thankful to still have a job with medical benefits and hopefully the economy will bounce back in the near future. I still intend to use all of the information received once we make it to Kyoto. Thanks to everyone for your help.