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May 19, 2014 10:31 AM

Kyoto on a budget

Currently in Kyoto and trying to get around on a budget of ~$40 per day for food.

I've been really frustrated with the previous posts on Chowhound so far, mostly because:

- little separation in threads between tokyo, kyoto restaurants
- little mention of price
- little mention of how hard it is to get in
- little mention of hours, English friendly, has lower prices for lunch etc.

Most of this is compounded by the fact that Kyoto restaurants, if they have websites, are generally in Japanese. But in general, it seems bad that a site focused on places to eat provides no tools for organizing/linking to those places, and making it easy to provide metadata about them.

That said I've found a few places, on Tabelog top 100 and by scouring listings and thought I'd post here.

I'd like to know:

- What should I actually order at each these places?
- What is missing from the list? Criteria is under Y4000 for food and a drink, and that you should be able to get in there
- Which of these places should I not go to?

Ok here's the list, I've tried my best to include location/hours info, if I haven't provided it it's because it's found easily.

- SPOON, near Kyoto station, open 6pm-12:30pm,, easily findable on Google maps, can walk in and get a seat.

- Bamboo (Location:, hours completely unknown, Y3500 for omakase so I'm assuming lower for actual dishes, TA reviews here:

- Izuju - Sushi, hours unknown but they serve lunch, best items listed here,, Gion district across from Yasaka Shrine

- Kanei, order zaru soba or kake soba, location etc here,

- Yamamoto menzo, details at the bottom here

- Dining Harimaya, does kaiseki for a reasonable price if you go for lunch.

- Nishiki market - which stalls etc?

- Takashimaya mall - same as above.

- Finally two places I found on Tabelog that didn't seem to be mentioned anywhere else, and were hard to find more details about:
- Kumano Kimura skewers,
- "Talking to the wall" (this can't be the right translation),

I appreciate your help/feedback,

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  1. We also enjoyed Honke Owariya for soba and udon - it does close at 7:00 pm, though, so make sure to go early for dinner or hit it up for lunch. Walking in was no problem, and I loved the Nabe Yaki Udon. Everything's pretty cheap, all under 2000 yen. They do have an English menu available.

    1. I've been to Spoon, and I wouldn't really say it's near Kyoto Station--not sure why you get that idea. It's certainly walkable, but it's a long walk (briskly, about 20 minutes depending on how long your stride is). It's close to Shijo Karasuma Station on Hankyu line, or Shijo Station on the subway. And yes, you can walk in, but I wouldn't count on it for a weekend night.

      1. You can add a translation extension to translate website to your browser, at least chrome has one. Just Google.

        Wish I was there.

        1. If you can afford the omakase at Bamboo, please order it.They do have an English menu for the ala carte items; one of the assistant chefs (if she's there) speaks English and they also use a point and speak Japanese to English book to show you what they're serving you. You can eat there for under 3000 yen, although if you order booze, you may be a bit hungry at the end (portions in Japan tend to be smaller than they often are in the US). About the only thing I suggest that you NOT order there is the fried chicken. In my experience, they don't make it crispy enough.. Otherwise, a wonderful restaurant. I also recommend Kitchen Occobe, which is right next door. They also have a menu in English and try to explain their daily specials in English. I recommend the risotto, Japanese style (with dashi and Japanese rice), and the trout if they have it. Or go for lunch, where I highly recommend the ebi fry--the best prawns you'll ever get. At Nishiki Market, be sure to have as a snack tamago (egg) on a stick. I also highly recommend Kiraku, A great place if you're on a budget and even if you're not. Best okonomiyaki I've ever had in Japan. Also good teppanyaki and other items, all made on a spotless grill with clean oil, and not a bit greasy. It's just up the hill from Bamboo and Kitchen Occobe. Very friendly staff. They also have an English menu. Many places in Kyoto do.

          1. There is also a very good izakaya in Gion--about two blocks north of Shijo on Nawate. 390 yen per plate of whatever! The sign outside says 390 yen, so you can't miss it. It's on a corner. There's a 390 yen cover charge, but they give you an appetizer for that. I believe the name is Kappa.