Some good eating places in Kyoto
here’s what we have found in Kyoto.
Since I was a child, Margo and I have been there twice for a total of about 6 weeks. We rented a house and did breakfast and an occasional lunch there. There are many coffee shops with fine coffee and pastries. There are a number of excellent pastry shops too.
Both times we stayed on the east side of the city in an area called Higashiyama (Eastern Mountains)between Shijo Ave (Dori) and Sanjo (Dori) Ave (Sanjo is 3rd Ave), Shijo is 4th Ave.
These Ave’s run east west and there are 3 North-South Streets that one moves up and down on. We stay in Higashiyama because the mountains run straight North-south and are pretty much a non-stop run of shrines, temples, museums, parks, interspersed with interesting neighborhoods. Also because the bus system and subway system run along it as do several of the train systems to out of town (especially the little train to Ohara and the amazing Sanzen-Ji) . At the furthest south end is the rightly famous Inari Temple, dedicated to foxes, in Fushimi and to the north end is my favorite of the Imperial Household grounds, the “Shugakuin Imperial Villa” with hawks flying and farmers working in the rice paddies.
These restaurants are in these general areas. They are all difficult to find due to little english signage. I recommend trying to find them on Google Maps, going to the general area and looking around then finding the resaturant. I ALWAYS get reservations and often will go to the restaurant a day before and book the reservation in person. That way I am sure of its location and feel welcome when I arrive. In most of the restaurants we sit at the counter – this allows us to interact with the staff and admire the work. It is always better to have a few beers or wine also. We try to order “Omikase” which means “what ever the chef feels is specially good” and then we don’t have to struggle with the menu. If one of the party does not like fish we find either a noodle restaurant, a chicken restaurant, a yakatori cafe or a Sukiyaki or ShabuShabu restaurant. The big department stores like Takeshimaya have great food courts and cafes (on each floor) for a nice lunch.
– Our favorite places in Higashiyama are as follows:
The Yagenbori Sueyoshicho restaurant in the beautiful northern Gion geisha district (north of ShijoDori). This is a small chain of family run traditional fine restaurants. booths and counter
Another spot in the south Gion area is a fine chicken/yakitori restaurant called Wabiya Korekido. You find it by the lovely circular drawing on the website and its wall
Our favorite place is a restaurant called kitchen Occobe. It is on the south side of Sanjo Dori close to the Higashiyama Subway station. Its owner is Kouji and his sushi chef is Shingo. Their omikasi meal is terrific. Kouji heads the local wine club.
Next to that is a restaurant called Bamboo which provided us with the finest meal I have ever had in Japan (almost). The owner chef is somewhat tempremental but if he is on you will remember it always. Look in front of it for a small bowl of live freshwater crabs which he frys and you eat whole – terrific.
CHECK OUT TRIP ADVISOR FOR NOODLE SHOPS AND BAKERIES.
hope this helps