Don't you want to try some foods in Kyoto that break the calm Japanese aesthetic image you have of Kyoto? Here are some dishes that you can eat that are delicious and pleasing to the eye.
Gion NITI is a restaurant that's a cafe by day and bar by night. What you should order if you go is the giant kakigoori (shaved ice) (1,200 JPY (tax incl.)). The ice is made using natural spring water and it's light and soft and melts in your mouth with a surprising quickness. There are kakigoori topped with yatsuhashi (one of Kyoto's representative sweets, a thin rectangle-shaped rice cracker) and it goes perfectly with the kakigoori's chilly sweetness.
It's said that kakigoori is a summer item, but at Gion NITI you can eat it all year round. Please eat it if you come to Kyoto. The store is in the depths of an alley, so many people get lost on their way there. Make sure you have a map and a clear idea of where it is when you go.
At elk Kyoto Branch, they have a variety of pancakes available, including thick pancakes so covered in cream you can't see them as well as savory pancakes that you can eat in place of a meal.
The recommended item is the roasted apple and butter cookie royal milk tea cream pancake (starting at 1,180 JPY (tax excl.)) that's popular with women. There's also the winter-limited sweet potato and caramel apple pancake (1,280 JPY (tax excl.)) that's only available for 10 orders every day. Both of them are popular so you should definitely try them if you can. There are lots of other pancakes as well so it's fun to choose. Please try these soft and moist pancakes while you're on your trip.
Karafuneya Coffee Sanjo Main Branch became a huge topic in Kyoto thanks to the more-than-200 kinds of parfaits they have on offer. This includes not just regular sweet parfaits, but unusual items such as fried shrimp parfait and fried chicken parfait.
However, this cafe's biggest characteristic is the huge parfaits on offer. They have a parfait in a bucket, a jumbo parfait that weighs 8kg for 8-10 people to share, and even a huge parfait meant for 20-25 people that you can't possibly imagine. That parfait costs more than 10,000 JPY but if you have the courage, why not try it? (That particular parfait requires prior reservation.)
Of course, their regular parfaits are delicious too. The matcha parfait and Gion parfaits are reminiscent of Kyoto so those are recommended and can be eaten for around 800 JPY each.
If you want to eat seafood to your heart's content, the place to be is Sushi Gohan Banba. Their recommended item on the lunch menu is the Kaisen Sushidon (1,260 JPY (tax incl.)). The vinegar rice is topped with shrimp, tuna, yellow tail, salmon, squid, octopus, roe, and more kinds of sashimi to create a rice bowl that is literally overflowing with fresh seafood. It isn't just the seafood rice bowl, their other seafood options are also large. Their sushi is made with thick slices of sashimi, so this is the place for people who want to eat until they're stuffed. The seafood is brought in from the market every morning so it's as fresh as possible.
Oboroya Zuiundou is a Japanese traditional confectionery shop that opened in 2009. Their prices are reasonable so you can buy delicious things for less than 1,000 JPY. Their popular item can only be bought from September to May and it's the nama-dorayaki. Dorayaki is a sort of sandwich made with two little pancakes made from wheat, sugar, and egg, and then sweet red bean paste called anko is pressed between the two cakes. Oboroya Zuiundou's nama-dorayaki has not just the anko but also a huge amount of cream overflowing from it so it has a very impressive look. It's so popular it sells out soon after the store opens. Even though it looks like an overwhelming amount of cream, it's a refreshing sweetness that you'll end up licking your lips after. It's recommended for people who don't even like sweets too much.
5. Even dorayaki is stuffed to the brim with cream at Oboroya Zuiundou
Kyoto isn't just traditional meals but also interesting dishes that definitely leave an impression. Please try these when you get a chance to visit.
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information