Ten Izakaya in Kyoto Where You Can Drink for 1,000 JPY or Less
Kyoto has the image of a city full of high-end Japanese restaurants, but there are also many senbero izakaya (low-cost bars where you can drink and eat snacks till you are totally drunk for 1,000 JPY). Here are 10 senbero izakaya to visit in Kyoto.
1. Karasuma Dining Premium Hyaku
This is a bar where you can enjoy reasonably-priced food that is a rank above the rest, made with plenty of seasonal vegetables from its own farm and other local farms, together with local sake from Kyoto. Their original dishes - made with live fish, Wagyu and domestic beef, and house-made sauces and dressings - are of high quality and start at just 100 JPY (excl. tax). Even piping-hot tempura (a Japanese dish wherein ingredients are covered in a batter made with flour and water, and then served deep fried) and freshly-prepared sushi are available from 100 JPY (excl. tax)! Although many senbero izakaya are tachinomi (bars with no seats), this one has seats to relax on. It is in a convenient location just three minutes on foot from Hankyu Karasuma Station.
2. Kyogoku Stand
This is an izakaya where you can enjoy drinks starting from 12:00 pm in a room whose tables and chairs, which have been used since it opened in 1927, create a sense of nostalgia. The huge menu of more than 100 items includes Japanese, Chinese, and Western-style dishes, as well as set meals. It has a wonderfully lively atmosphere that makes it normal to share a seat with others, with some people drinking away and others savoring their set meals. Why not stop by and have a drink with the Draft Beer Set (1,000 JPY), consisting of ice-cold draft beer and three snacks of the day, such as edamame? The retro interior alone draws tourists in!
This is a tachinomi bar where you can enjoy tasty alcohol and authentic shochu (distilled Japanese liquor) at reasonable prices (300 JPY (excl. tax) and up). There is a wide selection of bite-sized dishes starting from 290 JPY (excl. tax), so you can have small portions of a variety of items. Although it is a tachinomi, there are counters you can lean on and even some seats, so you can relax and enjoy your food and drinks. Although tachinomi has the image of a hangout for middle-aged men, this popular tachinomi has an atmosphere that is welcoming to all.
*Has English-speaking staff and foreign-language menus (English)
4. Bar MoonWalk Shijo Kiyamachi Branch
This is a bar where you can enjoy cocktails at the amazing price of just 200 JPY (excl. tax). Not to worry, none of the alcohol used are cheap imitations! At this price, you can try cocktails that you usually don't order or have been wanting to try without thinking about the price. Food items start at 300 JPY (excl. tax) and consist primarily of light fare such as French fries, pizza, and pasta. There is a cover charge of 400 JPY (excl. tax) per person, but even with it, this is one of the best places in terms of getting your bang for buck. There are four locations in Kyoto City, including one on Rokkaku-dori.
*Has English-speaking staff and foreign-language menus (English, Simplified Chinese, Korean)
5. Heso Kyoto Ekimae Branch
This is a bar that serves udon, soba, and set meals together with alcohol at lunchtime, and becomes a tachinomi in the evening. The kushiage (battered, deep-fried skewers) made with fresh, organic ingredients are freshly fried and crunchy, and go perfectly with sake. Start with the Banshaku Set (750 JPY), made up of five skewers that the chef recommends and a drink. An added service at this bar is the free Wi-Fi and power points for charging your smartphones at each table. This is a place where you can drop by casually and enjoy a drink.
*Has foreign-language menus (English, Simplified Chinese)
*The photo is for illustrative purposes only
This bar, located in a renovated Kyoto townhouse, has a Kyoto-esque atmosphere and is popular for its accessible prices and good food. Some menu favorites are the Thick Cut Bacon (680 JPY), Yaki Edamame (380 JPY), and Kamo-nasu Dengaku (580 JPY). The last item evokes Kyoto and consists of a large, melt-in-your-mouth kamo-nasu eggplant that goes well with the sweet miso.
If you are selecting the all-you-can-drink option, order the beer in pitchers. The pitchers here are actually kettles! Pouring the beer from kettles is sure to make for a fun evening with lively conversation.
This is a place where you can enjoy the local Kyoto chicken, Kyo Aka, at reasonable prices. Unlike most yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) places, the chicken is cooked by the customer using a roaster on the table. Take your time to cook the chicken so that the excess fat drops into the roaster and the umami (Japanese savory taste) is concentrated, creating truly fantastic flavors!
The chicken dishes are always offered at reasonable prices, but the Choinomi Set (1,000 JPY (excl. tax)) offered between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm is a particularly great deal. It is just 1,000 JPY for two glasses of beer and one dish or one glass of beer and two dishes, so it is perfect for someone who wants to casually enjoy the flavors of jidori (free-range, local chicken).
You will feel like you're eating in a Japanese home at this izakaya, as it has a lot of chabudai (low tables that can only be found in Japan). One of its appeals is the low prices, with a mug of beer priced at 300 JPY (excl. tax) and the food also starting at 300 JPY, allowing you to eat a variety of things.
One of its most popular menu items is the Aburi Negishio Char Siu (300 JPY (excl. tax)). The fat of the roasted pork is aromatic and has flavors that go perfectly with beer. Another advantage of this izakaya is that it is open till morning!
This izakaya has a charming facade with a large paper lantern as the shop sign, and is popular as a place to have drinks at great prices.
The signature offer is the All-You-Can-Drink Menu [excludes Saturdays and the day before any national holidays] (1,200 JPY (excl. tax) per person for 120 minutes, 500 JPY (excl. tax) per person for 90 minutes) that includes a whole array of drinks from beer, sake, and wine to cocktails and soft drinks. On Saturdays and the day before any national holidays, you can get 120 minutes of all-you-can-drink for 1,500 JPY (excl. tax) as well. It is a great deal if you go with a group of people and share the food!
This is a tachinomi that is popular for its great location, just a 3-minute walk from Kyoto Station, as well as for its wonderful food, made by the owner who trained at a hotel, and the equally wonderful sake, both of which are offered at great prices. It is often frequented by locals.
If you want to have drinks for 1,000 JPY or less here, go between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm, when you can order the Choinomi Set (920 JPY). It is a set that includes three types of sashimi, three types of deep-fried foods, and alcohol, which you can choose from sake, beer, chuhai (shochu highball), shochu, or highball. After the Choinomi Set, why not order the Ultimate Tomato Chuhai (580 JPY) that's packed full of tomato flavor? The bar is open from 11:30 am, so you can go for lunch as well!
The bars introduced here are all places where you can casually enjoy alcohol and snacks. Enjoy these affordable places in any way that suits you, be it for a quick drink, to meet up with someone, or when you haven't drunk enough.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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