When you visit Kyoto, you must try Kyoto cuisine at least once. There are many restaurants in the region that offer Kyoto dishes at relatively affordable prices during lunch. These include luxury restaurants and veteran spots that are a little pricy during dinner. Below are five popular spots for authentic Kyoto dishes!
Miyamasou is a restaurant tucked into a mountain village that will make you forget about the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a famous spot that is even listed in the Michelin Guide! Its signature dish is Tsumikusa cuisine (dishes using wild herbs and vegetables) that was born from the way that ancient nobles would pick wild herbs and cook them. The owner of this restaurant goes to the hills every morning to gather wild grass, edible wild plants, mushrooms, river fish, wild birds, deer, and other nutritious ingredients. They then incorporate them into the dishes cooked at the restaurant. For lunch, you can enjoy this cuisine as a course meal (prices start from 18,630 JPY (incl. tax and service charge)). There are staff who can speak Italian and French. A vegetarian menu is available upon request.
Kirara is a popular restaurant with a homey atmosphere, despite its appearance that makes it fit to be in the Gion landscape. Their dishes use vegetables that were carefully cultivated by local farmers, as well as fresh seasonal fish, so they are both delicious and beautiful. For lunch, they serve courses like the Kirara Gozen (3,000 JPY (incl. tax)) that contains various kinds of dishes, including seasonal sashimi and tempura. At this restaurant, you will be able to enjoy colorful, beautiful, and exceptionally voluminous dishes that will let you taste authentic Kyoto flavors.
Hashinaga is a famous restaurant that is included in the Bib Gourmand of the Michelin Guide. It basically serves course-style dishes, with lunch courses priced starting from 2,200 JPY (incl. tax) and dinner courses priced as low as 4,000 JPY (incl. tax). If you eat here, you will get to savor authentic Kyoto cuisine at a reasonable cost. Their dishes contain local Kyoto vegetables, the freshest fish and seafood, and other ingredients sourced by skilled chefs with keen eyes, so guests will be able to dine on dishes that incorporate innovative ideas while respecting traditions.
Misen is a spot where you can enjoy Kyoto cuisine in a traditional machiya (merchant’s house). Here, the dishes are pillared on local ingredients from Kyoto, but they also incorporate carefully selected fresh fish caught in Kyushu and branded pork from Akita. For lunch, they serve the Kyoyuba-don Teishoku (set meal of a rice bowl with Kyoto-style tofu skin) (1,000 JPY (excl. tax)) that is only available on weekdays, as well as the Gyunabe-zen (beef hot pot set) (1,800 JPY (excl. tax)) that will let you enjoy the delicious taste of Japanese Black beef from Tamba. They also have mini courses that are limited to Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, and the Hiru Gozen (reservation required at least two days in advance) that displays the culinary skills of the chef. English menus are available.
5. Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion/Kyoto
Tempura Endo Yasaka is a restaurant that was built in a scenic landscape that is filled with the unique vibe of Kyoto. Here, you can enjoy course meals that feature tempura as the main dish. Their dishes use ingredients like local vegetables from Kyoto, rustic and edible wild plants, and river fish from clear streams. Their lunch courses are priced from 4,000 JPY (excl. tax)). English and Chinese (simplified and traditional) menus are available, and vegetarian menu and dishes for specific countries and/or religions may be served upon request. They also have staff who can speak English and Chinese.
Please try to visit these restaurants when you travel to Kyoto!
*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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