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Fave Restaurants

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Hong Kong
posts: 393
reviews: 28
Fave Restaurants

Hi Guys,

We'll be in Kyoto for 5 nights and are looking for the best, most cosy and authentic experiences for dinners. (or places for lunch too actually!) We will eat anything and are always willing to try new things. We like snug and cute places, not too big......can you suggest somewhere you really liked for the ambience and overall experience? Would love to hear all thoughts on this......


Many thanks,



posts: 311
reviews: 17
1. Re: Fave Restaurants

There are two excellent, cosy restaurants above the Granvia Hotel in the Kyoto station complex. One is French, the other tempura. You can find info on them on the Granvia web site. There are many restuarants in the complex, and underground from there is a mall that has many shops and restaurants. Enjoy

Nashville, TN
Destination Expert
for Himeji, Kobe, Osaka
posts: 1,675
reviews: 14
2. Re: Fave Restaurants

Only in Kyoto or in other cities in the region? I ask because I don't know much about Kyoto restaurants, but can probably name a few good ones in Kobe and Himeji.

John W.

New York City, New...
posts: 414
reviews: 35
3. Re: Fave Restaurants

I went to Ten Ichi in the Kyoto Station http://www.bento.com/kansai/rev/7033.html

Ask to sit at the bar. Pretty authentic and outstanding tempursa. There is a thread many many pages back (around May just as I was planning my trip) of a bunch of places in and around the station listed.

Hong Kong
posts: 393
reviews: 28
4. Re: Fave Restaurants

Hi, well I'll try to find that old thread. Not too interested in eating in a big mall/station or at hotels. Would like to troll the backstreets and find unusual places 'off the beaten track' so to speak. And yes, just Kyoto area please as we are not going to Kobe or any other city on this particular trip. Many thanks again! Your replies are great.

Fukuoka, Japan
posts: 880
5. Re: Fave Restaurants

"Off the beaten" place...

What kinds of food are you after, Japanese or western?

The followings are what I can recommend (because I've been there).

KOKAJI (Japanese) near AWATA shrine (in Okazaki area) :

small (10 seats only) and cozy, family-run Japanese restaurant. My aunt, living in Kyoto, took us there once. Being small, interiors are not impressive but very relaxing and foods are delicately prepared with fresh vegetables grown in Kyoto. (My aunt told me that the owner is the father of my cousin's friend...)

Address : 2-26 Sanjo Bocho, Awataguchi, Higashiyama-ku

075-561-3386 (closed on Mondays) 5min walk from subway Higashiyama station.

Map (in Japanese) www.leafkyoto.net/s_search/shop.php?sId=727

CHEZ MOI (French) near Nishiki market :

cozy French restaurant, popular for locals. Dinner starts from 3500/person. Often holds (classical) music events.

Address: Nishiki Karashuma Higashi-iri (means "turn right at the corner of Nihiki street and Karasuma street), Nakagyo-ku

075-212-2130 (closed on Mondays) 3min walk from subway Shijo station

http://www.chez-moi.co.jp/access.html (Japanese)

TORIIWARO (Japanese, chicken hot pot)

famous for TORINABE (chicken hot pot), using old town house in Kyoto with very traditional atomosphere. Price a bit high, TORINABE starts from 6000/person

When we stayed at Brighton to attend our cousin's wedding, the concierge at the hotel suggested this place and it's really delicous.

Address : Gotuji Chiekoin Nishiiru Minami (means "turn left at the corner of Gutuji street and Chiekoin street and the shop is on the left side"), Kamigyo-ku

(075)441-4004 (Closed on Thursdays)

http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~mao_utty/toriiwa/ (Japanese)

I strongly recommend you to call them in advance. Ask hotel staff to help you!

As for lunch, try Nishiki market if you haven't. Many shops have restaurants on the 2nd floor, using old Japanese town houses.


Hong Kong
posts: 393
reviews: 28
6. Re: Fave Restaurants

Ah, great post. We are big fans of Japanese food....so that is mainly what I am looking for, not so much the western food. But, we eat anything so all suggestions are great! Many thanks for what you have written, I'll print it off and take it with me!

New York City, New...
posts: 414
reviews: 35
7. Re: Fave Restaurants


around page two or three you will find the places noted to me by a local. all of the ones we went to were outstanding and authentic (size varried). we were not interested at all in western food as we can get that when ever we want.

unless you have been to Kyoto before, i would not be too quick to dismiss the station just because of its size. for example, Kitcho is very very close to the exit of the hotel Granvia and entrance to the station and one would be very remise to not consider a place such as Kitcho based on its location - you are welcome to diligence the place on your own as did I. to do so, would be to your detriment. the same would also be true for Tenichi IMO.

i get what you are looking for. that said, consider that as you go to smaller and smaller holes in the wall, i found the ability to communicate what you are looking for also becomes more limited - less chance to point and less chance to see what others are eating since a few small places we went to had no english to be seen, read or heard.

my wife and i have dined, to name a few, from Per Se (twice) to the French Laundry to the 53rd and 6th Halal Cart and Papaya King http://www.hollyeats.com/PapayaKingNY.htm in NCY to Sweatmens BBQ in SC http://www.hollyeats.com/Sweatmans.htm . pretty much from the top to the bottom all in seach of the best. that said, in Japan, the norms that I am used to in the western world about holes in the wall etc. did not seem to apply on my trip based on where we went to.

enjoy your trip. i am sure you will find what you are looking for.

Hong Kong
posts: 393
reviews: 28
8. Re: Fave Restaurants

Yes, have been to both Per Se and French Laundry and didn't like either to be honest!!! We speak Japanese so it is OK for us to troll the backalleys to find the small places, plastic meals or not! :) Living in Hong Kong, we are used to dining in malls., stations, ...that is why we wanted a different experience, but having said that, we will be sure to still check out the places you have mentioned so many thanks so those. We like to explore all options! I'll have a look at that link there too........

New York City, New...
posts: 414
reviews: 35
9. Re: Fave Restaurants

"Yes, have been to both Per Se and French Laundry and didn't like either to be honest!!! "

I suggest then perhaps you ought not to dine at the places I have noted. If a person such as yourself has such diametrically opposed views of, perhaps two of the finest dinning establishments in the world, of which I have had two of the most amazing fine dining experiences in my life, then my recommendations are not applicable to you and I can not be of any further assistance in your quest.

Enjoy your trip and I hope you find what you are looking for.

Hong Kong
posts: 393
reviews: 28
10. Re: Fave Restaurants

OK then, many thanks!! Enjoy your future travels, take care.