Noma Kyoto Guide
Kyoto is home to hundreds of incredible restaurants! Our team has been exploring this amazing dining scene – from smaller, multigenerational restaurants to newer and more modern places – in the time we have been here preparing for our pop-up.
Keep in mind, that the vast majority of restaurants in Kyoto are small, cozy spots which can consequently make it difficult to find space. A general rule of thumb is to make reservations before you go out when possible, lest you enjoy waiting. A second rule is that if you see a line (and it’s related to food), get in it! It will be worth the wait.
Each category of cuisine has hundreds if not thousands of shops which all mostly practice the same generational focus on their specialty (be it sushi, yakitori, ramen, soba, etc.). In the following list we have gathered a few of our personal favorites, though it is by no means complete and there are plenty of places to explore.
Wajoryomen Sugari 和醸良麺 すがり
Fun, delicious, casual, hole-in-the-wall ramen joint that welcomes everyone, but you might have to wait in line. Known for tsukemen dipping noodles, beef, and pork ramen.
Men-ya Inoichi 麺屋 猪一
Another one of our favorite ramen spots.
Ramen Touhichi らぁ麺とうひち
Another great ramen spot with a bib gourmand. Known for their chicken shoyu ramen.
Iso Stand イソスタンド
A cozy, two-floor izakaya right next to natural wine bar Deux Cochons. Great space, tasty food, delicious sake and natural wine. Get the clay pot rice and karaage. Call ahead for a booking.
Sambongi Shoten 三本木商店
Cozy izakaya with natural wines. Fun spot.
Gihon Rohan 祇園 ろはん
A famous and popular izakaya amongst tourists. A la carte menu with very good, very consistent food.
Tonkatsu, aka breaded pork from different cuts with sauce and garnish.
Tiny café serving Tamagoyaki Sano (aka Japanese omelet sandos). The French toast is incredible too. Right next door to a hamburger shop.
Osteria Il Canto Del Maggio
It seems strange to add Italian offerings to a list of Kyoto recommendations, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up from soy sauce-based flavors. Del Maggio is a tiny hole-in-the-wall Italian place. The chef does everything himself. Only 16 seats, so reservations are essential.
Pizzeria Napoletana Da Yuki
Popular pizza place for very good reason. Stone oven.
Pizzeria da Ciro
Another great pizza option.
Right on the Philosopher’s Path is the six seat counter soba restaurant Juu-go. The chef farms his own buckwheat a little outside of Kyoto, grinds the flour and make the dough and soba noodles to order.
Sanmikouan 三味洪庵 本店
Soba shop right by one of the tiny rivers in Gion. Known for your sudachi soba.
Masutomi そば処 桝富
Right next door to Sanmikouan, but a bit more famous. They serve both hot and cold soba.
Teuchisoba Kanei 手打ち蕎麦 かね井
Lunch only soba shop a little outside of the center of Kyoto. This place also has a bib gourmand.
Mister Gyoza ミスター・ギョーザ
Dumplings–the food of the gods.
Ebisugawa Gyoza Nakajima 夷川餃子なかじま
More dumplings in a cozy setting.
Kikunoi Honten 菊乃井 本店
Old school, ultra traditional Japanese. There are a few of these around which are impossible to get into–and others that are barely possible to get into, but this is the best.
A fantastic experience. It sits right on the “philosopher’s path”. If you haven’t watched his episode on Chef’s Table, you should. It’s a tiny place and hard to get into, but worth the effort.
Despite the name “tempura”, this is not a tempura restaurant. It’s a very Japanese, informal setting, but with high quality cooking by a young chef that has just taken over the property from his late father a few years ago. Absolutely delicious.
Sichuan Chinese spot. Casual and tasty with natural wines.
Din Tai Fung
The legendary Taiwanese dumpling spot. It’s in a mall on the 3rd floor behind ladies garments. Known for their a la minute soup dumplings.
Very popular spot for doughnuts.
Tiny mochi shop that always has a line. Everything is handmade, and they only produce a limited number each day. Right next door to Masutomi soba.
These pastries are small pieces of art!
French, natural wine bar with smaller bites.
Small coffee spot and wine bar.
Kumano Winehouse クマノワインハウ
Cozy natural wine bar with small plates that change daily.
Weekenders Coffee Roastery
A beautiful setting for coffee. They are masters of their craft and are selecting coffee for noma.
Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji
Another outpost for delicious coffee.
The hipster place in Kyoto. It’s small, so you might have to wait.
Kurasu Kyoto Stand
Roasters and advocates of Kyoto coffee culture, their flagship store is 5 minutes from Kyoto Station.
Kurasu’s sister cafe space is designed to emulate a domestic kitchen. It offers a wide variety of home brewing equipment, in addition to coffee to stay or to go.
Clamp Coffee Sarasa
A little cozy café where you can also get some breakfast-like lunch. Next to it is a little antique store and a flower shop.
Art & Galleries
Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Amazingly curated Japanese ceramics. Call ahead to make an appointment.
This restaurant is open on weekends for tea, sweet and savory treats, with a gallery space on the second floor.
Taka Ishii Gallery
Taka Ishii Gallery has just opened in Kyoto this April, restoring a 150-year old traditional townhouse to its original condition.
Kawai Kanjiro’s House
The famous Kyoto-based potter Kawai Kanjiro’s private residence and studio, build in 1937, turned into a museum.
日日 gallery nichinichi / 冬夏 tearoom toka
Gallery and tearoom with a curated selection of Japanese pottery, lacquer wear and art pieces.
This yearly international photography festival takes place in Kyoto from April 15th to May 14th, featuring 15 different artists across multiple locations and gallery spaces around the city.