I enjoy food but don’t consider myself a foodie because I have, what I call, an unadventurous palate. So, while Japan might be exciting for most food lovers, for me it was initially challenging. Plus I live in Asia and have travelled around a bit and I often get a little tired of Asian food and want something diffdrent. Once I got the bearings of my location and what was on offer I found some very nice and affordable restaurants close to my hotel. Here are my top finds.
1. Cuomo Pizza Salvatore Grill
Located just a short walk from Sanjo Station this restaurant is known for its Neapolitan Pizza.
I wasn’t expecting to have Italian food in Japan but I somehow ended up here when we could decide where else to go.
I loved the atmosphere. It is located by the river and there’s seating inside and outside. The wait staff was also attentive. It is probably the most pricey of the other restaurants on this list but worth it.
This cutesy coffee shop is the Japanese Starbucks, at least that’s what I’m calling it. There are several locations in Sanjo Dori, Kyoto.
Not just a coffee shop, Tully’s offers breakfast and lunch options. I didn’t try the pancakes and waffles nor the pastry but the lunch options were very tasty. The main lunch options are pasta and risotto but there’s also ball park hot dog on the menu.
The dishes are very, very tasty. I tried the Risotto and the Spaghetti. A meal for two including drink and coffee was just over JPY 1,500.
I visited this restaurant on three occasions at two different locations and at both locations the staff English language skills were very limited but the service was good and fast. The menu is also available in English with photos and our orders were always correct.
3. Toilo x Tanita Café
Found in the Food Hall in the Sumitomo Fudosan Building located at the major junction close to Kawaramachi station Tanita Café offers fresh and healthy meals. Apparently, from a Google search, the café is a collaboration between a company within the healthcare industry and a restaurant that is focused on vegetable and meat cuisine.
That definitely explains the tips posted on the menus that you should take your time to chew properly when eating to help digest the food. I am happy that we enjoyed the meal because of all the food we had this was probably one of the closest to Japanese cuisine.
4. Shopping street restaurants
Most shopping streets have several food options. I found a little spot inside the Teramachi and Shinkyogoku Shopping street. This restaurant was afforadable and the food was delicious. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name. However, its an example not to rule out these restaurants as options for lunch or dinner. Also, this restaurant was located upstairs so do not just look at those that are at ground level.
I ate here twice. The food is affordable, the service was fast, and the food is palatable.
I enjoyed the chicken and beef on rice with fries, coleslaw and green salad. The staff are not fluent in English but knows enough to take your order.
5. Baramee Thai Kitchen
I didn’t set out to find this restaurant. After returning from a day of sightseeing the plan was to return to the hotel to add another layer of clothing because night had already fallen.
On the way to the hotel I stumbled upon this little piece of Thai close by. The staff was friendly and the food was delightful. I only ate there once though, but that was no fault of the restaurant.
As you can see from my list, Kyoto has a lot of food options. Unfortunately I am simply unadventurous especially when I am very hungry. However, rest assure that you will find something to suit your palate.
Do you like to try new foods or are you like me, adventurous?