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Kita Restaurants

Where to Eat in Kita - Kyoto

Predominately a residential district, Kita ward dining is restricted to a few areas. The colossal temple complex of Daitoku-ji, a bastion of Zen Buddhism, has a concentration of excellent vegetarian restaurants. Here you can experience the Zen philosophy expressed through food within blissfully tranquil surroundings.

The streets around the Golden Pavillion Kinkaku-ji is another place to find interesting restaurants that serve traditional noodles, sushi and even fugu, Japan’s infamous blowfish. Some of the ward’s old sake warehouses have been lovingly restored into unique and charming restaurants, many with exquisite gardens and occasionally museums or galleries.

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Izusen

Situated in one of the pristine gardens within the Daitoku-ji Temple compound, Izusen is a famous restaurant that serves shojin teppatsu-ryori, an elaborate version of the Zen Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Each course is presented in serving bowls of diminishing sizes, fitting into each other like Russian nesting dolls. Wheat gluten and soy curd skimmings are specialties of the house to be enjoyed in tatami rooms or, weather permitting, on low tables in the garden. Extremely popular during the spring and autumn months, reservations are recommended.

  • Opening Hours: Lunch only 11:00 – 16:00
  • Location: 4 Daitoku-ji-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 491 6665
  • Cuisine: Japanese Vegetarian
  • Price Range: Lunch: affordable
  • How to get there: Karasuma Subway Line, Kitaoii Station
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Daitokuji Ikkyu

Located just outside the eastern gate of Daitoku-ji this small restaurant has been serving vegetarian foods since the mid 1400s. Specializing in shojin-ryori or Buddhist vegetarian cuisine the restaurant is a good opportunity to experience the Zen philosophy expressed through food. Unlike many other shojin places, Daitokuji Ikkyu is open for lunch and early dinner.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 12:00 – 18:0
  • Location: 20 Daitokujimae Murasakino
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 493 0019
  • Cuisine: Japanese Vegetarian
  • Price Range: Lunch: affordable, Dinner: pricey
  • How to get there: Karasuma Subway Line, Kitaoii Station
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Ichima

This restaurant specializes in Kyoto sushi, in particular, chakin-zushi, sushi that is rolled in a light crepe or pancake instead of the usual seaweed. All the fish and seafood used to create Ichima’s winning sushi comes fresh daily from the Akashi fish market. Bento boxes pose the best value but for an all round tasting select the omakase menu. Just five minutes from Daitoku-ji, the restaurant is over 70 years old.

  • Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 11:00 – 14:00, 17:00 – 21:00
  • Location: 25 Shimomonzencho Murasakino
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 491 4993
  • Cuisine: Kyoto Sushi
  • Price Range: Lunch: affordable, Dinner: pricey
  • How to get there: Karasuma Subway Line, Kitaoii Station
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Azekura

A beautiful converted 18th century sake warehouse is the setting for this popular restaurant which sells delightful homemade noodles. Soba or udon noodles can be enjoyed with various toppings including tempura, fried tofu and herring fillets. Set meals are available adding rice, pickles and miso soup. After dining stroll around the grounds and visit the gallery where an impressive kimono display is exhibited. Reservations are necessary.

  • Opening Hours: Tue - Sun 11:30 – 14:00, 17:30 – 20:00
  • Location: 30 Okamoto-cho, Kamigamo, Kita-ku
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 701 0162
  • Cuisine: Japanese Soba / Udon
  • Price Range: Lunch: affordable, Dinner: pricey
  • How to get there: Kitayama subway station
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Uotake

Fugu or blowfish, is that infamous Japanese food that really can kill you! Thankfully the expert chefs at Uotake know exactly how to slice the blowfish to remove the poison leaving nothing but a delicious taste you’ll brag about for years. In addition to the fugu courses, Uotake serves a range of other sushi and sashimi.

  • Opening Hours: Mon - Sun 11:00 - 22:00
  • Location: 66 Miyanishi-cho Hirano, Kita-ku
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 462 1063
  • Cuisine: Japanese / Blowfish
  • Price Range: Lunch / Dinner: pricey
  • How to get there: Close to Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto City Bus 101 or 205 from Kyoto Station
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York House

York House has been serving Italian fare since the 1960’s in northwest Kyoto and is very popular for its cheap lunch set as well as for delicious dinners. In the evening, order from their a-la-carte menu with choices of pizza, pasta and variety of meat dishes or from the dinner set course. Between lunch and dinnertime, York House is open for tea and coffee with a good selection of desserts and cakes.

  • Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30 – 14:30, dinner 17:00 – 21:30, coffee time 14.30 – 17:00 closed on Wednesdays.
  • Location: Hirano, Hachijoyanagi 69, Kita-ku, Kyoto (not far from the famous temples of Kinkakuji and Ryoanji)
  • Tel: +81 (0)75 463 1515
  • Cuisine: Italian
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