Inside and around Kyoto Station you can find countless good-quality restaurants and bars for a decent price. The easy option for grabbing a bite to eat would be to head up to the top floors of the station’s building and hop into one of the various restaurants there—but with so many options available to you in the area why not try something more special? Let me share two of my personal favorite restaurants which I truly believe you should give a try for their delicious and affordable meals.
Tomatoes as you have never tasted them before, Chabana
The first one I would like to introduce is Chabana. Although it is a chain restaurant with about a dozen establishments scattered over major cities in Japan, its Kyoto establishment is renowned to be one of the finest.
The first of two specials I can highly recommend anyone to try is the “Tomato okonomiyaki”, which has even won the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries General Food Director Award. This original twist on one of Kansai’s favourite dishes, okonomiyaki, is as tasty as it is unique even for those who have had plenty of okonomiyaki experience by now. The second recommendation would be the “Kyoto Camellia Salad”. With its abundant use of tomatoes, avocado and lettuce, the salad overflows with delicious flavor making it not just a simple side dish, but a rival to the main dish for your taste buds.
Chabana also offers dozens of smaller dishes for you to combine as you watch them being prepared right in front of you when you are seated at the bar. When it comes to drinks Chabana does not have a shy collection as it offers many kinds of sake, beers, wines and soft drinks for anyone to enjoy alongside their meal.
Cuisine: Both vegetarian and regular dishes
Address: 1F, 578 Higashishiokojimachi, Kizuyabashi Karasuma-dori, Kyoto 600 8216
Access: Just around the corner on your right when facing Kyoto Station with the entrance of Yodabashi Camera behind you.
Price range: About 1.500 yen
Menu: Picture menu available
Delicious Kyoto-style wagyu beef, Katsugyu
Katsugyu is a restaurant I happened to stumble upon by accident while walking around the area and I sure am glad I did! The warm atmosphere in the restaurant combined with the carefully prepared dishes make Katsugyu an enrichment to Kyoto’s vast array of restaurants.
The restaurant offers various dishes with wagyu beef, a name specifically reserved for beef coming from Japanese cattle. Whether you prefer it prepared as a sirloin with rice on the side or as a cutlet on top of a rice bed, the beef’s texture make every bite a delight as it merges with the accompanying (and delicious) sauce. The “Zen” dishes are above all absolutely delectable, and with carefully selected ingredients they offer the perfect balance of tastes and flavors into a truly joyful experience. Although they do not offer an extensive drinks menu, the sheer taste of the dishes make you forego even ordering a drink and stick with the complimentary water to enjoy them to the fullest.
Cuisine: Japanese Beef
Address: 211 Maoyacho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600 8211
Access: From Kyoto Station head along the main road past Yodabashi Camera and take a right-hand turn when you see a Lawson on that side. The restaurant is in front of the bus station on the left-hand side of the road.
Price range: About 1,400 yen to 2,500 for a set menu
Menu: Picture menu available
Like I mentioned earlier, around and inside Kyoto Station there are plenty of options for you to choose from when it comes to dining and I have yet to come across someone who was disappointed with their meal, but when it comes to unique and absolutely delicious meals these two restaurants are by far the most memorable for me. So next time you are in the area, give Chabana and Katsugyu a try and let us all know what you think!