Mar. 24, 2017 UPDATE
Soba and udon have always been loved by the people of Kyoto
Part 3

These are the udon noodle restaurants in Kyoto you cannot miss!

Speaking of Kyoto, most of you must be thinking of boiled tofu or kaiseki, a type of Japanese haute cuisine. Of course eating these Kyoto delicacies must be a special experience for travelers.

But on the other hand, did you know that really many food enthusiasts come to Kyoto just to have udon noodles? This is easy to understand when you get to know that Kyoto has many popular udon restaurants that always have lines to get in, and many smaller udon restaurants that have been loved by the locals for a long time. These food enthusiasts talk of Kyoto as the “hidden highly competitive udon marketplace.”

The most important part of Kyoto’s udon is the dashi broth. The udon broth made from bonito and kelp stock and thin soy sauce is exquisite. Sometimes before you notice it you have finished the whole bowl, broth and all. Kyoto’s udon is softer than others so that it can sip up the broth. It is so soft that the udon can break just from being lifted by chopsticks. Indeed, the soft noodles and the dashi broth really go well together and form a gentle taste that is sure to warm your body. Udon is great for cold winter days.

In this part I will introduce to you only the best restaurants in Kyoto’s highly competitive marketplace. I want you to go to an udon restaurant and taste the essence of Kyoto – the dashi broth.
Okakita
Okakita
There are two restaurants in Kyoto that are always featured on television and magazines when talking of udon in the old capital. One of them is Okakita. The restaurant is so popular that there is a long line in front of it no matter whether sunny or stormy.

This restaurant was founded over 80 years ago, and they are most famous for their “ten-toji udon”, noodles with shrimp tempura covered with egg soup. The soft egg and the soup’s strong dashi kick orchestrate a deep tasting udon. Okakita is close to Heian Jingu Shrine so how about stopping here on your way to the shrine?
Yamamoto Menzo
Yamamoto Menzo
Yamamoto Menzo is an udon noodle restaurant right by Kyoto Zoo, and the place has revolutionized udon, at least for me. This place offers udon that is incredibly chewy - al dente is the word I think - with a taste deeper than normal udon. The feel of the place and the owner too in a way feel more like that of a ramen place, and so does the bold taste of the udon. It’s no wonder this restaurant is really popular, both among tourists and locals.
Hinode Udon
Hinode Udon
Hinode Udon is a popular restaurant in Kyoto’s Okazaki area. Eikan-do Temple, Nanzen-ji Temple, and Heian Jingu Shrine are all close so during the tourist season there is always a line in front of this restaurant. Hinode Udon is most famous for their curry udon. They make their dashi broth using bonito and dried sardines, and they also use 15 different spices on their curry. The curry has a really deep taste, and many fans are ready line for a long time in order to taste it again.
Tawaraya
Tawaraya
Tawaraya is a famous noodle restaurant close to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine where you can enjoy a dish consisting of only one noodle, though that noodle is really thick. Tawaraya is famous for this one noodle. The restaurant was founded 300 years ago and has been favored by many of the worshippers going to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

The noodle is spongy, smooth, and soft. A dish consisting of only one noodle is something you can’t see elsewhere so remember to upload a picture to Facebook. If you are close to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, I hope you will eat a noodle here.
These are all udon restaurants that put great effort into their dashi broth. These restaurants are famous all round Japan so you will have to line, but I am sure you will be satisfied so it won’t be a waste of time. I would like you to add “Eat udon at a popular udon restaurant in Kyoto” to your itinerary.

This far, I have introduced you to drinking at soba restaurants and to the best soba and udon restaurants of Kyoto. How did you like them? As an extra, in part four I am going to introduce some restaurants offering quaint soba and udon noodles. I hope those of you who feel like normal soba and udon are not enough will go to these quaint restaurants.
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