Winter is the season for hot pot, which in Japanese is called nabe, or onabe. Hot pot is a simple dish with many variations, and there are many great restaurants in Kyoto offering this delicacy. Since winter is the season for hot pot you may have to line up for the most popular places, but they’re really worth it. And if you’re reading this in summer, you’re in luck: as it’s not the season for hot pot, you probably won’t have to line up!
This restaurant is located in the atmospheric alleyway of Ponto-cho, where you stand to see a real geisha if you’re lucky. Their hot pots contain wagyu beef, meaning that the beef they use is from Japanese black-haired cattle. The beef just melts in your mouth as-is, but if you want to make the experience even more special, enjoy the beef with some green onion, of which you’ll have no shortage.
The best way to finish your hot pot is of course with udon noodles, and for only 500 yen you can get a portion of them. The noodles suck up all that wagyu-flavor the soup has been infused with, and you have an experience that is worth so much more than 500 yen.
Warajiya is a restaurant with a history dating all the way back to 1624. That is over 390 years ago! The famous daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi is said to have given the name to this restaurant, but if you want to know more about that, click on the link below.
Not to forget that this restaurant also has a nice selection of sakes to go with your eel! The sakes here have a mellow taste in order to not disturb the delicate taste of the eel too much.
If you want something garlicky and are not afraid of beef offal, Toraya should be your choice in Kyoto. This hot pot place is also located in Ponto-cho, one of the geisha districts of Kyoto. And if you’d prefer your hot pot with no beef offal, you can order it with pork instead.
They also have a nice selection of side dishes, like deep-fried tofu. You get a sauce and green onion with the tofu, and then you get to mic these things. The side dishes here are exceptional and they also have daily specialties, so be sure to try some with your hot pot.
This restaurant just makes the simple dish of hot pot turn into something very elegant. Mimiu Gion specializes in the hot pot version with udon noodles in it called udonsuki.
What’s even better about Mimiu is how healthy it is, you get a lot of vegetables to go with the chicken and eel. You even get to change the taste of the hot pot broth to your liking by adding lemon, ginger, and other spices to it.
For our last and most recommended restaurant, we have something very fancy, but also something that is well-worth the money. Toriyasa offers a chicken hot pot with a very thick chicken broth, and the taste is just full of umami.
The hot pot here is called mizutaki, and this is a word worth remembering. The broth is thick but of exceptional quality, so the aftertaste is surprisingly light. The tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and other ingredients in this hot pot are all of the highest quality and the chicken is just the most succulent chicken we’ve ever tasted.
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