Mar. 13, 2023 UPDATE

Home cooking Kyoto-style! Top 5 obanzai restaurants in Kyoto

The delicious obanzai cooking of Kyoto can be tasted at these 5 great restaurants!

Traditional Kyoto-style home cooking is called obanzai. As the city of Kyoto does not have easy access to seafood, the home-cooked food of Kyoto is often made by using vegetables and tofu. In Kyoto, a lot of importance is put on using fresh seasonal ingredients. The tastes are often light and a lot of dashi stock is used in making these obanzai dishes. There are many restaurants in Kyoto that specialize in obanzai, so especially if you ate a bit too much the previous day, consider enjoying some obanzai home cooking!

1GyateiGyateiall-you-can-eat buffet restaurantsIn the popular sightseeing district of Arashiyama, you can find the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants Gyatei, which offers such Japanese classics as curry rice, udon noodles, and sushi, so it’s sure to satisfy you! Remember to also have some pudding or warabimochi as a dessert! 

2IzamaIzamaluxurious mealIn the area of Karasuma, surrounded by office towers, you can find the quiet restaurant Izama. It is a relaxing oasis in the middle of the busy business district, and at it, you can enjoy a luxurious meal with nine different types of obanzai in it. 

3Renkon-yaRenkon-yaobanzai dishesRenkon-ya is an izakaya in the pub street of Kiyamachi with a traditional Japanese atmosphere – just like the olden days. And the dishes here you get to enjoy with your glass of sake are also traditional. They’re obanzai dishes, such as grilled eggplant and nikujaga (meat and potato stew). They’re the perfect thing to have with a glass of sake! 

4SuibaSuibacheap obanzaiIn an alley behind the shopping center Kawaramachi OPA, there is a popular tachinomi bar called Suiba. Tachinomi bars are bars without seats, so you drink and eat while standing, thus they’re also known as standing-bars. Suiba’s specialty is their cheap obanzai, they start at 150 yen. If you like to eat something small while you drink Suiba is a great choice! 

5Miyako Yasai KamoMiyako Yasai Kamofresh organic vegetablesMiyako Yasai Kamo specializes in fresh organic vegetables, but besides their salads, you can also find many obanzai dishes too. They’re also open for breakfast, so how about starting your day of sightseeing with some local veggies? 

Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
Obanzai cuisine is an integral part of life in Kyoto. You can even find obanzai in the food halls of department stores in Kyoto. All the aforementioned restaurants are great if you want to enjoy Kyoto-style home cooking, so be sure to remember them next time you’re coming to the ancient capital of Japan!
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