Nov. 25, 2018 UPDATE

Kushikura Honten

- 串くら 本店 -
Enjoy charcoal roasted yakitori in a machiya townhouse built over 100 years ago
Walk 5 minutes east from Karasuma Oike Subway Station, and you will arrive at Takakura Dori. Turn north on Takakura Dori and immediately you will see the sign for Kushikura Honten. This restaurant is famous for its a la carte dishes featuring yakitori (grilled chicken) and seasonal Kyoto vegetables grilled over a charcoal fire. Particularly recommended is the bowl of rice topped with skewered chicken. The charcoal grilled chicken is very savory, soft and warm inside with a crisp baked skin. The restaurant was built over 100 years ago, and is one of Kyoto’s machiya townhouses. The renovated restaurant has a warm atmosphere unique to wooden buildings. Take off your shoes and enter the restaurant, and you will find two gardens in the back. Seats are in the horigotatsu style (with square opening under low tables to put your feet in; this is the traditional Japanese seating style!). The restaurant features a very Japanese architecture, and you can enjoy the Japanese atmosphere from the moment you enter the restaurant—this is also a very nice thing about Kushikura Honten.
Bowl of rice topped with skewered chicken (with miso soup)
Bowl of rice topped with skewered chicken (with miso soup) / ¥1,100
Bowl of rice topped with skewered chicken (with miso soup) / ¥1,100 Bowl of rice topped with skewered chicken features 4 charcoal grilled chicken skewers placed on top of rice, and it is served as a set meal together with miso soup and Japanese pickles. Enjoy the nori on the steaming rice, together with charcoal grilled chicken and the secret sauce. The miso soup features the fine flavor of white miso, and the characteristic gentle sweetness is unobtrusive and does not interfere with the flavor of the bowl of rice topped with skewered chicken. The usual method of eating is to remove the meat from the skewers and place them all on top of the rice first. You can also just bite into the skewers directly, for a more dynamic eating style.
Fried Chicken set
Fried Chicken set (with rice, pickles, miso soup, salad, small dish) / ¥980
Large pieces of Japanese fried chicken are served with a salad with many ingredients. Side dishes are rice and miso soup, along with small dishes and Japanese pickles. Overall this is a fixed meal with big portions and diversity which should satisfy even the most demanding connoisseur. The Japanese fried chicken can be eaten without dipping it, but it also goes very well with daikon oroshi (grated daikon) and ponzu sauce (Japanese orange vinegar). The daikon oroshi suppresses the fattiness of the fried chicken, creating a more refreshing taste. Enjoy Japanese fried chicken with a slightly different twist.
Charcoal Grilled Chicken
3Let's Try!
Charcoal Grilled Chicken / ¥210 - ¥920
Eight types of charcoal grilled chicken are served during the lunch hours, and you can order your favorite skewer as a single dish as well. All are very delicious, but my favorite recommendation is the beef tenderloin (left-most in the photo). This is not charcoal grilled chicken in the strict sense, but is a skewer made with beef. Eat it with the slightly spicy ponzu sauce. The major appeal of the beef tenderloin is its amazing tenderness. Even though the surface is patiently baked to a crisp perfectness over the charcoal fire, inside its very soft and juicy. *The three grilled chicken skewers featured here, from right, are: Quail eggs / ¥210 Chicken & leek / ¥330 Beef tenderloin / ¥920
How to Order

The restaurant has an English menu, prepared separately from the Japanese menu. The staff will bring this to you when you order, so everything will go smoothly. At lunch, you can order course dishes and set meals, as well as single skewers, etc. The a la carte evening menu features fresh seasonal vegetables, and is updated once every two months.

After you finish eating a charcoal grilled chicken skewer, please put it into one of these bamboo receptacles on the table. This is the general way of dealing with skewers after you’re finished eating in Japan, and if you do it correctly in this manner, people will see that you’re in the know!

- Order Tips -
I particularly like the combination of charcoal grilled chicken and draft beer. The fine aroma of chicken grilled over a charcoal fire makes a perfect match with the draft beer. On Friday nights, many office workers will eat this perfect combination to ease their stress from the week.
3.4 food3.5 service3.0 atmosphere3.8
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 food3.5 service3.0 atmosphere4.0
Bowl of rice topped with skewered chicken (with miso soup) is my favorite! I had never seen a donburi bowl with yakitori skewer on top of the rice before! I was very satisfied by both the portions and the taste! The atmosphere of the restaurant is excellent, in a renovated traditional town house, so I want to introduce it to my friends and family. Since the price is also quite reasonable, you can enjoy the feel of the "ancient capital of Kyoto" without emptying your wallet — this is also a big draw of Kushikura Honten. Since it operates as a Japanese izakaya pub at night, it might be a good idea to stop by for a drink too.
3.3 food3.5 service3.0 atmosphere3.5
Kushikura Honten is housed in a uniquely Japanese wood building, with a garden in the back. Their yakitori chicken skewers are grilled to aromatic perfection over a charcoal fire. They make use of a variety of chicken cuts, so you may well find some entirely new flavors to enjoy. The prices here are reasonable, making this a great destination for casual diners and families as well. The restaurant is hugely popular among visitors from abroad and Kyoto locals alike.
3.5 food4.5 service3.0 atmosphere3.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 food4.5 service3.0 atmosphere3.0
Kushikura Honten / 串くら 本店
Category Yakitori, Teishoku (Meal Sets)
Phone +81 75-213-2211 
Address 584 Hiiragi-cho Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi Kyoto 604-0826
Directions 4-minute walk from Subway Karasuma Line Karasuma Oike Stn.
Open Hours 11:30am - 2:30pm (L.O.2pm) | 5pm - 10:30pm (L.O.9:45pm)
Reservations Accepted
Closed Irregular holidays
Notes The restaurant is most crowded during 12:00 to 13:00 for lunch, and from 18:00 to 20:00 for dinner. Avoid these times for smooth serving. Especially for dinner, it is recommended to visit after 20:00.
Price range
Lunch: ¥1,000~ | Dinner: ¥4,000~
Credit cards VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX
Good for With Friends, Families with Children
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
You will not find any difficulty in ordering and enjoying the food even if you are a overseas visitor. This restaurant is often incorporated into hotel bookings and tour plans, and they can accommodate foreign customers smoothly without fuss. There are sometimes also staff who can understand simple English.
Menu English
Lanuages spoken Basic English
Number of seats 94 seats
Private dining rooms Available
Non smoking / smoking Smoking
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