This site uses cookies to improve your navigation experience. By continuing you accept our policy cookie.


Your cart is empty

Checkout Empty cart

The three izakayas in Kyoto you can't miss

Because after having wandered around visiting temples for a whole day, it’s time to put something under your teeth (like an Edochian would)

by Giacomo Donati

When it comes to electing a venue rather than another in an attempt to make an ideal ranking, either for cocktail bars, restaurants or pubs, the choice is never simple and certainly everyone has their preferences: experience is the subjective factor par excellence and the friendships that provide advice in such field as well.

Therefore, having to choose a criterion, we decided not to, leaving this ungrateful task to someone else.

The prestigious magazine Discover Japan, comparing the opinions of the locals and after an inevitable direct experimentation, has recently identified its ideal podium for the three izakayas not to be missed if you find yourself thirsty and hungry around Kyoto, after spending a few hours in meditation in one of its countless temples, and this is the result, in no particular order, without gold, silver and bronze:

The first is Shinme (神馬), an apparently unpretentious small gem that since 1945 is a shelter for many Kyoto inhabitants but not only: there are those who come from far away to sit around the U-shaped counter and enjoy, besides to the exceptional delicacies, also the special blend of sake (made from six different types of sake). In short, a must, as you can also see from the video below (you don't need to know Japanese to let your mouth water):

Having already reached the third generation, you can feel the untiring commitment to search each day for quality ingredients in order not to disappoint its demanding fans.

Address: 38 Tamayacho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-8286, Japan
Tel: 075-461-3635
Hours: 17: 00-21: 30
Closing: Sunday

The second is Tatsumi (たつみ), an izakaya in which you can still breathe the atmosphere of the late 1960s when it was opened: the same sign, the same low key feeling, but since 1968, when it was known essentially for a kind of sake which was popular at the time, Tatsuo Taniguchi, who currently stands in the kitchen, made it famous for its more than one hundred dishes served every day.
Since when, one dish at a time, as a self-taught cook, he started to expand the menu, the walls of the izakaya have begun being covered with papers, each of them representing a different dish, and, as if the search never ends, they change constantly, to satisfy even the most curious palates.

Address: 571 Nakanocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8042, Japan
Tel: 075-256-4821
Schedules: Standing 12:00-22: 00, Tables 12:00-21:00
Closing: Thursday

Finally, the Kyogoku Stand (京極スタンド居酒屋), constantly taken by assault by school excursion students but also by tourists wandering around town, certainly intrigued by the retro sign that stands at a corner of the crowded Shinkyogoku shopping district.

Small tables on one side, a long marble counter on the other, the strength of the Kyogoku Stand, beyond good eating and drinking, is undoubtedly the “homey” atmosphere, with the managers who entertain themselves with the customers: an attitude that continues to win the hearts of the people from Kyoto and the visiting Edochians (the people from Tokyo!) too.

Kyogoku stand
Address: 546 Shin-Kyogoku-dori Shijo-kami, Nakanomachi, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Tel: 075-221-4156
Hours: 12: 00-21: 00
Closing: Tuesday

Enjoy your meal!