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Kyoto Food – My Favorite Eats

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Kyoto Food? It’s heaven! During our week in Kyoto, we ate very, very well. The vast majority of the time was at either at Nishiki Market or Takashimaya Department Store. Wherever we ate it was damn good and I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Chestnuts

Kyoto Food - Chestnuts in Nishiki Market

Chestnuts in Nishiki Market.

I have written about how important seasonality is to the Kyoto food scene. The people of Kyoto eat seasonally and during November and December, which means chestnuts. From our first meal that we took in the hotel (Westin Miyako) where we had chestnut ice cream for dessert to our last meal that included chestnut dumplings, we had glorious amounts of chestnuts in a variety of dishes.

Having only had roasted chestnuts (which we also had) and chestnut soup (one of my favorite fall foods in France) I was delighted with the opportunity to try other preparations. This is a hearty nut with full flavor and given the number of dishes we tried, very versatile.

Tempura

Kyoto Food - Tempura at Ohara

Tempura in Ohara.

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of tempura. I think it’s because I’ve had so many bad, greasy versions. Kyoto is all about fresh seasonal vegetables and I decided to try vegetable tempura in Ohara (a town about an hour outside of Kyoto). It was lightly fried (including the delicate shiso leaf) and made me really appreciate what food is done right can be. It’s my opinion that I’m not going to find tempura done this well in the U.S., but someone may surprise me.

Fish on a Stick

Kyoto Food - Grilled Squid

Grilled squid in Kyoto.

Not a very sexy name, but that is exactly what is it. Whether it is an octopus, squid, or white fish, grilled (usually on a robata) on a stick with sauce (or without) it is an incredible snack! I could eat these for days!

Curry Bread

Kyoto Food - Curry bread

Curry bread in Kyoto

This was something new for me. It is like a pork jelly donut! Fried dough with pork curry filling and sansho peppers – yum! Great street food on a cold day.

Curry Udon

Kyoto Food - Fushimi Inari Curry Udon

Curry Udon outside of Fushimi Inari.

This was something I was looking forward to our entire stay. It wasn’t until our last morning outside of the Fushimi Inari Shrine that I finally had it. And it was so worth the wait. Fresh udon noodles with vegetables in a decadent curry sauce, I call that heaven!

Yakisoba

Kyoto Food - Fushimi Inari Yakisoba

Yakisoba outside of Fushimi Inari.

I do have to admit that right before having that giant bowl of curry udon, Mr. Misadventures and I devoured some fantastic Yakisoba noodles also right outside of the temple – I guess it was all those steps and hills we climbed – it made us hungry. We started off with one order and then went back for a second which really pleased the street vendor who was cooking up a storm.

Matcha Green Tea Anything

Kyoto Food - Matcha Ice Cream

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream.

I love matcha green tea. I first discovered it as a hot matcha green tea latte at the Leeum Museum in Seoul and it has been a favorite ever since. In Kyoto green tea is it. Whether it is my other favorite Kyoto roasted rice tea or green tea mochi or green tea ice cream like the one I got from the famous Ujicha Gion Tsujiri shop in Gion, I never got tired of eating and drinking green tea (especially matcha) anything.

Here are a few other bloggers who have written about their food adventures in Kyoto

> From Eat Like A Girl: A Postcard from Kyoto
> From Follow Me Foodie: Follow Me Foodie to Kyoto (Where to Eat in Kyoto)
> The Food Cray: Kyoto Cray !!! List of Must-Eat Foods in Kyoto, Japan
> From GQ Trippin: Favorite Eats in Kyoto

How about you? Any of my Kyoto food favorites sound like something you want to try? Do you have another Kyoto favorite?

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