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Kyoto Food – My Favorite Eats

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.


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.

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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.


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!


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 Follow Me Foodie: Follow Me Foodie to Kyoto (Where to Eat in Kyoto)
> From GQ Trippin: Favorite Eats in Kyot

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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Author Bio: Andi Fisher

Yes, I am a francophile, but after that, I love Japan, especially the food! I have been to Tokyo many times, and spent 2 weeks in Kyoto and a week in Osaka exploring and eating!

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  1. One of everything please! That stuff looks so damn tasty, I want to devour all of it.

  2. I work in a sushi restaurant here in Finland and I make udon noodle for customers every day despite never tasting the real Japanese udon. I so wish I could visit Japan and eat everything πŸ™‚

  3. It looks so good! Thank you so much for sharing,

  4. That green tea ice cream is gorgeous. I’ve actually had this somewhere. I can’t remember where it was – but it didn’t taste so good. Lovely to look at though.

  5. Wow! It has been eons since I last visited Osaka, Japan. Your photos bring me back to those wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Cara, all I do whenever I go to Japan is eat my way through!

  6. I love tempura and that stuff looks amazing! What an interesting trip!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Melanie, the tempura rocks, it is in your mouth with seconds of cooking – so fresh!

  7. Everything looks SO yummy. I need to get out there and travel so I can eat the food! Ha.

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Deidre, everything was so delicious, and no guilt, with all the walking we did, I could whatever I wanted!

  8. OH man, I love your adventures. That Yakisoba looks so yummy!

  9. Beth@FrugalFroggie says:

    All of the food looked amazing. I haven’t heard of any of the foods that you listed but I would be open to trying them.

  10. Yummmm I am all about Green Tea anything πŸ™‚ And those Yakisoba Noodles look delicious! It is so great to see that they eat seasonal πŸ™‚ I wish that I could go explore other cultures but I am so glad to have you to share with us all!

  11. I’m not a very adventurous eater and I don’t know if I’ve had anything on your list but it all looks beautiful.

  12. Wow! That Matcha Green tea ice cream looks incredible and this is coming from someone who has never had matcha in her life so obviously I must go out and try some green tea ice cream!

  13. Katriza Luna says:

    Wow you definitely made my mouth water! I’m from the Philippines and a lot of those pictures reminded me of home! So yummy πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  14. Never been and wouldnt mind going, i love the matcha green tea just getting into it.

  15. I will take fish on a stick anytime!!! Great photos.

  16. I’m so jealous! I’ve wanted to go to Japan for SO long! It’s such a dream destination! Thanks for sharing all of these amazing photos!

  17. I love yakisoba and that curry soup looks delicious!

  18. I’ve tried to post two other times so hopefully you don’t get three comments from me lol! But chestnut ice cream and curry anything sound delish!

  19. Corina Ramos says:

    OMG all this food looks amazing! Thanks for sharing this with us. Hope you’re having a great week! Happy New Year!

  20. My brother and sister in law live in Japan!! I would love to visit one day!!

  21. That green tea iced cream looks amazing!! So does the tempura!

  22. Shannon Peterson says:

    That curry bread looks and sounds delicious!

  23. Mmm, that looks amazing. Too top it off, you ended with dessert!

  24. There is nothing wrong with a food post especially when everything looks delish! How did you know I loved matcha tea and curry… Matcha Ice cream… holy goodness ;o)

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Yaitza, oh goodness, both are out of this world!

  25. Olivine Eyes says:

    If you want to try authentic cuisine, go to the country it originated from. Those udon noodles in curry sauce look good, at it would make sense to have chestnut based food in a place called Nishiki Market (I think nishiki is Japanese for autumn).