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3 Phenomenal and Cheap Eats in Kyoto

I got to Kyoto and it was raining. Not like a pretty walk around a temple with a light fog lifting gently off the moss, rain. No. More like a jump into bed, crawl into the fetal position and forget that you’re going to be late for work, rain. It was a raw day in January.

So with the motivation of a sloth on heroin I did what most depressed and shameless people do – I ate. And on my journey of self loathing culinary discovery my stomach might just have tasted a piece of culinary nirvana.

If you ever visit Kyoto (and you definitely should) here is how to do the same. Minus the meloncholy of course.

**Btw, all photos were taken with my way outdated cell phone with a picture quality to match. I simply couldn’t be asked to bring the camera. Blame the apathy**

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Breakfast:

If there is anything asians love more than selfie sticks and STEM majors it is waiting in line for excellent food. So when it comes to some of the best ramen in Kyoto you better brace yourself for a wait.

There was a massive language barrier and I never did get the name of the restaurant, but it doesn’t matter. Here is a pin and some pictures to guide you there.

Look for this sign.
                                                       Look for this sign.
And there will probably be this line.
                                                              Or this line.

Show up on a business day around 9am just after everyone rushes off to work. Then, and definitely only then, will you likely be seated right away. I first tried to visit at 9pm on a Sunday and the wait was nearly two hours! No one likes spending their vacation waiting in line so this place is ideal for your morning.

The food? No cheap gimmicks here. Everything inside the place is basic with nothing to distract you from the main attraction. Continuing with true Japanese style the physical size of the place is, well, small. A sliding glass door leads into the place because anything on hinges would take up too much valuable space. Fifteen seats are set in an area where there probably should be ten. A four stool counter opens up into the kitchen were a small team of two chefs and one server dish out all those porky noodle briny goods.

The menu too is basic with about 5 or 6 variations of the ramen. Solid, cheap, and always a classic. Prices range from 550 to 850 Yen, or a bout $5-8 US dollars.


Lunch:

It’s hardly advice telling people they should eat sushi in Japan. But like many people I can hardly get enough of the stuff and any recommendation is welcome.

With a super convenient location right in Kyoto Station, Musashi Sushi is a great spot for a meal right before you catch your train/bus to your next temple. To be fair, the sushi isn’t the kind that will make you weak at the knees. Quality wise, it’s pretty average. If you’re looking for that sushi experience it’s best to look somewhere else.

But sushi is like boobs – even if it’s average sushi, it’s still pretty good. The restaurant employs a fun revolving belt filled with small plates. Take a seat around the table and pick up whatever plate looks appetizing. It’s about 140 Yen per plate, or about $1.25 US. 8-10 plates make a solid meal.

Between the price, location and atmosphere it’s a solid and cheap option. The address is: 〒600-8214 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, 下京区東塩小路高倉町8-3


Dinner:

Waygu beef baby! This fried cutlet of goodness is delivered straight from the gods themselves. Or the hands of a Japanese chef. It doesn’t matter because for about $12 US per meal it’s a straight up steal.

KyotoEat6No roman letters here everything is Japanese. So…according to a Google translation of their web homepage, the place is called ‘Katsuushi Kyoto shop’. Maybe it’s correct I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter because the food there is amazing!

Here’s the address to get you there, about 500 meters from Kyoto station.

Shimogyo-ku Kyoto Kyoto Prefecture Maoya-cho, 211

And like your breakfast spot there’s probably going to be a line. Apparently the place has gained some notoriety with Koreans as well, as my 45 minute wait was spent in a strong company of them.

Yup, probably a line here too.
                                            Yup, probably a line here too.

Famous for its marbling and melt in your mouth texture Waygu beef is somewhat of a delicacy. Most people prepare themselves to drop $50 dollars on a typical meal. Here, thin cuts of beef are battered and coated in course bread crumbs. Served with a cup of rice, salad and soy sauce/vinegar sauces this place is definitely rememberable.

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