Whether you’re trying to find a date spot to take your crush, a lowkey bar to chill with your mates, or a family-friendly restaurant to feed your kids with delicious Japanese eats, Kiyamachi Dori has it all. As one of Kyoto’s most fun-loving areas, Kiyamachi runs north-south for a kilometer, parallel to the Kamo River. Depending on your mood, you can head to the cozier, more historical side of the street, or the livelier, more modern cluster of eateries on the other side. And as always, there are a few notable eateries that we just can’t stop being excited about.
You know that Sakontaro can give you the authentic high-end Japanese dining experience as soon as you look at its historical structure that used to belong to a ryokan. The interior remains calm and peaceful, and lucky diners in spring time can even enjoy the view of cherry blossoms on the river from the restaurant.
Sakontaro makes sure to use only the freshest ingredients of the season, and can tailor a special menu for your budget. Their shokado bento lunch box (¥2,500) and A5 wagyu dinner course (¥8,000) are very popular among diners. Treat yourself to a delicious, fulfilling meal — make your reservation at Sakontaro today.
Sakontaro is open between 11:30AM to 3PM for lunch every day, 5PM to 10PM for dinner from Monday to Saturday, and 5PM to 9PM for dinner on Sundays and public holidays. Reservation required for lunch.
Kyoto Standing Bar Kiyokiyo
It may be hard to find at first, but once you locate this stylish standing bar, you won’t want to leave. Besides the family-style obanzai side dishes, Kiyokiyo can also cater to your nighttime hunger with nabe hotpots, tempura, rice, and noodles. Items cost anywhere from ¥450 to ¥950 (pro tip: go between 3-5PM to enjoy their happy hour ¥300 drinks!). Their colorful fruity carbonated cocktails (chuhai) are captivating to the eye, but I’m sure Kiyokiyo would love for you to try their creative dishes such as beef tongue cooked with Uji matcha and bonito essence.
If you want to hold a party for 10-20 people, Kiyokiyo will be ideal — but many people use it as a pregame or after-party spot as well.
Kiyokiyo is open from 3PM to 11:30pm every day, with happy hour from 3PM to 5PM.
Chestnut Specialty Shop Saori
Mont Blanc has been a classy Instagrammable dessert in Japan for quite some time now, but the newly established chestnut specialty shop Saori takes it to the next level. First off, only 40 people will get to try their signature Mont Blanc cake (¥2,200) covered by 1mm chestnut threads every day. This explains why people start lining up to get in as early as 7AM — the hype is real.
But their other chestnut desserts look just as promising. For example, their chestnut fruit parfait (¥2,300) pairs chestnut cream with flavorful seasonal fruits, and their chestnut mochi (¥1,600) is your gateway to enjoy chewy shiratama mochi topped with subtly fragrated chestnut powder.
Saori is open from 10AM to 6PM every day, but they begin issuing entry tickets from 9AM. After getting a ticket, you will then re-enter according to the number on your ticket. A rough estimate of when you should re-enter is as follows:
From No.20 ～ 11AM
From No.30 ～ 12PM
From No. 40 ～ 1PM
From No.50 ～ 1:30PM
From No.60 ～ 2:30PM
From No. 70～ 3PM
If you’re hoping to try their signature Mont Blanc, your best bet is to start lining up at 7:30-8AM.