Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
Kyoto is known for the best of Japanese cuisine such as kaiseki (Japanese traditional course meal) and shojin ryori (meals traditionally prepared for monks).
But if you get tired of Japanese food, you might want to try Italian, which is one of the most popular cuisines among the local Japanese.
Some Italian restaurants offer authentic Italian comparable to those in Italy, others present you with a Japanese or Kyoto interpretation using the local ingredients.
Here are top 5 Italian restaurants in Kyoto!
Local tells Top 5 best Italian Restaurants in Kyoto!Have a great Italian Experience!
1.Il Ghiottone Ristorante – Gion/イル・ギオットーネ 京都祇園店Located in a quiet residential area in the middle of Higashiyama, Il Giottone is a famous establishment, known to be the best in Kyoto.
It is extremely popular among the locals, thus it’s also hard to make a reservation.
Dishes in Il Giottone incorporate Kyoto ingredients, such as Kyoto vegetables and Japanese spices.
Food here is beautifully presented in a Japanese Kaiseki style, pursuing the Japanese precision.
The restaurant is located near Yasaka Shrine, and you can view its beautiful pagoda from the 2nd floor of the restaurant.
The restaurant is in a simple residential looking house, so you might miss it.
This is a place to be, if you want to enjoy the great Japanese take on the Italian cuisine while enjoying the Kyoto view.
For further information or to make a reservation, please visit here:Il Ghiottone
2.Trattoria Leone(トラットリア レオーネ)This is a small restaurant serving Tuscan cuisine conveniently located near Shijo area.
It services delicious Italian dishes at a reasonable price.
This is a popular Italian restaurant among the young female, in particular.
Perhaps its most popular dish is home made pasta, including the very popular ragu.
Trattoria Leone’s assorted antipasti is also popular.
It has 3 to 8 items and prices between ¥1,300 to ¥1,900.
It is perfect to pair with your wine or beer.
The restaurant also offers a reasonable lunch set, Prannzo A or Pranzo B.
Pranzo A comes with salad, bread, and a choice of your preferred pasta starting at ¥950 and Pranzo B comes with antipasti, bread, and a choice of your pasta starting at ¥1,550.
With the additional ¥300, you can add dolce and a drink (coffee, tea).
Trattoria Leone is located a few blocks off Hotel Nikko.
It is within a 5 minutes’ walk from Shijo Station.
3.The Sodoh Higashiyama Kyoto/ザ・ソウドウ・ヒガシヤマ京都If you pass by the Sodoh Higashiyama, you might not realize that this is an Italian restaurant.
The restaurant is a picturesque traditional Machiya style (traditional townhouse) house of 85 years with a garden as big as 0.5ha.
This was a former residence owned by a famous artist, renovated as a restaurant and a wedding venue.
You can have a perfect view of the pagoda from the garden, which is situated just below Kodai-ji Temple.
The Sodoh uses Kyoto ingredients, so you can enjoy the Italian that you can experience only in Kyoto.
The lunch course starts at ¥1,500.
It is a perfect place if you would like to enjoy the beautiful Kyoto scenery along with the delicious Italian.
This is also a great place to bring your important guests as their quality service is well known.
The menu changes monthly depending on the available and seasonal ingredients, which is also the reason why people keep coming back.
The Sodoh is about a 10 minutes’ walk from Gion-shijo Station on Keihan Line, located just near the South gate of Kodaiji Temple.
For further information or to make a reservation, please visit hereTHE SODOH HIGASHIYAMA KYOTO
Next,let’s go to the machya style Italian style restaurant in Kyoto!
4. Ristorante Misato/リストランテ 美郷Ristorante Misato is another Italian restaurant that is housed in a beautiful Machiya of 100 years old, in a quiet area off the main street of Kyoto.
The exterior is picturesque and fitting to the Kyoto settings.
It is popular among the locals who are after the reasonable weekday lunch course meals.
You might want to make a reservation in advance.
It offers Italian dishes that use the local and organic ingredients and that are healthy to your body and souls.
Don’t forget to take a look at their beautiful garden inside the restaurant.
You are lucky, if you could seat right next to it.
Their home made pasta are very popular and worth your try.
Ristorante has over 150 bottles of wine and offers more than 8 types for a glass wine.
Ristorante Misato is located around 5 minutes’ walk from Gojo station.
Here is a video of Ristorante Misato.
5.Osteria e Bar Polenta/オステリア エ バール ポレンタOsteria e Bar Polenta serves a great Italian as well as a great list of wine.
Of course their popular dish is polenta, which is like an Italian porridge.
It is made from ground cornmeal and the restaurant offers many variations.
The head Chef here is a sommelier, and other staff are knowledgeable about wine as well.
Naturally, they serve a great selection of food that are perfect for your wine.
The restaurant usually has around 10 bottles for a glass wine.
It is a great place to enjoy wine and dine as it is also open until 2am.
Osteria e Bar Poleta is along the Teramachi street, and the nearest station is Kawaramachi Station.
Side Info: Torattoria Minoura
This is another extremely popular Italian restaurant in Kyoto.
It has beautifully presented dishes that use the Japanese and the local ingredients.
Unfortunately, the restaurant has been closed and it is not certain when they will re-open.
Please watch out for when they re-open so you can enjoy one of the best that Kyoto offers.
Top 5 best Italian Restaurants in Kyoto
- Il Ghiottone Ristorante – Gion・・・ Dishes in Il Giottone incorporate Kyoto ingredients, such as Kyoto vegetables and Japanese spices.
- Trattoria Leone・・・The restaurant is a picturesque traditional Machiya style (traditional townhouse) house of 85 years with a garden as big as 0.5ha.
- The Sodoh Higashiyama Kyoto・・・First established in 1966, Torisei’s vast menu and high cost-performance has been attracting many Japanese from in and outside of Kyoto.
- Ristorante Misato・・・Ristorante Misato is another Italian restaurant that is housed in a beautiful Machiya of 100 years old, in a quiet area off the main street of Kyoto.
- Osteria e Bar Polenta・・・Osteria e Bar Polenta serves a great Italian as well as a great list of wine.
Have a great Italian dishes at these restaurants in Kyoto!
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