Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
Walking around Kyoto, you will come across charming looking cafes all over the city.
Kyoto offers great cafe scenes, from a major coffee chain to a hidden traditional shop.
I will introduce you to some of my favorite cafes, which offer distinct Kyoto characteristics.
Any of these popular cafes can be a tourist destination in itself.
Here are Top 10 Cafes in Kyoto!
Local tells Top 10 Cafes in Kyoto!Have a great tea time!
1.Salon de the Francois/フランソワ喫茶室Established in 1934, this coffee shop perhaps is one of the most famous cafes in Kyoto.
The European-inspired building stands out amidst the traditional Machiya-styled traditional townhouses in Kiyamachi, and is a registered cultural property.
The interior was designed like a cruise ship.
Salon de the Francois is historically significant, as it originally used to be a place where academics, students, artists and activists gathered to rally against the Japanese government that was increasing displaying the fascist tendency.
Get lost in the history here while you enjoy a great cup of coffee and famous rare cheesecake (non-bake cheese cake).
2.Chorakukan/長楽館Built in 1909 by a business tycoon, Chorakukan was once a guesthouse for VIPs and foreign guests.
It has welcomed movers of the Meiji era as well as numerous foreign dignitaries.
Chorakukan is now a restaurant, café, and hotel where people can enjoy the great architecture as well as historical artifacts.
Cafe offers great afternoon tea options, along with a live piano music.
Why don’t you enjoy an afternoon tea here and a VIP treatment?
Chorakukan is conveniently located in one end of Maruyama Park.
3.Kissa Soiree/喫茶ソワレKissa in Japan means a coffee shop or a tea house.
Kissa Soiree is a photogenic café with a charming retro outer and futuristic blue-lighted interior.
This Cafe was built in 1948 and its romantic interior displays its long history.
The Cafe has many paintings by popular artists, thus has a museum feel to it.
On weekends, people line up outside of the shop, waiting to get in.
The item they are interested is the famous Jelly Punch.
It is so colorful especially in the cafe’s blue light.
Jelly Punch is a soda drink with colorful jelly cubes.
It looks so cute and amazing, definitely instagram-able.
4.KANO/喫茶 KANOIf you are taking a stroll around Kiyamachi, I am sure you will be attracted to Kano’s exterior.
The huge windows with the brick exterior look warm and inviting.
Inside, the time runs slow.
You can have a quiet time though the shop is practically in the middle of bustling Kyoto.
From the windows, you can enjoy beautifully lined trees that change their colors every season.
It is within a walking distance from Shimizu Gojo Station on Keihan Line.
efish is a cafe/gallery/shop owned by a Japanese designer.
It is located along the Kamo River.
It is a great coffee shop to just sit and relax with friends.
From their big windows, you can see the Kamo River.
The menu (English menu is available) offers great options for anyone looking for a great cup of coffee as well as a light meal.
The shop also has a great alcoholic menu.
Next,let’s go to the cafe where you can read books!
6.Cafe Bibliotec HelloThis is a unique cafe you must visit while in Kyoto.
It is a book cafe, gallery, and bakery combined into one in a Machiya (traditional Japanese townhouse) style charming building.
You won’t miss this cafe since the entrance has a unique atmosphere decorated with banana and palm trees.
Filled with great aroma of the bakery, this is a very popular place where you can relax or get lost in your reading.
7.Zen Cafe/ゼンカフェZen Cafe is a stylish modern cafe that is located in Gion area.
It is operated by one of the esteemed Japanese sweets makers.
Japanese sweets are usually paired with a bowl of Matcha, bitter green tea.
However, at Zen Cafe, they serve dark coffee that perfectly match with the Japanese sweets.
Kuzumochi (kuzu starch cake) is a must try sweets here.
It is a jelly like mochi, healthy and yet rich.
8.Gion Cafe/ギオンカフェGion cafe is another Machiya style cafe, conveniently located near Yasaka Shrine.
It has a modern yet Japanese feel, and extremely photogenic, thus particularly being popular among expats.
There is a small garden in the Cafe, which sets a very relaxing atmosphere.
This cafe has a great lunch menu.
9.Moan/茂庵On top of a hill, hidden away from the hustles of the city, Mo-an is a nice relaxing cafe.
It is a perfect cafe to have a relaxing lunch or afternoon tea being surrounded with green.
A nice walk path on the way to the cafe is also a pleasure of its own.
You might want to reserve a seat for a weekend visit, since it is very popular.
Also once in a month, they have a tea ceremony that is open to public.
10.Tsukiji/築地Tsukiji is a historic coffee shop loved by Kyotonian, established in 1934.
It is known to be the first coffee shop that served a Vienna Coffee (coffee served with a whipped fresh cream on top).
Everyone comes for this coffee here, where the fresh cream is perfectly matched with dark bitter coffee.
Just a warning for those who don’t smoke, it can get a little bit smokey here.
And there is time limit so you can’s stay here for a long time.
Top 10 best Cafes in Kyoto
- Salon de the Francois・・・Established in 1934, this coffee shop perhaps is one of the most famous cafes in Kyoto.
- Chorakukan・・・Built in 1909 by a business tycoon, Chorakukan was once a guesthouse for VIPs and foreign guests.
- Kissa Soiree・・・Kissa Soiree is a photogenic cafe with a charming retro outer and futuristic blue-lighted interior.
- Kano・・・From the windows, you can enjoy beautifully lined trees that change their colors every season.
- efish・・・From their big windows, you can see the Kamo River.
- Cafe Bibliotec Hello・・・It is a book cafe, gallery, and bakery combined into one in a Machiya style charming building.
- Zen Cafe・・・Zen Cafe is a stylish modern cafe that is located in Gion area.
- Gion Cafe・・・Gion cafe is another Machiya style cafe, conveniently located near Yasaka Shrine.
- Moan・・・On top of a hill, hidden away from the hustles of the city, Mo-an is a nice relaxing cafe.
- Tsukiji・・・Tsukiji is a historic coffee shop loved by Kyotonian, established in 1934.
I hope you’ll have a great time at cafe in Kyoto!
Click here for related information:
Local tells Top 5 Best Places for Tea Ceremony in Kyoto!