Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
Ramen has become the world known “street food” of Japan and the next is … Udon.
You start to see the popular Japanese Udon chain restaurants overseas.
Along with ramen, you definitely want to try udon while you are in Kyoto!
As matter of fact, udon and soba are considered to be more authentic “Japanese” noodles than ramen.
For those not familiar, udon are thick Japanese chewy noodle made of wheat flour.
Just like ramen, what attracts people to Udon is its variety: they can be served cold or hot, in various stock, in soup or without, and each restaurant has its own combination of flour to make their special noodles.
Each region also has a unique udon dish.
Here are top 7 udon restaurants you can try in Kyoto!
Local tells Top 7 best Udon restaurants in Kyoto!Enjoy authentic Japanese noodles
1.Yamamoto Menzo/山元麺蔵Menzo is known to be one of the best udon restaurants in Kyoto.
So, you have to be willing to be in a long line to taste their popular home made udon noodles.
People not only from Kyoto but all over Japan visit here.
Their starchy flour makes the noodles firm and chewy that attract many people.
The recommended menu is agemochi mizore udon, which has deep fried rice cakes as a topping, grounded radish in a hot stock.
Also, udon with fried burdock may be unique to non-Japanese, but delicious.
Menzo is located near Heian Jingu Shrine, you won’t miss its quaint and traditional exterior.
Here is a video of Menzo.
2.Okakita/岡北Okakita’s udon is consider to be the typical “Kyo Udon” (Kyoto styled udon).
Okakita has been in business for 70 years.
They perfected their soup stock in two generations of owners using the best quality kelp and fish flakes.
The item you should try is Namayuba Keiran, which is an udon noddle with eggs, thick sauce (ankake), and tofu skin.
Also Tentoji udon is popular, which is a bowl that has a huge deep fried shrimp and tempura flakes.
Okakita is located right next to Yamamoto Menzo.
3.Fumiya/冨美家Originally established in 1946, Fumiya used to be a Japanese sweets maker that specializes in the traditional sweets using red bean curd.
As a popular udon noodle restaurant, Fumiya has been offering popular udon dishes since dishes 1963.
Fumiya uses the top quality ingredients and make their own noodles combining various flours of Japanese wheats.
The broth is made from kelp in Hokkaido and flakes of several fishes.
They even care about the water they use, taking the water from Fushimi area, which is also famous for sake making thanks to its pure water.
The popular item here is Nabe Yaki Udon, “Fumiya Nabe.”
With only ¥650, it includes rice cake, shrimp tempura, fish cake and some vegetables.
The closest station to Fumiya is Karasuma station on Hankyu line.
Here is a video of Fumiya.
4. Gion Tokiwa/ぎをん 常盤Established in 1922, Gion Tokiwa is an esteemed noodle shop famous for its broth.
Using the top quality kelp and fish flakes, the broth here is made daily and known for its soft, gentle flavor note that highlights the umami flavor.
The noodles here are slightly flat and soft to eat.
The popular dishes here are Haikara Udon (which has fish cake, Kyoto’s green onions, eggs, tempura flakes) as well as Tokiwa Kishimen.
Gion Tokiwa is conveniently located only 5 minutes’ walking distance from Sanjo Keihan Station.
Next,let’s go to the udon restaurant which is located near Ginkaku-ji temple!
5.Omen/おめんOmen has three branches all in touristic spots: near Ginkaku-ji temple, Shijo Pontocho, and Kodaiji temple.
It even has a branch in New York thus world known.
Omen is known for tsukemen, which is a cold udon noodle that you dip in a separate bowl of thick soup.
Omen offers tsukemen with various dishes as a set such as with tempura, or saba (mackerel) sushi.
Omen’s Ginkakuji location is located only a few minutes from city bus Ginkakuji stop.
6.Gontaro/京都 権太呂 本店Gontaro has a few branches in Kyoto with its head store located next to Nishiki Market.
It has a traditional “instagram” perfect exterior that screams “Kyoto.”
Gontaro has been in business for 100 years and is known for its stock, that is called “golden stock.”
The restaurant makes its stock every morning for 3 hours.
The recommended dish is Udon suki, where noodles are simmered in a hot pot with various ingredients.
Also popular is shippoku noodle, which comes with fish cakes, which is perfect with the golden stock.
The closest station is Kawaramachi Station.
7.Okaru/おかるOkaru is known for their two very popular dishes: ankake udon and curry udon, both of which are “must try!”
Ankake is a thickened soup, which stick very well to the noodles, a very popular dish in Kyoto.
Okaru does not use any water in their ankake soup, so you are just tasting the good pure stock made of kelp and fish.
Okaru also has various curry udon noodles, but the most popular is curry cheese meat udon, which is the perfect combination of spicy and thick curry, mild cheese, and meat that gives the kick.
Though their service is not so popular compared with other shops, their noodles are so affordable.
Okaru is 3 minutes’ walking distance from Gion Shijo station.
Top 7 best Udon restaurants in Kyoto
- Yamamoto Menzo・・・Menzo is known to be one of the best udon restaurants in Kyoto.
- Okakita・・・Okakita’s udon is consider to be the typical “Kyo Udon” (Kyoto styled udon)
- Fumiya・・・As a popular udon noodle restaurant, Fumiya has been offering popular udon dishes since dishes 1963.
- Gion Tokiwa・・・Established in 1922, Gion Tokiwa is an esteemed noodle shop famous for its broth.
- Omen・・・Omen has three branches all in touristic spots: near Ginkaku-ji temple, Shijo Pontocho, and Kodaiji temple.
- Gontaro・・・It has a traditional “instagram” perfect exterior that screams “Kyoto.”
- Okaru・・・Okaru is known for their two very popular dishes: ankake udon and curry udon, both of which are “must try!”
I hope you’ll enjoy Kyo-style Udon in Kyoto!