Comfort Hotel Hikone
Phone: (81) 749 27 8211
Fax: (81) 749 27 8212
Cafe by day, full bar by night, this hangout, which seats about 40 people, is popular with expatriates and locals alike. Speakeasy Diner is famous for its breakfasts, burgers and Mexican food, although the portions tend to smaller than in a true American diner. It is one of the very few places in Kansai where you can get bottomless coffee. English-language versions of Japanese newspapers are available and there is CNN on the two large TVs. To find it, look for the Stars and Stripes on Higashioji Street. Convenient for visitors to Shugakuin Rikyu. Breakfast Number 5 seems to be the most popular item on the menu: eggs, hash browns, bacon, French toast with syrup as well as salads, nachos, enchilada, hoagies or burgers go.
A long-term favorite with Asian curry lovers, Garamsala offers wholesome curry based dishes in northeast Kyoto. It is well worth seeking out despite the long walk from the nearest station. You will be enchanted by the restaurant's cozy, rustic, woody environment. Look for the wood carvings outside the shop. The masala chicken is a perennial first choice, and there are also delicious samosas on the menu.
This is a long-established and very friendly Indian cafe-restaurant, with a smart, new look. Nataraj is situated near Ichijoji station in the heart of studentville in northeastern Kyoto. The candles that once lit the interior have been replaced by subtle lighting. The high ceiling and solid thick walls really do create the feeling of being in India. The menu draws inspiration from all over Asia, including Vietnamese spring rolls and Indonesian fried rice. Nataraj's signature dishes are exclusively Indian ranging from the humbly refreshing chai and the flavorful curries.
Country and Western musicians and music-lovers tend to gather in Honky Tonk to listen to both Japanese and foreign bands belting out the sounds from 8pm to closing time. Honky Tonk's interior can best be described as subtly lit and woody. Wide range of foods and drinks are available, with the homemade pizza at a reasonable price.
This simple and small cafe, at the casual end of cozy, has been around serving organic coffee since 1983. It seats 20 people and is handy if you have been visiting Manshuin or Shisendo temples. The atmosphere here is nice and calming and the music brillaint. Local bands play at Wood Note which gives them a chance to show their talents. What people come here for is the music which is good with their amazing sound systems.
A great place to have a traditional Japanese lunch after visiting the nearby Silver Temple, Ginkakuji, or after cherry-blossom viewing on Philosopher's Walk. Omen is a good place to either warm up or cool down after your exertions. The main fare is noodle dishes. These can be served hot in a broth, or chilled. The noodle dishes come with a variety of seasonal vegetables, such as burdock, cabbage, eggplant, green onions, mushrooms and radish. Beer and fine sake are also available. There are even English menus at this very popular spot.
Located near Philosopher's Walk, this popular cafe-restaurant is situated in a two-story replica of a traditional New England house. Whether you need light refreshment or something more substantial, Otembakiki makes for a pleasant break from the nearby temples. The upstairs is bright and spacious with large windows looking down onto the street below. There is also a fine selection of jazz playing to enjoy while dining. The menu includes curries, pasta chicken dishes and salads with a decent selection of alcohol, soft drinks, tea and coffee.
Japanese-Italian is a good description of the food at Tavetarina's. It is Mediterranean cuisine adopted and adapted to suit the Japanese palette. So expect a little bit of soy sauce to complement the olive oil. The interior of this restaurant is, as you would expect, a Japanese imitation of an Italian restaurant. It is definitely not the real thing, but it is not bad, either. You will find interesting dishes such as pasta, garlic-bread, vegetable salads, fish and meat dishes plus dessert decking up the menu. Moreover, you can drink as much as you like for two hours-now there is a challenge! Tavetarina seats about thirty people or parties of seventy for a standing buffet.
A small, unassuming French restaurant serving fine food at moderate prices, which is located between Kyoto University and Ginkakuji (the Silver Pavilion Temple) on Imadegawa Street. It is open for both lunch and dinner and seats a mere 13 people, nine at the counter and a couple at each of the two small tables. There are three set meals, or dishes can be ordered a la carte.
If you are a garlic and/or a Chinese food fan and you are looking for those ravioli-like dumplings called Gyoza in Japanese, this is the place for you. The dumplings are of the highest quality. They come in two varieties: the basic meat Gyoza and perilla leaf (Shiso) Gyoza. Chinese noodles in broth are also sold here. This is a very basic eatery, which seats only 20 people at the counter or at the three tables. Often crowded, so plan to arrive early or leave time to wait for a seat.
This casual, Mediterranean-style spaghetti and cake eatery attracts a mixed crowd of people who enjoy the low prices and relaxing atmosphere. There is a good menu to choose from, too, especially in terms of attractions for your sweet tooth. The cakes are the draw here. There is a choice of 20 different kinds, all delicious. Examples of what is on offer: gateau chocolat, banana nut pound cake, creme brulee, maple cake and an assortment of cheesecakes
This compact, neat Thai eatery in northern Kyoto has a real Thai chef who serves up Thai spicy originals. The chef will tone down the spiciness on request, however. Be warned, though, that booking may be essential at weekends, when popular Tam Sabaii can get busy. This cozy, compact space has Thai cutlery, serving mats and fine crockery that give a genuine, authentic feel to the place. The full range of Thai dishes is available, including such favorites as coconut curries and Tom Yam Khun soup for your devouring.