When traveling abroad, enjoying the culture of that country is the real pleasure. Some would say the food is the most important element for good travel. Speaking of food, you can enjoy the World Intangible Cultural Asset, “Washoku” in Kyoto! There are various Japanese restaurants from “kaiseki” (cuisine for Japanese-style banquets) to snacks. However, sometimes it is difficult to enjoy eating out with kids. One worry is that you can’t enjoy a relaxing meal. I’m Miho, a mother of two, and I’m always worried about where to eat with picky kids when I go out with my family.
Since you came all this way, you want to eat something good, but you want your kids to enjoy eating too. Don’t you?
I will introduce the Kyoto restaurants that kids will surely enjoy!
Where to eat with picky kids: Best Restaurants
First, let me introduce some restaurants to eat at where both picky kids and parents can be satisfied.
At Kagonoya, there are some representative Japanese foods such as “shabu-shabu” (hot pot dish), tempura (deep-fried food) and sushi. If you don’t like Japanese cuisine, don’t worry! There are also foods such as pork steaks, hamburger steak, and noodles. Also, there are tons of foods for children to eat! They will surely be pleased by the meal served on cute plates! There is also a tatami seat in the restaurant, so you can also experience Japanese style seating.
There are three locations in Kyoto.
Shijo Karasuma location
Daimaru Family Dining Room (Shijo-Karasuma)
The motto of the family dining room is “Even if the shopping style and preferences are different, everyone gets together at the family dining room in the department store.” Before entering the restaurant you should check out the food samples in the show window! Japan is famous for its very real looking food samples and it is fun just looking at them and seeing how real they look. You can probably find something you’d like to eat by checking out the food samples.
This restaurant has something to eat for everyone!
It’s on the 8th floor of Kyoto Daimaru, so it’s good to enjoy shopping before or after meals.
This is the best recommendation among Japanese chain restaurants for families. You can enjoy the Western food that Japanese children love such as hamburger steak and omelet rice at Royal Host.
In addition, there is a great breakfast menu!
You can order Japanese style breakfast including miso soup and rice or Western-style including toast and bacon.
One restaurant is located near Higashi Hongwanji Temple, so it’s good to go there after visiting the temple
Horikawa Gojo Location
Seioutei (Kyoto Station)
This place is my family’s favorite! This is also a Western food shop, but it is not a chain restaurant so you can enjoy high-quality Western food. The menu that I recommend for you to order is Kids Lunch! The meal is served on the container in the shape of a steam train with a smoke chimney. Please prepare your camera in advance and take a picture of your child’s happy face!
Grill Kodakara (Okazaki area, near Heian Shrine and Kyoto City zoo)
You can also get high-quality Western food at this restaurant. The specialty of this place is the demi-glace sauce called “Dobi Sauce”. It is stewed for 2 weeks! Rice omelet with this rich sauce is very popular with adults and children. This is also my favorite restaurant, but the weekend lunchtime is so crowded, so try to avoid those times if possible!
Morimori Sushi (Shijo Kawaramachi)
There is a wide variety of sushi restaurants ranging from chain to high-class. Morimori Sushi is the best sushi restaurant because you can eat delicious sushi at reasonable prices. It is fun to take the sushi going by on the conveyor belt. Also, if you order sushi with the iPad from your table, the super limited train will bring your sushi to you! Kids are delighted when the train brings their sushi to them.
This restaurant conveniently located on the 8th floor of the Marui building at Kawaramachi.
At this restaurant, you can enjoy eating fried foods like fried pork cutlets and fried shrimp. They also have a kids’ menu. They have several easily accessed locations such as near Kyoto Station and Shijokarasuma.
Kyoto Station Building – The Cube Location
Where to eat with picky kids: Best Cheap Restaurants
The chain restaurants are recommended for those who want to experience the meals that Japanese people usually eat! The quality is not as good as fancy restaurants, but the cost performance is very high. Among them, I will introduce two famous chain restaurants that will leave both you and your children satisfied.
Everyone knows this sushi chain. Kura Sushi is a very popular restaurant that you cannot enter on a weekend or holiday without a reservation because you will have to wait too long. There is no doubt that you will be surprised by the various foods on the menu. Not only sushi but also broiled eel, hamburger steak, and shaved ice. In addition, you can play a game every time you eat 5 dishes and you will get capsule toys if you win! Children eat too much and want parents to eat more just for this game, so please go there when you are starving!
Kinkakuji Location (Golden Pavilion)
A Curry specialty restaurant, Coco Ichi has stores not only in Japan but also in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and other countries. It is recommended so that you can easily taste Japanese curry while traveling. The taste of Japanese curry is a bit different from other countries’ curry, so please try it if you can!
You can choose curry sauce and toppings and you can order your own curry! There is a children’s menu so your kids will be satisfied too. If you order something to eat from the children’s menu, you can do the capsule toy machine depending on the restaurant.
Karasuma Gojo Location
Where to eat with picky kids: Best Noodle Restaurants
Japan is about noodles! There are many kinds of noodles, including ramen, udon, and soba. I will introduce two noodle restaurants that you can enjoy with your kids!
IPPUDO has stores in not only Japan but also NY, Paris and other cities that represent the world. This restaurant has a high turnover of customers, so you can eat ramen relatively quickly even if there is a line. Also, there is a set menu for kids. Ramen is typically a food kids like, so you definitely want to go here. There is a location in Porta, the basement of Kyoto Station.
Kyoto station location
Gontaro (Okazaki, Heian Shrine, near the zoo)
You can enjoy soba, udon and rice bowls at this restaurant.
There is a nursing room and diaper changing table so you can go there with no worries if you have a baby.
Kyoto City Zoo is close to the restaurant.
(Some people can have an allergic reaction when they have buckwheat for the first time. Please check the following link in advance.
Where to eat with picky kids: Best Bakeries
People in Kyoto love bread! Kyoto’s bread consumption per household is the largest in the country! Even if you don’t go to the restaurant, it’s nice to buy the bread that each family likes at the bakery and eat in the park. Every bakery is worth being recommended! Among them, I will introduce two bakeries from Kyoto.
It has been around for 100 years since being started in Kyoto. There are a variety of bread. Also, there are satisfying morning and lunch menus. (There is no eat-in space in some store locations, please check the website.)
Shijo Karasuma Location
This is another bakery from Kyoto. Carnet is the specialty of the bakery. It’s a ham and onion sandwich using French bread. This simple taste is very popular. Below is the link to the Shijokarasuma location. You can also find Shizuya near the Hachijo Entrance of Kyoto Station as well as near the entrance for the subway at Kyoto Station.
Kyoto station Location
I hope you enjoy traveling with your family and eating good meals with food your kids will love. I would be happy if you use this information as a reference during your time in Kyoto!