10 Best Italian Restaurants In Kyoto For An Authentic Culinary Journey

Gin Seah is the voice of AAB Kyoto. His journey in Japan began at age 11 in Miyazaki and led him through many cities including Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo. It was in Kyoto, rich with history and culture, that he found his second home.
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Craving a taste of Italy in the heart of Kyoto? We’ve scoured the city to bring you a mouthwatering list of the best Italian restaurants that will transport your taste buds straight to Rome. From authentic pasta dishes to delectable pizzas, these spots offer a culinary experience like no other.

Get ready to indulge in savory flavors and cozy ambiance as we reveal our top picks for the best Italian eateries in Kyoto. Whether you’re a fan of traditional classics or seeking a modern twist on Italian cuisine, there’s something for everyone on this tantalizing list. Scroll down for reviews of our top picks and get ready to embark on a gastronomic journey through Kyoto’s finest Italian dining destinations.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover a variety of top Italian restaurants in Kyoto, each offering unique flavors and dining experiences.
  • Try the authentic Italian dishes at Il Pappalardo for a taste of traditional flavors and excellent service.
  • Experience the cozy ambiance and homemade pasta at Trattoria Sette, known for its warm hospitality and flavorful dishes.
  • Don’t miss out on the charming atmosphere and delightful desserts at Cenci, a must-visit for Italian food enthusiasts.

10 Best Italian Restaurants In Kyoto

an authentic Italian dining experience with a warm and inviting atmosphere

1. Il Pappalardo

Located at 451-1 Myohoinmaekawacho, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto, 605-09321, Il Pappalardo offers a truly authentic Italian dining experience with its warm and inviting atmosphere. The restaurant operates from 11:30 to 15:00 and 18:00 to 22:00 from Monday to Sunday. It’s a popular spot, so it might be a good idea to make a reservation.

The cozy ambiance makes it an ideal spot for a relaxed meal. The restaurant offers a variety of Italian dishes [1], including great salads, excellent pasta, and really good pizza cooked with wood fire in a real pizza oven. They also have a patissiere on staff, and a chef on duty, showcasing the mastery of traditional Italian recipes. Each plate bursts with flavors that transport diners straight to Italy.

Moreover, Il Pappalardo boasts an extensive wine list featuring a diverse selection of Italian wines. In addition to the extensive wine list, they also offer an all-you-can-drink menu. They even allow guests to bring in their own drinks. This allows guests to pair their meals perfectly, enhancing the overall dining experience.

With every visit to Il Pappalardo, patrons are treated not just to food but also to a journey through Italy’s culinary heritage. From the first bite of mozzarella appetizers to the last sip of fine Italian wine, each moment at this restaurant feels like a flavorful adventure in itself.

Whether you’re savoring the homemade pasta dishes or enjoying the last sip of fine Italian wine, you’re sure to have a memorable dining experience.

2. Pizzeria Lugara

Pizzeria Lugara is a highly-rated Italian restaurant located at 18‐25 Sagatenryuji Setogawacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8376, Japan. It is known for its authentic Italian pizza, with the chef being Italian himself. The restaurant is particularly popular among families and is conveniently located just minutes away from the bamboo forest.

The pizzeria offers a variety of pizzas, including Margherita, Neapolitana, Calabrese, and a monthly special. The pizzas are praised for their beautiful, soft dough and flavor. In addition to the delicious food, Pizzeria Lugara also offers great desserts. The restaurant is small but comfortable and cozy, providing an intimate dining experience.

Pizzeria Lugara has received excellent reviews from customers, with many complimenting the intuitive service and friendly staff. The restaurant is also appreciated for its reasonable prices. It is recommended to go early if you have a large party.

Overall, Pizzeria Lugara is a little gem in Kyoto, offering delicious wood-fired pizzas and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking for an authentic Italian dining experience in Kyoto.

3. Trattoria Sette

Trattoria Sette is a charming spot known for its traditional Italian comfort food. The cozy ambiance makes it an ideal choice for a romantic evening or a family get-together. Whether you’re craving pasta, risotto, or pizza, this trattoria has something to satisfy every palate.

Their menu boasts authentic dishes that capture the essence of Italian cuisine. From classic favorites like spaghetti carbonara to hearty lasagna, each dish is prepared with care and attention to detail. Pair your meal with a selection from their impressive wine list for the perfect dining experience.

A must-try at Trattoria Sette is their decadent tiramisu, a delightful ending to your meal that will leave you craving more. This dessert perfectly encapsulates the flavors of Italy in every bite and is sure to become a favorite among diners.

With attentive service and delicious food in a welcoming setting, Trattoria Sette offers an unforgettable taste of Italy right in Kyoto. Whether you are planning a special date night or simply want to enjoy good food with loved ones, this trattoria promises an exceptional dining experience that will keep you coming back for more.

4. Cenci

Cenci is a hidden gem in Kyoto’s Gion district, offering a unique blend of Italian and Japanese cuisine. The menu at Cenci stands out for its innovative dishes that harmoniously combine flavors from both culinary traditions.

The restaurant provides a modern and stylish dining space, perfect for those seeking a trendy gastronomic experience. With its creative fusion creations, Cenci has carved out its own niche in the city’s vibrant food scene.

For those looking to explore beyond traditional Italian fare, Cenci offers an exciting culinary journey that showcases the best of both worlds. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this restaurant promises an unforgettable dining experience that marries the essence of two distinct cultures seamlessly.

a freshly baked Neapolitan pizza

5. Goichi Pizza

Goichi Pizza is a highly-rated pizza restaurant located at 498 Tsuzurayacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8085, Japan. It is open from 17:30 to 23:00 from Tuesday to Sunday.

The restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine, particularly Neapolitan pizza. It offers a variety of pizzas and other dishes that cater to different dietary needs, including vegetarian and vegan options.

Customers have praised Goichi Pizza for its delicious food and friendly service. Some reviews highlight the quality of the pizza, describing it as “cooked to perfection” and “authentic.” The pasta dishes, particularly the lasagna, have also received positive feedback.

The staff’s attentiveness and the restaurant’s overall atmosphere are commendable. For reservations and inquiries, you can contact them directly at 075-344-31771.

6. Trattoria Macedonia Yuki

Trattoria Macedonia Yuki is a highly-rated Italian restaurant located at 615 Darumacho, Nakagyo-ku, Sunflower Miyukicho 1F, Kyoto, 604-0962, Japan. The restaurant is known for its authentic Italian cuisine, including pizza and Mediterranean dishes. It has received excellent reviews for its food, service, and value.

The restaurant is open from 13:00–15:30 and 18:00–23:00 from Monday to Wednesday and Friday to Sunday. Please note that the restaurant is not open every Thursday.

Entry to the restaurant is strictly by advance reservation, which can be made through the Facebook page “Trattoria Macedonia Yuki.” The owner responds promptly to reservation requests and either confirms based on the number of guests and proposed timings or suggests alternative days and times, subject to availability.

The restaurant has been praised for its delicious food and wonderfully friendly service. One reviewer even mentioned that the food reminded them of a homemade meal they had in Rome, Italy.

7. Premarché Gelateria

Premarché Gelateria is a unique gelato shop located at 308 Sanjodori Inokuma Nishiiru Ontomocho, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto, 604-8331. It is known for its wide variety of flavors, including both milk-based and non-milk options, catering to vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-allergic customers.

The Gelatiere, Nobuo Nakagawa, is an expert in Japanese organic and authentic natural food. He is dedicated to producing not just gelato, but gelato that is healthy and brings joy to everyone. One of their specialties is the 100% rice gelato, which can only be tasted at their Gelateria.

The shop is open from 12:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Sunday, except Wednesdays. They have received excellent reviews for their amazing vegan options and their unique flavors, such as vegan and dairy-free gelato using traditional Japanese ingredients like tofu, charcoal, and matcha.

If you’re curious about their offerings, they invite you to visit and experience their unique and delicious gelato.

8. Antico

Antico Caffe Italiano is a historic cafe that has been delighting patrons with classic Italian dishes since the early 1900s. The restaurant boasts an elegant setting adorned with vintage decor, transporting diners to an era of old-world charm and sophistication.

The ambiance at Antico Caffe Italiano is unparalleled, offering a unique dining experience where guests can savor their meals in a setting rich in history and tradition. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner, the atmosphere adds an extra layer of authenticity to your culinary journey.

One of the highlights at Antico Caffe Italiano is their signature espresso and cappuccino offerings. After indulging in delectable Italian cuisine, treat yourself to one of their expertly crafted coffee creations for the perfect ending to your meal. The cafe’s dedication to quality extends beyond just food; it encompasses every aspect of the dining experience.

9. The Sodoh Higashiyama Kyoto

The Sodoh Higashiyama Kyoto is a unique dining destination located in the historic Higashiyama area of Kyoto, Japan. It is situated at 366 Yasakakamimachi Yasakadori Shimogawara Higashi Iru, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto, 605-0827.

The restaurant is housed in the lovingly adopted former private residence of Takeuchi Seiho, a pioneer of modern nihonga (Japanese-style painting). The exterior of the building is purely Japanese, while the interior offers a warm and eclectic atmosphere.

The Sodoh Higashiyama Kyoto offers Italian cuisine that begins with a base of traditional Italian cooking and blends in the ingredients, period style, and seasonal delights of Kyoto and its environs. The restaurant is open from 10:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday.

The restaurant is set on a 1.4-acre expanse of land, graced by traditional architecture and a garden that reflects the changing seasons. It offers various venues large and small scattered about the grounds, providing a one-of-a-kind experience in a magnificent setting.

The Sodoh Higashiyama Kyoto has received positive reviews for its gourmet food, unrushed service, and the unique dining experience it offers. It has a rating of 4.5 based on 367 reviews. For more information or to make a reservation, you can contact them at 075-541-3331.

10. Piccolo Giardino

Piccola Cucina Kyoto is a cozy trattoria in the heart of Kyoto, offering a taste of Sicily to its patrons. The restaurant prides itself on using authentic Sicilian recipes that feature high-quality ingredients imported directly from Italy.

The intimate setting at Piccola Cucina Kyoto provides diners with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, reminiscent of traditional Italian trattorias. The friendly staff adds to the charm by creating a lively and hospitable environment for guests.

With a focus on delivering genuine Sicilian flavors, Piccola Cucina Kyoto stands out for its dedication to preserving the essence of Italian cuisine. This commitment ensures that every dish served reflects the rich culinary heritage of Sicily.

For those seeking an escape to Italy without leaving Kyoto, Piccola Cucina offers an immersive experience through its carefully curated menu and attention to detail in both food preparation and presentation.

Whether you are craving classic pasta dishes or exploring lesser-known Sicilian specialties, Piccola Cucina Kyoto is sure to delight your taste buds with its authentic flavors and charming ambiance.

a serene evening at one of the best Italian restaurants in Kyoto perfectly blending Italian culinary excellence with the tranquil beauty of a traditional Japanese garden


You’ve now got the inside scoop on the best Italian restaurants in Kyoto. From the cozy vibe of Il Pappalardo to the authentic flavors at Ristorante Hiro, you’re spoiled for choice. So, what are you waiting for?

Grab your fork and dive into a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. Don’t just take my word for it; go out there and savor the delightful dishes these restaurants have to offer!

Now that you’re armed with this gastronomic knowledge, go forth and explore the Italian culinary scene in Kyoto. Whether you’re a pasta aficionado or a pizza connoisseur, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Buon appetito!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Il Pappalardo suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, Il Pappalardo offers a variety of vegetarian options on their menu. From delicious pasta dishes to flavorful salads, they ensure that vegetarians can enjoy a satisfying meal at their restaurant.

Does Trattoria Sette offer outdoor seating?

Yes, Trattoria Sette has a charming outdoor seating area where you can enjoy your meal al fresco. Whether it’s a sunny day or a starry night, dining outdoors at Trattoria Sette adds an extra touch of romance to your experience.

Are reservations required at Cenci?

While reservations are recommended at Cenci, especially during peak hours or weekends, walk-ins are also welcome based on availability. To secure your spot and avoid waiting times, it’s best to make a reservation in advance.

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