Kyoto Station is a hub for traveling to/from Kyoto, with several railway companies sharing one large modern building.
However it is a shame to only use it as a station. This building has many benefits for travelers, for example, they have the biggest tourist information center in the city, many gift shops, and even an observatory, which can be reached by a 171 stop staircase (or an escalator/elevator). But what about places to eat? That demand is also covered. The first floor of the Hachijo side (Shinkansen side), run by a railway company called Kintetsu, has a nice stylish hallway with about 20 restaurants.
That is nice, but you can also go down to the underground area called Porta from the Karasuma side (Kyoto Tower side). This particular area consists of a shopping area, a gift shop area and a dining area. This dining area was recently renovated, and has long been popular among both locals and tourists. There are almost 30 different places to eat (there are two Starbucks shops), from established restaurant such as Toyotei (hamburger steak) to trendy restaurants targeting young people. There are also a few fast food stores such as Subway and Lotteria (Japanese burger chain).
The catch is its popularity. It is Especially crowded around lunch time on weekends. Most restaurants (not fast food chains) will have a line of people waiting and it might take a while to get in. If that sounds terrible, avoid the peak time (12:30 – 13:30) or busy restaurants. Most of the time, traditional Japanese restaurants are relatively less busy. Either way, many options are available here in this area, so take a look at least one time and then follow your instinct (or number of people waiting, which usually means the most delicious meals). The following is the list of restaurants in Porta.
2. Starbucks West/Cafe
3. Dashichazuke En/Rice in soup (Japanese)
4. Korean Kitchen Shijan
5. Kyoagetsu/Kyoto style ramen noodle, Japanese sweets
6. Tonkatsu KYK/Pork cutlet
7. Okonomiyaki Machiya/Okonomiyaki(Japanese meal pancake)
8. Ajisaiya/Kyoto home style meals
9. Teahouse Lipton/Cafe
10. Marumo Kitchen/Japanese bowl cafe
11. Shisen Sankan/Chinese
12. Kineya/Japanese udon noodles
13. Ramen Kanjindo Kumagoro/Ramen
14. Grill Capital Toyotei/Western
15. Kyoryori Manshige/Kyoto traditional food
16. Ginza Hageten/Tempura
17. Koanana/Japanese style pasta
18. Yomenya Gomen/Japanese style pasta
19. Doutor Coffee Shop/Cafe
20. Monte Romano/Italian
21. Soup Stock Tokyo/Soup and curry
22. Fujiya/Japanese soba
23. Kushicafe Bonbonya/Deep fried food on a stick
24. Tagoto/Soba, Kyoto style food
25. Men, iroiro itsudemo oyatsu/Udon and sweets
26. Wired Cafe/Cafe and western food
28. Inoda Coffee/Cafe
30. Tsukiji Gindako/Takoyaki (creamy dumpling with a small cut of octopus inside)
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