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Five spots in Kyoto to savor the most important meal of the day

If you are going to explore Kyoto in an age of peak tourism, you will have to have your wits about you. Two rules to live by: find the hidden gems, and strike early. Instead of grabbing something from Mr. Donut on the way to Kinkaku-ji, get a quality breakfast at one of these lesser-known spots and begin your exploration. Here are five fine choices to get the morning started right!

Five spots in Kyoto to savor the most important meal of the day

CONTENTS

  • Bake House Inoue

  • Lorimer Kyoto

  • Takagi Coffee

  • Apprivoiser

  • Inoda Coffee

  • Bake House Inoue

    Bake House Inoue

    Bake House Inoue

    The best time to explore in Kyoto is early in the morning, so grab and go! On the Higashiyama side of the Kamo River, not far from Kyoto National Museum, Bake House Inoue is the perfect spot to pick up a pastry before heading out to explore Kyoto. This is the quintessential Japanese bakery, with old favorites on the shelf, as well as seasonal options. Make your selections, hit a convenience store for some strong canned coffee, then make a quick meal along the Kamo River.

  • Lorimer Kyoto

    Lorimer Kyoto

    Lorimer Kyoto

    The traditional Japanese breakfasts that Lorimer turns out might be unexpected in this hipsterish spot named for a stop on the L train, but the name is a tribute to the umbrella corporation’s Brooklyn beginnings (three shops focused mainly on traditional Japanese food with a philosophy of avoiding wastefulness and using what is available and in season). Lorimer functions as a teaching kitchen later in the day but the shop opens for breakfast and lunch, preparing set menu that includes rice, miso soup, and grilled fish and vegetables. Breakfast starts early during the week (7:30am), a bit later on weekends (8:30am), and Lorimer’s classes later in the day are available by reservation.

    Lorimer Kyoto

    Lorimer Kyoto

    Rolimer Kyoto
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Hashidumechou 143
    Phone
    0757416439
  • Takagi Coffee

    Takagi Coffee

    Takagi Coffee

    Kissaten like Takagi Coffee are undeniably a dying breed in Japan. This shop, established in the 1970s, offers a morning set that’s nearly perfect, with thick slabs of toast, scrambled egg, a couple of sausage links and some mashed potatoes—perfect to wash down with Takagi’s very fine blend coffee. Spots like Takagi are slowly disappearing, but just as worthy of a visit as the more rarefied attractions of Kyoto.

    Takagi Coffee

    Takagi Coffee

    Takagi coffee
    Address
    Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture Shimogyo Karasuma communication Agaru Matsubara
    Phone
    0753417528
  • Apprivoiser

    Apprivoiser

    Apprivoiser

    The nondescript facade of Whole Food Cafe Apprivoiser suggests a run-of-the-mill urban cafe, but step through the front door and take a look at the menu—this is far from the norm, especially in Japan: Apprivoiser is vegan and mostly organic. There’s a full menu available throughout the day, but we’re talking breakfast here and Apprivoiser delivers. There are Western-style options in the morning, including granola and muffins, but also a vegan Japanese-style breakfast. The cafe is centrally-located, set in a row of grey, vaguely Soviet apartment blocks, just around the corner from Matsubara Bridge.

    Apprivoiser
    Address
    京都府京都市下京区植松町716
    Phone
    075-351-6251
  • Inoda Coffee

    Inoda Coffee

    Inoda Coffee

    Inoda is an institution in Kyoto, with dozens of locations opened since its founding in the 1940s (only four outside of the ancient capital). There are a handful of coffee shops in Kyoto's main station, but try to stop by Inoda in the Kyoto Porta annex, if there's not too long of a wait. They open for breakfast at 8am and serve a menu that hasn’t changed much since 1947, with quality versions of the type of yoshoku breakfasts popular in the city since that time.

    Inoda Coffee main shop
    Address
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Sakaicho-dori Sanjo Down Le Dogusa cho 140
    Phone
    0752210507
    Inoda Coffee Porta Branch
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoto Shimogyo
    Phone
    0753432380
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