Kyoto, with its preserved traditional streetscapes, is one of Japan's most popular tourist destinations. Visitors from around the world come to see iconic temples like Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), shrines such as Fushimi Inari Taisha, and catch a glimpse of geishas and maiko walking through the Gion district.

However, Kyoto's appeal goes beyond traditional culture. As an international city, Kyoto is also known for its culinary scene, with a wide variety of restaurants being one of its key features. From traditional Japanese cuisine to modern fusion and trendy cafes, Kyoto offers diverse dining options.

Enjoying delicious local cuisine after sightseeing is one of the pleasures of travel.

In this article, we'll introduce seven of the best yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) restaurants in Kyoto that are popular among both locals and tourists in 2024.

What is Yakiniku in Japanese Cuisine?

Yakiniku is said to have originated when Korean residents in Japan began grilling offal. Originally, there was no tradition of eating offal in Korea. However, during the post-war food shortage, when meat was scarce in markets, food stalls began offering grilled offal that was previously discarded. This gave birth to the culture of "grilling meat over direct fire."

These stalls evolved into restaurants, adding menu items like roast and kalbi (ribs), eventually becoming the yakiniku restaurants we know today.

Thus, yakiniku can be considered a cuisine that was born in Japan and evolved uniquely within the country. Today, yakiniku is one of Japan's most popular dishes, enjoyed in various settings from family meals and outings with friends to after-work gatherings with colleagues. I personally enjoy yakiniku at least once a month!

Best Yakiniku / Japanese BBQ Restaurants in Kyoto 2024

Kyoto Yakiniku Dokoro Renzou


Kyoto Yakiniku Dokoro Renzou is centrally located in Kyoto, making it easy to visit between sightseeing activities. The restaurant, housed in a renovated 100-year-old Kyoto townhouse, offers a sophisticated and relaxed adult atmosphere. Renzou's main attraction is its high-quality meat at reasonable prices.

The "Renzou Course" is especially recommended. For just 5,000 yen, you get appetizers like kimchi and salad, a platter of premium raw meat, 10 types of yakiniku including rare cuts and wagyu beef, rice, and dessert. The beautiful presentation of the dishes is sure to elevate your dining experience.

This restaurant, offering high-quality cuisine and hospitality, is perfect for special occasions and is one of the best yakiniku spots in Kyoto for 2024.

<Restaurant Information>
Address: 690 Osaka Zaimoku-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Closed: Irregular
Phone: 050-5590-8743
Hours: 11:30 - 14:00, 17:00 - 23:00
Official Website:

Kyoto Yakiniku enen

Kyotoyakiniku enen

In the traditional dining district of Pontocho, often considered exclusive, Kyoto Yakiniku enen offers affordable yakiniku for everyone. The interior, renovated from an old townhouse, has a modern yet tasteful atmosphere.

This restaurant incorporates a bold idea of creating Kyoto's famous temari sushi with yakiniku. The round, compact meat sushi is not only cute but also Instagram-worthy. The "Kuroge Wagyu Temari Meat Sushi Course" (7,700 yen) is limited to a few groups per day, so early reservations are essential.

The appetizers and desserts, which incorporate Western elements, are also of high quality, ensuring a satisfying meal. Kyoto Yakiniku enen is one of the best yakiniku restaurants in Kyoto for 2024, especially recommended for groups of women or couples looking for a stylish and delicious Japanese BBQ experience.

<Restaurant Information>
Address: 209-13 Nabeyacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Closed: Irregular
Phone: 050-5457-3072
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:00 - 14:00, 17:00 - 22:00;
    Sat-Sun 16:00 - 22:00
Official Website:

Pontocho Yakiniku Yamakawa Main Store

Yakiniku Yamakawa

Pontocho Yakiniku Yamakawa Main Store is another recommended yakiniku restaurant in the Pontocho area. With a comfortable space resembling a modern bar and private rooms for up to four people, it's a great choice for intimate Japanese BBQ experiences in Kyoto. Yamakawa's strength lies in its outstanding cost-performance due to whole-cow purchases. They mainly offer Kobe beef and have a wide selection of rare cuts.

While à la carte ordering is possible, the "Yamakawa Assortment" (5,980 yen) is recommended. This course includes a rare-cut steak of Japanese Black cattle and offers excellent value in both volume and content. It's suggested to start by enjoying the meat's original flavor with just salt. Orders are placed via a tablet with photo menus, making it easy for non-Japanese speakers.

<Restaurant Information>
Address: 137-7 Wakamatsucho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Closed: None
Phone: 050-5597-0422
Hours: 11:30 - 14:30, 17:00 - 22:30
Official Website:

Nikuryori Arakawa


Nikuryori Arakawa is a renowned Kyoto restaurant specializing in meat dishes and wine. Located near Shijo Kawaramachi Station, it's easily accessible. The intimate space with about 10 counter seats creates a homey atmosphere, and the enthusiastic owner welcomes guests cheerfully.

Tell the owner your preferred cut of meat, and he'll serve you the most delicious part. The umami of high-quality meat fills your mouth, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. Paired with red wine, it's a perfect indulgence.

For those who want to compare different cuts, the basic omakase course menu (8,900 yen) is recommended. The owner provides detailed explanations about the meat cuts and how to eat them, making for an enjoyable and educational meal. As it's a very popular spot, reservations are a must.

<Restaurant Information>
Address: 372-4 Kamiyacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Closed: Wednesdays
Phone: 075-231-1050
Hours: 17:00 - 23:00
Official Website:

Wagyu Yakiniku Waya

Yakiniku Waya

Wagyu Yakiniku Waya is a hidden gem yakiniku restaurant near Shijo Kawaramachi and Gion. As you step into the cozy interior, friendly chefs and staff greet you with smiles, creating a comfortable space to enjoy your time. The open kitchen allows you to watch the chef's impressive meat-cutting skills up close, adding to the experience.

While all the meat at Wagyu Yakiniku Waya is delicious, my recommendation is the "Gyutan" (beef tongue). Its taste defies conventional expectations, making it a must-try dish. Set menus starting from 14,000 yen allow you to enjoy various cuts, including beef tongue.

As it's a small restaurant, it's advisable to make reservations in advance through their Instagram to avoid waiting.

<Restaurant Information>
Address: 60-1 Kameicho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Closed: Wednesdays
Phone: 075-741-7329
Hours: 17:00 - 22:00
Official Website (Official Instagram):

Nishikiyamachi Nikushin


Nishikiyamachi Nikushin is a popular restaurant where you can enjoy A5 grade Japanese Black cattle at reasonable prices. Located between the atmospheric Nishikiyamachi Street and Takasegawa River, the seats along the river are particularly open and atmospheric.

Their signature dish is the "Thick-cut Negi Tan" (439 yen), where generous amounts of green onion are sandwiched between thick slices of beef tongue. The umami of the melt-in-your-mouth meat combined with the fresh texture of the green onion creates a moment of bliss.

The "Salt Horumon" (989 yen), eaten with a special sauce, is also popular, offering juicy meat with a citrusy aroma for a refreshing taste. For those who want to indulge in plenty of meat, the "Makasu Course" (6,578 yen), which includes A5 wagyu top kalbi and top harami, is a great value option.

<Restaurant Information>
Address: 237-5 Sendocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Closed: Tuesdays
Phone: 050-5872-7947
Hours: 17:00 - 22:00
Official Website:

Yakiniku Genshu Goshu


Located in a quiet area away from the city center, Yakiniku Genshu Goshu is a high-end yakiniku restaurant where you can enjoy Omi beef, one of Japan's top three wagyu brands, and Tajimaguro, raised on special feed. In Japan, raw meat dishes that allow you to directly enjoy the deliciousness of the ingredients are popular, and this restaurant offers various forms of raw meat dishes such as yukhoe and beef sashimi. These are prepared using safe methods, so you can enjoy them with peace of mind.

The "Omakase Course" starts from 9,000 yen and includes not only Omi beef yakiniku but also beef shabu-shabu and seasonal desserts. The "Yakiniku Gozen" (3,300 yen) offered during lunch time is also recommended for its great value.

The restaurant features all private rooms, with windows overlooking a Japanese garden. You can spend a luxurious time enjoying top-grade meat and drinks while admiring the beautiful garden. This is especially recommended for celebrating special occasions or for sophisticated dates.

<Restaurant Information>
Address: 103 Tanaka Monzen-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Closed: Thursdays
Phone: 050-5890-8397
Hours: 11:30 - 14:30, 17:00 - 22:00
Official Website:

Tips for Enjoying Yakiniku

Yakiniku restaurants include both styles where you grill the meat yourself and where the staff grills it for you. When grilling meat yourself, one important point is not to grill too much at once. This is to avoid burning the meat or having it cool down before you can eat it.

Also, it's important not to flip the meat too many times. Generally, flip it only once and be careful not to overcook it. Overcooking can make the meat tough. Most restaurants provide lemon and sauce, so you can season the yakiniku to your liking.


Kyoto is a city where you can enjoy not only traditional culture like shrines, temples, and maiko, but also great food. The seven yakiniku restaurants introduced here are all recommended spots where you can enjoy high-quality meat at reasonable prices.

Whether you're enjoying conversation with friendly chefs at the counter, getting excited about Instagram-worthy dishes, or having a relaxed meal in a sophisticated adult atmosphere, there are various ways to enjoy your dining experience.