Tonkatsu Ichiban Kyoto

Budget-friendly, belly-happy food.

The term hidden gem is thrown about the internet all the time. We get it, you didn’t know it was there but others do. This was a hidden gem for us as we don’t live in Kyoto and stumbled across it. Little did we know that it is one of the places to go to for some of the best Tonkatsu in Japan. So good, even Michelin rates it as a place worth going to. Don’t let the love from Michelin make you think it is expensive, this is budget food in Kyoto.


What we ate

A hot day in Kyoto means a beer and a glass of water, plus a towel to refresh ourselves with. Two of the set lunches for us, at 650 yen each (at our time of visiting). Some soup, crispy pork cutlet on top of some cabbage, pickles, and coleslaw.

This other set lunch had rice instead of cabbage as well as some tomato and tofu.

For £4 (at the time) this was a superb lunchtime deal. A hot lunch, freshly cooked and a seat in a real, neighbourhood restaurant. Add this to your to-do list now 🙂

Opening Hours

 Lunch: 11:30 am – 2 pm, Dinner: 5 pm – 8:30 pm

Closed Tuesdays


Tonkatsu Ichiban, 403 teppocho, Kyoto




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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