14 Can’t-Miss Kyoto Coffee Shops

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Visiting Japan in November 2023 and researching the best Japanese coffee shops in Kyoto was high on my to-do list. As both a coffee lover and avid traveler, I wanted to uncover the top hidden gems that locals love just as much as wandering tourists.

 14 Can’t-Miss Kyoto Coffee Shops

Below I’ve compiled everything you need to know to find the 14 best kyoto cafes suited for resting your feet after exploring Kyoto’s bamboo forests and temple-lined streets. I’ve noted my personal favorites, must-try drinks, location maps and insider tips for each spot.

From tiny alley stalls to sprawling riverfront cafes, these coffee shops reflect Kyoto’s understated and artisanal approach to coffee culture. They focus on appreciating both the preparation process and quality time spent lingering over a perfect pour-over.

While Tokyo may have a quicker coffee shop pace, cafes in Kyoto have a calm dedication to precision and ingenuity shines through at these 14 favorites. Read on for all you need to map out the ultimate specialty coffee Kyoto has across this storied cultural capital.

Kyoto Coffee shops

cute cafe in kyoto: kyoto Coffee Shops

1. Weekenders Coffee

  • Small shop tucked down an alley and parking lot serving house-roasted pour overs
  • Closed Wednesdays, limited seating
  • LOCATION: 682-7 Ishifudonocho, Shimogyo Ward

note: this is the original location and it’s the more aesthetic of the two. Get here before they open as there is very limited seating

2. Kitsune Coffee

  • aesthetic kyoto cafe tucked in a high end shopping plaza
  • one of the most modern and cute cafes in Kyoto
  • LOCATION: 

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Best Cafe in Kyoto

3. % Arabica Coffee Kyoto Arashiyama

  • Stunning riverfront cafe with views of Togetsukyo Bridge by the arashiyama bamboo forest
  • Near Tenryū-ji temple and bamboo grove so lines can get long
  • there iced coffee is great for the summer, their latte is also exceptional 
  • LOCATION: 3-47 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward

note: get here before 9 am as they open at 10 and the line gets extremely long. Also note there is two lines, one to order and another one to pick up the coffee

4. Wife & Husband

  • Antique-filled cafe renting cute picnic sets for the nearby river
  • Try the delicious cheese & honey milk toast
  • LOCATION: 106-6 Koyamashimouchikawaracho, Kita Ward

5. Starbucks in Gion

  • The only Starbucks in the world with traditional tatami floors in an old traditional Japanese house.
  • Special and unique desserts only available at this Starbucks
starbucks in gion Kyoto Coffee shops

6. Blue Bottle Coffee

  • Kyoto outpost of renowned California specialty coffee roaster
  • Cafe designed by famous architect Kengo Kuma
  • LOCATION: 6 4 Nanzenji Kusakawacho, Sakyo Ward

7. Walden Woods

  • Stark, modern cafe contrasting with quiet neighborhood location
  • Great spot for an iced matcha latte
  • LOCATION: 508–1 Sakaecho, Shimogyo Ward

8. D&Department

  • Coffee counter tucked in a gorgeous lifestyle store on temple grounds
  • Must-try is their nutty kinako soft serve ice cream
  • LOCATION: 397 Shinkaicho, Shimogyo Ward

9. Stumptown Coffee at Ace Hotel Kyoto

  • First Japan location of popular Portland coffee brand
  • Full espresso bar and pastries inside a stylish hotel designed by Kengo Kuma
  • LOCATION: 245–2 Kurumayacho, Nakagyo Ward

10. Cafe Bibliotic Hello!

  • Cute book-themed decor and quality coffee in a quiet neighborhood
  • LOCATION: 650 Seimeicho, Nakagyo Ward

11. Sentido

  • Young local roaster gaining buzz across Kyoto’s coffee scene
  • LOCATION: 1F, 445 Sasayacho, Nakagyo Ward

12. Weekenders Coffee Nishiki

  • Second location right on Nishiki Market, a must-visit Kyoto food destination
  • Grab a house roasted pour over then go shopping for snacks and souvenirs nearby

13. Vermillion Espresso Bar

  • Elegant small cafe run by award-winning baristas near City Hall
  • Signature espresso drinks served with affection
  • LOCATION: 612 Honeyanochō, Nakagyo Ward

Coffee Shops in Osaka

14. Lilo Coffee Roasters (Osaka)

  • Under an hour train ride away in vibrant Osaka
  • First specialty light roast shop when it opened. Try their single origin pour over flights
  • LOCATION: 1 Chome−1−10–28, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka

I hope this guide helps you plan the ultimate Kyoto cafe-hopping adventure on your trip in 2023. With ingenious coffee culture, stunning scenery and friendly shop owners, these 14 spots encompass the best of this fascinating city. Let me know in the comments if you discover any new favorites on your travels.

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find these helpful articles and resources to plan your trip to Japan:

Tokyo City Guide:

Kyoto City Guide

Takayama City Guide

Kanazawa City Guide

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