We don’t believe in being snobby about chain restaurants – some in Japan serve excellent food. One of our favourites is Tiger Gyoza, where you can eat a wide variety of great dumplings. Whether they’re pan-fried, boiled, fried, or vegetarian, this place has it all.
Tiger Gyoza Kawaramachi – image © Chris Rowthorn
Not all meals have to be complicated. Gyoza, or dumplings, are as simple a meal as you can get when you eat out. Who could argue with pot stickers filled with all kinds of vegetables and meat? One of our favourite places in Kyoto to enjoy dumplings is at the Kawaramachi branch of Tiger Gyoza Kaikan.
Beloved by locals and tourists alike, the Tiger Gyoza chain is ever-reliable for their delicious dumplings and noodle dishes. Lunchtimes see a bargain set meal of gyoza, rice, pickles, and soup. At dinner, you’ll order a la carte. That’s our favourite thing to do, since it allows you to sample a wide range of dumplings.
We love the classic pan-fried gyoza, gorgeous plump crescents of juicy meat and alliums. Their lamb gyoza is one of their more unusual offerings, and well worth trying. Vegetarians should most definitely order the boiled green dumplings – contrary to all expectations, these are robustly flavoured, and they’ll have meat-lovers clamouring for seconds!
Besides the gyoza, we recommend sampling a few other dishes on Tiger Gyoza’s Chinese-inspired menu. The stir-fried green vegetables are a great way to get your daily dose of greens, while the Sichuan-style white sesame paste is flavourful and pleasantly spicy. While you could conceivably dine alone here, it’s best visited with a few people to be able to try as much of the menu as possible.
For more Kyoto gyoza choices, see our Best Gyoza in Kyoto page.
Name in English:
Tiger Gyoza Kawaramachi
Name in Japanese:
579-7-5 Nakano-cho, Shinkyogoku-dori-Shijo-agaru, Nakagyo-ku
Monday-Friday: 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-10:30pm
Saturday, Sunday and national holidays: 11:30am-10:30pm
Closed Thursday or the following Friday when Thursday is a national holiday
Non-smoking area: Yes
2min walk from Kawaramachi Station Exit 6, Hankyu line
Official site (Japanese)
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- Get travel insurance for Japan - World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)