My wife and I both agree without shadow of a doubt that Kyohei is Kyoto’s most underrated ramen shop. It is on Teramachi-dori, on the east side, one block north of the Shiyakusho city hall, and just South of the Teramachi-Nijo junction. Look for the huge yellow Chochin lantern outside. Unusually, all four types of ramen on sale here are as good as each other: the Shoyu, Miso, Charshiu and Hakata. I usually have the Miso and Sash has Shoyu.
Apparently this place used to be packed with City Hall workers who would sneak in during working hours, but since the local govt fired workers for too much ‘saboru’-ing, Kyohei has been hit hard. Which is a shame, because it’s far better than so many of the ‘famous Kyoto ramen shops’ which regularly feature in the local media.
Talking of the media, who is that strange-looking gaijin bloke slurping noodles whose picture is on the wall above the counter?
Bronze Medal: 麺所 みや古
Very spicy and good value for money. Miyako is a few doors along from the Pig and Whistle, on Sanjo Street. コストパーフォーマンスがいい。辛いです！
Silver Medal: 天狗食堂
Tengu Shokudo in Moto-Tanaka, facing on to Higashioji-Dori (across from Didi’s) has been a favourite for years. Good value and great Niku Curry Udon. It is very popular with the locals, so often closes before 4pm as it sells out. Their Chuka Soba and Nabeyaki Udon are also both highly recommended.
Gold Medal: 日の出うどん
Duly famous, Hinode Udon is in Sakyo Ku, just a little North of Eikando Temple. It’s curry udon is in a league of its own, hence the gold medal position. It is a little pricier than Tengu and Miyako, but still not outrageous. The only problem is that during the tourist season it is often difficult to get a seat. The special Chuka Soba Curry is also highly recommended.