SHINPUHKAN - Ask a Giraffe and Tawawa: "central Kyoto convenience - and cool!" Kyoto Restaurant Tip by j-san
Kyoto Restaurants: 185 reviews and 269 photos
Shinpuhkan (literaly translated - "new-style hall") is a cool new shopping spot in the center of Kyoto. A huge red brick building formerly housing the telephone company, was renovated into a stylish open shopping complex.
It focuses on clothing and trendy lifestyle stores. Of note is the cafe on the 1st floor: GEORGE's with Ask a Giraffe. George's is a pricey store selling all the trendiest household products like metal picture frames from Alessi and your own moss growing kits complete with tiny pebbles and sand... Ask a Giraffe is the cafe that is included to the side of, but essentially a part of GEORGE's. It's open til 11pm everyday.
Favorite Dish: Another GREAt place is Tawawa on the second floor, walk up the big outdoor stairs. They have a fantastic Kyoto lunchtime set menu deal with an all-you-can-eat salad bar. It's a big place and very popular. The salad is so good as it is constantly being replenished, made fresh and lots of the ingredients are organic. You may have to sign up at lunchtime and expect a bit of a wait on weekends. Once seated you will get to choose a main usually pasta or a vegetable curry, a soup and then help youself to the delicious salad bar. You also get a nice lil' dessert and tea or coffee all for a GRAND TOTAL of 1000Yen. They also have luscious fruit-based cakes (rather pricey) which you can get a 100Yen discount off, if you order the lunchtime set.
Price Comparison: about average
Directions: The Shinpuhkan is located on Karasuma street just north of Sanjo Karasuma. On the west side, next to the NTT building.
Price: less than US$10
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