American Food in Kyoto

I enjoy Japanese food, but occasionally get a craving for quintessentially American food like a good burger or, for breakfast, pancakes, eggs, and hash browns. Recently I had the opportunity to enjoy both here in Kyoto, and although I have only one data point for each, they were sufficiently good enough to risk a recommendation.

Freshness Burger

In the Vivre at Kitaoji/Marutamachi, on the first floor across from Mr. Doughnut (barf!) is a restaurant with the unpromisingly generic name “Freshness Burger.” I tried their Classic Burger, and it was excellent. Lots of fresh veggies stacked up to make a formidable burger, not much different from the picture on their site.

They have locations all over the country (and in Korea as well).

Speak Easy

After my fall foliage trek with Nils, he introduced me to a small cafe near Higashioji/Kitayama called “Speak Easy,” which bills itself as an “American style cafe&bar.”

The breakfast menu (good until 6pm) shows lots of tasty things like eggs and toast and hashbrowns. Oddly, pancakes are not available. I was torn between the breakfast menu and their burgers, which I was told were good, but it's easier to get a good burger than a good American breakfast, so I opted for breakfast.

I had french toast for the first time in many years, and it was excellent. It was not the sickeningly sweet style I feared, but more like the kind I had at home when I was a kid (thanks Mom).


Both places had English menus, but I didn't get the impression that anyone I interacted with at either place actually spoke English.


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