Sannomiya north of station
One of Kobe's favorite Chinese restaurants, Old Hong Kong is popular for their all-you-can-eat dim sum specials (Y3150). Regular lunches start at around Y1000, and prix-fixe dinners range from Y6,300-21,000.
Kotonoocho 3-1-380. Open 11:30-2, 5-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Great mezze, kebabs and other authentic Turkish cuisine from owner-chef Ahmet Yilmaz, all at modest prices. The cozy dining room seats 17 people. Lunch is served on weekends only, and starts at Y850; full-course dinners from Y2400.
Kanocho 4-7-2, Alba Kitanozaka Bldg 1F. Open 5pm-11:30pm daily.
This comfortable late-night neighborhood izakaya serves excellent fish and seafood. Budget around Y5000 for dinner and drinks.
Kanocho 4-10-9. Open 5pm-2:30am (LO) daily.
This popular shop lets you cook your own kushiage skewers in a deep-fryer right at your table. It's all you can eat, including various side dishes and a big variety of skewered tidbits. Y2500 per person, with a 90-minute limit.
Kanocho 4-3-5, Chateau Kitanozaka Bldg 9F. Open 4-11pm daily.
Top-quality meat is grilled over the best binchotan charcoal and served with authentic Korean side dishes at this upscale yakinikuya. Dinner averages around Y6000.
Naka Yamate-dori 1-13-10. (S side of Yamate-kansen, just W of Kitano-zaka) Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
An unpretentious steak house with friendly service and the feel of a neighborhood hangout. Multi-course steak dinners start at Y8000, but you can also order steak a la carte (from Y4000) as well as grilled chicken, seafood, vegetables and okonomiyaki. They also have a decent wine list that's not overpriced.
Naka-Yamate-dori 1-17-6, Kitano Phoenix 3F. Open 5pm-3am. Closed Mondays.
This beautifully appointed wine bar-restaurant offers an impressive list of around 400 wines by the bottle, focusing on Italy and France. Wines by the glass start at around Y1200, or Y8,000 by the bottle. The food menu features Italian- and Mediterranean-inspired fare like oxtail stew, roast duck with balsamic sauce, and tagliatelle with boar-meat ragu. Budget around Y2500-3500 for dinner before drinks.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 1-7-4, White Rose Bldg 9F. Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sundays.
Great sushi, sashimi and interesting side dishes in an attractive modern setting. (It's on the second floor, above a narrow shopping arcade.) The nigiri-zushi dinner menu is Y3500.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 1-31-33. (just a tiny door in the very narrow shopping arcade under the Hankyu tracks, between "Vivien" and "Tetto") Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
One of the few places in town where you can find a multiplicity of Belgian beers, in a convenient location right at the foot of Ikuta Road.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 1-1-3. (at the base of the road leading up to Tokyu Hands, at the railroad tracks) Open 11:30am-11pm daily.
(Steak house). 078-331-8676
The interior here is far from fancy, but the steaks are good and the prices reasonable; full-course Kobe beef steak dinners start at Y6500.
Shimo-Yamate-dori 2-2-9. (across from Washington Hotel Plaza, on Ikuta-shinmichi next to Kobe Sauna) Open noon-11pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Good Indian food and plenty of atmosphere, from the tapestries on the walls to the movies playing on the video system. At lunchtime there's a Y1000 buffet.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 2-12-6, K Bldg 3F. (on W side of Ikuta Road, about 1.5 blocks south of Tokyu Hands) Open 11am-3, 5-10pm daily.
Authentic Turkish cuisine (prepared by a native chef), including full-course vegetarian options. Dinner with drinks is around Y3000.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 2-9-5, 2F. Open 5pm-midnight; weekends noon-midnight daily.
Many eel connoisseurs consider this well-hidden shop to be the top spot in town for unagi.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 2-8-5. Open 11am-2:30, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays.
There's plenty of Balinese atmosphere in this tiny ethnic shop, from the gamelan music on the stereo to the aroma of clove cigarettes in the air. Dinner is around Y2000 (food only), weekend lunch around Y1000.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 2-4-5. Open 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Motomachi north of station (Tor Road and West)
A small, unpretentious dining room serving excellent traditional French fare. Lunches start at Y3000, dinners Y5000, and wines run from Y5000/bottle.
Shimo-Yamate-dori 2-13-13. (on Tor Road, north of Ikuta-shinmichi) Open 11:30am-2, 6-9pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays.
This late-night budget ramen shop is perhaps the only place in town where you can find Nagasaki-style noodles - champon and sara-udon.
Shimo-Yamate-dori 2-10-4. Open 11am-5am daily.
(Steak house). 078-391-3088
One of Kobe's top-rated places for steaks; full-course dinners start at Y9000, or you can go a la carte.
Shimo-Yamate-dori 3-2-19. Open noon-9pm. Closed Sundays.
This popular shop serves all the dim sum you can eat - Y1200 at lunch, Y3150 at night.
Naka-Yamate-dori 3-5-8. (at Naka-Yamate-dori 4-chome crossing (Koikawa-suji)) Open 11:30am-3, 5-8:30pm. Closed Wednesdays.
This well-known Hakata ramen shop serves thin, chewy noodles in a pork-based broth ("red" or "white"), either with or without extra chashu. Numerous condiments line the counter, including spicy bean sprouts and fresh garlic.
Kita-Nagasa-dori 4-3-24. (on Koikawasuji, about 2 blocks north of Motomachi station) Open 11am-3am daily.
Chef Yamashita is the head of the local Kansai slow-food organization, and he takes his cooking seriously. It's international-style fusion with a lot of creative recipes - dishes like grilled Australian scampi with spicy yuzu-garlic sauce; Tasmanian salmon confit with salmon roe; and grilled Kagoshima chicken with Calvados. [See FULL REVIEW
Kita-Nagasa-dori 3-3-5, 8F. (on Koikawasuji, diagonally across from Motomachi station) Open 5-11:30pm; weekends noon-2:30pm lunch. Open every day.