Sannomiya south of station
Excellent, creative cooking, friendly service and some of the nicest modern decor in Kobe make this restaurant worth a stop. Be sure to try the local dishes like the cross-cultural dim sum assortment and the terrific eel sushi. [See FULL REVIEW
Sannomiya 1-10-1, Kobe Kotsu Center Building 10F. (above JR Sannomiya station, on the south side) Open 11am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Located in the "Dining Road" complex upstairs from JR Sannomiya station's Central Gate, Usuusu specializes in soba noodles and grilled chicken. It's a very convenient place for an inexpensive mid-day meal or a pre-train ride drink and snack.
Nunobikicho 4-1-1, JR Sannomiya station 2F. (up the escalator from JR Sannomiya Central Gate) Open 11am-11pm daily.
This relaxed cafe features a cute two-table nook up front, and serves pho noodles and other simple Vietnamese fare. A row of blenders stands ready to churn out various tropical cocktails.
Kumoidori 7-1-1, M-int Kobe 8F. (next to JR Sannomiya, south side) Open 11am-10pm daily.
The first Kobe branch of the popular chain serves up raw and cooked oysters, hearty seafood chowders (called "pan roasts") and Cajun-style gumbo.
Kumoidori 7-1-1, M-int Kobe 8F. (next to JR Sannomiya, south side) Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
One of the best of the tonkatsu chains, Kyoto-based Katsukura offers nice side dishes like yuba (tofu-skin) croquettes and excellent Kyoto-style pickles. And they're open all afternoon if you need a late lunch.
Kumoidori 7-1-1, M-int Kobe 7F. (next to JR Sannomiya, south side) Open 11am-11pm daily.
The large and varied all-you-can-eat buffet is served in a pleasant, library-themed dining room. Y1800 before 5pm, Y2200 after.
Kumoidori 7-1-1, M-int Kobe 7F. (next to JR Sannomiya, south side) Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
Uoman is an upscale izakaya chain is known for their creative, solidly prepared food, their well-selected sake and shochu menu and their stylish decor.
Kumoidori 7-1-1, M-int Kobe 8F. (next to JR Sannomiya, south side) Open 11am-2:30, 5-10pm daily.
More than just good food, Wada delivers an entertaining dining experience. The food menu is full of pleasant surprises - innovative flavor combinations, unexpected but well-tuned ingredients, and dramatic presentation. [See FULL REVIEW
Kumoidori 7-1-1, M-int Kobe 8F. (next to JR Sannomiya, south side) Open 11am-3, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
(Dim sum). 078-334-1660
This small, popular counter shop serves nice meaty gyoza dumplings; sets of gyoza, rice and side dishes cost around Y700.
Sannomiya 1-8-1, Sannomiya Sun Plaza B1F. Open 11am-9pm daily.
This charming Kobe landmark serves a full range of Sapporo beers, and a huge, 150-item food menu. The small brewery in the basement produced two craft beers - a somewhat fruity wheat beer and a Vienna-style beer that uses Saaz hops. English menus available. Lunch served to 2pm.
Sannomiya 2-5-18. Open 11am-11pm daily.
The basement food floor, right next to the station, is one of the better places to find a selection of local food products.
Onoe-dori 8-1-8. (just S of JR Sannomiya station) Open 10am-8pm daily.
Far more affordable than the typical hotel teppanyaki-ya, this attractive department-store shop serves up good-quality seafood, chicken, and of course Kobe beef. The steak lunch is just Y1260, and a full-course seafood teppanyaki dinner is Y3300.
Isogami-dori 8-1-23, Sogo Wing 6F. (from the intersection in front of the S exit of JR Sannomiya go 2 blocks S and 1 block E to Sogo Wing) Open 11:30am-9pm (LO) daily.
A rooftop oasis right in central Kobe, this cafe looks out onto a big garden area, with seating both indoors and out. The casual, inexpensive food menu is a mix of Japanese and Western dishes - oxtail stew, pork cutlets, pastas, and of course desserts.
Goko-dori 8-2-6, Kobe Kokusai Kaikan 11F. (on Flower Road about 3 min. south of JR Sannomiya station) Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Motomachi south of station
Inexpensive bakery and deli items and salads from the famous no-brand design store Mujirushi.
Sannomiya 3-6-1, Kobe BAL B1F. Open 11am-8pm daily.
Akashiyaki is a lighter, fluffier version of takoyaki, made with local octopus, and Tako-no-tsubo is an expert in its preparation. The room cozy dining room - usually filled with the aroma of simmering octopus - is organized around one large wooden table that everybody sits around.
Sannomiya 3-3-3. (from JR Motomachi take Koikawasuji S, then take the first alley on the left after the Center-gai shopping street) Open noon-9:45pm (LO) daily.
Authentic Korean home-style cooking at a very unpretentious basement izakaya counter. Budget around Y3500 for food and drink.
Sannomiya 3-9-13, Hayashi Bldg. B1F. (on Koikawasuji just S of the JR tracks, on the SE corner diagonally opposite the police box) Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Best known for their noodle dishes, the kitchen here also turns out a complete range of Cantonese standards.
Motomachi-dori 1-11-3. (take Koikawasuji S from the JR tracks about 2 blocks, turn right (before the Motomachi arcade); it'll be on the right side of the street) Open 11am-2:30, 5-8pm. Closed Wednesdays.
One of the original wave of yoshoku restaurants, Itoh Grill has been preparing original Japanese-style Western dishes since 1923. They've probably redecorated since then, but not too recently. Their signature beef stew is Y2500, and they offer local Japanese wines to wash it down.
Motomachi-dori 1-6-6. Open 11am-2:30, 5-8:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
One of Chinatown's better restaurants, known in particular for their dim sum selection.
Motomachi-dori 2-4-3. Open 11:30am-3, 5-8pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays.
(Steak house). 078-331-2108
One of the better places in town for Kobe beef and other steaks; they also serve shabu-shabu and nabe-style stews. Steak dinners start at Y5200; Kobe beef steaks are Y10,000.
Motomachi-dori 3-8-4. Open 11:30am-8:15pm (LO); lunch to 2pm. Closed Wednesdays.
Authentic Indian cooking from a former chef at Gaylord; dinners start around Y3000.
Sakaemachi 2, Sano Natsu Bldg. B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Kobe's venerable old Indian-food pioneer, Gaylord still draws the crowds with their good food, friendly service and pleasant atmosphere. Note the new location in Kyukyoryuchi.
Kyomachi 83, KDC Kobe Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-3, 5:30-9:30pm. Closed 3rd Monday.
Featured in architecture and design magazines as well as restaurant guides, this beautifully repurposed space is the former lobby of a British bank built in 1938. It's a stylish spot for an afternoon coffee or an after-dinner drink (but less inspiring for dinner).
Excellent home-made tofu is the core of the menu here, with tofu-centered set meals at various price levels (Y4000-10,000). The dining room offers a nice high-rise view over the Kobe waterfront.
Kaigan 3-chome, Kaigan Building 15F. Open 11am-3, 5-9pm (LO) daily.
Kobe station/ Harborland
More classic Kobe yoshoku fun - the specialties here are beef-tongue croquettes and tongue stew.
Higashi-Kawasakicho 1-6-1, Mosaic 1F. Open 11am-2, 5-9pm (LO) daily.
Not just ordinary pork, but premium-grade meat from Kagoshima goes into the cutlets here. Ebikatsu is another of the menu's strong points.
Higashi-Kawasakicho 1-6-1, Mosaic 1F. Open 11am-2, 5-9pm (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.
Higashi-Kawasakicho 1-6-1, Mosaic 3F. Open 11am-10pm daily.
Churrasco-style Brazilian grilled meats (beef, pork, chicken) are served here, and the waiters will keep bringing you meat until you tell them to stop; all-you-can-eat deals cost around Y2450 per person. The Brazilian music and staff add to the atmosphere. Open throughout the day.
Higashi-Kawasakicho 1-6-1, Mosaic 3F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.