Kobe has plenty to offer foodies who like nothing more than a spot of sampling the culinary delights in a city’s best restaurants. As well as having a wide variety of local Japanese eateries, Kobe also has plenty of foreign and international restaurants and cafes for those who want a reminder of home or to try something different. Here is a selection of the best international restaurants in the city.
This elegant French restaurant-cafe located in the Chuo ward serves up an exceptional Mediterranean experience. Its popular terrace offers one of the few outdoor dining experiences in Kobe, where diners can take in great city views while they eat and drink. Cafe Bistrot de Paris has multilingual staff, and the menu includes French classics such as beef bourguignon as well as a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas plus a choice of beers, wines and coffee. An accordion player is often on site to add to the European vibe.
Cafe Freundlieb comes with an interesting backstory. It’s located in a former church in Kobe’s Chuo ward. The German owners of this cafe were married in the church and later saved it from demolition by purchasing the property that they then turned into a European eatery serving sandwiches, burgers, coffee, and baked goods. The setting is eye-catching with arched windows, high ceilings, and wooden beams, and there is a warm and friendly atmosphere that makes it a popular venue with locals and tourists alike.
This all-you-can-eat is done in typical Brazilian style where waiters bring round fresh, juicy cuts of various meats on skewers and you gorge until you’re contented. There’s also a buffet bar with salads and vegetables where you help yourself. There is English-speaking staff to keep you topped up with meats and drinks. A good reasonably priced choice if you find the Kobe steakhouses a little bit expensive.
Address: 1-6-1 Higashikawasakicho, Chuo ward, Kobe 650-0044
This restaurant hidden away down a quiet alleyway in Chuo ward serves up American classics such as steaks, burgers, buffalo wings and brownies for dessert as well as plenty of international food. It has gained a reputation for its Caesar salad as well as the relaxing jazz music that soothes diners. Staff speaks both English and Japanese.
Address: 2-8-12 Kanocho, Chuo ward, 1st Floor Petit Doll Kitano, Kobe 650-0001
Located in the 19th century F Bishop House, Totenkaku boasts glorious interiors with high ceilings, deep red carpets, and Chinese artwork. The restaurant is known for its Peking duck, regularly flown in from China, and its traditional floral teas. Diners can choose from various set menus that range from the Bishop lunch (4,000 yen) to the Head Chef’s Royal Banquet (30,000 yen).
This family-run restaurant is owned by an Italian chef and his Japanese wife. It’s small, authentically Italian and is frequently very busy so advanced booking is advisable. Pizzeria Azzurri serves a fine line of quality wood-fired pizzas as well as other Italian dishes such as pasta and risotto. It’s pricier than some of the other pizza places in Kobe but the quality of the food is worth it.
Raja has been operating in Kobe for 35 years. It’s a friendly, family-run restaurant currently owned by the son of the original owner. It’s one of the most popular Indian restaurants in Kobe, largely down to the quality of the food, with a wide range of dishes available from kormas to vindaloos, as well as the hospitality of the owner and staff.