Where To Eat in Kobe: 8 Restaurants Where You Can Try Kobe Beef

By Sydney Seekford
Updated: February 20, 2024

As a kid, every time we had a special event it would mean going to a hibachi grill steakhouse at my dad’s request. The undisputed favorite was a chain called Kobe. From a young age, Kobe steak was emblazoned on my psyche as the most delicious, special meal one could enjoy — and I wasn’t even eating the real deal!

Teppanyaki Restaurant in Japan

Kobe beef became a global phenomenon thanks to its rarity and characteristics. Only a small region in Japan is certified to produce Kobe beef. The cattle’s bloodlines are limited to specific families of Tajima cattle raised to exacting standards in Hyogo Prefecture. Even within high-quality wagyu, Kobe beef is considered some of the best meat on the market. 

There’s nothing like enjoying food fresh from the source, so let’s dive into the heart of Hyogo to discover the best and most famous Kobe beef restaurants in its capital city.

Want to mix food with sightseeing? Check out this Kobe experience that covers Kobe beef, shrines, and shopping.

8 best Kobe beef restaurants in Kobe


It goes to no surprise that Kobe beef makes the list of what to eat in Kobe. And while you can find Kobe beef around Japan, trying it in the very city it's named after hits different.

  1. En Steakhouse
  2. Yazawa
  3. Kobe Plaisir
  4. Shabunoya
  5. Royal Mouriya
  6. Yakiniku Moriya
  7. 8 Eighth Beef
  8. Steak House Oriental

1. En Steakhouse (teppanyaki)

First on our list is En Steakhouse, a luxurious venue where guests can enjoy not one, not two, but three different cuts of Kobe beef in one course meal. The flat-iron teppanyaki grill offers diners an up-close view of every expertly cut and seared course. The showmanship of teppanyaki is more than just a feast for the eyes because all the beef here is sourced directly from Nakanishi Ranch, an award-winning wagyu ranch and partner of the official Kobe beef co-op. 

Reserve En Steakhouse on byFood.

2. Yazawa (takeout and bento)

Accolades and plaques line the luxe storefront of this 3-story mansion of meat. Yazawa could be your one-stop-shop for Kobe beef, located just two minutes from the station and offering a varied menu. There are two main draws to choosing Yazawa over any other local venue, however. Yazawa offers takeout box meals of their fantastic Kobe beef steaks, so you have no excuse to miss out on trying Kobe beef during your trip, even if you have to enjoy it on the go. You can also buy freshly butchered cuts on-site to take out on a camping trip or for outdoor barbeques on the Mt. Rokko side of town.

3. Kobe Plaisir (farm to table)

Who better to serve world-famous Kobe beef than the people who raise the cows themselves? Kobe Plaisir is a true rarity, even in Japan. Hyogo's JA Agricultural Association owns and operates the elegant, contemporary eatery, offering farm-to-table fare and rotating menus. The beef and vegetables here are all fresh and seasonal, sourced directly from next-door farms, and the wine comes from an attached vineyard. The reservation-only course menu even comes with a take-home gift!

4. Shabunoya (all-you-can-eat and solo-dining)

The perfect place for backpackers, solo travelers, and big eaters, Shabunoya offers all-you-can-eat Kobe beef hot pot at excellent prices. After a few seconds in the light but flavorful broth, that exquisite marbling begins to soften into a melt-in-your-mouth slice of heaven. One-person dining is their specialty, offering a great wagyu and shabu-shabu experience even if you aren't traveling with a group. 

5. Royal Mouriya (steak)


The perfect place to try Kobe beef in style. Conveniently located next to Kobe-Sannomiya Station, Royal Mouriya is one of three restaurants in the area run by the same wagyu beef company, and it's their most elegant. In dignified and mature surroundings, Royal Mouriya serves A5-grade wagyu beef with gorgeous marbling. It's all cooked teppanyaki style, so you can savor the sights, sounds, and smells before each dish.

Reserve Royal Mouriya on byFood.

6. Yakiniku Moriya

Do you consider yourself a master griller? Try your hand at this do-it-yourself yakiniku spot in Kobe, where guests can try a wide array of cuts at reasonable prices. Yakiniku allows guests to season and sear steak to their liking over an engaging and interactive dining experience. You won't find dazzling lights or plaques advertising the beef here, but Moriya's homey feel hides its accolades. 

Moriya is one of only a few hundred shops in the world offering trade-mark-certified Kobe beef, so you can bet that even though the pricing seems average, the meat is superior.

7. 8 EIGHTH BEEF (burgers)

This joint offers a Kobe beef burger that will comfort your soul and ordinary cheeseburgers, perfect for anyone traveling with a family. You can also step in for a certified Kobe beef steak served without the luxury fuss. You don't need to sit down for a 2-hour course meal to enjoy Japan's best meat.

Kobe Beef FAQs


Kobe beef vs. wagyu: what's the difference?

"Wagyu" is the generic name for all domestically raised beef or cattle in Japan. It accounts for any of the four species at any quality level. 

Kobe beef, on the other hand, is limited to Tajima-breed cattle raised and slaughtered in Hyogo, with strict limits on lineage and even size.

"They massage the cows with beer!" "No, no, the cows drink beer. The massages are regular." "They sing to them and play Mozart, even." 

Although these stories aren't true, it's no lie that Kobe beef's selection process is pretty amazing. With such tight parameters, it's easy to see why this meat is expensive!

Read in detail over on our Kobe beef guide, where we dive into the (really particular) grading system and breeding requirements for Kobe cattle! Kobe beef is wagyu, but not all wagyu is Kobe beef. 

Is Kobe beef cheaper in Kobe?

It's not a fun answer, but the simple truth is that it depends on where you go!

You are equally likely to find inflated prices at tourist-facing restaurants in Kobe as you are in far-off Tokyo specialty stores. A truly carefully raised and hand-selected cut of Kobe beef in a course meal is likely to fetch a high price anywhere, thanks to its genuine quality. Smaller-scale restaurants and casual eateries like yakiniku or shabu-shabu are more likely to offer Kobe beef dishes at affordable prices. Be a smart shopper and use apps like Tabelog or even byFood's own restaurant list to gauge prices before you go, then double-check for authenticity on the official trademark site to make sure you're not getting fooled!

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Sydney Seekford
Sydney fell in love with lesser-known Japan after seeing Ferris wheels sticking out of the landscape while her bullet train flew by. Since that time, this farming-fashionista has been cultivating vegetables and community in the mountains of Ishikawa. Her dream is to support tourism in inaka Japan by bringing regional rarities to the world and highlighting local businesses.
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