Quickly becoming one of Kyoto's most popular restaurants, Giro Giro has a lively atmosphere, excellent food, and great location on the sleepy Takase-gawa River. Sit at the counter surrounding the busy chefs, many of whom have studied at the owner's other location in Paris, or grab a table upstairs—both offer views of people walking along the river wishing they could trade places with you. The set menu changes monthly to showcase seasonal dishes and fresh ingredients.
The chef's style has been described as "punk kaiseki ryori" cuisine; what this means is that you can have a multicourse, kaiseki-style menu without all of the strict convention. Expect an elaborate hassun (appetizer) tray followed by seven more varying courses. You will be hard-pressed to find a better high-end value than this (full course meals usually cost under ¥5,000). Giro Giro is easiest to find by walking the narrow lane along the Takase-gawa; look for the glow of the massive window a few blocks north of Gojo-dori.