Lee Tan

Source Cafe & Salon

Chic cafe in Kyoto with good coffee and cake

Lee Tan
Lee Tan   - 3 min read

Step away from Kyoto's madding crowds into Source, a chic cafe located in the quieter Okazaki area, within a stone's throw from the Jingu-Marutamachi Station. Opened in 2013, it is a local favourite for its designer decor, and quality food and drink. The cafe is great for a quiet lunch by yourself but is equally welcoming of families.

The stylish space is serene and well-thought out, with room for various functions. To the front is the seated cafe section, with plenty of sunlight streaming in through the windows. This is where ladies would go to lunch, or lone diners would sit with a book and a latte. At the back of the cafe is a room with a sofa, perfect for private tête-à-têtes or a small gathering. For private parties, especially for families with young children, the cafe has set aside a room to cater to their needs. Unusual for a Kyoto cafe, they welcome digital nomads, setting aside a wall-facing section for lone diners to set up their laptops.

Coffee is good at Source. The beans are from Kyoto's Weekenders Coffee, and are available as an espresso or drip coffee. Besides the latte and the mocha, they also offer cocoa latte, caramel latte, green tea latte and almond latte. There are non-coffee drinks as well, such as herb teas, juices and smoothies.

While coffee is nice, having it with cake is even better and the cafe offers a great deal at 800 yen for a cake and coffee set. The sweet offerings, though limited (with only four cakes available), all sound delectable. Orange and fig chocolate gateau with a dollop of fresh cream or a raspberry cheese cake, anyone? For a little tidbit, try the chocolate salami, a bite-size confectionary made from nuts, dried fruit, marshmallow and chocolate. 

The food menu is also limited but prepared well, with Westernised favourites like Hamburg steak and quiche. The cafe runs a special Tuesday series, where you can find various types of curries like chicken masala or a creamy shrimp curry. Each dish is accompanied by a unique side dish, sometimes made from fresh regional specialties.

Source is within walking distance to Heian Shrine and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, and after a day of sightseeing, a perfect spot to take a breather.

Lee Tan

Lee Tan @lee.tan

Writer, photographer and traveller.