*found in Former Kyoto Cafes
As I mentioned in the post on Kawaramachi-Nijo Very Berry Café河原町二条店, about eight years ago the Gokomachi Very Berry Café御幸町店 is the first of the Very Berry Café chain to which I went. With the Nijo café it’s not too hard to forget that one’s in Japan because of the machiya surrounding but at the Gokomachi one, it does feel like a little Hawaii smack dab in the middle of commercial Kyoto. The first Very Berry Café opened at 北白川Kitashirakawa back in March 1999 but I’ve yet to dine there…however, the ambience of the Kitashirakawa café and the Gokomachi one may be quite similar.
The food menu is basically the same as the one at Nijo. My usual, the chicken poke loco moco, used to be made with Very Berry’s boneless fried chicken but now they serve it with the grilled chicken that the Nijo one does (refer to the post on Nijo Very Berry Café二条店 for a picture).
Although I prefer the atmosphere of the Nijo café, the Gokomachi one is closer to work, so I tend to go there for my chicken poke loco moco or pancake fixes.
In late June last year, I suggested having dinner at the Gokomachi Very Berry when I met Woomi, my sister’s friend, for the second time when she came to Kyoto during her short stay in Japan until she returned to her studies in Oklahoma. We both had my usual chicken poke loco moco and had pancakes for dessert (I got ハーフパンケーキ（メープルシナモン) half-serviing of pancake with maple syrup & cinnamon and an アイスコーヒーiced coffee, ￥820, top left picture above).
Pancakes have been the rage in Japan for the past couple of years but Very Berry is a pioneer for the field here in Kyoto…their pancakes are still as close to authentic American pancakes as one can get here and I’ve never been dissatisfied with even one.
About two months later, I went back to have dinner and relax there after a day out with Maki before heading home. I chose a seat that along the wall closest to a table looking out at Gokomachi Street that afforded me a view of the front, middle and back dining areas (pictures are middle picture, top middle picture and top right picture respectively above). I had my usual before getting a pancake: ハーフパンケーキ（ストロベリー）half-serving of pancake with strawberry syrup and an アイスティーiced tea, ￥820 (middle right picture above).
Yesterday, I went to the Nijo café hoping to try their new stuffed pancakes but I chose a day when Master was closing up early…when I asked if the Gokomachi one was serving it, he called them and let them know that I’d be coming over soon☺. When I arrived and took a seat in the row of seats I tend to choose, this time at the table closest to the kitchen, the staff was ready for me and I took no time in ordering the ベーコン・トマト・チーズbacon, tomato & cheese stuffed pancakes, ￥1200 (the Gokomachi cafe offers three combinations), bottom right picture above. My favorite pancakes in Kyoto in sandwich form, of course I loved it!☺ The salad was delicious, too, with a spicy dressing.
I wasn’t ready to go home after my meal, so I ordered a ライオンカプチーノcappuccino Lion coffee, ￥360, ￥200 off with the stuffed pancakes (bottom middle picture above)…the aromatic combination of cinnamon, chocolate and hazelnut made for the best coffee with which to unwind for the night. I love the mug cups and even use them at home (I had received a pair from the owner and family as a gift about five years ago).
While I was paying at the register, I noticed a jar of cookies for which I couldn’t read the the first part of the name…the manager said it read “gyokuro” and explained that it was a strong green tea…curious about the taste, I ended up buying a 玉露ショートブレッドクッキーgyokuro (high-quality green tea, the name literally means “jewel-like dewdrop”) shortbread cookie, ￥250 (bottom left picture above). At home I warmed it up in the microwave for 30 seconds as instructed. My thoughts about the cookie: it was subtly sweet and I was impressed with how much of the tea that I could taste; although it was shortbread, it felt healthier.☺
I didn’t have time to think about it while getting rung up at the café but on the train home I realized I paid less than I should have…looks like I got a discount again.☺ Thank you, Master, and kind staff of Very Berry Café!❤
Update: Over a month later, I went to the Gokomachi Very Berry with Mason for dinner when she came into the city to run errands. Although I had recommended the chicken poke loco moco which got her to agree to go, she ended up ordering the スパムミンチロコモコSupamu minchi roko moko (Spam & minced-meat loco moco), ￥950, while I got my usual チキンポケロコモコchicken poke loco moco, ￥950 (middle left picture above). My loco moco was as great as usual; Mason (who is into healthy food), however, found hers a bit greasy…I don’t think she’ll be ordering that again.
I ended up finishing before Mason and after some contemplation, I decided to order 生キャラメルパンケーキnama-kyarameru pankehki (raw-caramel pancakes), ￥850 (￥800 for the pancakes, ￥50 for the caramel), which also came with fresh cream.
While at the register paying for the meal afterward, the black 竹炭とココナッツショートブレッドtakesumi to kokonattsu shohtobureddo (bamboo-charcoal & coconut shortbread cookie), ￥250, caught my eye, so I got it…it’s like I always have to go away from Very Berry with a cookie☺.
Update: I’m sad to announce that Gokomachi Very Berry Cafe closed its doors on May 10, 2015. I wish I’d made it there once before it closed but I’m glad that there are still two more places in Kyoto where I can still get Very Berry fare.
Address: 京都市中京区御幸町通六角下ル伊勢屋町335-1 アップヒルズ227 1F Kyoto-shi. Nakakyo-ku. Gokomachi-dori. Rokkaku-sagaru. Iseiya-cho 335-1 Uphills 227 1F
Telephone number: 075-211-4820
Access: 地下鉄東西線京都市役所前駅・阪急河原町駅から徒歩約10分 about ten-minute walk from Subway Tozai Line Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae/Hankyu Kawaramachi Station, 地下鉄烏丸線四条駅・阪急烏丸駅から徒歩約15分 about 15-minute walk from Subway Karasuma Line Shijo Station/Hankyu Karasuma Station…no parking available but there are several car parks nearby.
Business Hours: 11:30am~10:00pm (last order until 9:30pm, take-out available)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VeryBerryCafe