Kyoto cuisine (also known as "Kyo-ryori" or "Kyoto-ryori") is known throughout Japan for its highly refined preparation and artistic presentation. Basic ingredients include tofu and tofu products like yuba (tofu skin); locally grown vegetables like eggplant, daikon and carrots; bamboo shoots; and fu (the processed wheat gluten that's a staple in Buddhist vegetarian diets). Fish and seafood are generally imported from other parts of the country, since Kyoto is inland.
Kyo-ryori restaurants often serve a lot of tofu and yuba dishes, sometimes building an entire menu around these ingredients. Tofu specialty restaurants are listed in their own section at the bottom of this page.
Most Kyoto restaurants offer kaiseki service, a lavish banquet cuisine where numerous small dishes are ceremoniously brought to the table over the course of an hour or two. Some places specialize in only kaiseki service (and these can be very expensive), while other restaurants offer a full range of meal options, including "mini-kaiseki," a more economical kaiseki option. (Note that the term "kaiseki" is now used in many ordinary Japanese restaurants simply to refer to their most expensive, multi-course options.)
Finally, there's shojin-ryori, vegetarian temple cuisine that's served at many teahouses attached to Kyoto temples, usually only at lunchtime.
Advance reservations are absolutely necessary for most kaiseki specialists and shojin-ryori places. They're a good idea in other restaurants as well, although the shops located in department stores or near Kyoto station usually don't require advance booking.