10/02/2021

Osaka Food Guide: What and Where to Eat in Osaka

Osaka is one of the prime tourist destinations in Japan as it boasts plenty of unique experiences and sights. Tagged as the “Venice of the East”, Osaka offers a wide variety of activities and appetizing dishes for people who want to experience an authentic Japanese food trip.


Table of Contents

  1. Osaka Food Tour
  2. Famous street food in Osaka
  3. Popular restaurants to try in Osaka
  4. Summary

Osaka Food Tour

Osakans are known to be food-obsessed and their status as the “Nation’s Kitchen” speaks for itself. The unique and coveted food from Osaka can be attributed to its advantageous location. Its closeness to bodies of water, such as the Osaka Bay and the Seto Inland Sea, has allowed the Osakans to catch fresh seafood and to partake in waterway trades. Other than that, Osaka’s plains and mountains have allowed the cultivation of traditional vegetables and sake. More than a thousand years later, we now have savory dishes such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and many more.

Overview of the Osaka market

The bustling markets of Osaka are places everyone visits. Chefs are the earliest to go in during the morning to pick their freshest ingredients. They are followed by the general public in the afternoons and then by restaurant proprietors and other professionals. Tourists are also welcome to do food crawls at the markets as sushi, tempura, skewered meats, seafood, rice, and other meals are available. Among the bustling markets you can visit are the Kuromon Market, known as “Osaka’s Kitchen or Stomach” in Nipponbashi, and the Kizu Market located near the Daikokuchō station.

Famous street food in Osaka

Takoyaki

Takoyaki is an Osakan food staple. This snack is simple and is basically just batter and octopus. After it is cooked in multiples using a special pan to make it ball-shaped, it is topped off with sweet sauce, mayonnaise, nori, and bonito flakes. To create variation and to spark new flavors, ingredients can be swapped (for example, using shrimp instead of octopus) and the composition of the batter can be altered (for example, using different types of flour).

Although takoyaki is prevalent all throughout the streets of Osaka, the Dotonbori Kukuru Konamon-Museum is one to visit. It offers hot takoyaki, akashiyaki, and wax takoyaki making lessons ranging from 550 to 2,000 yen. It opens on weekdays from 11:30 to 19:15 and 10:30-19:15 during weekends and holidays.

※ Shirohato Food Corporation, "Dotonbori Konamon-Museum"

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is another popular flour dish from Osaka. Also known as the Japanese pancake, it is made with eggs, flour, cabbage, and whatever meats and other ingredients you prefer. Modifications and creativity by different stores happen with the inclusion of different toppings or combinations thereof. From different proteins to different condiments, the possibilities could go on and on.

Dine at Fue, the restaurant featured by the Netflix “street food” series. Ranging from around 1,000 to 2,000 yen, okonomiyaki will be served and the customers will have the freedom to add bonito flakes according to their liking. The restaurant can be found near the Kyobashi station at the Miyakojima Ward. It is open all days of the week from 12:00-14:00 and 17:00-23:30.

Kushikatsu

Kushikatsu is an Osakan kebab. The contents, which may be meat, seafood or vegetables, are breaded and deep-fried until golden and crispy. These Japanese skewers are served with a sauce and the important rule to remember is to not dip twice. Most restaurants serve Kushikatsu with strips of cabbage on the side and other than aiding digestion, they can also be used to scoop extra sauce. Twelve Kushikatsu Daruma restaurants are available all around Osaka, boasting forty different dipping sauces. Average meal budget goes from 1,500 to 2,500 yen.

Others

Osaka also offers other regional favorites. The above are simply the most known and the must-trys especially if it’s your first time. In Osaka, anything grilled is sure to be good, from grilled squid to yakiniku. And they have famous sweets too, like Rikuro’s Cheesecake.  

Popular restaurants to try in Osaka

Other than those mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, here are some other more restaurants to try. And while sushi and ramen themselves are not native to Osaka, here are some delicious variations found in the city that people are sure to love and enjoy:

Food

Restaurant

Hours

Location

Price

Notes

Takoyaki

Takoyaki Tamaya

11:30-23:00

Kokubunji, Kita

From 300-700 yen

serves various types of takoyaki

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki Mizuno

11:00-22:00

Dotonbori, Chuo-ku

2,000-3,000 yen

4 years Michelin Guide awardee

 

Kiji

11:30-21:30

Kakudacho, Kita

1000-2000

has Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand status

Sushi

Daiki Suisan

11:00-22:00

Dotonbori, Chuo-ku

From 100-900 yen

conveyor belt style service

 

Jinen Shimizucho

11:00-24:00

Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku

From 300-1,000 yen

traditional counter-style sushi

Ramen

Kamukura Dotonbori

11:00-22:00

Dotonbori, Chuo-ku

800-1,000 yen

has a variety of toppings for ramen

 

Niboshi Ramen Tamagoro

9:00-21:00

Nipponbashi, Chuo-ku

Average price of 800 yen

serves noodles and broth separately

Summary

Any traveler could eat his way through Osaka and still have more to explore. The Nation’s Kitchen is rich in not just history but also with flavors. Its streets, filled with takoyaki, okonomiyaki, fugu, kushikatsu, yakiniku, and other delicacies can serve as proof of this. From having the best available ingredients to the Kappo style of cooking (cooking is done in front of the customers), Osaka has made its mark on the history and global establishment of Japanese cuisine.

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