Osaka is known as the ‘Kitchen of Japan’- historically this was because Osaka produced most of the nation’s rice, more recently because there is just limitless amazing food to discover and eat. Okonomiyaki and takoyaki are a couple of Osaka’s most famous dishes to sample but you will also find life changing ramen and incredible seafood. Read on for our food guide on where to eat in Osaka, Japan.
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1. Dotonbori Street
Dotonbori Street, Osaka’s famous street food extravaganza is on everyone’s Osaka’s itinerary. We found the food to be a bit overpriced and lacking in variety but it’s a good spot to sample Osaka’s most well known foods from okonomiyaki to takoyaki. Even if you’re not eating, a visit at night to see the neon lights and billboards not to mention the giant mechanical crabs which perch atop the entrance to restaurants, is a must.
Watch our video of street food eating on Dotonbori Street…
Takoyaki is a must eat when in Osaka. These gooey, creamy balls of octopus, pickled ginger and a batter which are cooked in a special griddle pan and topped with lashings of mayo, takoyaki sauce (a bit like a sweetened Worcestershire sauce), green laver and bonito flakes are the perfect snack. Wanaka’s takoyaki feature tender octopus and they don’t skimp on the toppings.
3. Kuromon Market
Seafood abounds at Kuromon Market. Fresh sashimi, grilled scallops, skewered baby octopus along with takoyaki and okonomiyaki is ready to be sampled. But if you only eat one thing at Kuromon Market make it the suji negi curry at Pyjamarama. Beef tendon and spring onions are stewed for two days before being cooked in the thick, intensely flavoured curry sauce. It’s a revelation. Don’t forget to add the tsukemono (pickles) which accentuate the flavour of the curry and cut through its richness.
Watch our YouTube video of eating street food at Kuromon Market…
4. Harukoma Sushi
5-5-2 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka
For an excellent sushi feast Harukoma Sushi, a favourite with the locals is definitely worth a visit. They serve thick slices of fresh fish which melt in your mouth and will see your plates continue to stack higher and higher. Their otoro (tuna belly), eel, uni (sea urchin) and fresh prawn are all worth eating. Plus they have an English menu which makes for easy ordering.
1-4-15 Dotombori, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0071
Open 7 days 11:00am to 10:00pm
A family restaurant located off Dotonbori Street, Mizuno specialise in okonomiyaki. This savoury pancake-esque dish is grilled in front of you- cabbage, pork and sometimes seafood is added to a batter and then cooked on the grill before being painted with sticky okonomiyaki sauce (like a sweetened Worcestershire sauce), mayonnaise and sprinkled with green laver. Spatulas are provided for you to carve up your okonomiyaki and to eat directly off the grill.We always opt for okonomiyaki which includes soba noodles as the texture of the noodles really makes the dish.
6. Ramen Yashichi
Toyosaki 3-4-8 Osaka, Kita-ku Osaka-shi
Open Monday to Friday 11:00am to 4:00pm
Hands down the best ramen we have ever eaten (and we’ve tried our best to eat A LOT). At Yashichi they serve a chicken broth ramen flavoured either with shoyu or shio. Extra cartilage and chicken skin is added when cooking the broth and scooped out at precise intervals. The resulting bowl of ramen will blow your mind. Think of the most intensely flavoured roast chicken dinner in the world and that’s the broth. Add firm, bouncy noodles, diced white onion, spring onion, tender cha shu and you have heaven in a bowl. If you only eat one bowl of ramen in Osaka, make it this one.
7. Mitsukabose Ramen- Kamoshii
1-2-16 Oyodominami Kita-ku Osaka
Open Monday to Saturday 11:30am to 2:30pm and 6:30pm to 11:30pm, Sunday 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Miso ramen is native to Hokkaido where the cold weather warrants a thicker, heavier broth. Thankfully Mitsubose have brought the style to Osaka and they offer diners their take on Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya style miso ramen. The Osaka ramen is like spring in a bowl. Lemon peel elevates the broth to something special and the addition of sugar snaps add texture and freshness. Definitely worth eating!
Watch our ramen crawl video where we eat at Yashichi and Mitsukabose Ramen- Kamoshii
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We hope this Osaka food guide has helped you eat and explore like a traveler, not a tourist!
Spending more time in Japan? Check out our Where to Eat in Tokyo post!
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