Osaka has long been regarded as a foodie paradise in Japan – it's even called the nation's kitchen. Thanks to its location between the sea and mountains, the city's food culture highlights freshly caught seafood and high-quality produce.

    Osaka's culinary highlights include octopus balls (takoyaki), Japanese savory pancake (okonomiyaki), deep-fried skewers (kushikatsu) and Japanese barbecue (yakiniku). Check out our guide to places locals love to eat in Osaka for authentic regional dishes.


    Taikou Sushi Osaka


    Taikou Sushi Osaka is famous for serving authentic yet affordable sushi in downtown Osaka. This is the real deal, with sushi chefs preparing bite-sized portions of vinegared rice and raw fish right in front of you. Prices start from around ¥150 for 3 pieces of sushi on a plate. There’s also a set menu with assorted nigiri sushi and red miso soup (akadashi).

    Taikousushi is a hugely popular place among the locals. It has a flagship restaurant and a branch in Janjan Yokocho Alley, a shopping street near Tsutenkaku Tower.

    Location: 3-chome-2-18 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka 556-0002, Japan

    Open: Friday–Wednesday from 11 am to 9 pm (closed on Thursdays)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6641-4278


    Dotombori Kamukura Lucua Osaka


    In Osaka, you’ll find frenzied competition between restaurants that have their own special takes on ramen. Dotombori Kamukura Lucua Osaka is one of the few restaurants where you can enjoy ramen made by a “soup sommelier” who’s passed rigorous somm tests.

    Locals have been enjoying ramen at this restaurant since 1086. Its vegetable-based soup and noodles are made using a unique method, while the pork, vegetables and rice are of high quality. Make sure you try the ramen with soft-boiled egg and roasted pork slice (chashu).

    Location: 10F LUCUA Osaka, 3-1-3 Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-0001, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6485-7070


    photo by Tatsuo Yamashita (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Kushikatsu Daruma Namba

    Kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers)

    Kushikatsu Daruma, founded in 1920, is one of the oldest deep-fried skewer (kushikatsu) restaurants in Osaka. It has a very loyal clientele thanks not only to its history, but also its food quality. There are several outlets in Osaka, Hyogo, Tokyo and even overseas. Customers often rave about its secret sauce and breadcrumb coating.

    Kushikatsu is available in meat, vegetables and seafood. A popular choice here is ganso kushikatsu (skewered beef), but ordering a set menu is a good way of sampling its signature dishes.

    Location: 1-chome-5-24 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0076, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6213-2033


    photo by 迷惘的人生 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified




    Ajinoya has been around since 1965, with 4 generations of the same family delivering traditional Japanese savory pancake (okonomiyaki). A standout dish at this restaurant is the mixed okonomiyaki, which contains pork, squid, octopus, shrimps, minced meat and oysters (only available in wintertime). You can also choose from a wide variety, including okonomiyaki with tomato or cheese. The okonomiyaki is cooked on an iron grill right in front of you, so that you can enjoy it piping hot.

    Location: 1-Chome-7-16 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0076, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from noon to 10 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11.30 am to 10 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6211-0713


    Sobadokoro Maruei

    Katsudon (deep-fried pork cutlet rice) and soba

    Sobadokoro Maruei specializes in soba and rice bowls, with its popularity stemming from the special soup stock in its noodle dishes. Must-tries include the deep-fried pork cutlet rice bowl (katsudon) and pork cutlet curry rice bowl (katsukaredon). These are so popular that they're often sold out, so make sure you get in line early.

    Sobadokoro Maruei's katsudon comes with a pair of pork cutlets and an egg on top of rice, as well as a savory soup. It's so good that you'll probably see many returning customers if you visit the restaurant more than once.

    Location: 1F Shiei Nipponbashi Jutaku Building No. 3, 5-chome-20-3 Nipponbashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka 556-0005, Japan

    Open: Monday–Tuesday and Friday from 11 am to 8 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm (closed on Wednesdays)


    photo by Toshihiro Gamo (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Grill Miyako

    Western-style cuisine

    Grill Miyako is a western-style restaurant with a retro style that's typical of Japan’s Showa period. Though there’s always a line of people outside the restaurant, its staff takes your order while you’re waiting to reduce waiting time.

    Most people go for the steak lunch set, which comes with a thick cut of beef, fried shrimps and fried egg. This is a hearty dish that offers excellent value for money. There are also dishes specifically designed for children, making Grill Miyako one of the best family-friendly restaurants in Osaka.

    Location: 1-chome-6-31 Benten, Minato Ward, Osaka 552-0007, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 2.30 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6571-1401


    photo by pelican (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Restaurant Hokkyokusei - Umeda

    Omurice/western cuisine

    Hokkyokusei is a long-running restaurant that specializes in omurice (omelet rice), a hugely popular dish in the Kansai area. You should definitely try the standard chicken omurice (ketchup-flavored chicken fried rice wrapped with a fluffy omelet), topped with a generous helping of tomato sauce.

    You can really tell that Hokkyokusei has been serving it for almost a century. You’ll find several branches in different parts of Osaka, many of which are small concessions in department stores, so you don’t have to go too far out of your way to enjoy this famous dish.

    Location: 3 chome-1-1 (Daimaru Umeda B2F) Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-001, Japan

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to 8.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6348-0822


    photo by POHAN CHEN (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Curry and western-style cuisine

    Jiyuken was established in 1910 as the first western-style restaurant in Osaka. Its famous Jiyuken curry consists of rice mixed with curry and topped with an egg. The key is a secret sauce that has been handed down from generation to generation. There’s even a printed guide in the restaurant that explains the right way to eat this special curry dish.

    You can also find a wide range of westernised Japanese cuisine on the menu, including omurice (omelet rice). Located in Nanba, Jiyuken is around 250 meters south of Hōzenji Temple.

    Location: 3-chome-1-34 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0076, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11.30 am to 9 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6631-5564


    photo by darrenlmh (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ)

    Manmasa is a Japanese BBQ (yakiniku) restaurant that's within a 15-minute walk from the JR/Subway Tsuruhashi Station. Though it’s a bit out of the way, the restaurant is always full and quite difficult to get a reservation. However, it's worth the effort for the reasonable prices and quality of meat on offer.

    A must-try is the omakase (chef’s choice) course, which starts with a small appetizer and raw dishes like fresh liver and seasoned steak tartare (yukhoe). These are followed by the chef’s recommendations of the day. The beef tongue with salt is particularly popular – you get a thick slice of juicy beef tongue with plenty of garlic on top.

    Location: 3-chome-3-2 Momodani, Ikuno Ward, Osaka 544-0034, Japan

    Open: Tuesday and Thursday–Sunday from 5.30 pm to 11 pm (closed on Mondays and Wednesdays)


    Takoyaki Wanaka Sennichimae

    Grilled octopus balls

    Takoyaki Wanaka Sennichimae is one of the best places in Osaka to enjoy grilled octopus balls (takoyaki). While it used to be a sushi/dessert shop, it became much more popular after selling takoyaki at its entrance.

    Takoyaki Wanaka Sennichimae has several outlets throughout Osaka and Kyoto. These shops are always packed out, and it’s not hard to see why – the freshly made takoyaki comes with a choice of specialty sauces (kettle-cooked salt, soy sauce, thick sauce, and Wanaka sauce). Choose the ooiri option to enjoy 4 different flavors of takoyaki in a reasonably priced set.

    Location: 11-19 Nanbasennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0075, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 8.30 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6631-0127


    photo by ume-y (CC BY 2.0) modified

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