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Osaka Food Guide | The Best Osaka Restaurants

We spent a fortnight in Japan’s kitchen to prepare the ultimate Osaka food guide with our favorite Osaka street food and some not-to-miss Osaka restaurants. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

7-5 hz Ramen in Osaka Japan - Osaka Food Guide

Important Update
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.

After eating our way through Southeast Asia for three months, we ended our recent Asia sojourn with a bang by spending 12 days in Osaka. We had high hopes for the city affectionately known as Jahttps://www.2foodtrippers.com/asia/japan-food-travel/pan’s kitchen and were only disappointed when it was time for us to leave for the next leg of our journey to taste the world.

Let’s just get it out in the open – we love Osaka. To outsiders of Japan, Osaka lives in the shadow of Megacity Tokyo and historic Kyoto. The food options in these cities are great – some of the best in the world.

Osakans take their food love to an even higher level of obsession with the concept of “kuidaore” where people literally eat until they drop. Yes, food is that important in Osaka and it shouts to be eaten from every street corner vendor and hidden noodle shop.

Visit Osaka 2foodtrippers
Visiting sites like the Osaka Castle is a great way to kill time in Osaka between meals.

Many people visit Japan to see the temples, the geishas and the castles. While we enjoy those sites, we love day-to-day modern Japanese culture even more.

From the giant railway complexes littered with 10 story department stores to the tiny ramen shops that are tucked away deep in the drab basements of those very same train stations, modern Japan is a feast that never lets up.

Osaka is everything we love about Japan – wonderful people who literally walk you to their favorite restaurant around the block, long shopping streets that seem to never end and dimly lit, restaurant filled alleys.

Tour Idea

Click here to book a 4-hour Downtown Osaka and Local Food Walk Tour where you can see sites and taste local Osaka Japan food favorites.

Slurping Ramen in Osaka Japan
While in Osaka, we adopted the concept of kuidaore. Here, we’re slurping ramen with Philadelphia friends Marie and Matt.

With such an intense culinary culture, Osaka is a city with a wide variety of eating options ranging from Japanese street food on Dontonbori Street to fine dining at Kappa restaurants. Some Osaka restaurants serve beef from nearby Kobe while other Osaka menus feature typical Japanese favorites like sushi, ramen and udon.

Many of these restaurants are lit with big neon signs. Others are Osaka hidden gems, hiding in plain sight.

The challenge isn’t finding things to eat in Osaka but rather deciding where to eat in Osaka with so many great choices. This is why we traversed the city with an Osaka map to create a comprehensive Osaka eating guide with our favorite Osaka foods and drinks.

Deal Alert

Click here to buy an Osaka Amazing Pass. This pass will give you access to Osaka’s best sites and transportation for two days.

So, without further ado, here are our contenders for the best eats in Osaka…

Osaka Food Guide

Market Sushi in Osaka Japan
Although we could happily eat sushi every day, sushi is just the tip of the culinary bounty in Osaka.

Are you wondering what to eat in Osaka? We tackled the tasty challenge of creating our Osaka Japan dining guide through a combination of advance research of how Osaka eats and on-the-ground reconnaissance where we scoured the internet, talked to locals (through the extraordinary power of Google Translate) and followed our noses.

36 meals and many snacks later, we are proud to present an Osaka guide that is perfect for visitors and also has a surprise or two for residents, even those with an Osaka food blog.

Osaka Street Food

Snack Food in Osaka Japan
In Osaka, snack food is as fun as it is tasty.

Osaka is infamous for its snack food. Streets like Dontonbori and Ota-Road are teeming with vendors selling a myriad of fried treats, and some of the best restaurants in Osaka Japan are actually street food vendors.

While “researching” the best food in Osaka, we found many favorites plus some new treats like the Pombashi rice dog, a hot dog encased in a fried Japanese rice batter. We also discovered that the Japanese love to reinvent treats with fried batter as witnessed by the strange batter-fried heads pictured above.

If you’re looking for the best places to eat in Osaka that won’t break the bank, we recommend starting on the street. Not only is Osaka street food tasty, but it’s also some of the best cheap food in Osaka.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki in Osaka Japan
It’s fun to eat Osaka street food favorites like takoyaki. The little dough balls stuffed with octopus and topped with katsuobushi flakes literally explode in the mouth with hot, juicy flavor.

Osaka first hit our radar as the home of takoyaki. For the unfamiliar, tayokai are little dough balls stuffed with octopus and topped with savory sauce, mayonnaise, seaweed and katsuobushi flakes.

We love popping the steaming hot dumplings into our mouths for the quintessential Osaka street food experience. We couldn’t find a way to eat them without scorching our tongues, but that approach seems to be the only way to truly enjoy the gooey, rich flavored yet chewy snack.

Video Alert

Watch our Osaka Street Food Video to see us eat takoyaki and okonomiyaki at Osaka’s Kuromon Ichibi Market.

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki in Osaka Japan
Okonomiyaki

A close contender to takoyaki for snack food king of Osaka, okonomiyaki is a savory pancake with cabbage, meat and savory toppings. More like a pizza than a pancake, okonomiyaki is an ideal late-night snack after an evening at the bars.

Pro Tip

Okonomiyaki is the perfect snack after a night of drinking. Luckily, Osaka seems to have okonomiyaki stands on practically every corner. Text

Taiyaki

Taiyaki in Osaka Japan
Isn’t this Taiyaki cute?

Fish-shaped and stuffed with fillings like red bean paste and custard, taiyaki are tasty little cakes that are perfect snacks for Osaka residents on the go. The sweet, red bean filling is tasty, but we found the crunchy tail to be the best part.

Pro Tip

If you’re looking for fun food to eat in Osaka, start with taiyaki.

Okonomiyaki Taiyaki

Crazy Delicious Pancakes at Kosagin in Osaka Japan
Okonomiyaki Taiyaki

Trust the Japanese to combine two great snack foods into an even greater snack food. The folks at Kogasin created the Okonomiyaki Taiyaki to create a fish-shaped sandwich with cabbage and meat in the middle. Or, as we like to call them – crazy fun pancakes.

Before it permanently closed for business, Kogasin served a tasty bacon and egg flavor that exploded with yolk on the first bite – state of the art Osaka snack food at its best.

Video Alert

Watch our Okonomiyaki Taiyaki Video to see us eat this local Osaka food.

Tako Tamago

Tako Tamago Lollipops in Osaka Japan
These tako tamago lollipops may look like aliens, but they taste like heaven.

On the odd occasion when we eat lollipops in the USA, we choose among flavors like cherry and lemon. In Osaka, however, our lollipop of choice is glazed baby octopus stuffed with quail eggs.

We first tried this eclectic version of meat-on-a-stick at the Kuromon Market, and then we tried it again the following week at the same spot. In case yo’re wondering, we liked it just as much the second time.

Tour Idea

Click here to book a Small Group Kuromon Market Food Walking Tour in Osaka. This tour will take a half-day and includes samples throughout Kuromon Market and on Dontonbori Street.

Tamago Katsu Sando

Tamago Katusando in Osaka Japan
This simple piece of tamago katsu sando is an egg sandwich masterpiece.

Considering all the snack food we ate in Osaka, we never expected one of our favorites to be a breaded egg sandwich. Yes, a breaded egg sandwich.

Boxed like a gift for your significant other or favorite Osaka foodie, the inside of the tamago katsu sando at Kitashinchi Sand mystified us with its lushly scrambled egg center surrounded by a crispy crust. As we bit into the savory tamago sandwich, we marveled at how the tiny Osaka restaurant could create such an oozy center while achieving a deliciously crispy golden brown crust.

Hananoki is located at 1-21-33 Nipponbashi Chuo-ku Osaka, Japan.
Kogasin was located at 1 Chome-18-13 Tenjinbashi, Kita Ward, Osaka, Japan. It is now permanently closed.
Kitashinchi Sand is located at Naruto Taiyaki is located at 5-7-1 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan.
Pombashi Rice Dogs is located on Oto-Road in Osaka, Japan.

Osaka Sushi

Maguroya Kurogin Sushi Master in Osaka Japan
Part of the fun of eating sushi at Maguroya Kurogin in the Kuromon Market is watching the expert sushi master cut and serve the tuna. The other part is actually eating the melt-in-your-mouth fish.

Since we adored sushi in Tokyo during our first trip to Japan, we were pleased to find that the sushi in Osaka is just as good. In some ways, it’s actually better.

You see, Osaka sushi is less expensive and more accessible compared to sushi sold in the bigger city to the east. We ate lots of sushi in Osaka, even some served on a conveyor belt, though our favorite Osaka sushi spots were at markets.

Tuna Sushi in Osaka
Do not miss the tuna sushi served over rice and topped with roe when you shop at the Kuromon Ichibia market in central Osaka.

Maguroya Kurogin at the Kuromon Ichiba, a central market for Osaka shopping, sells some of the world’s freshest tuna. You can witness the fish being sliced all day and served in luscious pink blocks or chirashi-style topped with popping good salmon eggs over rice. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat at the stand’s small counter, you may even be offered free slices of otoro. Do not turn this offer down.

We first encountered Kizu-Ichiba fish market just south of Namba through a wrong turn while walking to our favorite coffee shop. Once there, it only seemed logical that a down to earth sushi counter like Maruyoshi would sit at the market’s entrance. This is the kind of shop where market employees sit, cigarettes dangling from their mouths, as they enjoy some of the freshest, most affordable sushi in town.

Eel Sushi in Osaka
You haven’t truly eaten eel sushi until you eat it at Maruyoshi in Osaka.

Do not miss the gargantuan eel nigiri. Maruyoshi’s fatty, savory eel will make you think twice about what your favorite fish may be on a sushi plate. As we say in our video, this is two-bite sushi even though somehow Daryl managed to fit the luscious eel rice combo in his mouth in one big bite.

Video Alert

Watch our Osaka Sushi Video to see us eat sushi some of the best sushi in Osaka at Maguroya Kurogin and Maruyoshi.

Kuromon Market is located at 2 Chome-3-2 Nipponbashi, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0073, Japan.
Kizu-Ichiba fish market is located at the Kizu-Ichiba fish market in Osaka, Japan.

Osaka Ramen

Ramen in Osaka Japan
Ramen is available all over the world, but there’s something special about the ramen served in Osaka.

Ramen in Osaka is like Po Boys in New Orleans. Ask five locals for their favorite spots for this Japanese food staple, and you’ll likely get five different answers. As for us, we have three different answers for a question about the best ramen in Osaka, so we’ve included all three in this Osaka restaurant guide.

Once you find 7.5 Hz under one of the many nondescript modern buildings in Umeda, you will be rewarded with takaida-kei ramen – thick, hearty, al dente noodles served in an addictively salty beef broth along with a soft-boiled egg topped with large scallions. Ramen at this quiet counter is serious business, and the energy-packed noodles will satisfy your appetite for days.

We developed a love for Hakata Ippudo ramen from the moment we arrived in Osaka, and that love would not wane during the duration of our visit. Sure, Ippudo has locations throughout the world, but Osaka’s Ippudo stands out for its Shiromaru Classic with vermicelli-like al dente noodles served in a rich porky broth and the bolognese-like Karaka with ground pork in a broth so spicy that even Mindi was impressed.

Sometimes you just need to ask a local for food advice in Japan. In our case, that question resulted in one of the friendly staffers from nearby Brooklyn Roasting Company (see below) guiding us on a two-block walk on a brisk Osaka evening to Ryukishin. Once there, we noticed the line snaking from the ramen counter’s front door – always a good sign.

Pro Tip

Ryukishin tonkotsu ramen is as good one would expect from a highly acclaimed ramen shop, but we STRONGLY recommend the spicy chili potage ramen – it’s #3 on the shop’s ticket machine. This ramen reminded us of chicken pot pie in its consistency but with a chili-inflected, spicy twist. If you’re hungry in Namba area, go here first!.

7.5 Hz is located at 1 Chome-2-2 Umeda, Kita-ku, Ōsaka, Japan.
Hakata Ippudo has locations around the world. We ate at the Namba location at 3-1-17 Nanbanaka, Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Japan.
Ryukishin is located at 2-10-25 Nanbanaka, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan.

Osaka Udon

Udon in Osaka Japan
Look out ramen – the udon at Yamato is a real contender for best soup in Osaka.

Yamato, a tiny udon shop located at the Kizu-Ichiba fish market, serves one thing and serves it well. We first noticed this tiny gem when we were eating sushi at Maruyoshi just next door. Actually, we couldn’t help but notice Yamato because the line outside was literally ou the door and down the sidewalk.

We understood the line when we went to Yamato for our very last Osaka meal which we ate before flying to London via Helsinki. The restaurant opens at 5 am.

The price for a bowl of udon seemed high at around $15 US at the time of our visit, but not really considering that the bowl is big enough to share and is loaded with tempura and perfect strands of udon. Though the staff didn’t speak any English during our meal, service was both quick and friendly.

Yamato is located at the Kizu-Ichiba fish market in Osaka, Japan.

Osaka Yakiniku

Kobe at Korean Barbecue in Osaka Japan
We enjoyed grilling this slice of Kobe Skirt Steak during our Yakiniku dinner in Osaka.

The word yakiniku literally translates to grilled meat, but that’s just part of the Osaka dining story when it comes to meat. Yakiniku is THE way to eat kobe beef in Osaka. A yakiniku dinner involves grilling meat on a tableside gridiron in a style more typical in Korean cities like Seoul and Busan.

Food is not cheap at an Osaka steakhouse, but Yakiniku is an essential way to eat in Osaka. It’s also a fun way to dine with friends on a Saturday night, which is what we did at a restaurant called Tsuruichi.

Pro Tip

Like many types of produce in Japan, lettuce is oddly expensive. Be careful – plates with a few pieces of lettuce cost the equivalent of $6 USD each during our dinner. Ouch!

Tsuruichi is located at 3-3 Shimoajiharacho Tennoji-ku Osaka, Japan.

Osaka Kushikatsu

Kushikatsu in Osaka Japan
This plate of kushikatsu has a variety of fried meat, seafood and vegetables – all served on sticks.

Why eat hamburgers in Osaka when you can eat katsu, deep fried chicken cutlet strips served over rice? If you love meat on a stick, then you’ll love kushikatsu which takes meat on a stick to the next level by frying it and serving it with a dipping sauce.

Katsu is available all over the city. However, most kushikatsu shops are in the Shinsekai neighborhood near the Spa World onsen.

Osaka Drinks

We were surprised to find a thriving Osaka bar scene and even more surprised to find third wave coffee shops. The following are our favorite spots to drink in Osaka.

Cocktails, Beer and Japanese Oddities

Canned Snacks and Beer Mr. Kanso in Osaka Japan
Snacks and Beer for Two at Mr. Kanso

It’s a known fact that the Japanese love kitsch. This love is visible in anime and manga art, a maid cafes and at Mr. Kanso, a chain of quirky bars that serve a variety of food from cans. Ironically, the beer is served from a tap. Go figure.

We were intrigued by the concept but were less enamored by delicacies like canned scallops. It’s a fun stop during a night out in Osaka, though we recommend sticking with beer. You can eat great Osaka must eat food like ramen and sushi later.

Video Alert

Watch our Mr. Kanso Video to see us eat canned food in Osaka.

Mr. Kanso has multiple locations in Japan.

Craft Beer in Osaka

Beer Belly in Osaka Japan
Beer Belly in the Temna neighborhood is serving finely crafted beers along with small plates and grilled food.

Lager beer is cheap and plentiful in Osaka. Though it goes well with food like ramen and sushi, sometimes we want something more.

Luckily, the Osaka craft beer scene is thriving at happening bars like Beer Belly and Garage 39. Both bars feature great Japanese pub grub (think raw duck tataki and fried camembert cheese) in addition to well-crafted beer – a true win-win situation.

Beer Belly is located at 1 Chome-1-31 Tosabori, Nishi Ward, Osaka, Japan.
Garage 39 is located at 2 Chome-5-15 Awajimachi, Chuo Ward, 大阪市中央区 Osaka, Japan.

Osaka Coffee Houses

Cappuccino in Osaka Japan
We always seek out good coffee when we travel, and Osaka was no exception.

One of our first priorities whenever we arrive in a city is to find a good coffee bar, preferably one of the third wave variety. These coffee bars not only serve as our sources of liquid energy but also as workspaces and ways to connect with the community.

We discovered Brooklyn Roasting Company on our first full day in Osaka – we liked it so much that we returned most of the following 11 days of our visit. This coffee bar has it all – good coffee, solid pastries, plenty of electrical outlets and friendly people on both sides of the counter.

Interestingly, two of our favorite Osaka experiences happened at this coffee bar. The first was watching a young couple view our YouTube videos and laugh at all the right places. The second was when a friendly barista walked us to Ryukishin (see above.)

Brooklyn Roasting Company has multiple locations. We frequented the original Namba location at 1 Chome-1-21 Shikitsuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0012, Japan.

Vending Machine Beverages

Vending Machine in Osaka Japan
Typical Osaka Vending Machine

There’s no excuse for being thirsty in Osaka because practically every block has at least one vending machine, and 99% of the vending machines sell drinks like iced coffee, juice and soda. With so many vending machines selling the same products, the best vending machine is the closest vending machine.

Vending machines are located all over Osaka.

Things To Do in Osaka

Osaka Castle
Osaka has a wealth of things to do and eat.

Wondering what to do in Osaka? We won’t judge you is you spend your entire Osaka trip eating. If you want to do more, we recommend that you consider the following Osaka activities:

Research Osaka Hotels

Admit it. You want to travel to Osaka and eat all the food. Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Osaka.

Once you book your Osaka hotel room or Airbnb apartment, click here to arrange train service from the airport.

Stay Connected in Osaka

You’ll want WiFi on the go for mapping, translating menus and posting Instagram stories. Click here to arrange a pocket WiFi unit that you can pick up at an airport in Japan and use all over the country.

The pocket WiFi is a great option if your mobile phone is locked and you want to stay connected. Click here to arrange a SIM card if your phone is unlocked.

Hungry for More?

Check out our food guides for Chiang Mai, Da Nang and Hanoi.

Pin It For Later

Osaka Food Guide Pin
Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Disclosures

Special Thanks
We thank the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau for their research assistance during our Osaka food trip. All of our experiences and accommodations were self-funded.

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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Didi

Thursday 6th of February 2020

Hi there! Any idea what time maruyoshi opens in the mornings?

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Friday 7th of February 2020

We really don't know but we do know that they open early, probably about the same hour as the fish market. You could check in person or get someone who knows Japanese to call.

Greg

Thursday 12th of December 2019

love your post! thank you for posting about Osaka!

Trefor Davies

Saturday 17th of February 2018

Heh there. The spelling is way off on a lot of the restaurant and food items making this guide almost useless for actually finding the places you suggest. It’s Tamago Katsu Sando at Kitashinchi Sand if anyone wants to actually find it..

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saturday 24th of February 2018

Thanks for the feedback and updated information regarding Tamago Katusando. We take accuracy seriously on our website and are glad you brought the issue to our attention.

Danielle

Monday 3rd of April 2017

I have been dying to go to Osaka for a foodie adventure. We hunt down most of what you have on this list in the States the best we can, but can't wait to try the real deal in Japan. Japanese food is amazing, and I hear Osaka has some of the best.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 5th of April 2017

You will love Osaka when you get there. The food is indeed amazing!

Anita Hendrieka

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

There is seriously so much good food in Japan. I spent 10 days in Tokyo and didn't get to make Osaka so you have convinced me to go now. Ramen and Udon are my favourite foods ever!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

We also missed Osaka on our first Japan trip. We loved Tokyo and Kyoto, but Osaka is the Japanese city we love the most.