2024 Osaka Food Guide: Where and What to Eat in Osaka, Japan

Besides trying all the traditional Japanese food in Osaka, there are a few must-eat Osaka food that you should not miss. Many of these famous Osaka foods are affordable and can be found in the touristy areas of Dōtonbori, Namba, Umeda, and Shinsekai.

I spent almost a month in Osaka during my last trip and found many good food in the city so that I could compile a list of the best food in Osaka. So if you are planning a trip to Japan soon, follow my Osaka Food Guide and find out where and what to eat in Osaka for your upcoming trip.

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Tips for eating in Osaka, Japan

Before trying some of the best food in Osaka, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Japan. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get around Japan and other travel tips.

Here are a few additional tips for eating in Osaka:

  • Be prepared to wait in a queue. It could be 10 to 30 minutes. The best places to eat in Osaka ALWAYS have a queue.
  • Most restaurants accept cash only, especially the small food shops where you must buy a ticket before sitting down.
  • Bring your credit card, as some places accept credit cards.
  • Check the hours of operation when you are eating in Osaka. Some restaurants are open for lunch only. Some are open for both lunch and dinner but breaks in between.
  • Download Google Translate, an app that can translate Japanese to English. Some restaurants have Japanese-only menus, but most seem to have English menus. 
  • Tipping is not required in Japan.

Best Food in Osaka: Where and What to Eat in Osaka

In this section, I put together a summary of the best food to try in Osaka. This is a quick guide for you when searching for what to eat in Osaka.

And when you scroll down, I include a more extended explanation for each Osaka food and where you can find the local food. I included the hours of operation, and Google Maps links to each Osaka restaurant and food outlet so you can easily find them.

Here is a quick summary of all the food you should try in Osaka:

Osaka Popular Snacks

  1. Takoyaki – octopus ball-shaped snack 
  2. Ikayaki – squid pancake 
  3. Benishouga-no-Tempura – deep-fried pickled red ginger 

Osaka Famous Food

  1. Okonomiyaki – Japanese savoury pancake 
  2. Kushikatsu – skewered and deep-fried food
  3. Kitsune Udon – fried tofu with thick wheat flour noodles
  4. Hako Zushi – layered sushi pressed into a wooden box
  5. Kaiten Sushi – conveyor belt sushi

Other must eat food in Osaka

  1. Butaman – large steamed pork buns
  2. Gyoza – pan-fried dumplings 
  3. Onigiri – Japanese rice ball
  4. Donburi – rice bowl 
  5. Japanese Curry – thick stew-like curry
  6. Ramen – Japanese noodle soup
  7. Akashiyaki – small round egg dumplings with octopus

What and Where to Eat in Osaka, Japan

Osaka Popular Snacks

1. Takoyaki

What is Takoyaki: a savoury ball-shaped snack in Osaka. It is made with flour, eggs, and octopus, then topped with takoyaki sauce and dried bonito flakes. Each takoyaki is made into a perfect sphere with a metal ball-shaped pan.

Best places to eat Takoyaki in Osaka:

  1. Takoyaki Wanaka (10:30am-9pm) – try the Ooiri 8-piece variety box with 3 flavours or the Takosen, where two octopus balls are sandwiched between Wanaka original rice crackers. There are many locations in Osaka; the Sennichimae location is the original store.
  2. Takoyaki Tamaya (11am-9pm; closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays) – their batter is made with 20 kinds of ingredients, including lobster dashi broth. Great place to try takoyaki with different toppings.
  3. Takoyaki Umaiya (11:30am-6:30pm; closed Tuesdays) – a takoyaki place featured on Netflix’s “Street Food”. I can confirm – the takoyaki is as yummy as it looks!
  4. Takoyaki Kukuru (11am-9pm) – popular takoyaki chain with many locations in Osaka. Their takoyaki has giant pieces of octopus sticking out.
  5. Takoyaki Market (11am-10pm) – there are 5 takoyaki outlets includes Takoyaki Kukuru.

2. Ikayaki

What is Ikayaki: squid pancake, a regional specialty in Osaka. It is made with a savoury pancake batter and bite-sized pieces of squid. The dough is pressed between two iron plates, and sometimes an egg is added to the folded crepe. The result is a hearty and chewy pancake.

Where to eat Ikayaki in Osaka:

  1. Hanshin Meibutsu Ikayaki (10am-9pm) – the food outlet inside Snack Park at Hanshin Department Store in Umeda is very popular. There are four items on the menu. Use Google Translate to translate. I had the grilled squid (top left on the menu).

3. Benishouga-no-Tempura

What is Benishouga-no-Tempura: deep-fried Japanese pickled red ginger tempura. Thin slices of fresh ginger are marinated in plum vinegar before they are dipped in a batter and deep-fried. A great snack as-is and excellent when paired with alcohol.

Best places to eat Benishouga-no-Tempura in Osaka:

  1. Tempura Tarojiro (5pm-12am Monday to Friday; 11:30-12am Saturdays and Sundays) – try fried red ginger from this yummy tempura restaurant.
  2. Mansai (9:30am-5:30pm) – a shop in Kuromon Ichiba Market that sells all kinds of fried fishcake, including red ginger in fishcake.
  3. Cooked food section at supermarkets – sometimes you can find fried benishouga at the supermarket.

Osaka Famous Food

1. Okonomiyaki

What is Okonomiyaki: Japanese savoury pancake made with noodles, shredded cabbage, flour batter and various toppings, including seafood and meat. Then a copious amount of sauce drizzles directly on the pancake. Some restaurants cook okonomiyaki on a hot plate right before you at your table. So you get to eat a delicious meal and watch a show simultaneously!

Where to eat Okonomiyaki in Osaka:

  1. Houzenji Sanpei (5-11pm Wednesday to Monday; 11:30am-2:45pm Saturdays & Sundays) – a cozy little restaurant in Houzenji. The scallop, mushroom and cheese okonomiyaki is delish! They have an English menu.
  2. Okonomiyaki Kiji (11:30am-9:30pm; closed Sundays) – the restaurant was founded in 1954 and serves okonomiyaki and “modern-yaki”. Get a number and queue outside. Everyone is seated at the same time, and all the savoury pancakes are cooked on the main flat grill.
  3. Okonomiyaki Mizuno (11am-10pm; closed Thursdays) – the line moves fast at this busy okonomiyaki restaurant in Dotonbori.
  4. Tsuruhashi Fugestsu (11am-11pm) – a restaurant chain with many locations in Osaka. They make okonomiyaki at your table.

2. Kushikatsu

What is Kushikatsu: skewered and deep-fried meat, seafood and vegetables. In some traditional restaurants, the ponzu-type dipping sauce is on the table, and you dip your skewer only once (no double-dipping!). Kushikatsu originated in Shinsekai, but you can find a kushikatsu restaurant anywhere in Osaka.

Best restaurants to eat Kushikatsu in Osaka:

  1. Kushikatsu Daruma (11am-10:30pm) – this kushikatsu restaurant chain has many locations in Osaka. Choose a combo meal with Doteyaki (beef tendon and konjac side dish) or individual skewers. And they have an English menu.
  2. Yaekatsu (10:30am-8:30pm; closed Thursdays) – a well-known local kushikatsu restaurant in the retro alley in Shinsekai. Sit around the kitchen as they fry your skewers in front of you.

3. Kitsune Udon

What is Kitsune Udon: a bowl of thick wheat flour noodles with a big piece of seasoned fried tofu in a mild sweet broth. The tofu is called Kitsune, which means “fox.” It is said that Kitsune is a fox’s favourite food. This udon dish originated in Osaka and can be eaten hot or cold.

Where to eat Kitsune Udon or other Udon in Osaka:

  1. Udondokoro Shigemi (10am-3pm Monday to Friday) – newly added to the Michelin Bib Gourmand list, this udon restaurant serves a delicious beef and seaweed udon. Use google translate to read the menu or order via photos on Google Maps.
  2. Aozora Blue (11:30am-2:30pm & 5:30-10pm; closed Sundays) – their Michelin stone ground udon noodle is sooo good!
  3. Udonzin Beat (11:30am-3pm, 1-10:30pm; closed Wednesdays) – they are known for their vegetable udon, but I ordered the Wagyu udon instead. So good!
  4. Udonbo Osaka (11:30am-2:30pm Wednesdays, Fridays to Sundays; 11:30am-2:30pm & 5:30-8pm Thursdays) – I had the cold tempura udon that comes with fried fish cake and egg. Probably my favourite udon place in Osaka! There’s always a queue but the line moves quickly.
  5. Kitatake Udon (11am-3pm; closed Mondays) – I tried the cold kitsune and Wagyu beef udon, and it was delish! Go early, as the restaurant closes when the noodles are sold out.

4 & 5. Hako Zushi and Kaiten Sushi

What is Hako Zushi: layered sushi pressed into a wooden box. It starts with vinegared rice, then various ingredients like mackerel, shrimp, conger egg, sea bream, egg and other colourful ingredients are added. It is also known as “oshi-zushi” or “Osaka zushi”.

What is Kaiten Sushi: conveyor belt sushi. Invented in Osaka in 1958, the way sushi is served in Kaiten sushi restaurants was inspired by bottles rotating around a conveyor belt in a beer factory.

Best places to eat Hako Zushi in Osaka:

  1. Yoshino Sushi (10am-2pm Monday to Friday) – try hako zushi set lunches at the restaurant or buy boxed hako zushi for take away.
  2. Food level at Takashimaya, Hanshin and Hankyu Department Store (10am-8pm) – find packaged hako zushi and other sushi, sashimi and maki rolls at the B1 level.

Where to eat Kaiten Sushi in Osaka:

  1. Genrokuzushi (11am-10:30pm) – conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain in Osaka. Many locations across the city.
  2. Kura Sushi (11-12am Monday to Friday; 10:20-12am Saturdays and Sundays) – conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain with many locations in Osaka and around the world.

Best restaurants to eat sushi in Osaka:

  1. Kuromon Ichiba Market (various)- a covered shopping street with many vendors sell fresh sushi and sashimi. There are also cooked seafood and other sweet treats. Eat on the spot or take away.
  2. Osaka Kizu Market (4-11am Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday to Saturday) – a lesser-known seafood market in Osaka that sells fresh seafood at affordable prices. It is possible to eat there but only on the benches outside the wholesale market.
  3. Kizu Uoichi (?) – popular sushi restaurant at the perimeter of Osaka Kizu Market. Go early (like 7am) and queue up for their overflowing tuna rice bowl.
  4. Maruyoshi Sushi (5am-1pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays; 8am-1pm Wednesdays) – its next to Kizu Uoichi. They also serve fresh sushi.
  5. Izakaya Toyo (1-5pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 12-5pm Saturdays) – Osaka’s famous flamethrower chef was featured on Netflix Street Food Asia. Chef Toyoji Chikumoto is as animated and charming in real life as he was on the show.

Other must eat food in Osaka

Besides all the unique food Osaka is known for, there are other Japanese food in Osaka that you should check out.

1 & 2. Butaman & Gyoza

  1. 555 Horai (10am-9:30pm; closed Tuesdays) – known for its butaman (large Chinese steamed buns stuffed with pork). Can also be found on the food level of department stores and train stations.
  2. Osaka Ohsho (11am-10:30pm) – a large restaurant chain in Japan famous for its gyoza (pan-fried dumplings). There are many outlets in Osaka but go to the main store in Dotonbori – there is a giant gyoza above the restaurant.

3. Onigiri

  1. Onigiri Gorichan (11am-8pm) – try a customizable giant Japanese rice ball. Save about a third and add dashi broth to make a chazuke (broth with rice). They also have another location in Nakazaki.

4. Donburi

  1. Katsudon Chiyomatsu (11am-9:30pm) – the 5cm pork cutlet katsudon is quite impressive. I only got the 2.5cm katsudon and it was really filling.
  2. Yakiniku Kitan (11am-3pm & 5-11pm) – they offer three beef donburi (rice bowl) for lunch. The seared steak is delicious and also very affordable. They have another location if the Dotonburi one is too busy.

5. Japanese Curry

  1. Hakugintei (11:45am-3pm Monday to Friday; 11:45am-2pm Saturdays) – I had a curry with tonkatsu, cheese and spinach. It has a bit of heat and oh so delicious!
  2. Watanabe Curry (11:30am-2:30pm & 6-9pm; closed Saturdays) – if you love curry and meat, this is the place. I tried the pork cutlet curry and it was so good!

6. Ramen

  1. Torisoba Zagin Niboshi (10:30am-9pm) – foodies love the ramen with creamy chicken broth, sous vide chicken and pork and its signature fried burdock root. It also comes with two pieces of beef sushi. There are two shops in Osaka. The other shop is the main shop and is close to Higobashi Station.

7. Akashiyaki

  1. Akashiyaki & Okonomiyaki Takohachi (11:30am-3pm & 5:30-10pm Monday to Friday; 11:30am-10pm Saturdays & Sundays) – I found akashiyaki, a Kobe food specialty, in Osaka. It is similar to takoyaki, except it is eggier. Instead of drizzling it with sauce, dip it in a clear dashi broth. This is a popular dish from Akashi in Hyogo Prefecture.
  2. Takoyaki Kukuru (11am-9pm) – the popular takoyaki chain also serves akashiyaki.

Desserts in Osaka

Can’t forget about the sweet tooth. Good thing Osaka has many dessert places. Actually, there are too many to name but here are my top three favourite sweet treats.

Best dessert places in Osaka:

  1. Rikuro’s Cheesecake (9am-8pm) – famous for its fluffy and jiggly cheesecake. Buy one at the store to bring back to your hotel, or try it at the cafe upstairs. Rikuro also sells cake at Daimaru in Shinsaibashi and Umeda.
  2. Pablo Cheese Tart (11am-9m Monday to Friday; 10am-9pm Saturdays & Sundays) – Pablo sells basque cheesecakes, souffle cheesecakes, melty cheese tarts, mini cheese tarts in various flavours, and my favourite, cheese soft serve ice cream.
  3. Coconchi Osaka Shinsekai (10am-9pm Monday to Friday; 9am-10pm Saturdays & Sundays) – many stores sell castella cakes (Japanese sponge cakes) in Osaka. I found the cutest mini castella cakes in the shape of Billiken, the mascot of Shinsekai, in a souvenir shop in Shinseikai.
  4. Strawberry Mania (11am-9pm) – an excellent selection of strawberry desserts. My go-to is always soft serve ice cream and it didn’t disappoint.

Looking for tours around Osaka? Check out these experiences:

Which must-eat food in Osaka are you most excited to try?

I hope you will try all the famous Osaka food when you are in the city. They are affordable and easily accessible. Even if you are only spending a few days in the city, there are many opportunities to find good food in Osaka.

And if you find other great places to eat in Osaka not mentioned in the post already, let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading my Osaka Food Guide

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Japan:

Introduction to Japan

Kansai region

Food around the world

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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