Besides trying all the traditional Japanese food in Osaka, there are a few must-try 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 minutes to 2 hours. The best places to eat in Osaka ALWAYS have a queue.
- Most restaurants accept cash only, especially the small noodle 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 Osaka Food: Where and What to Eat in Osaka
I’ve been to Osaka a few times in the past few years, but it was the last trip that I really spent a significant amount of time in the city. Which means I had time to roam around Osaka to find all the best food in the city.
In this post, I listed all the famous Osaka food and where to find them in Osaka. Also, I included the hours of operation and Google Maps links to each Osaka restaurant and food outlet so you can easily find them.
Osaka famous snacks
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.
Where to eat Takoyaki in Osaka:
- 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.
- Takoyaki Tamaya (11am-9pm; closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays) – their batter is made with 20 kinds of ingredients, including lobster dashi broth. Super yummy!
- Takoyaki Kukuru (11am-9pm) – popular takoyaki chain with many locations in Osaka. Their takoyaki has giant pieces of octopus sticking out.
- Takoyaki Market (11am-10pm) – there are 5 takoyaki outlets includes Takoyaki Kukuru.
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:
- 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).
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.
Where to eat is Benishouga-no-Tempura in Osaka:
- Tempura Tarojiro (5-11:30pm Monday to Friday; 11:30am-11:30pm Saturdays and Sundays) – try fried red ginger from this yummy tempura restaurant.
- Mansai (9:30am-5:30pm) – a shop in Kuromon Ichiba Market that sells all kinds of fried fishcake, including red ginger in fishcake.
- Cooked food section at supermarkets – sometimes you can find fried benishouga at the supermarket.
Osaka Famous Food
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:
- Okonomiyaki Kiji (11:30am-9:30pm; closed Sundays) – the Michelin Bib Gourmand recommended 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.
- Okonomiyaki Mizuno (11am-10pm; closed Thursdays) – the line moves fast at this Michelin okonomiyaki restaurant in Dotonbori.
- Tsuruhashi Fugestsu (11am-11pm) – a restaurant chain with many locations in Osaka. They make your okonomiyaki at your table.
- Kyabetsu-yaki (10am-8pm) – cheap okonomiyaki in Namba for take away only.
- Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street during Tenjin Matsuri – Hashimaki is okonomiyaki on chopsticks and is a typical festival snack in the Kansai region. I found a food vendor selling hashimaki during the Tenjin festival.
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.
Where to eat Kushikatsu in Osaka:
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Kitatake Udon (11am-3pm) – try a bowl of Michelin Bib Gourmand udon at this super popular udon restaurant. 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.
- Udonzin Beat (11:30am-3pm, 1-10:30pm; closed Wednesdays) – they are known for their Michelin vegetable udon, but I ordered the Wagyu udon instead. So good!
- Udon-bo Osaka (11:30am-3pm & 5:30-8pm Tuesday to Friday; 11:30am-3pm Saturdays and Sundays) – 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 at this Michelin udon restaurant, but the line moves quickly.
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.
Where to eat Hako Zushi in Osaka:
- Yoshino Sushi (10am-2pm Monday to Friday) – try hako zushi set lunches at the restaurant or buy boxed hako zushi for take away.
- 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:
- Genrokuzushi (11am-10:30pm) – conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain in Osaka. Many locations across the city.
- Kura Sushi Osaka Dotonbori Global Flagship Store (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.
Where to eat sushi in Osaka:
- Kuromon Ichiba Market – 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.
- 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.
- Kizu Uoichi (6am-1pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday to Saturday; 6am-12pm Sundays) – popular sushi restaurant at the perimeter of Osaka Kizu Market. Go early (like 7am) and queue up for their overflowing tuna rice bowl.
- Maruyoshi Sushi (5am-1pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday to Saturday; 8am-1pm Wednesdays) – its next to Kizu Uoichi. They also serve fresh sushi.
- Izakaya Toyo (1-6:30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 12-6:30pm 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 eats in Osaka
Japanese cuisine in Osaka
Besides all the unique food Osaka is known for, there are other Japanese food in Osaka that you should check out.
Other places to eat in Osaka:
- 555 Horai Ebisubashi Honten (10am-9:30pm) – known for its butaman (large Chinese steamed buns stuffed with pork). Commonly found on the food level of department stores and train stations.
- 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.
- Hakugintei (11:45am-4pm Monday to Friday; 11:45am-2pm Saturdays) – I had a Michelin Bib Gourmand curry with tonkatsu, cheese and spinach. It has a bit of heat and oh so delicious!
- 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.
- Akashiyaki & Okonomiyaki Takohachi (11:30am-3pm & 5:30-10pm Monday to Friday; 11:30am-10pm Saturdays & Sundays) – I found akashiyaki 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.
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.
Dessert places in Osaka:
- 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.
- Pablo Cheese Tart Shinsaibashi (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.
- 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.
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
- Solo Travel to Japan: 17 best cities for solo travellers
- Things I wish I knew before going to Japan
- 11 Off-the-beaten-path places in Japan
- Japanese Food Culture: 11 must-try food
- One month in Japan: from Tokyo to Hiroshima
- Kyoto 2-day itinerary
- Where to stay in Kyoto: Best Areas & Hotel Reviews
- Kyoto Food Guide: What and Where to Eat
- Kurama to Kibune hiking itinerary
- Uji day trip from Kyoto
- Nara day trip from Kyoto or Osaka
- Nara famous food: Where and What to Eat
- Hike Yamanobe-no-Michi Trail in Nara Prefecture
- 2-day Osaka itinerary
- Where to stay in Osaka for first time traveller
- Osaka to Kobe day trip: 1-day itinerary
- Best food in Kobe: Where and What to Eat
- Arima Onsen day trip itinerary
- Himeji day trip from Osaka
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