Osaka is well known for many things. Besides being a tourist hub due to its numerous attractions such as Universal Studios Japan and the famous Dotonburi shopping street, I’m sure one would agree that Osaka is famous for their food as well!
In this article, we will be introducing to you our TOP 5 selection of must-try foods in Osaka to fill your tummies, thereby ensuring you leave Osaka and the end of your holiday happy and contented. We will list down the 5 food options that you should try, followed by our personal recommendation of the restaurant to visit to savour your food of choice.
Craving for more things to eat in Japan? Come read about our TOP 5 Must-Try Snacks in Japan!
What is the first thing that comes to your mind the moment you think of Japanese cuisine? That’s right, Sushi. This is why we decided to talk about them first up on this list. We know Japan is obviously well known for their Sushi, but let us show you where in particular you can satisfy your cravings in Osaka.
Osaka has one of the largest fresh markets in the whole of Japan, which means that you will be spoilt for choice for fresh fish produce. Daily Tuna Auctions are held every morning, and the fresh fishes are transported out to supermarkets, stalls and restaurants all over Osaka throughout the day to feed hungry customers.
Due to the abundance of fresh fish, Sushi here is much more affordable than if you were to eat it at your local restaurant. For just under $10, you will be able to feast on a variety of high-quality Sushi which will not disappoint.
Given that there are so many variations of Sushi available to feast on, how are we going to decide on what to settle on?
Endo Sushi (ゑんどう寿司)
1-1-86 Noda Fukushima-ku Osaka City
5 am – 2 pm (closed on Sunday and Holidays)
If I had to recommend one and only one place to have Sushi in Osaka, that would have to be Endo Sushi. Endo Sushi is run by the 4th generation, dating back all the way to 1907, with their expertise and knowledge being passed down through all the generations. That’s how you know they’re legit.
The style of serving in this restaurant is known as “Omakase おまかせ“, which is a style of ordering by the chef’s choice. Typically, a single serving of Omakase, which will set you back by about 1,050 JPY (S$13), consists of 5 sushi.
What’s unique about Endo Sushi is that the Sushi is served with 2 porcelain cups of soya sauce and pickled ginger. Normally, you would dip Sushi into a bowl of soya sauce before eating it. Here at Endo Sushi, you are given a wooden brush to apply the soya sauce directly onto your sushi. There is also no wasabi provided as well, as the chef has already kindly included that into the Sushi when he was preparing it.
Endo Sushi is about a 15-minute walk from the JR Noda Station 野田駅 (Osaka Loop Line) and is located nearby Osaka Central Wholesale Fish Market.
First time going to Japan? Read more about all you need to know before going to Japan!
The next food item you think of when I mention the words “Japanese cuisine” is most probably Ramen. If you’ve never tried Ramen in Japan before, be prepared to have your mind blown. If you thought that Ramen in Singapore was good, wait till you’ve tried Ramen in Japan.
Many of you may have heard and read about the famous Ichiran Ramen before, but this time around, let me introduce to you another restaurant to indulge in the next time you visit Osaka.
Ramen Yashichi (らーめん弥七)
3-4-8 Toyosaki, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
11 am – 4 pm on weekdays only (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
If you are not already familiar with how most Ramen stores in Japan generally function, you place your order of Ramen by selecting your choice on a vending machine at the front of the store and pay cash in exchange for a ticket. Your ticket will then be handed over to a staff member who will pass it to the chefs before ushering you to a seat where you wait for your food.
It is no different here at Ramen Yashichi, and the wait is made all the more worth it when you get to taste the Ramen that is served to you. Maybe it’s due to the small size of the restaurant, which allows them to maintain the quality of their Ramen, but boy did it blow me away! The Ramen broth was just the right consistency, not being too oily and salty, yet hitting my tastebuds in all the right spots.
A bowl of Ramen here at Ramen Yashichi cost me around 990 JPY (S$12.40), which is insanely worth for the quality of food you get. Don’t let this vending machine style of ordering fool you, or you’d be missing out on probably the best Ramen you will ever try in your life.
Ramen Yashichi is located near Nakatsu Subway Station. Head east after exiting the train station and you should come across the restaurant just before you reach the main highway.
#3 Japanese Curry Rice
If you’re used to the spicy curry served here in Singapore at mixed rice stalls of hawker centres and food courts, you’ll be in for a treat when you try Japanese Curry Rice in Osaka. The curry they use is more sweet than spicy and has a thicker consistency than the runny kind you’re used to seeing on your mixed rice. Traditionally, Japanese Curry Rice is served with a crispy pork cutlet, which directly complements the sweet taste of the curry.
Oretachi No Curry Ya (俺たちのカレー家)
14-13 Namba Sennichimae, Kawanishi Dai3 Bldg. 1F, Osaka 542-0075, Osaka, Japan
11 am – 9 pm on Monday – Friday, and 11 am – 10 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Rated top on Tripadvisor, Oretachi No Curry Ya is a must-visit when you are in Osaka. The curry rice they serve is life changing makes you rethink your definition of the word “curry”.
The Japanese curry was thick and rich in flavour and was used to coat the pork cutlet which was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. To top things off, an egg and spring onions are added on top to give a more refreshing taste.
A bowl of Japanese Curry Rice you see above will cost you around 900JPY (S$11.30), which is totally a bang for your buck.
Oretachi No Curry Ya is located just a short walk from Namba Train Station on the Midosuji Subway Line.
If you’ve never been to Osaka before, chances are you’ve never tried Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is a fragrant pancake made from eggs, flour, grated yam and shredded cabbage, topped up with ingredients depending on what you order, which directly links to the direct English translation of Okonomiyaki, which means “grilled stuff you like”.
Okonomiyaki is generally served with a topping of Okonomiyaki sauce, which is sweet tasting, along with mayonnaise, powdered nori seaweed and dried bonito flakes.
1-4-15 Dotombori, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0071, Osaka Prefecture
11am – 10pm daily
Okonomiyaki is super popular in Osaka, so you’d be coming across it no matter where you go. However, if you happen to be shopping along Dotonbori street (which is most likely the case if you are in Osaka, be sure to stop by Mizuno to get your Okonomiyaki fix.
They are super well known for their Okonomiyaki, with their signature dish being the “Mizuno-yaki”, which is pancake stuffed with scallops, shrimp, pork, minced meat, squid, octopus, and oysters. Be sure to get there early before mealtimes to avoid the long snaking queues that form.
Mizuno is located just five minutes walk away from Namba Train Station on the Midosuji Subway Line.
Last but certainly not the least, is Takoyaki, which I’m sure many Singaporeans are familiar with, as this dish is served in Singapore as well. Many will agree with me when I say that ordering and eating Takoyaki is a feast not only for one’s tummy, but also for one’s eyes, since the way it is being prepared is so unique and entertaining to watch. However, if you thought you’ve tried it all in Singapore, be sure not to let your guard down when visiting Osaka, because you’d be in for a shocker.
Takoyaki can be regarded as one of Osaka’s top foods, and there is no reason to doubt that with the abundance of stalls selling Takoyaki scattered all across Osaka. Takoyaki served here in Osaka is special, as it allows you to choose from a wider range of flavours, and in some restaurants, they even allow you to make your own takoyaki from scratch! How amazing is that??
Kougaryu Takoyaki Main Store (甲賀流 本店)
2 Chome-18-4 Nishishinsaibashi Chuo-ku, Osaka
10am – 8:30pm daily
If you’re looking for the one takoyaki store to visit when you’re here in Osaka, then it should be Kougaryu Takoyaki Main Store. The reason for this is simple. Kougaryu Takoyaki Main Store specialises in making their Takoyaki from scratch. Almost everything is made in-house; their stock which goes into the batter, mayonnaise and even the brown sauce used to drizzle on top. Still not convinced? They also allow customers to choose from a myriad of flavours, more than you can ever imagine!
Your only worry when eating at this restaurant would be deciding what toppings to get alongside your plate of freshly cooked Takoyaki balls. We’d say, just go and order what your tastebuds might be feeling that day. They have enough variety to satisfy them, so not to worry! To top things off, the Takoyaki served here at Kougaryu Takoyaki Main Store is extremely affordable and worth every single dollar spent. A single order of 10 Original Mayonaise Takoyaki balls would only cost you a mere 350JPY (S$4.30), which is insane considering the quality of food that you’re getting.
Kougaryu Takoyaki Main Store is located just a short 3-minute walk from the Yotsubashi Subway Station.
So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets to Osaka, Japan now! There’s no way you managed to make it all the way to the end of the article without developing an urge to gobble down all the above-mentioned delicacies!