Your Guide for a Tasting Tour of Osaka
Osaka is often referred to as the kuidaore no machi, meaning "the city where you’ll bring financial ruin on yourself by overindulging in food and drink." Although a little clunky when translated from Japanese, Osaka definitely deserves this title. The rows of restaurants offering cheap, delicious food seems endless. One of the best ways to savor the tastes of Osaka without breaking the bank is to enjoy some tabe-aruki or eating as you walk. Taking a food tour is a great way to try a little of a lot of different local specialties. For an idea of where to start, try these ten spots below!
Soft and savory takoyaki
Osaka certainly doesn’t lack in restaurants selling takoyaki, little balls of breaded octopus that are usually flavored with beni shoga (pickled ginger) and green onion. Even so, Takoyaki Juu Hachi Ban never fails to draw a long line to its doors. The reason for its popularity? The savory creaminess of their takoyaki, achieved by adding both soup stock and milk to the batter. Those trying takoyaki for the first time might want to consider going for the standard topping of sauce while those looking for something new should try the unusual salt-flavored topping. If you just can’t decide between the two, go with the half & half option.
Takoyaki Juu Hachi Ban (Dotonbori Location) | たこ焼き十八番 (道頓堀店)
Address: Nakaza Cui-daore Bldg. 1F
1-7-21 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
5 min walk from Exit 14 of Subway Namba Station
6 min walk from Kintetsu Namba Station
10 min walk from Subway Shinsaibashi Station
7 min walk from Nankai Electric Railway Namba Station
9 min walk from JR Namba Station (Kansai Main Line)
Takosen from the Michelin Guide
Located in a section of Osaka known as America-mura, Kougaryu is a popular choice for takoyaki. However, we recommend getting their takosen-- three delicious pieces of takoyaki sandwiched between two crisp ebisen (rice crackers flavored with shrimp) and topped with the classic sauce and mayo combo. They also have options topped with cheese or mentaiko (pollock roe). This simple yet satisfying snack is so good that it was awarded a place in the Bib Gourmand section of the Michelin Guide Kyoto / Osaka 2016. This section highlights delicious foods that come with a reasonable price tag. Please note that the takosen is only on sale during weekdays.
Kougaryu (America-mura Main Store) | 甲賀流 (アメリカ村本店)
Address: 2-18-4 Nishi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Access: 5 min walk from Exit 7 of Subway Shinsaibashi Station
Freshly grilled crab right at the storefront
Want some luxurious dining on the go? Kani Doraku grills red king crab right at the front of the store on shichirin charcoal braziers. Enjoy the aroma of grilling crab while you wait for your take-out.
*Photo is for illustrative purposes only.
Kani Doraku (Dotonbori Main Store) | かに道楽 (道頓堀本店)
Address: 1-6-18 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Hours: 11:00am~11:00pm (10:00pm last entry)
*Sales of grilled crab stop at 10:00pm
Access: 5 min walk from Subway Namba Station
Get grilled squid in seconds
Ikayaki is kind of like takoyaki, only flatter. Pieces of squid are cut into small pieces and added to a batter. This is then cooked on a griddle. The inside of the ikayaki is covered in a sweet and sour sauce. You’re likely to see a long line in front of Hanshin Meibutsu Ikayaki, but don’t let that deter you. This place is famous for their production speed, serving up fresh, hot ikayaki in seconds. Their main store in Umeda has four varieties of ikayaki for you to choose from.
Hanshin Meibutsu Ikayaki (Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Store) | 阪神名物いか焼き (阪神百貨店阪神梅田本店)
Address: Hanshin Department Store B1
1-13-13 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Hours: 10:00am~8:00pm (differs by day)
Store will be closed when Hanshin Department Store is closed.
Access: 3 min walk from Subway Umeda Station
Giant cotton candy for your inner child
TOTTI CANDY FACTORY sells colorful sweets from around the world by weight. While there are plenty of treats to entice you, we suggest getting the popular "big size" cotton candy. This is one sweet that lives up to its name. Four different flavors of cotton candy are used to create this gigantic sweet, giving it a colorful finish. We also recommend taking a video of the staff making it.
TOTTI CANDY FACTORY (America-mura Store | アメリカ村店)
Address: 2-11-9 Nishi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Access: 6 min walk from Subway Shinsaibashi Station
Instant ramen + ice cream = ...?
(350 yen for the regular size)
Want to know what happens when you combine chicken-flavored instant ramen with ice cream? Apparently someone did. Here you have bits of instant Chicken Ramen on top of soft serve ice cream, the taste of which might also remind you of Chicken Ramen.You can only try this creation at Chikira House in Osaka, so adventurous foodies should take advantage of this opportunity.
Eki Marche Shin-Osaka Chikira House | エキマルシェ新大阪「チキラーハウス」
Address: JR Shin-Osaka Station 3F
5-16-1 Nishi Nakajima, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Access: inside the JR Shin-Osaka Station building
Japan's "ice candy" of yesteryear
If you’re out and about in Osaka on a hot day, why not try one of the city’s famous “ice candies?” Simple and refreshingly sweet, these are a nostalgic treat for many Japanese; the Hokkyoku Company has been around since 1945. There are 10 flavors to choose from: milk, adzuki, pineapple, cocoa, matcha, satsuma imo (a type of sweet potato), orange, mixed juice, and yuzu.
Hokkyoku | 北極
3-8-22 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Access: 1 min walk from Subway Namba Station
Soft serve meets fried dough
Ganso Ice Dog | 元祖アイスドッグ
Address: 1-7-11 Nishi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Access: 5 min walk from Subway Shinsaibashi Station
Time for a coffee break!
If you find you’re in need of a pick-me-up during your tasting tour of Osaka, then the place to go is LiLo Coffee Roasters. The coffee experts at this cozy little shop roast the beans on site. They offer an impressive 18 varieties of coffee beans for you to choose from. If you’re not sure what separates one bean from the next, tell the barista what you’re in the mood for and they’ll fix you the perfect cup. This place is a popular hangout among locals, so maybe you can even get in a little cultural exchange action over your drink.
LiLo Coffee Roasters
Address: Shinsaibashi M Bldg. 1F
1-10-28 Nishi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Hours: 11:00am~11:00pm (until 11:30pm on Wednesdays)
Access: 5 min walk from Subway Yotsubashi Station
Get your vitamins in Umeda Station
Hanshin Umeda Station Juice Stand | 阪神梅田駅ジューススタンド
Address: 3 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Access: located outside of the east turnstiles on the B2 floor of Hanshin Electric Railway Umeda Station
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 07 13,2016 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team
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