Whether you live in a Village House in Osaka or are just visiting, Osaka is a great city to stay in! One of the things that Osaka is most known for is its culinary delights. Many people visit the city purely to enjoy some of its iconic food, and locals take great pride in their world-renowned food culture!
There is even a phrase referring to how you eat in Osaka, “Kyoto no kidaore, Osaka no kuidaore”, about how you ‘wear until you drop in Kyoto and eat until you drop in Osaka’… or fall into debt. Dotonbori is one of the most iconic spots for street food, where you will be able to enjoy some of these dishes. However, you will also find so much tasty food around the city in areas such as Umeda, Shinsekai, and Namba. Despite all the delicious food we’ll discuss in this post, it’s important to also mention that there is so much to the city beyond its food, so please check out our guide to the history and highlights of Osaka.
Below are some of the top must-eat foods in Osaka.
Kushikatsu is skewered kebabs made up of seafood, vegetables, or meat. They are coated in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried and served with various dipping sauces. Kushikatsu is believed to have originated in the Shinsekai district at the Kushikatsu Daruma restaurant in 1929.
With 16 branches, we recommend checking out the original creator of the Kushikatsu and visiting one of the Kushikatsu Daruma restaurants. Here you can order a mixed selection of skewers or order them piece-by-piece if you’d prefer.
Osaka Takoyaki is undoubtedly some of the best Takoyaki you will ever have since it was created here. Most people living in Osaka will have a Takoyaki-making machine they can use for Takoyaki parties.
In Osaka Takoyaki is a popular snack that is easy to make and fun to eat. It is made from simple ingredients; batter, or flour and eggs, and filled with octopus, and flavors such as konjac, spring onions, and tempura crumbs. The fried balls are then heavily drizzled with a special Takoyaki sweet brown sauce and mayonnaise, as well as some green laver and a large sprinkling of dried bonito flakes.
You can find Takoyaki across the city, and you can almost guarantee to find somewhere selling Takoyaki within a few minutes walk from wherever you are in Osaka.
To try out the original Takoyaki, head to Aizuya, where the dish was first created in 1935. Here you can order traditional Takoyaki, or Rajioyaki, the predecessor of Takoyaki, made with beef instead of the octopus. Another one of the most famous spots for Osaka Takoyaki is the Dotonbori Konamon Museum, with an iconic large red octopus clinging to the wall on the shop front.
Negiyaki is a delicious regional dish from Osaka, very similar to the world-famous Okonomiyaki. It is made by frying a thin batter of flour, water, and green onions, which is spread onto a teppanyaki (hot plate).
Instead of the Okonomiyaki sauces, Negiyaki is eaten with soy sauce, making it a much healthier alternative. It also omits any cabbage, so it is much thinner than an Okonomiyaki pancake.
Negiyaki is a quick and cheap meal or snack that you can find at various restaurants. It may also be quite easy to find vegetarian versions of the dish if you check to make sure there is no dashi. Negiyaki is often served with pork, shrimp, or tofu, to make it a more filling dish.
The dish was first created at an Okonomiyaki restaurant in Kakudacho in 1965, as a re-adaptation of an old dish called funo-yaki, a pancake that was eaten with sweet miso.
This udon dish is a classic style of udon, served with a piece of deep-fried tofu which has been simmered in a sweet sauce. The main feature of Kitsune Udon is its flavor. The Osaka style is much lighter in flavor compared to the Tokyo one.
Kitsune Udon can be eaten across the country, but the dish originated in Osaka. The first place to make Kitsune Udon is believed to be Usami-tei Matsubaya in Minami-Senba, so make sure to visit the restaurant if you’d like to try the original version of the dish.
Taiko Manju, also known as Taiko-yaki or Imagawaki is Osaka’s most famous dessert. It is a dumpling made from a sweet batter and stuffed with sweet bean paste. The batter is very similar to pancake batter but is a bit lighter and fluffier. The dish is like dorayaki, but instead of placing two pancakes around the filling after cooking, the filling is cooked inside the actual pancake.
This sweet treat gets its name from the taiko drum that is used in ceremonies and performances since it shares the same shape. You can find Taiko Manju at street stalls, department stores and sweet shops around the city. Nowadays, you can also enjoy a variety of different flavors and fillings in Taiko Manju such as chocolate or custard. They are best enjoyed when made to order and eaten when still warm.
We hope you get a chance to try all these delicious Osakan dishes. As it is a city for food lovers, there are so many other dishes in Osaka you can try, so please enjoy and try something new! For any vegan and vegetarians, or anyone inclined to try some plant-based food, there are plenty of vegan restaurants in Osaka serving up delicious versions of some of these dishes amongst others.
Beyond food, Osaka has a unique culture, with a lot of exciting things going on, beautiful parks, and great links to other nearby cities, such as Kobe, Kyoto, Himeji, and beaches along the coast of Wakayama. If this sounds like the place for you, please check out our available rental apartments in the city.