Osaka, known as the “Kitchen of Japan,” is a vibrant city with a rich food culture that attracts food lovers worldwide. From street food stalls to Michelin-starred restaurants, Osaka offers a diverse range of culinary delights that can satisfy any palate.
Osaka also has a bustling street food scene. From grilled skewers (yakitori) to deep-fried street snacks like crab claws or squid legs, you can explore a world of flavours by strolling through the vibrant streets of Dotonbori or Shinsekai.
For seafood lovers, visiting Osaka’s Kuromon Ichiba Market is a must. Here, you can find an array of fresh seafood, including sushi, sashimi, and grilled fish. The market is bustling with vendors offering samples of their specialties, allowing you to indulge in the freshest catch of the day.
Take advantage of trying Osaka’s renowned desserts while you are there. From fluffy and creamy matcha (green tea) soft serve ice cream to the iconic melon pan (a sweet bread roll with a crispy cookie crust), plenty of sweet treats satisfy your cravings.
Osaka is a food paradise catering to all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re a street food enthusiast or looking for a high-end dining experience, the city’s culinary offerings will leave you with a memorable and satisfying gastronomic adventure.
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5 Must-try Foods in Osaka
If you’re a food lover planning a trip to Osaka, Japan, you’re in for a treat. Osaka is known for its vibrant food scene, with a wide variety of street food stalls, markets, and restaurants throughout the city. Here are five must-try foods in Osaka to help you make the most of your culinary adventure.
One of Osaka’s most popular street foods, takoyaki is a must-try for any first-time visitor. These piping-hot octopus balls are made of a batter filled with diced octopus, green onions, and pickled ginger. They are cooked in round griddled moulds and topped with a sweet and savoury sauce, mayonnaise, and dried bonito flakes. Head to the famous Kuromon Ichiba Market, known as the “Kitchen of Osaka,” to sample some of the best takoyaki in town.
A staple of Osaka cuisine, okonomiyaki is a savoury pancake made with various ingredients. “Okonomi” means “what you like,” so you can customize your pancake with your favourite toppings such as cabbage, pork belly, seafood, or cheese. Deliciously rich and satisfying, this dish is best enjoyed at a local street food stall or a traditional okonomiyaki restaurant like Kushikatsu Daruma.
No trip to Japan is complete without trying a bowl of ramen, and Osaka is home to some fantastic ramen joints. The city offers a wide range of flavours and styles, from rich and creamy tonkatsu (pork bone) broth to lighter soy-based broths. Check out Ramen Street at Osaka Station, where you can find several renowned ramen shops in one spot.
4. Udon Noodles
If you love thick and chewy noodles, try udon in Osaka. Udon is a wheat noodle often served in a hot broth with various toppings such as tempura or green onions. You can find excellent udon restaurants throughout Osaka, but one recommended spot is Umeda Hanamaru, located near Osaka Station.
5. Kobe Beef
While not exclusive to Osaka, Kobe beef is a delicacy you should notice if you appreciate fine dining. Known for its exceptional marbling and tenderness, Kobe beef is widely regarded as one of the best types of beef in the world. Several upscale restaurants in Osaka offer Kobe beef on their menus.
A couple of extra dishes worth trying
Blowfish (Fuju) is a popular delicacy in Osaka, Japan. This type of fish is highly poisonous if not prepared correctly. Chefs in Osaka are known for their expertise in preparing fugu, ensuring its safe consumption. Fugu is often served as sashimi, sliced thinly and eaten raw, or as tempura, deep-fried in a light, crispy batter. It has a delicate, subtly sweet flavour and a firm texture. Visitors to Osaka can enjoy the unique experience of trying blowfish at specialized restaurants known for their mastery in handling this potentially dangerous fish.
2. Sakura Mochi
Sakura mochi is a traditional Japanese dessert that is particularly popular in Osaka. It is made with glutinous rice flour and filled with a sweet red bean paste called “anko.” What sets Sakura mochi apart is its cherry blossom flavouring and vibrant pink colour, which is achieved by mixing the rice flour with cherry blossom leaves. The mochi is then wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom leaf, giving it a unique taste and visual appeal. Sakura mochi is often enjoyed during the spring season when cherry blossoms are in bloom, and it is a beloved treat in Osaka’s culinary scene.
If you are on your own, then there are loads of food tours in Osaka. You can choose from night tours to day tours, or if you don’t have much time, then combine your food tour with a walking tour here. Even better, if you love to cook, why not try a cooking class?
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!
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