It has been said that the people of Osaka spend more on food than on anything else, and the term "kuidaore" ("eat until you drop") is used to describe the food culture here. At the same time, the locals have high expectations towards the quality of their cuisine, and restaurants have to maintain high standards or face closure.
Not surprisingly, Osaka is famous for various local dishes, some of which have attained nationwide and even international fame. Luckily for the budget traveler, most of these dishes are economical fares:
Takoyaki literally means "grilled octopus". A flour and egg based batter is cooked with a filling of octopus slices, pickled ginger and green onion, using a special takoyaki pan which molds the ingredients into small balls. Takoyaki sauce and other toppings such as mayonnaise, green laver (aonori) and dried bonito (katsuobushi) are then added to complete this popular street snack.
Okonomiyaki is a pancake-like dish popular in various styles across Japan. In Osaka, shredded cabbage and a whole range of other ingredients such as squid, prawn, octopus or meat are mixed into a flour based batter and cooked before eaten with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, green laver (aonori) and dried bonito (katsuobushi). In some restaurants, okonomiyaki is prepared by the customers on a hot plate at their table.
Kushikatsu are battered and deep fried pieces of food on skewers. Meat and vegetables are the most common ingredients for kushikatsu, but some restaurants also have more exotic varieties such as strawberries on their menus. Shinsekai is the best place to enjoy kushikatsu in a nostalgic Osaka atmosphere.
Kitsune Udon is a simple dish of udon (thick wheat noodles) served in a hot soup with a piece of deep fried tofu (aburaage). Kitsune means "fox" in Japanese, and the dish is thus named because fried tofu is believed to be a fox's favorite.
Teppanyaki means "grilling on a metal plate", referring to the style of cooking a meal on an iron griddle in the presence of a customer. At teppanyaki restaurants, diners are seated at the counter, where the chef prepares the food and then serves it immediately. Part of the enjoyment is derived from the sight of the chef skillfully maneuvering the ingredients. A large variety of ingredients may be used, but the main dish is typically a piece of high grade beef or seafood.
Where to eat
The best place to experience Osaka's food culture is the neon-laden Dotonbori district near Namba Station, which is packed with all types of eateries along its main thoroughfare and many side streets.
For a nostalgic atmosphere of past decades, the Shinsekai district with its kushikatsu shops and shogi parlors cannot be beaten. Another major dining district is Kitashinchi, a ten minute walk south of Osaka Station, while Osaka Station City itself is a safe destination for the less adventurous diners with its multiple elegant restaurant floors.
Open in 2018, just a minute's walk from Shinsaibashi Station, Feel Osaka Yu offers shared dormitory rooms and private rooms. Free WiFi and a shared kitchen are provided. Guests can conveniently go shopping at the nearby America Village. Osaka Castle is a 5-train ride from the property, while Umeda is a 6-minute train ride away. The shared bathroom is fitted with free toiletries. All guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Yodoya Bridge and Kyocera Dome are both a 4-minute train ride away. Nagahoribashi Station is a 10-minute walk away.
Osaka Guesthouse Midoriya offers dormitory rooms that are shared with other guests, and private rooms in Osaka, 2.2 km from Osaka Castle and 4.1 km from Shitennoji. Every room is fitted with a shared bathroom. Osaka Guesthouse Midoriya features free WiFi throughout the property. There is a shared kitchen at the property. The hostel also offers bike hire. Glico Man Sign is 5 km from Osaka Guesthouse Midoriya, while Namba CITY shopping mall is 5 km from the property. Osaka Itami Airport is 15 km away.
Open in 2018, just a minute's walk from Shinsaibashi Station, HOSTEL 優 - Luxury Mixed Dormitory - offers shared dormitory rooms. Free WiFi and a shared kitchen are provided. Guests can conveniently go shopping at the nearby America Village. Osaka Castle is a 5-train ride from the property, while Umeda is a 6-minute train ride away. The shared bathroom is fitted with free toiletries. All guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Yodoya Bridge and Kyocera Dome are both a 4-minute train ride away. Nagahoribashi Station is a 10-minute walk away.
Set in Osaka, near Abeno Harukas, Kuwazu Ten Shrine and Kyozen-ji Temple, Guest House Laule'a Tennoji features free WiFi. The accommodation features a spa bath. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with hot tub, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also featured, as well as a kettle. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Shitennoji Koshindo Temple, Negainomiya Temple and Horikoshi Shrine. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 17 km from Guest House Laule'a Tennoji.
Located just a 2-minute walk from Dobutsuen-Mae Station, Tomiya offers free WiFi. JR Shin-Imamiya Station is a 5-minute stroll away, while Shin-Imamiya Station on Nankai Line is a 10-minute walk from the property. All units have a private bathroom, kitchen, refrigerator, freezer and flat-screen TV. Free drinks and scale are provided in the public area. Property is secured with a security camera and auto-lock entrance door. Tsutenkaku is 700 metres from Tomiya. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 17 km from Tomiya. There are various convenience stores and dinig options within a 10-minute walk from the property.
Attractively set in the centre of Osaka, Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only features air-conditioned rooms, free bikes, free WiFi and a shared lounge. Popular points of interest nearby include Toyosaki Shrine, Tsunashikiten Shrine Otabisha and Hankyu Men's Osaka. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and luggage storage for guests. The rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. At Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only rooms are fitted with a wardrobe and a shared bathroom. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Catholic Osaka Umeda Church, Seibi Park and EST Osaka - Umeda. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 10 km from Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only.
Situated in Osaka, near Hanazono Shopping Mall, Matsunomiya Shrine and Haginochaya Shopping Street, 旅館-ホテル業 The Familiar Inn features free WiFi. All units here are air-conditioned and feature a flat-screen TV, a living room with a sofa, a well-equipped kitchen and a private bathroom with bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A microwave and fridge are also available, as well as a kettle. Tsurumibashi Shopping Street is 1.3 km from the holiday home, while Tsumori Shrine is 1.9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 17 km from 旅館-ホテル業 The Familiar Inn.
3-star accommodation, HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi is located in central Osaka, 600 metres from Dotonbori River and the Ebisu Tower Ferris Wheel, 700 metres from popular music and shopping district America Village. Conveniently located in the Chuo Ward, the hotel is situated 2.4 km from Shinsekai. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk with multi-lingual staff. Free WiFi is available at the hotel. Each air-conditioned room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and desk. Free toiletries and rain shower are provided in all rooms, while certain rooms feature a bathtub. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the hotel. Traditional locations such as Shitennoji Temple and Kuromon Ichiba Market are within 2.5 km from the hotel. Osaka Itami Airport and Kansai International Airport are both less than a one-hour train ride from HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi.
Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Hostel Jin offers accommodation in Osaka, a minute's walk from Nishikujo Station. Guests can enjoy the on-site cafe and bar. Rooms feature a balcony. Each room has a kitchen with an electric kettle, microwave and refrigerator. The private bathroom includes a bath, shower, hairdryer and toiletries. Complimentary services include luggage storage before and after your stay, bicycle rental, and restaurant reservations upon prior request. Metro passes also available at a special price. Please contact the property for more details. Coffee is offered at an additional fee. Guests can reach Universal Studios Japan in 12 minutes via train and walk. The Namba area is a 10-minute train ride from the property, while Tsutenkaku is 20 minutes away by train and walk. Osaka Castle is a 17-minute train ride from Hostel Jin. Guests can reach Kansai Airport in 60 minutes by train and Osaka International Airport in 40 minutes by car.
Opened in March 2014, Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is located on the high floors of Abeno Harukas building featuring direct access to Tennoji Station. Luxurious rooms feature free WiFi, and guests can enjoy 360 degree views of the city from the panoramic view point on the 58th floor. On-site private parking is available at an additional charge. The spacious air-conditioned rooms feature Sealy beds, a coffee machine, an electric kettle and a minibar. Ironing facilities, a safety deposit box and an en suite bathroom are included in each. Located above the 38th floor, all rooms offer stunning city views. Guests can work out at the fitness centre or shop at the Kintetsu Department Store located on the lower floors of the building. A free-use business centre is on site, while a museum and outdoor terrace can be enjoyed on the 16th floor. Luggage storage and concierge services are offered at the 24-hour front desk. The restaurant on the 57th floor offers Japanese and Western meals, as well as Teppanyaki grill dishes. A buffet restaurant featuring a bright open kitchen is available on the 19th floor. Miyako Osaka Marriott Hotel is a 10-minute train ride from Namba Station and a 20-minute train ride from Osaka/Umeda Station. Tennoji Zoo is a 10-minute walk away. Guests can purchase a 1-day Studio Pass for Universal Studios Japan TM, which is located a 30-minute train ride away. Osaka Marriot Miyako Hotel is an Alliance Hotel of Universal Studios Japan TM. ? Universal Studios. CR15-0113