The best of Japan's food capital
Osaka always seemed to be the less attractive cousin of Japan but has recently been stealing the limelight with powerhouse attractions like Universal Studios Japan. Before it became home to one of Japan's favourite theme parks, Osaka was already gaining a reputation for producing some of the country's most iconic food items - the most popular being takoyaki.
Here's some of Osaka's best dishes and where you can find them.
1. Luke’s Lobster
This is hands down one of the best lobster rolls ever. Instead of gunky mayonnaise destroying the freshness of the lobster meat, Luke’s Lobster’s no-fuss, no nonsense roll instantly wins a place in the heart of all lobster roll aficionados out there.
The bun is served warm, buttered and toasted to just the right crispness. Coupled with fresh cold lobster meat (all 80g of it, or 160g if you’ve gone with the US size!) this bun is as close to heaven in your mouth as it gets.
Luke’s Lobster Price: ¥980 - ¥1,380 Address: Osaka Shinsaibashi Outlet, 大阪府大阪市中央区心斎橋筋1-3-21, Osaka shi Chuo-ku Shinsaibashi 1-3-21 Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 9pm Website
2. World’s Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-Pan Ice-Cream
What’s the best melon pan in the world, you ask? Truth be told we don’t know.
What we do know however, is that this melon pan is something worth braving the snaking queues for. Made fresh on-site daily, the ‘pan’ is actually a crumbly bun shaped like the bumpy skin of a melon (hence the name).
You can choose to have the melon pan in a variety of ways including plain, with vanilla or matcha ice-cream, or even in sundae form. For the ultimate melon fan, you can pay ¥1,200 to have a melon-pan fresh out of the oven for no more than 20-minutes.
Klook Pro-Tip: They only accept up to 10 100-yen coins at one go, so be sure to have notes on you when purchasing!
World’s Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-Pan Ice-Cream Price: From ¥450 (¥700 for melon pan with ice-cream) Address: 1-1-53 Hirosaka, Kanazawa 920-0962, Ishikawa Prefecture Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am to 7.30pm
3. Sukiya Beef Bowls
For the money crunched millennial on a budget, Sukiya and its ¥400 beef bowls with generous portions will be your best friend.
Have it with cheese, extra spring onion, or a zesty yuzu ponzu sauce - the choice is yours. Aside from their extremely affordable beef bowls Sukiya also serves up a variety of other rice bowls like minced tuna and pork.
Sukiya is also open 24-hours so you can get your hearty beef bowl fix anytime you want!
Sukiya Click here for a list of Sukiya outlets in Osaka.
4. Calbee Hokkaido Honey Butter Chips
Calbee Plus offers freshly deep fried potato chips with mouthwatering flavours like Hokkaido Butter and you can even choose to have it with ice-cream! These chips are fried fresh in-store and served warm.
Apart from serving up fresh chips the Calbee plus store also sells its famous potato products in limited edition flavours like sweet potato and sakura. Best of all, the store’s tax free so shop away!
Calbee Plus Address: Shinsaibashi 161, 1-6-1, Shinsaibashisuji, Osakashi Chuo-ku, Osaka Website
5. Matcha Snacks @ Osaka Jou Honzen
If you're wondering where people get that famous matcha soft serve in front of Osaka Castle, look no longer. Located on the castle grounds itself, Osaka Jou Honzen is hard to miss with a huge green tea cone in front of the stall. Matcha-lovers won’t be able to resist the variety of matcha flavoured snacks on sale! Take your pick from matcha float to matcha soft serve to matcha bun. We promise you'll love everything so matcha.
Osaka Jou Honzen Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan
6. Char-grilled Seafood
Walk down Dotonburi and you won't miss the delicious smell of freshly grilled seafood. Seafood like this doesn't come cheap at about ¥750 per scallop, but it is absolutely worth the price you're paying. This scallop was simply grilled in its own juices with a dab of butter and soy sauce but the resulting taste was overwhelming. If you're not a fan of scallop they do have other seafood available (try the octopus!) and all are definitely worth a try!
Grilled Seafood Carts Address: All along Dotonburi
7. Endo Sushi
If you walked past Sushi Endo, you'd never have known that it was home to award-winning sushi omakase! Known to have the best sushi in Osaka, this unassuming little sushi house is located in the Osaka Central Fish Market and attracts visitors from all around the world. You can choose to indulge in a sushi omakase for approximately ¥1250 per plate or mix and match your own favourite sashimi.
P.S. Have fun 'painting' soy sauce on your sushi!
Sushi Endo Address: 1-1-86 Noda Fukushima-ku Osaka City Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 5am to 2pm
8. Japanese Curry
If you happen to find yourself walking the streets of Nakazakicho — also known as Osaka’s hipster town — be sure to drop by Zipangu Curry Cafe! This small hip restaurant is tucked in the alleyways of Nakazakicho and serves the most delectable dish of Japanese curry!
Just in case you've never tried Japanese curry - it's a lot sweeter, and less spicy, than Indian curry. It's best served with chicken, pork or beef cutlets, often with rice and cheese!
Zipangu Curry Cafe Address: 530-0015 Osaka, Kita Ward, Nakazakinishi, 3 Chome-3-4 Opening Hours: Wednesdays to Mondays 1130am to 330pm, 6pm to 9pm
9. Japanese Fluffy Pancakes
If you love soft and fluffy pancakes, then you'll love Japan's take on 'em! Get ready for a whole lot of fluff - 2 inches to be exact - as Japanese lighter and airier version will replace your old time favorite buttermilk pancakes with its melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Top it off with some fruits and syrup, and you're good to go! For our top pick, check out Micasadeco&Cafe's ricotta cheese pancakes which totally do not disappoint!
Klook tip: Fluffy pancakes are all the rage in Japan - so expect long lines in restaurants that serve it all-day.
Micasadeco&Cafe Address: 1 Chome-2-8 Saiwaicho, Naniwa Ward, Osaka Opening Hours: Weekdays 9am to 5pm, Weekends 9am to 7pm
10. Ichiran Ramen
Ichiran Ramen is Japan's most popular ramen house - and for good reason! Customers can pick and personalize everything from the broth, noodles, and add ons to their liking - and all you have to do is fill out a piece of paper and wait for your bowl of ramen to appear beneath a set of blinders in front of you! This ramen house is famous for having a solo-seating option (which we highly recommend - even as a group), however there is one down side: long lines. Be sure to queue up as early as possible, or, opt for branches that are open for 24 hours!
Ichiran Ramen Click here for a list of Ichiran Ramen branches in Osaka.
Takoyaki, or octopus balls, is a famous Japanese delicacy made of diced octopus, vegetables, and wheat flour, which is then cooked and molded in a round-shaped pan. Though typically topped with sweet sauce and tempura flakes, you can also ask for cheese sauce or soft-boiled egg for extra foodgasm! Dotonburi is lined with countless carts selling takoyaki so you definitely won’t have a hard time satisfying this craving, however Gindaco is a top pick for both locals and tourists alike!
Gindaco Takoyaki Click here for the full list of Gindaco stalls in Japan
Klook your holiday to Osaka now!
If these pictures are making you hungry and you're just itching to hop on the next flight out to Osaka, don't forget to pick up the Osaka Amazing Pass and 4G WiFi along the way! Click the button below to see what else you can find in Osaka.