Best food of Osaka guide | Where to go & what to eat
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Osaka is Japan’s best city for foodies, also nicknamed the nation’s kitchen.
It’s known for tons of local dishes and has a great selection of restaurants as well as street food stalls.
Many people consider Osaka the culinary capital of Japan. It beats out Tokyo and Kyoto because it’s the birthplace of many of Japan’s greatest foods of all time. You can eat the best takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu, and more in Osaka’s many restaurants and food stalls
If you’re wondering “is Osaka the best city for foodies?”, the answer is very much yes. That’s because there is so much variety and the food is delicious!
In this guide, I’ll cover the best food you can eat in Osaka, from appetizers to main dishes, snacks, and desserts. Once you’re done reading, you’ll be craving some of these dishes that’s for sure!
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In this post we'll cover:
- 1 What is Osaka most known for?
- 2 What are the top 3 foods in Japan?
- 3 Osaka food specialties
- 4 Osaka food itinerary: where to eat?
- 5 Osaka food festivals
- 6 Best food markets in Osaka
- 7 Osaka Food Tours
- 8 Osaka food prices
- 9 Takeaway
What is Osaka most known for?
Osaka is Japan’s 2nd largest city, located in the country’s Western Kansai region.
There’s a friendly rivalry between Osaka and the capital Tokyo, but these two cities are remarkably different in many ways, especially when it comes to food and drink.
Foodies know that Osaka is where the food culture is most interesting and exciting.
The people of Osaka love to eat and good quality food is always sought after.
The Japanese concept of kuidaore (食い倒れ) refers to “eating until you drop” or eating away all your spending money. There’s an even funnier translation of “eating yourself to bankruptcy in Osaka.”
Although most people don’t take this literally, food is an important part of the local culture and you can find street food vendors shouting from all corners of small family-owned food shops.
Osaka even markets itself as a great place for Japanese food because most of its residents spend a lot of money on excellent food and dining experiences.
You can find all of the popular Japanese cuisines, traditional food, some local specialties, and tons of street foods fishes.
Osaka & the use of dashi
Dashi soup stock is an umami flavored broth, made from bonito and seaweed (here’s how it’s made).
This dashi is the base of many Osakan dishes like takoyaki and part of both in Udon and Odon. Dashi curry is another food where dashi is the principal ingredient.
You have many different types of food, like dashi curry, and oden (hot pot) which contain dashi soup. Curry is prepared with dashi to give it that specific umami flavor.
Dashi, the city’s primary cooking stock, has evolved over the ages (here’s the story). The authentic version is made with Kombu from Hokkaido and dried skipjack tuna flakes from Kochi.
Also, because Japanese anchovies have long been numerous in Osaka Bay and the Seto Inland Sea, fresh niboshi dried anchovies were simple to come by at a cheap price.
The umami from the kombu, dried skipjack tuna flakes, and niboshi come together to make a flavorful dish.
Even when using only niboshi, the kombu helps to increase the richness of the dashi.
What are the top 3 foods in Japan?
It’s hard to pick just 3 of the top foods in Japan. Since the country is well known for having an impressive culinary tradition, many of its dishes are popular around the world.
But if I have to choose three of the top dishes, I would go with the following:
1) Sushi & sashimi
Japanese sushi is rather different from American types of sushi like the California roll. It contains more fish and seafood and fewer sauces.
But, there are so many types of sushi, you’re surely going to find one you like.
Sushi is well-known throughout the world as rice sushi rolls with seafood and vegetable fillings.
Each roll is made of an outer layer of rice, seasoned with a rice vinegar mix. Then, the filling can contain any variety of fish, chicken, veggies, and nori (seaweed). The seaweed can also cover the outer layer of rice, depending on the roll.
Simply take a piece of sushi and dip it in soy sauce, wasabi, or other popular sushi sauces with your chopsticks.
Sushi is known by a variety of names depending on the form and contents used: Nigiri, Maki, Oshi, Temaki, and more types of sushi are available.
It is served in a variety of ways and at various prices.
It ranges from the entertaining kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi), where diners can grab their favorite rolls from a moving conveyor belt for approximately 100 yen per plate to the high-end, long-established, traditional Edomae sushi (Edo-style sushi). There you will sit at a quiet counter and eat while the sushi is prepared right before your eyes by the chef.
You can eat sushi in so many restaurants in Osaka, but some of the best include Harukoma and CHOJIRO conveyor belt sushi restaurant where you eat sushi from a moving belt.
Sashimi refers to raw fish or seafood. It is served with wasabi (a spicy Japanese paste) and soy sauce. It usually comes with radish slices on the side.
Sometimes, the raw fish is served on a bed of rice but that’s not considered “authentic”.
The term sashimi refers to a Japanese tradition of serving the fish itself with the meal in order to identify the type of fish being eaten.
You can read more about the difference between sushi and sashimi here.
When it comes to noodle dishes, ramen is one of the most popular options. There’s nothing quite as comforting as noodles in a hot broth for lunch or dinner.
It’s a bowl of wavy wheat noodles with a variety of ingredients in a soy sauce or miso soup.
Usually, there’s some meat (pork or chicken), vegetables, and toppings. The savory broth makes this dish an umami delight.
The best toppings for ramen include bean sprouts, seaweed, spring onions, eggs, tofu, soft boiled egg, and more,
But, the tonkatsu (deep-fried pork) gives the broth and noodles that amazing flavor. Here’s how you can make your own crispy tonkatsu.
In Japan, the ramen noodles are usually made fresh and added to a savory and often meaty broth that’s made from scratch.
There is a ramen vending machine at almost every station.
Yakiniku refers to grilled foods, especially grilled meat.
Grilled meat cuisine is very popular in Japan. People cook Japanese BBQ on small tabletop grills, built-in table grills or chefs can grill the food on a large teppanyaki grill.
The most popular yakiniku dish has to be Yakitori, which is grilled chicken skewers. These are dipped in a special yakiniku sauce.
Other grilled foods include pork skewers (yakiton), grilled fish (Yakizakana), grilled eel (kabayaki), chicken meatballs (tsukune), tofu, vegetables, and even fruit.
These are the best Japanese tabletop grills if you want to make your own yakiniku
Osaka food specialties
I’ve already talked about typical Japanese dishes like sushi above. But, sushi rolls aren’t really an Osaka specialty.
In this section, I will discuss what you can eat in Osaka in terms of local specialties or dishes that Osakans make that are better than in other parts of the country.
Osaka is well known for konamono – translated as flour things. This refers to foods that are made of flour-based batter.
These foods are popular at street food stalls as well as restaurants and they are usually the “cheaper” foods of Osaka.
Besides flour-based foods, Osaka is also home to some amazing local dishes.
Although not all of the dishes on my list of specialties originate in Osaka, the Osakans know how to cook them perfectly.
Let’s take a look at the most popular foods you can eat in Osaka. There are some deep-fried foods, some konamono, and many other interesting options.
You can’t really say you’ve tried popular Japanese cuisine unless you’ve tastes takoyaki octopus balls.
Takoyaki is a deep-fried ball-shaped snack. It’s made of diced octopus meat in a batter made with dashi stock, flour, and eggs.
The batter is poured into a ball-shaped mold and the octopus is added inside alongside tenkasu (tempura scraps), pickled ginger (beni shoga), and spring onions.
Best places for takoyaki in Osaka
Yamachan is one of Osaka’s best places to get authentic takoyaki. It’s a fast-food stall that makes the octopus balls right in front of you!
Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka has become an iconic Takoyaki chain in Osaka. The longer the meals are prepared the more gooey and more delicious they are.
The takoyaki is coated with a classic blend of mayonnaise sauce layered with lavender and bonito flakes.
Kushikatsu refers to deep-fried meat or vegetables in a panko crust, placed and served on a stick. Deep-fried veggies on a stick are called Kushiage.
The word Kushi is the word for skewers and katsu is the word for deep-fried meat cutlet.
To eat kushikatsu, take the skewer and dip it in the sauce just once.
The best place to find kushikatsu in Osaka is the Tsutenkaku area.
In the restaurant, there are several sauce jars on every table and there’s a sign saying “don’t dip twice” because this is seen as impolite in front of the other diners. So, as you eat the skewers you can only dip into one sauce.
Kitsune udon is one of Osaka’s delicious tofu dishes with juicy udon noodles. Most Osaka restaurants that serve noodle dishes offer this local variety which combines udon noodles with umami broth and tofu.
It’s a bowl of delicious thick Udon noodle soup cooked in savory dashi stock. It contains deep-fried tofu seasoned with a sweet soy sauce.
Then, it’s all topped off with narutomaki pink swirl fish cake and spring onions.
This Osakan dish has an interesting story behind it. Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox, but don’t worry there is no fox in this soup.
It refers to an old legend that says foxes love to eat fried tofu. Also, fried tofu has a reddish-brown color, just like fox fur.
This dish was invented by Chef Kitazato Shigeo of Osaka in 1940. It is a dish made of pork and beef offal (organs). Horumon is the word for edible animal organs, and actually, this food can be made from a mix of animal organs.
Grilled horumon is very popular at Yakiniku restaurants too.
The intestines are some of the most popular horumon foods, and they’re usually cooked like BBQ or fried and served alongside alcohol.
In the past, it was considered “cheap working-class food” but these days many people like the taste of offal, including the kidneys and liver.
Kopuchan is a popular dish made from the small intestine of pork or beef. It is cooked on low heat in a creamy miso sauce until it becomes tender.
The Japanese okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made of a runny batter and topped with meat and vegetables, usually shredded cabbage.
Okonomiyaki translates roughly as whatever ingredients you like, cooked. This dish originates in the Osaka region.
After WWII, food was scarce and so people made a simple batter and then added any ingredients they could find on top.
The most common toppings include pork belly, shredded cabbage, okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, and dried bonito flakes.
In Osaka, you can also get these pancakes made with kimchi, cheese, dried shrimp, and even odd ingredients such as mochi.
Negiyaki is almost the same thing as the okonomiyaki, except it’s a green onion pancake.
The dish is made by frying a thin flour and water batter with a lot of green onions (Negi) on top. It’s similar to Okonomiyaki, but without pork or cabbage.
You eat it with soy sauce instead of okonomiyaki sauce, which gives it a light flavor and keeps it a bit healthier, although it’s a bit high in sodium.
People in Osaka and the Kansai region enjoy flour-based foods like Negiyaki because these dishes are easy to make and commonly sold at most street-food stalls.
Negiyaki YAMAMOTO is a popular place to get fresh negiyaki in Osaka.
You can eat all kinds of delicious sushi in Osaka but you need to try oshizushi which is pressed sushi and is a traditional local sushi variation.
Oshizushi is produced by pressing rice and sushi toppings, usually fresh raw fish, marinated seafood, or grilled fish into perfect rectangles in a special wooden mold called oshibako. The pressed sushi can then be sliced up and served.
This oshizushi is a popular component of bento lunches or as part of a variety sushi plate.
The most popular types of oshizushi are made with salmon, tuna, or surimi.
Taiko-Manju is a popular sweet baked good, made in a drum-shaped steel mold. These look like little drum-shaped sponge cakes.
The batter is made from flour, egg, milk, and sugar and filled with a sweet red bean paste. This dessert is also called obanyaki in other parts of Japan.
Azuki red beans or anko are the most popular filling. The traditional version contains whole or half-mashed beans instead of a smooth bean paste. But, these days they sell these treats with other fillings like custard or seasonal fruit.
Some of Osaka’s best taiko-Manju are sold at Gozasouro.
Tecchiri & Fugu
Alright, this dish is not for the faint of heart. It’s a hot pot made with Japan’s deadly pufferfish. It’s only lethal if the poison is ingested.
Tecchiri is an Osaka specialty meal consisting of a hot pot of cooked fugu (blowfish).
The fish is boiled in a kombu broth seasoned with ponzu vinegar, a soy sauce, and a citrus juice combo.
Tecchiri is most popular in Osaka and this city has the highest blowfish consumption in the country.
Although locals like it, most tourists, however, may be hesitant to try this meal. Most people hear that fugu is poisonous and unsafe to consume.
But, when you order tecchiri, only the non-poisonous parts of the fish are cooked and served so it’s safe to eat.
Doteyaki is a popular beef sinew stew, considered horumon (a dish made of organs). The sinew is the tough tissue located between muscles. When cooked properly in the stew, this chewy part becomes very soft.
The doteyaki stew is boiled with miso paste, sake, and sugar. It’s usually served with beer, sake, and other alcoholic beverages at Izakaya restaurants.
You can even buy this dish from the supermarket or order it as a side dish at Yakiniku restaurants.
Yakiniku is Japanese BBQ and it refers to all kinds of meat, fish, seafood, tofu, and vegetables that are cooked on either tabletop grills like hibachi and shichirin, or by the chef on a large flat-top grill.
Basically, food cooked over an open fire grill is considered yakiniku. You then dip the food in delicious yakiniku sauce.
It’s an indoor version of a meat-only self-service barbeque. It isn’t the same as eating a steak. It’s Korean in origin, and it’s reported that a Korean living in Osaka started the trend, so you might call it an Osaka-born dish.
If you want to try yakiniku, visit Tsuruhashi in Osaka. It’s now the hub of the Kansai region’s largest Korean town. There are numerous Yakiniku restaurants to choose from.
Butaman is a steamed bun originally from China. It’s made by steaming a dough made of flour, water, and yeast wrapped around a pork and vegetable mixture.
The butaman steamed pork bun is one of the most popular winter treats or snacks and cheap comfort food.
If you want to eat the best butaman, make sure to visit the 551horai restaurant. They serve steaming hot buns with the best texture. You can also find them at various stores around Osaka.
A hot pot dish is a delicious one pot meal cooked on the tabletop. It’s usually a savory broth with tasty meat and vegetables.
Sukiyaki is a hot pot stew made with simmered meat and vegetables in a sweet sauce, made of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
Shabu-shabu is another popular food you must eat in Osaka. It is sliced meat (usually thinly sliced beef) that’s parboiled with veggies.
Niitaka is a popular Osaka restaurant where you can eat wagyu beef shabu-shabu and a special type of pork called Chamiton.
You can also have two-colored nabe which is a combination of sukiyaki and shabu shabu in one hot pot.
Gyoza are Japanese dumplings and they are similar to potstickers. They can be steamed or fried, and usually contain a meat, seafood, or vegetable stuffing.
Niku gyoza is a gyoza filled with meat and it’s a very popular snack, served with dipping sauce. Minced pork meat and cabbage are the most popular fillings.
You can find gyoza everywhere, even convenience stores.
Osaka Ohsho is a popular Chinese-Japanese restaurant chain in Osaka. They serve interesting versions of gyoza, including a gyoza hot dog!
Wagyu beef & Kobe beef
Japan is well-known for wagyu beef – it’s pricey but probably the best beef in the world. Many Osaka restaurants serve beef dishes but there are some special ones to go if you want authentic Wagyu.
Did you know that the best cattle are raised and originate from the Kansai region? Therefore, Kobe beef is very popular there.
The most famous beef brands such as Matsusaka beef, Kobe beef, and Omi beef have their origins in Kansai, so Osaka is a great place for tasty beef.
Matsusakagyu Yakiniku is only a 2-minute walk from Dotonbori and it’s a good restaurant to visit if you want great beef Yakiniku.
In the 1600s tempura came to Japan in the city of Nagasaki but Osaka quickly adopted this dish.
Portuguese missionaries introduced light batter frying techniques. Tempura refers to seafood, meat, and vegetables deep-fried in a batter made of flour, egg, and ice water.
Tempura is served with Tentsuyu sauce made of dashi, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. But, other options also include ketchup or sweet brown sauce.
Many Osaka restaurant menus offer tempura but they focus mainly upon such a special dish. The ingredients cooked and served in tempura vary across regions and do have a similar characteristic. Vegetable tempura is one of the healthiest.
Ikayaki (Osaka Squid)
This is a grilled squid with a soy sauce topping and it’s served on a stick. This sauce isn’t like every basic salty sauce.
It has a mildly sweet and salty flavor and makes the squid taste amazing.
The squid on a stick is served at many street food stalls and it’s a snack food meant to be eaten on the go.
Osaka food itinerary: where to eat?
Wondering where you can eat tasty food in Osaka? Well, the answer is everywhere.
There is food everywhere, at every corner, each metro or train station, and there’s a great mix of street food stalls, small fast food places, Yakiniku restaurants, and of course the famous fine dining establishments.
Those small food stalls are called yatai and they were traditionally festival food stands. These days, they’re open year-round, not just during food festivals.
There is just so much variety and so much food to try, you’ll need weeks to try a bit of everything. Of course, I recommend trying all of the foods I previously listed as these are the traditional and popular dishes you can’t miss out on.
Osaka offers over 30,000 restaurant choices, many of them at affordable prices. Look for appetizing pictures on the menu and make your order.
Some of the popular Osaka cafes don’t even have buildings. Many are simple stalls with friendly vendors cooking right in front of the customers.
One of the nicest aspects of dining in Japan is that some foods like Japanese barbecue meals are cooked and prepared by the customers at a small tabletop grill in the restaurant.
Many restaurants are not located on ground level since there are many highrise buildings. Look for signs that say 2F, 3F, 4F, etc which tell you which floors the restaurants are located on. Many signs have English words too so tourists can read them.
When you eat in Osaka, a lot the food is prepared right in front of you. At many local restaurants, you can sit at a counter around the table and watch the chef cook the food.
I recommend trying a hot plate service so you can see the chef cook on the teppanyaki grill – it’s such an exciting dining experience!
Food around train stations
If you can book a hotel near Namba station or Umeda station, you’ll be surrounded by the most amazing restaurants and food stalls nearby. There are hundreds of places to eat within a 10 block radius.
Osaka station, in the Umeda district, is home to many popular and affordable restaurants. Check out Tsurutontan Top Chefs, which is a restaurant specializing in thick noodles, especially udon. You can also find some of the city’s best ramen in that area.
An Osaka food guide is incomplete without the foodie heaven known as the Dotonbori neighborhood.
The Dotonbori Canal and Dotonbori Street, which runs parallel to the canal’s southern bank, are both known as “Dotonbori.” It is one of Osaka’s most vibrant places and a must-see for everyone going through the Kansai region.
These days, Dotonbori is a gastronomic hub you must go to when visiting Osaka. You’ll find restaurants, street food stalls, izakaya pubs and more modern bars.
For the best shabu shabu beef or sukiyaki is a restaurant called Hariju.
There’s also a really good restaurant where they serve crab called Kani Douraku. The shop front is easily recognizable because there’s a giant moving crab installation set up.
If you’re not scared about eating fugu pufferfish, a good place to start is Zubora-ya .
For simple but delicious takoyaki stuffed with glazed baby octopus, you can try Kukuru.
If you love eating ramen, Dotombori Kamukura is a popular restaurant with a great savory broth. You can also find vending machines selling ramen nonstop.
Nakanoshima Fishing Port
A short distance away from Osaka’s Government districts and beside the River Ijigawa, the Nakanoshima fishing port provides the latest attractions in Osaka.
Several restaurants in the waterfront sector are enjoying huge successes since the first time they opened in 2015.
Taste fresh seafood and fresh sushi that have been hand cut in Japan by skilled local chefs! Grilled salmon or tuna, grilled shellfish, and seafood salads are also popular snack choices at Nakanoshima Minato’s dining section.
Osaka food festivals
The Gion festival is probably the most well-known festival in Osaka. This is the festival of the Yasaka shrine and takes place during the entire month of July.
It’s the most famous Japanese food festival full of delicious food. You can try local cuisine or dishes from other regions of the country.
There’s a whole procession with floats and traditional costumes.
But, the okonomiyaki is the star dish of this festival. You can find okonomiyaki restaurants serving their specialties at yatai stalls.
Osaka ramen expo is also a great festival if you love to eat ramen noodles with all kinds of yummy ingredients and toppings.
This festival takes place in December near Banpakukoen Station.
Best food markets in Osaka
The two main destinations for street food lovers are Kuromon Market and Dotonbori Food Street.
Kuromon Ichiba market in Osaka
If you want to eat all of the various street foods in Osaka, Kuromon Ichiba market is the place to go, located in the Chuo ward. This market is nicknamed “Osaka’s kitchen”.
It has been around since 1822 and it supplies many restaurants in the area with the best fresh local produce, including seafood, fish, meat, and vegetables.
The market is open to local foodies and hungry tourists. You’ll find over 170 shops that serve fresh fish, seafood, meat, and cooked dishes. There are special food tours where you can also learn to make sushi rolls.
Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shotengai
If you’re passionate about Japanese knives and kitchen utensils, you need to visit this market. It’s nicknamed “kitchenware street”.
Buying your own set of professional kitchen gear at Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shotengai is the next step in fully immersing yourself in Osaka’s culinary culture.
This market is a 150-meter-long shopping street. It’s full of home goods merchants displaying their impressive selections of culinary utensils, cookware, and restaurant supplies.
However, there are many food shops too, including quirky cafes and small ramen booths.
Every year on October 9th, a festival is conducted at the arcade. The region is especially popular among students and young people on this day because almost all tools and utensils are on sale.
You can also take workshops and food demos to round out the festival’s experience by providing fascinating insights into Osaka’s cuisine.
Shi-Tennoji Temple Market
If you want a glimpse into daily life, you have to visit the Flea Market at Shi-Tennoji Temple Market. It’s not a dedicated food market only, but rather a larger flea market with many must-try street food stalls.
This is the city’s largest flea market where you can buy used clothing and home goods. It’s located on the ancient grounds of Shi-Tennoji Temple but this market is a foodie’s dream come true.
Most locals know this place as an essential part of Osaka’s street food scene.
The most popular dishes to eat are yakisoba noodles with all kinds of yummy toppings as well as really tasty takoyaki.
As you walk around the market looking for antiques and souvenirs, you’ll smell the tempting aromas of street food stalls.
For generations, Osaka has been regarded as a merchant and commerce city: open, bustling, and brimming with both local and international culture.
This essence of Osaka is represented in each of the city’s markets, each with its own distinct ambiance.
Ashiharabashi Upmarket has a cool name, a lot of young people, and a unique experience away from the tourist crowds. It’s the kind of place where you can find all kinds of produce, ingredients, and foods that are hard to find otherwise.
This indoor and outdoor market, located near the JR Loop Line’s Ashiharabashi Station, allows local farmers and food business owners to display their products and goods.
With roughly 80 stalls offering this vibrant diversity, you’ll find a flavor palette spanning from middle-eastern delights to local goods from Osaka Prefecture.
The market takes place on the third Sunday of the month, with different opening times according to the season.
Ikuno Korea Town
Your Osaka trip is incomplete without a visit to Ikuno Korea Town. It’s the best place to try Korean food but also fusion foods that are heavily influenced by local Japanese ingredients.
Korea Town is located near Tsuruhashi Station on the JR Loop Line. You’ll find all things including clothing, Korean pop culture items, and of course, street food.
The Miyuki-dori is a large 300-meter long shopping street with many food stalls and restaurants serving up the best Korean foods right there in Osaka. The Korean restaurants in this area resemble the ones in Seoul.
It’s the best place to try Korean BBQ and see how it compares to Yakiniku.
You can also try more varieties of kimchi and the world-famous grilled beef dishes.
Osaka Food Tours
If you feel overwhelmed by the many food options in this Japanese city, you can sign up for a guided food tour that will take you around to try amazing Osaka takoyaki as well as other specialties from the Osaka prefecture.
Here are a few of the best food tours:
1) Osaka Food Market Tour
First, you’ll tour Suruhashi wholesale fish market. This is the place where many restaurants source their fish and seafood from.
You can taste delicious sashimi from the daily catch.
There are some smaller stalls with seasonal foods. The guide will take you to the Shinsekai neighborhood for a hearty lunch.
Tourists are transported from one location to the next with the Osaka metro.
2) Kuromon Market & Dotonbori Tour
This is the best food tour for first-time visitors. It takes people to all the most popular places for foodies, including Osaka market, Kuromon, and of course, Dotonbori.
You’ll see wagyu merchants, taste tofu, and eat fresh sushi, and yakitori just to name a few. But, you’ll get a chance to learn about Japanese culinary traditions.
This experience combines sightseeing in the Dotonbori area with very tasty food.
3) Osaka Food & Bike Tour
If you like to stay active on holiday, it’s best to combine eating with biking to help burn off those calories.
This tour is 3 hours long and takes you through the bustling neighborhood of Shinsekai.
You can eat all kinds of spicy pancakes, beef dishes, takoyaki, sushi, and lots of snacks from the local food markets.
You’ll bike past popular Buddhist temples and get to visit a local Osaka knife artisan shop.
The best part is that you get to meet some locals to understand Osaka’s rich culinary history and traditions.
Osaka food prices
Japan isn’t a cheap country to visit, and while it’s true that food is generally expensive, you can certainly find affordable delicious street foods and small mom-and-pop restaurants where you can enjoy traditional cuisine.
The food prices in Osaka vary a lot but, according to Osaka Travel Cost, the average cost of food in Osaka is ¥3,001 per day. This is about 26 USD.
These are wide estimates but most diners spend about ¥1,201 per person ($11) when dining out.
Generally, breakfast foods are cheaper than lunch and dinner menus and dishes. You can buy these at train and metro stations and food stalls all over the city.
Casual dining is still pretty affordable but street foods are pretty cheap.
Common street dishes like hot soup, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, ramen, soba, and udon cost somewhere between 500 and 1,000 JPY or 4.60 to 9.25 USD. Most fried batter snacks are affordable.
The cheap okonomiyaki restaurant is going to be a lot cheaper than fine dining restaurants serving wagyu beef.
As you’ve realized by now, Osaka is definitely the place to be if you’re a real foodie. The dining options are endless. There’s so much more to this city than just sushi restaurants and ramen.
Whether you like eating sushi or want to discover the lesser-known dishes like pufferfish, there is something for everyone.
Kobe beef, takoyaki, hot pot – just some of the iconic foods you need to discover while dining. So, if you’re staying in central Osaka or near Dotonburi, there are tons of restaurants to discover.
The food in Osaka is tasty, but don’t forget to visit Japanese bars for some traditional sake!
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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.