5 Foods you can’t miss in Osaka!

Osaka is often called the fried food capital of Japan (or at least I call it that). With a population of people who are famous for their upfront and straightforward nature and Osaka-ben style of speech, Osaka is a great place in Japan to visit. Furthermore, most people who visit praise the distinctly Osaka styled cuisine, from street food to restaurants.

Japanese ramen food yum tokyo


So if you’re heading off to Osaka anytime soon, here are the five must-eat dishes!

1. Takoyaki

Hands down, takoyaki is the most famous food in Osaka. Takoyaki is a slice of raw octopus, fried in balls of salty pancake batter. Depending on the location, it will have different inserts – the most common of which are cheese, red pickled ginger, and negi spring onions. Takoyaki is served fresh in paper containers of six to eight balls.

Takoyaki osaka best of tako yaki fried octopus balls japan japanese food

The usual toppings for takoyaki are Japanese mayonnaise, sweet BBQ sauce, fish flakes, and seaweed. If you want to cut calories, you can ask for less sauce… but takoyaki is pretty unhealthy, through and through. There isn’t an easy way to cut calories.

While you can find takoyaki all around Japan, no one can argue that Osaka has that the highest concentration of takoyaki; ask any Japanese person what city they think of when they see takoyaki and they will reply “Osaka.”

2. Kakigori

Kakigori is one of my personal favorite deserts in Japan. This summer dish is shaved ice with a thick syrup. The cheapest kinds are available on most street corners during the summer. Their flavors are typically “Blue Hawaii,” “Strawberry,” “Lemon,” “Melon,” and many others. They will also typically add a sweet white cream topping.


High end kakigori, on the other hand, is a whole new ball game. This delicate desert if typically macha green tea flavored, with delicate flakes and a thorough (but not smothering) taste. It is accompanied by anko red bean paste, ice cream, and sweet mocha pounded rice.

3. Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki, often described as a Japanese pancake, is one of the other famous Osaka cuisines. With ingredients very similar to takoyaki, it is a foreigner favorite.

How to make Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)

Okonomiyaki is roughly the size of a small plate. It is batter with cabbage and meat (beef, pork, chicken, squid, etc), fried in on a stove in front of you. The best part of okonomiyaki is the fact you are often allowed to cook the okonomiyaki yourself. The restaurant provides a bowl of ingredients; you can choose the size, thickness, and desired crispness of your okonomiyaki dinner.

Just like takoyaki, the usual toppings are Japanese mayonnaise, sweet BBQ sauce, fish flakes, and seaweed.

4. Kaitenzushi

Kaitenzushi is a foreigner favorite in Japan, regardless of the city. Kaiten sushi is rotator belt sushi. Most people have seen it in movies and advertisements. It’s fantastic because you can eat as much, or as little, as you would like.

Sushi (1) kaitenzushi japanese food osaka

Some people like to order the same thing over and over again; others use this as a chance to try as many Japanese fish as they can.

5. Yakisoba pan

Yakisoba pan is not a full meal; it is a great thing to try when you just need a snack in Osaka. It is yakisoba fried noodles with a red pickled ginger topping, smashed inside a hotdog bun. Yakisoba pan (also known as Yakisoba bread) is sold at most convenience stores in Japan.

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About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

11 Comments on 5 Foods you can’t miss in Osaka!

  1. Great post. Takoyaki is seriously one of my favourite street snacks ever and I don’t think I’ve had a better Okonomiyaki than that at Mizuno. here’s what I thought when I visited http://thecitylane.com/osaka-food-guide/

  2. Dinesh Bora // 2 May, 2014 at 4:11 pm //

    You’re just like me when it comes to the Kaitenzushi, everytime I go to a restaurant with it I just have to eat from it!

  3. i love okonomiyaki and takoyaki! each time my friend and i go check out a new japanese restaurant we will ALWAYS try their takoyaki. i have recently found a nice place close to my house who sells okonomiyaki. i can’t wait to travel to japan and try the authentic japanese cuisine.

    • Lucky you! It’s so hard to find good Japanese food outside of Japan. I hope you get a chance to try the real, authentic stuff in Japan someday!

      • So true. I thought I has a rather good idea of what Japanese food was all about but then I visited Japan and realised I knew very little. Such a diverse cuisine.

  4. i have heard of Okonomiyaki a lot and I can’t wait to try it. My last visit in Tokyo was all about different kind of sushi and therefore i missed some of local delicacies :)

    • But then again, sushi is great :)

      I hope you get to try Ononomiyaki soon. I know Korea has a somewhat similar pancake dish that is absolutely delicious.
      Food is definitely my favorite part of travel!

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