Updated: November 19, 2019
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Must-Eat Foods In Osaka!

Osaka City

You haven't experienced Osaka authentic food culture until you've tried these: takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu, fugu, ikayaki, udon, and yakinku.

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We'll introduce these great foods below but before we start - consider a food tour with a local!

magical_trip_osaka_food_tour
If you're visiting Osaka and don't want to miss out on all the great local foods, a foodie tour is a great option to get the most out of your trip!

This tour by Magical Trip is hosted by English-speaking local guides that will not only make you eat some delicious Osakan foods and show you the iconic spots of the area but also guide you through some hidden back alleys and to some ancient temples.

This is arguably the best foodie tour for Osaka with all the local guides having 5-star reviews by registered guests. Prices are about ¥9,000 per person and this includes all the food of the 3-hour tour. You can get more info about the tour and book the tour from the link below.

Takoyaki

takoyaki_balls
These street snacks are unmissable in Osaka. They are a quintessential part of the food culture there. You can find them anywhere in Japan, but people swear that nothing compares to the ones you can have in Osaka. What they are is basically small balls of wheat batter with octopus inside as the main ingredient. For that reason, they are sometimes called "octopus balls" in English. They are served piping hot, usually with some kind of sweet-savory sauce on top and some bonito fish flakes, and they are habitually eaten with a toothpick or chopsticks.

If you want some good places to have takoyaki in Osaka, check out the link below.

Okonomiyaki

okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is the other food you just have to have in Osaka. Along with takoyaki, it is arguably the most representative food of the Kansai metropolis. Okonomiyaki is essentially a thick savory pancake with lots of filling. The name "okonomiyaki" literally means "cook what you like", so there is a wide variety of fillings you can have with your okonomiyaki. Nearly all okonomiyaki have thinly sliced cabbage in them, and the other popular ingredients include meat, seafood, cheese, and mochi. As a finishing topping, okonomiyaki pancakes are brushed with a sweet-savory sauce and some mayonnaise is also added.

If you go to an okonomiyaki restaurant, there are good chances that they'll be an iron plate right in front of you. You either cook the dish yourself or the staff at the restaurant will probably do it for you if you aren't familiar with it. Eating the cooked food from the iron plate adds some kind of unique charm to this dish. Some people say it's a good way to get closer to someone so this is why going to an okonomiyaki restaurant is considered a good date option in Japan.

Check out the link below for some good places to have this meat eat food in Osaka.

Kushikatsu

kushi_katsu
These little deep-fried skewers are nearly impossible not to like! Kushikatsu, also known as "kushiage", is also a dish that is very Osakan so make sure to try it while you are there. Kushikatsu skewers are made of all kinds of ingredients such as chicken and pork, vegetables, and even cheese. They are dipped in a soy-based sauce that is available at your table. The dipping sauces are not changed so a basic rule of any restaurant serving kushikatsu is to dip your skewer in the sauce only one time.

Having your kushikatsu with a beer or your favorite drink is almost an implicit requirement! Check out the link below for a good selection of restaurants serving the dish.

Fugu Dishes

fugu
Fugu, or blowfish, is one of the most dangerous foods to prepare on the planet. Cut improperly, dishes made from the toxic fish can be lethal, but rest assured, fugu prepared by licensed chefs have a near zero possibility of being harmful. Osaka is one of the best places to have fugu because it is a regional specialty there. The fish is often served in sashimi or in hot pots. It is a little expensive but definitely worth having at least once if you like seafood.

Here are some of the best addresses where you can have fugu in Osaka.

Ikayaki

ikayaki
This is another famous food of Osaka that fits into the same category as the okonomiyaki and takoyaki because it is made from a wheat-based batter. The "ika" of ikayaki means squid and "yaki" means cooked or grilled. So, as you've probably guessed, the basic ingredient of the dish is squid. Unlike okonomiyaki which is very thick and often compared to a pancake, the ikayaki is quite thin and more similar to a crepe. It is folded in two, and just like okonomiyaki, it comes with the same kind of sauce. Other ingredients aside from the squid include eggs and cabbage. Ikayaki are quite cheap and are often served as street food.

The ikayaki described here is the one that is the most popular in Osaka. In other parts of Japan, ikayaki usually refers to just a grilled squid.

Udon

udon
Udon noodles are basically thick wheat noodles served in a savoury broth made of bonito fish or kombu seaweed. They are popular throughout Japan but Osaka has its own regional specialty that is lighter in taste. Perhaps if you find ramen too rich, udon is the perfect food to have instead. Osaka's udon is often served with some deep-fried tofu, in which case it is called kitsune udon. Udon is cheap and people often love the springy texture of the super thick noodles. Give it a try if you haven't. It's one of the must-eats of the Osaka region.

Here are some places where you can't go wrong with udon.

Yakiniku

yakiniku
Yakiniku, also known as Korean BBQ or Japanese BBQ, consists of slices of meat that you grill on a roaster at your table. The meat is sometimes seasoned and there is always dippings sauces provided with your order. Yakiniku cuisine is particularly popular in Osaka, probably because the city is home to a large Korean community (yakiniku is originally from Korea).

Yakiniku cuisine varies greatly in quality and price. You can find cheap, all-you-can-eat restaurants for as little as ¥2,000 and you can dine at high-end restaurants serving Kobe beef for more than ¥10,000. Whatever it is you are looking for on the quality spectrum, make sure to have yakiniku while you are in Osaka!

Here are some recommended places.
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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