Updated: June 20, 2019
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Deep Osaka: One-person Hot-Pot and Sukiyaki at 'Nabeya'

Osaka City

'Deep Osaka' articles take you to Osaka restaurants that are off the beaten path and probably unknown to most tourists. This time, we're visiting 'Nabeya,' a local Osaka joint specializing in sukiyaki and nabe dishes.

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'Nabeya' an Unchanged Shop in a Changing Neighborhood

Osaka's Nishinari district is in the middle of a transformation.
What once used to be a cheap lodging spot for day laborers is becoming a popular area for backpackers and tourists to stay, and the demographics of the area are shifting rapidly. However, despite the change going on around it, 'Nabeya' is a local restaurant that hasn't changed at all, and has always been loved by locals.

The restaurant is probably the area's most beloved shop, and is so popular that it is often booked full for days in a row during the cold winter months. However, during the summertime, this is a different story, and it is much less crowded!

Nabeya_storefront
The closest station to 'Nabeya' is JR Shin-Imamiya, and the restaurant is about 10 minutes away by foot. Despite arriving 20 minutes before opening time at 2:00pm, there was already another customer waiting in line!
Nabeya_interior
The wall is filled with the menu of various appetizer dishes
The owner of Nabeya is originally from Miyazaki Prefecture, and has been running the store for 8 years now. He is the third owner of Nabeya, but preserves the same, traditional flavors that the restaurant has always had.

Appetizers

After deciding on the restaurant's famous 'Beef Sukiyaki,' we ordered some appetizers for while we wait. The boiled 'hamo' (dagger tooth pike) and 'suinasu' (eggplant) both had a very 'Only-in-Osaka' taste!
nabeya_white_food
Hamo with plum or miso sauce, ¥550
nabeya_eggplant
The Osaka standard: Sui nasu, seasoned with ginger and soy sauce. Juicy and impossible to stop eating. ¥380

Huge Beef Sukiyaki!

After a short wait, this huge nabe covered in meat was brought out. Traditionally, sukiyaki meat is boiled in Kanto, but grilled in Kansai. However, as the sukiyaki here is under the 'nabe' (hotpot) menu, it is more like beef hotpot. The meat is piled onto vegetables and cooked down.
nabeya_meat_pot
Beef Sukiyaki ¥780
This is an unbelievable portion size, considering the price! Underneath the plentiful beef is cabbage, onion, tofu, and 'fu' (dried bread).
nabeya_meat_pot_cooking
Even as the pot cooks down, the presence of the beef is still the most significant
nabeya_meat_served_in_a_bowl
The finished broth is not too sweet, and is actually fairly light and refreshing. The flavor of the high-quality beef shines through, and is delightful. It's possible to order other toppings and fillers such as eggs or noodles, which I imagine would also be delicious!

If you visit in the winter, try the 'Oyster Miso Nabe!'

Only available between October and April, this item is unfortunately unavailable in the summer. Apparently, the nabe is so popular that it sometimes sells out within 30 minutes of opening!
nabeya_miso_oyster_pot
Oyster Miso Nabe, ¥1,300

If You Want to Try Really Great Food That is Loved By Locals, This is the Spot to Go in Nishinari!

Nabeya is an awesome place to get a huge and delicious nabe for an extremely low price. If you want to get an authentic, local dining experience in Osaka, this place is worth checking out.
DeLong
I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

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