Okonomiyaki is a pancake-like dish popular in various styles across Japan. In Osaka, shredded cabbage and a whole range of other ingredients such as squid, prawn, octopus or meat are mixed into a flour-based batter and cooked before eaten with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, green laver (aonori) and dried bonito (katsuobushi). In some restaurants, okonomiyaki is prepared by the customers on a hot plate at their table.
Takoyaki is the main street food associated with Osaka. This tasty treat is a fried round mixture of batter, octopus, ginger, and usually some vegetables and spices. The best place to sample takoyaki is at one of the food stalls along the Dotonbori, but this dish can be found all over the city. Many locals even have special takoyaki-making grills at home.
Yakiniku is grilling meat over a fire and eating it with a sauce. It’s like an indoor version of a self-service barbecue with only meat. It’s not the same as a steak. It’s Korean in origin, and it’s said that a Korean living in Osaka set the trend, so you can kind of say it’s a food that originated from Osaka. Today, the center of the biggest Korean Town in the Kansai region is in Tsuruhashi, Osaka. There are lots of Yakiniku restaurants there.
This dish is famous all over Japan, but it originated in Osaka where the residents are known to prefer udon (thick wheat noodles) over other types of Japanese noodles. Kitsune udon is made with a hot dashi stock and topped with deep fried tofu. Kitsune means "fox" in Japanese, and the dish is thus named because fried tofu is believed to be a fox's favorite.
Kushikatsu is deep-fried meat or vegetables on a stick. The Tsutenkaku area in Osaka is famous for Kushikatsu restaurants. In the stores, there are sauce cans set at each table, and there’s a sign that says “Don’t dip twice!” This is because it’s the manner to limit yourself to one sauce dipping per stick when eating Kushikatsu. Even if you’re a tourist, you might want to keep that in mind. Shinsekai is the best place to enjoy kushikatsu in a nostalgic Osaka atmosphere.
Osaka is not known for ramen, but Japan is, and considering this is the food capital of Japan, the ramen here is worth finding. Tourists generally flock to Ippudo or Kinryu, but be sure to try local favorites, such as Mitsuka Bose Kamoshi and unique shops including ME-CHA-KU-CHA and Manzeibo Junkie.
Osaka is known as a party city, so there are many izakaya, or Japanese pubs. One of the izakaya’s staple foods is yakitori: grilled chicken and other meat on sticks. This skewered snack is perfect with a beer at the end of the day.
551 Horai, a national chain headquartered in Osaka’s Namba district, is among the best places to find this tasty pork bun. Butaman is particularly famous in Osaka and comes with tasty hot mustard.
Fish-shaped and stuffed with fillings like red bean paste and custard, taiyaki are tasty little cakes that are perfect snacks for Osaka residents on the go. The sweet, red bean filling is tasty, but we found the crunchy tail to be the best part. If you’re looking for fun food to eat in Osaka, start with taiyaki.