Osaka is a city for great eats and should be on your radar if you love Japanese food. I have family in Osaka and have always enjoyed visiting, but have forgotten how good the food is here since I have been spending more time in Kyoto. Now I am kicking myself. Osaka is easily accessible from Kyoto and worth spending at minimum a day to try some of the signature dishes it is known for.
Takoyaki are bite-size savory balls with octopus. Covered with a sweet sauce, katsuobushi flakes, and aonori it is a great snack. Tako = octopus; yaki = grilled.
Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake with toppings like pork and seafood. It is also topped with a sweet sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi flakes, and aonori. It is usually made in front of the diner on a hot teppan, iron grill.
Mizuno 美津の is a Michelin Bib Gourmand shop in the popular Dotonbori district.
Mizuno’s original okonomiyaki is called Mizuno-yaki and is made with pork, squid, shrimp, scallops, octopus, and oysters in the winter season. We were also craving some noodles and got the modern-yaki which is an okonomiyaki with yakisoba noodles.
The shop is very popular so expect lines.
Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku, Dotonbori 1-4-15
Udon is soul food for Osakans. We fell into Bou while exploring the maze of restaurants in the buildings in front of Osaka station in Umeda. A small counter with a few side tables. There were some bottles of sake in the fridge, including Kawatsuru from Kagawa prefecture. Kagawa in Shikoku is also known for udon and it was a good match.
The recommended dish is tempura chikuwa (roasted fish cake) bukkake udon with an onsen tamago. Bukkake udon are cold noodles with a very little amount of sauce. A delicious bowl and a nice finish to the day after trying so many dishes.
The restaurant was filled with regulars, many office workers from the building.
Udon Bou Osaka Honten
Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Kita-Umeda 1-1-3, B200 Osaka Eki Mae Bldg. Dai-3, B2F37-2
I’ve been to Osaka over a dozen times and had never tried Osaka-style kushi katsu. Kushi katsu are small bites that are skewered, breaded and deep-fried. The Osaka twist on the dish is that on the table is a container with a thin sauce that the kushi katsu is dipped into. Signs everywhere remind diners to dip only once, no double dipping. 🙂
OMG, this was so good and I can’t believe it was my first time to experience this, 28 years after my first visit. The shop is casual and loads of fun for kids. Like kaitenzushi shops, a toy shinkansen brings the hot items to your tableside. Vegetarians will like it here as there are many vegetables on the menu. We loved it all, seafood, meat, vegetables, and cheese.
Best of all, this shop is at Shin-Osaka station where the shinkansen arrives. I will be back!
Kushi Katsu Daruma
There are branches throughout the city.
Be sure to put Osaka on your radar. If you are spending any time in Kyoto, see if you can add a day and extend your travels to include Osaka.