Osaka is affectionately known as the “Kitchen of Japan”, and with this title, it only means that every meal at the Japanese city will be a good meal. There are no lack of options when dining at Osaka – from street snacks to fast meals at local eateries to a gastronomical display of kappo – and it is impossible to run out of ideas on what to eat because whether you are craving for an okonomiyaki or you need a bowl of piping hot ramen on a cold winter night, Osaka will feed you well.
Prior to our trip, we heard so much about how no one comes back from Osaka skinny, and while that thought did sound a little threatening, we knew we were going to love it. And indeed, we did! Friends and locals shared their favourites and go-to places with us, and we have compiled this Osaka food guide for your easy reference so that you will never have a bad meal at Osaka.
Cafes, local eateries, ramen parlours, sushi bars, exquisite dining in aristocratic ryoteis… you name it, Osaka has it. Enjoy feasting your way through the Kitchen of Japan!
It is hard to describe Osaka in just one word. But this is not to say it is just another Tokyo. While there have always been comparisons between these two cities, and talks about how Osaka can never be like Tokyo, we beg to differ, for Osaka radiates its own charm and deserves to be loved for many reasons.
From the majestic Osaka Castle to Universal Studios Japan, shopping at Shinsaibashi to cafe-hopping at Orange Street, Instant Ramen Museum to Osaka Central Fish Market, the list goes on and we have picked out 20 things to covet when visiting Osaka.
Mark Osaka down in your travel bucket list. We promise it would be worth a visit.
When we learnt that we were headed to Osaka, we asked ourselves, “what must we eat?”
Because Osaka is affectionately known as the Kitchen of Japan, and the Osakans worship their washoku (Japanese cuisine) – the ones who prepare dedicate their lives to perfecting the dishes they lay out on the table; the ones who savour spend their time learning and understanding every history and style of the different kinds of washoku. It is almost like a religion for Japanese (and quite possibly people from all over the world) to live and breathe the art of washoku.
So when we say ‘eat’, it is in every way an artistic indulgence, one that has us completely enveloped in the soul of Japanese expressions. The chefs pay so much attention to every step of the preparation and presentation, and there are always rich histories behind every style of dining; ingredients used are very much based on seasons, and the style of cooking has their own stories to tell too.
All that intrigue to speak about, but for now, we will begin with kappo – the definition of Osaka’s culinary glory. Like how Kyoto has its kaiseki, Osaka takes pride in their cutting and cooking, hence making up the word ‘kappo’. But do not be intimidated by the language if you do not understand, because if any, it is really a very affectionate way of dining.