Osaka’s traditional nickname is “nation’s kitchen,” and it’s a nickname that the city has taken to a totally higher level. With a multitude of restaurants, cafes, and eat streets offering the best dining experiences found nowhere else in the world, Osaka has become a popular foodie destination. So, what food should you eat on your visit to Osaka? We have listed ten of the must try eats in Osaka!
One way the locals beat the heat is by drinking hiyashiame because summers in Osaka can be unbearably hot and humid. Hiyashiame is made with grated ginger root mixed with molasses and water, and then chilled. This sweet-spicy drink is the perfect refreshment to take after a day of walking around the city, even if you timed your trip to Osaka to avoid summer,
Japanese curry is nothing like the curries of India or Southeast Asia. It’s thick and rich, much like gravy, and it’s not as spicy as other types of curry. In Osaka, restaurants serve Japanese curry with the rice already mixed with the sauce.
A noodle dish you can find anywhere in Japan and elsewhere in the world. But only in Osaka can you find authentic kitsune udon or fox udon. Kitsune udon is hot noodle soup with squares of sweet, deep-fried tofu.
A breaded and skewered food deep-fried in oil, is a popular Osaka street food and an original Osaka invention. Almost anything can be turned into kushikatsu, from chicken and meat cutlets, to seafood and vegetables. It’s a handy snack to eat while walking about.
Another Osaka invention, and while this savory pancake is widely available in Japan and elsewhere, there’s nothing like the original homegrown version. Okonomiyaki is basically pancake batter mixed with dry fish stock and finely shredded cabbage, but it can have other ingredients like cheese, shredded pork belly, seafood, and mochi.
You’ll find sushi restaurants all over the world, but it’s worth flying to Osaka just for a taste of authentic Osakan sushi. Sushi in Osaka is presented simply to showcase the flavor and freshness of the seafood used. While you’re in Osaka, you mustn’t miss otoro sushi – that is, sushi made with the fattiest part of the tuna’s belly. This melt-in-your-mouth sushi can cost a fortune elsewhere in the world, but in Osaka it’s relatively cheap and is definitely one of the must try eats.
This Japanese snack is a baby octopus stuffed with a quail egg inside its head. It’s glazed, skewered, and cooked on the grill. Just like kushikatsu, it’s a popular street fare in Osaka.
Another one for the must try eats in Osaka is Takoyaki. It seems like Osakans can’t get enough of octopus in their street food. Takoyaki is another popular octopus-based street eat just like tako tamago. Unlike tako tamago, though, takoyaki is pancake batter stuffed with octopus and cooked in a griddle where it attains the shape and size of a golf ball. It’s then eaten with takoyaki sauce or Japanese mayonnaise, sometimes with cheese or seaweed flakes as toppings.
If you’ve been dreaming of affordable wagyu beef, which can cost an arm and a leg elsewhere in the world, then make your trip to Osaka your excuse to eat wagyu to your heart’s content. Wagyu beef is still a bit costly when eaten in a restaurant setting, such as at a yakiniku restaurant, but you can stumble upon street stalls serving grilled slivers of these mouthwatering treats in Osaka.
Barbecued on the grill, Yakitori is simply chicken skewers. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this dish, yet another of Osaka’s popular street food. Tender, juicy and flavored with thick and sweet tare sauce, yakitori is delightful to eat after hours of sightseeing in Osaka.
If you consider yourself a foodie, a food trip to Osaka should be at the top of your bucket list. Plan your trip to Japan with articles we’ve listed here!