Japan is one of my favorite countries and this last trip I had the chance to visit Osaka for the first time. Osaka is known as a foodie city, and I have to agree. While I was only there a couple days, I made the most of it and ate ALL the famous dishes and a few other quirky favorites as well.
I’ll share the restaurants I tried, but there are many restaurants in these areas that are serving up delicious variations of these dishes. Two days was not enough to try everything in this Las Vegas-esque city. Between the stimulation of lights, the arcades, the shopping, and all the food it is a very stark contrast to more traditional cities like Kyoto.
- Kuishikatsu Daruma
This is the equivalent to a fried food lovers’ dream. There is no food group discrimination if they can coat it and fry they will! I went for the set which has beef, chicken, shrimp, asparagus, as well CHEESE and QUAIL EGGS and MOCHI. Then if you are feeling fancy you could also get a small selection A4 Wagyu beef, Iberico pork, and Hanamidori Chicken.
The most important rule for eating the beautiful fried skewers is the dipping sauce, NO DOUBLE DIPPING. The sauce is held in a communal bowl in the middle of your table.
2. Okonomiyaki- Japanese seafood pancake- Yukari Sosenzaki honten
Think savory pancake full of delicious seafood and veggie surprises cooked in front of you on a griddle. Part of the charm is the simplicity of just combining these ingredients all together to make a delicious meal. The fun also comes in when you top it off with sauce, mayo, and those moving bonito flakes.
Many regions in Japan have their own specialty versions. The Osaka one we got named after the famous dontonburi street was filled with seafood (minus the oysters because they are not my fav).
3. Matsuke beef- Better than Wagyu- Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M
If you love, or even just like, beef you need to experience the magic of matsuke beef. Hands down the best I have ever had and I am so glad @justjiar told me about it, and yes it is better than wagyu. This beef only is raised on a small area of Kobe, Japan, these are the cows that get fed beer and are massaged. The Restaurant knows the heritage of the cow and only serves the best quality.
Again went for the set option which is a little pricey $75 per person but boy is it worth it! The selection is of 4 lean and 4 fatty parts of the cow. They are served in slices that you cook on the table in beef fat. Also, they have a beef sushi!
4. Gudetama Cafe
First, if you don’t know who Gudetama is stop and go look up this loveable egg character. From the genius who brought you Hello Kitty, Gudetama is the lazy, sarcastic egg you will come to empathize with. So Kawaii!
The entire cafe is yellow, filled with stuffed animals, and streaming episodes of Gudetama aka a fans paradise. All of the menu items are themed and have his adorable face on it. I had to get the fried rice with curry and The Bacon 🥓 Blanket.
I enjoyed Osaka and will make an effort to go back the next time I go to Japan. It is very close to Kyoto and if you like food it is worth checking out. The tourist attractions aren’t in abundance. I enjoyed the iinstant ramen museum, arcades, and the different shopping areas. Let me know if you have any other Osaka recommendations in the comments for the next time I am wandering there.