6 Mouth-Watering Dishes in Osaka You Must Try

Osaka's locals have a special affinity with food. Amelia Gambier discovers, Kuidaore – which translates to “eating oneself bankrupt” – is closely associated with Osaka's street food culture.

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Osaka Street Food Photo © Amelia Gambier

Aside from the obvious suggestions of sushi and noodles, Osaka has a whole host of edible options available. That’s not to say that sushi and noodles should be avoided; they definitely shouldn’t be, but here are some of Osaka’s must eats. 

With food options on every street – from corner stores and marketplaces to high-end restaurants – there’s something for everyone.

Yakitori

This is a style of restaurant where everything is one price and everything is cooked on skewers. Yakitori in particular refers to the chicken.

Dishes can be ordered from a vast menu, or you can just ask for a mix. Beer is also available and is a match made in heaven with yakitori.

Looking at the menu will also make you realise just how many different parts of the chicken are eaten here: liver, gizzards, cartilage, hearts… don’t be shy and give them a go! We highly recommend the cartilage, actually. 

Okonomiyaki

This is a type of pancake that’s fried up right in front of you! The main ingredients are cabbage and egg, then you add your own toppings, such as onion, pork, seafood, or cheese. Noodles can also be added for the extra hungry.

Watching the chef cook it up, especially for you, is an added bonus. 

Kushikatsu

Kushi-katsu is another popular dish that’s readily available in Osaka’s Shinsekei district. Basically, it’s more food on skewers. 

This time, you can choose from a variety of meat and vegetables. If you're a first-timer, you can also have a mix, which gives a good range of everything. Each skewer has only one item on it, which is then deep-fried. 

The skewers are served on a tray, and with a huge pot of sauce. The sauce is shared amongst customers, so use the cabbage leaves provided to pour it onto your skewers.

Fried ice-cream and cheesecake are available for dessert.

Yakiniku

Yakiniku is essentially a barbecue. Here you’ll get a plate of raw meats that you’ll cook yourself.

As with the other foods mentioned, you can opt a mix of the chef’s suggestion if you’re not sure what to choose. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other choices, but it is delicious.

Order a side of rice to fill you up, as the meat is tasty, but not overly filling.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki are tasty little dumplings filled with octopus. They can be served with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, seaweed and bonito fish flakes.

Takoyaki sauce tastes like Worcestershire sauce, but a closely guarded secret, individual to each vendor.

Desserts

Finally, if you want something sweet, you’re spoilt for choice in Osaka. Snacks can be found in the corner stores (there are plenty of 7-elevens, Lawson’s, and Family Marts) where you can find cheap, inoffensive cakes. 

Bakeries are also easy to find, and are probably a better choice; they have tasty, very cute cakes for sale. 

Street stalls are a fun way to get something odd. Although there aren’t as many selling dessert as there are savoury foods, they can be found. 

Try and track down a taiyaki stall, where you’ll find fish-shaped cakes. They’re usually filled with a red-bean paste, but less common fillings include custard, chocolate, cheese, or even cornflakes!

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