Located in the Kansai region, Osaka offers a captivating blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and most importantly; a wide array of culinary delights, all at a somewhat slower pace compared to the hustle & bustle of Tokyo.

Osaka has long been revered as Japan’s culinary capital, earning the nickname “tenka no daidokoro” or “the nation’s kitchen”. This vibrant city’s food culture is deeply rooted in its identity as a port city, which fosters a diverse and innovative culinary scene. Street food plays a crucial role in Osaka’s culinary scene, embodying the city’s motto of “kuidaore” or “eat until you drop”. The city’s streets, particularly in areas like Dotonbori and Kuromon Ichiba, are filled with vendors serving up local specialties to tourists and natives alike.

In this blog, we’ve compiled our top must-try street food in Osaka.

  1.  Takoyaki
  2.  Okonomiyaki
  3.  Kushikatsu
  4.  Ikayaki

1. Takoyaki

Takoyaki is a quintessential Osaka street food. Originating in the 1930s, these golf ball-sized snacks are made by pouring a wheat flour-based batter into specially molded pans and filling them with diced octopus, green onions, and pickled ginger. Although traditionally topped with a sweet-savory sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and aonori seaweed, takoyaki has inspired numerous variations, including cheese, mentaiko, and even sweet flavors. For the best takoyaki in Osaka, we recommend trying Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka in Sennichimae, Kougaryu in Amerikamura, or Takoyaki Juhachiban in Dotonbori.

2. Okonomiyaki

Japan’s version of a savory pancake, Okonomiyaki gained nationwide popularity during the 1970 Osaka World Expo. The iconic Osaka version of the dish features a fluffy batter made with flour, eggs, dashi, and yamaimo (mountain yam), mixed with shredded cabbage and various ingredients like pork belly, seafood, or cheese. To try the best okonomiyaki in Osaka for yourself, visit the bustling Dotonbori district. Here, specialized restaurants serve this beloved dish, and many spots even allow customers to grill it at the table!

3. Kushikatsu

Kushikatsu is a beloved street food featuring skewered and deep-fried meat, seafood, or vegetables. This crispy delicacy originated in Osaka’s working-class neighborhoods during the 1920s. When eating kushikatsu, remember the golden rule: no double-dipping in the shared sauce! For the best kushikatsu experience, head to the Shinsekai district near Tsutenkaku Tower.

4. Ikayaki

Ikayaki is a grilled squid dish known for its smoky flavor and tender texture. Chefs usually grill the whole squid over charcoal, brushing it with soy sauce for a savory glaze. However, some vendors slice the squid before grilling, creating crispy edges. Other popular variations include stuffed ikayaki with cheese or vegetables. For the best ikayaki, visit Kuromon Ichiba Market in central Osaka where skilled vendors serve this delicacy fresh off the grill.

Check out these other Osaka activities:

We hope this guide has helped you uncover the street food in Osaka for your next visit to Japan! To discover even more of the best things to do in Japan, visit Trazy.comYour Travel Shop for Asia!

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