Osaka is renowned for it’s food. The city’s unofficial slogan is kuidore, which means “eat ’til you drop”.
The food here is plentiful and inexpensive. Everything is bigger than big, the bright lights, the 3D food signs, even the softserve icecreams. The great thing about Osaka is a couple of days in the city will be enough time to see as much as you need to, if not to eat as much as you would like to.
If nothing else, make sure you make your way to Dotonbori at night. It’s bright, busy and crazy. Like Tokyo, but a bit more manageable.
This is what we liked.
RIDICULOUSLY LARGE 3D FOOD SIGNS
SUSHI TRAIN – INVENTED IN OSAKA
Sushi trains are always cool. We went to Daiki Suisan in Dotonbori. Everything was good, super fresh and varied enough to be interesting. It was all fun until a hoard of kiwi lads next to us decided to order whale sushi. Then I felt ill and left.
KUSHIKATSU IN SHIN-SEKAI
OK, I have to admit that fried food on sticks doesn’t exactly rock my world as far as high end gastronomic experiences go. But Shin-Sekai is worth a visit just to eat in a room solely with other Japanese (the odds of seeing any other Westerners is very low). We roamed the streets as we came out of the subway, and looked for the busiest places. They turn the tables quickly, so there are no issues with long wait times.
Kushikatsu is a local speciality, and is effectively yakitori, crumbed and deep fried. We had a set selection at Daruma, including beef, pork, quails eggs, mochi (glutinous rice paste) and prawns. We also had a side of a mystery meat stew. It was delicious, but best not to question the cuts of beef included.
SHABU-SHABU IN SHINSAIBASHI
This was by far and away the best meal we ate during our time in Kyoto and Osaka. It was also the most expensive, but still excellent value for money.
Nishiya is tucked down a side street, not far from the Shinsaibashi shopping mall. They offer udon, nabe and shabu-shabu. We went for the shabu-shabu, cooked at our tables, and heaped with vegetables (which we needed after too much carbs and protein). Definitely recommended.