To accompany our last post about some of our favorite things we did in Osaka, let’s take a look at some of our favorite things we ate in Osaka!
Gyozaoh! was our first Osaka meal experience. They earned our patronage simply because of the fact that they had veggie ramen on the menu (this can be hard to find elsewhere). Alana had some gyoza and we shared a dish of eggplant as well. We both agreed that the food was delicious and gave it four thumbs up. It is definitely a must visit if you are a fan of gyoza or really want some meatless ramen. The chef/owner was also really friendly and chatted with us about our travels while we ate (we were the only people in the restaurant at the time), so they get full points for service as well.
Price: Dinner for two (gyoza, ramen, and eggplant) about $17
Kushikatsu is basically fried stuff on a stick. There are a number of restaurants in Shinsekai that specialize in this Osaka mainstay. The sheer amount of restaurants in the area can leave you feeling spoiled for choice. We wandered the street looking for the one with the cheapest prices and also an English menu. We ordered a bunch of different veggies and Alana had some beef and salmon as well. The food was served on a stick, ready to eat, alongside a big pot of sauce for dipping. It was absurdly delicious. Our meal came out to about $12. We were still feeling a little hungry so we decided to do some 串儿 hopping (this is a bad Chinese/English pun, I couldn’t resist). At the next establishment we were required to order drinks. Alana decided to take advantage of the opportunity and ordered some kind of Japanese liquor made of sweet potatoes. She was not prepared. We ordered some different meats and veggies for a total of $15. We both agreed that the first restaurant was not only cheaper but tastier as well.
Price: Varies depending on what you want on your sticks. We had two dinners, mostly veggies, and two drinks for about $27
Pizza Bar Fullhouse
I know what you’re thinking. “Wait a minute! They ate pizza on their first night in Tokyo! So much for experiencing local cuisine!” Well what can I say? After spending the day in Nara playing with the deer (more on this later) we returned to Osaka craving a taste of home. Pizza Bar Fullhouse delivered our guilty pleasure travel pizza binge. When you’re traveling abroad for an extended period of time there are ample opportunities to try every kind of food you might want. There may be some purists out there who insist on only eating foods from where they are traveling, just as there may be some people who only want to eat what they are familiar with from back home. We’re not here to pass judgment one way or the other. If you’re traveling somewhere, don’t waste time worrying about what to eat, just get what you feel like and enjoy it!
Price: 2 pizzas and drinks for $28
As I mentioned in the last post, Kuromon Market is chock full of delicious fresh food. And ice cream donuts. As much as I don’t like crowded markets, I am a pretty big fan of food and was a bit bummed I missed out on this one.
Price: variable, $3 for ice cream donuts
Genji Soba was walking distance from Dotonbori and had a really great set lunch. We tried to eat out (as in at a real restaurant as opposed to a convenience store) for lunch as often as possible. This is a good cost saving option, as restaurants will often have much cheaper prices for lunch than they do for dinner. Seriously, you can get the same food for half the price. The options on the menu were a little confusing, but we kept pointing at things until the waitress seemed satisfied and everything worked out for the best. Both our meals included the delicious soba noodles, as well as a variety of side dishes like salad and pickles, and some kind of pudding like desert. Additionally Alana’s came with some tempura shrimp over rice while mine came with tofu over rice. After this meal I decided that soba was my favorite style of Japanese noodle. Alana remained unconvinced.
Price: 2 set lunches for $25
We ate at Yakumido after our trip to Spa World. The restaurant was tiny, with seating for maybe 6 people or so. Don’t misunderstand though, I’m not complaining. In many of the tastiest meals we had in Japan came from the smallest restaurants. When we first got there it was full and we had to wait outside, but it was well worth it. The owner spoke fluent English and conversed with us and the other patrons as he prepared our meals behind the bar where we sat. There were only three options on the menu: beef, veggie, or combo curry. I opted for the veggie and Alana had the combo. Alana, based on her past experiences with Japanese style curry (Coco Ichibanya), had yet to be convinced it deserved a place alongside her favorite varieties like Indian and Thai. Yakumido made her a Japanese curry convert. This was comfort food at its best. We both had a great time and left very satisfied. There was also a wide selection of drinks available though we didn’t partake. All told our meal was $12, making it one of our best bargain dinners in Japan.
Price: dinner for 2 for $12
Honorable mentions go to 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson, which all continued to fuel our budget friendly travel through Japan.