The Best Restaurants In Dōtonbori, Osaka

Crabs
Crabs | © Reylia Slaby / c/o Reylia Slaby Photography

Dōtonbori is one of the most famous attractions in Osaka. History, shopping, and nightlife aside, the large number of restaurants and cafés lining the Dōtonbori Canal draw countless visitors daily just to dine. Most of the restaurants are open until the early hours of the morning and serve the Japanese favorites Osaka is known for. To sample the local cuisine for yourself, check out this list of the best restaurants in Dōtonbori.
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Creo-Ru

Cooking Takoyaki on hot pan in Osaka

Osaka is the food capital of Japan, known for favorites from takoyaki to kushikatsu. If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for Osaka street food this is it. Creo-Ru is renowned for the quality and taste of their various selections. Most foods are served inside the actual restaurant, but expect a queue at the food stall just outside for takoyaki. There is really nothing better to eat on a chilly day because these treats are served piping hot!

Kushikatsu Daruma Dotonbori

Another restaurant that’s easy to find thanks to the queue is Kushikatsu Daruma. Kushikatsu is deep fried and skewered food. Anything goes! Popular choices include shrimp, cheese, sweet potato, and chicken meatballs. They’re best eaten when dipped into a thick, sweet tonkatsu sauce resembling Worcestershire sauce. Kushikatsu Daruma has been serving food in Osaka since 1929, so it is definitely worth checking out one of the longest standing kushikatsu joints in the city.

Hozenji Sampei

Japanese chef making traditional okonomiyaki pancakes in Japan

Hozenji Sampei is famous for their fluffy and fresh okonomiyaki, a dish often described as a Japanese pancake. These ‘pancakes’ are generally made of flour, egg, and cabbage with meat and/or vegetables and can be customized, so the flavor is entirely up to you. It’s recommended that customers get yakisoba (fried buckwheat noodles) on top as well, making the meal a more filling and savory experience. The restaurant loves to promote its own draft beer, a great accompaniment to okonomiyaki, so definitely pop in for a cold one on a warm day.

Kigawa

At Kigawa you can expect to be treated to a traditional kappo ryori (fine-dining) meal. Kappo ryori involves sitting at the countertop with a view into the kitchen and the chef preparing your beautiful meticulous dishes. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, chefs prepare glorious 10 to 12 course meals, serving up one artful dish after the other. The menu is in English and offers a breakdown of the ingredients so you can truly appreciate what you are eating.

Kinryu Ramen

Kinryu ramen noodle restaurant

When in Japan, authentic Japanese ramen is a must try. Ramen is a bowl of noodles that usually comes in three different types of broths: shoyu (soy sauce), miso (soybean paste) and tonkotsu (pork). One of the best places in Osaka to get some warm, tasty ramen is at Kinryu Ramen along the Dōtonbori. The restaurant can be recognized by the large dragon above the store. On a side note, it is perfectly normal to slurp your noodles when in Japan.

Mizuno Okonomiyaki お好み焼「美津の」

Opening in 1945, just after World War II, Mizuno is the oldest okonomiyaki restaurant in Osaka. Ingredients delivered from historic Kuromon Market make up many of the toppings. Don’t miss their yamaimo-yaki (yam okonomiyaki), which has been their most popular dish for decades. Mizuno uses yam instead of flour to create this delicacy, making the texture of the dough very soft. The natural sweetness of yam goes well with the thick pork and vegetables in the pancakes, creating the unique flavor of Mizuno’s famous dish.

Kani Doraku (Dotonbori Honten)

First-timers and foodies alike, head over to Kani Doraku for some of the city’s best seafood. Easily spotted by the giant crab over a food stall, this restaurant is brimming with tourists. Still, this is one of the best crab restaurants in the city. The food is a bit pricey but entirely worth it. Have a seat on the second floor or above, as the fishy smell can be quite overpowering on the first floor, and order a set to maximize the variety of dishes you can try.

Chibo Dotonbori

Okonomiyaki, an Osaka favourite

Dōtonbori’s Chibo is one of the many long-established teppan shops renowned for the great quality of their food. The okonomiyaki is particularly outstanding. Chibo is a theater of food where your delicious meal is made right in front of you on the tabletop grill. If there is a queue at Chibo, don’t worry; it moves quite quickly as this restaurant takes up a full four floors.

Dōtonbori Konamon Museum

A trip to Osaka would not be complete without a visit the Konamon Museum. The museum is a new tourist attraction all about takoyaki, a tasty Japanese street food. The bottom floor of the museum boasts a delicious takoyaki restaurant with carefully selected wines and champagnes for pairing with your meal. The museum also offers some truly unique experiences. The first is being able to make your own takoyaki wax figurine to take away. The second is being able to watch takoyaki experts create some of this delicious food up close.
Prema Chablani also contributed to this piece.

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