The Best Sushi Restaurants in Osaka

| © Paul Brown / Alamy Stock Photo
Corlena Bailey

Worldwide, sushi is the most popular Japanese cuisine – so much so that countless visitors fly to the country each year just to compare authentic Japanese sushi to that found elsewhere. If you are a fan of the world-famous dish, or if you’d like to try it for the first time, head to Osaka, ‘the nation’s kitchen’, and check out one (or all!) of these 10 restaurants.

1. Kura Sushi Namba Motomachi

Restaurant, Japanese

Right up front, you should know that Kura Sushi is a chain restaurant. But this popular sushi spot is beloved by locals and is an excellent entry not only into the world of the raw fish and rice delicacy but also into the phenomenon of conveyor sushi. Customers sit next to a conveyor belt carrying plates of sushi (and dessert!) and simply take the ones they want as they pass. This is a common restaurant type in Japan, but at Kura Sushi you can exchange your empty plates for the chance to win a raffle right at your table, making this an immersive dining and amusement experience in one.

2. Sushi Saeki

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi

Michelin-starred restaurant Saeki is widely considered the number one sushi restaurant in Osaka. The restaurant boasts a luxurious and sophisticated atmosphere, with only 10 seats at the counter from where customers can watch their sushi being made and head chef Saeki can explain the menu, the background of the ingredients, and their selection of available plates. Saeki’s true value can be determined by their perfect balance between rice and toppings. The rice showcases superb softness and creates a nice harmony with the fresh seasonal seafood.

3. Honto Sushi Kaiba (本等鮨 海馬)

Cafe, Restaurant, Japanese

The fashionable district of Kitahorie is a fascinating area. After visiting all the independent boutiques, galleries, and piano bars that line the streets, stop by Honto Sushi Kaiba. This cozy sushi restaurant adamantly uses the freshest of seafood in their sushi and sashimi, as the taste and smooth texture of the fish is imperative to the quality of the dish. For those who do not enjoy sushi or raw fish, Sushi Kaiba also serves cooked items such as grilled fish and tempura. The exterior of the establishment is decorated like a mix between a traditional Japanese restaurant and a modern café, an aesthetic that extends to the interior.

4. Sushi Dokoro Jinsei

Restaurant, Sushi, Japanese

Jinsei is a secluded sushi spot tucked away near Osaka’s Amerikamura (American Village). It is small and only provides counter seating, but this provides an intimate glimpse into the kitchen where guests can watch their sushi crafted by the chefs, one of the most unique and fascinating facets of dining at a sushi restaurant in the first place. Eating fresh seafood prepared in an aesthetically traditional Japanese restaurant is like nothing else.

5. Endo Sushi Kyobashi

Restaurant, Japanese

Located in the Keihan Mall above JR Kyobashi Station, Endo Sushi is renowned by both locals and tourists. The restaurant has a history of over 100 years at its original store, and the quality of their sushi has been upheld throughout that time. One of their most popular sets, Maze, consists of five different kinds of sushi served one after another, allowing you to sample a variety made with seasonal fish. The service is excellent and they offer an English menu, making it an ideal place for tourists to experience authentic sushi.

6. Harukoma

Restaurant, Japanese

If you are looking to blend in with the locals while enjoying some delicious sushi at a reasonable price, then Harukoma is the place to go. Harukoma is located in the popular Tenroku area, where you can sample a variety of sushi in the company of Osaka’s downtown inhabitants. The restaurant is very popular and people usually start a line before it opens for lunch, so be sure to get their early. Alternatively, you could try visiting outside of lunch and dinner hours.

7. Ginza Kyubey

Restaurant, Japanese

Ginza Kyubey
Courtesy of Ginza Kyubey / Expedia

Inside the Imperial Hotel in Osaka is a fine-dining establishment that serves exquisite sushi. You won’t get your everyday sushi at Ginza Kyubey – here, they add a special touch to every meal. Their fish is at its freshest and they use ingredients of outstanding quality. Watching the expert chefs at work is a great source of entertainment. The customer service is next to none and the atmosphere is classy yet unpretentious.

8. Sushi Hayata

Restaurant, Japanese

Owned and operated by the Hayata brothers, this restaurant has many loyal customers who delight in the quality service and sushi. Sushi Hayata is easy to find, being conveniently located next to the St. Regis Hotel near Hommachi Station. They also have an English menu available. It is the perfect stop if you are in the area and feeling hungry.

9. Hakodate Kantaro

Restaurant, Japanese

If during your wanderings you end up at Grand Front Osaka, then you’ve got to try the sushi at Hakodate Kantaro. Grand Front Osaka is a fairly new shopping complex located just next to the largest terminal in west Japan, the Osaka/Umeda Station complex. It houses 266 businesses, including many eateries. Hakodate Kantaro is a preferred choice for many hungry shoppers. Not only is their sushi tasty and of very high quality, but their prices are reasonable.

10. Uoshin Honten

Restaurant, Japanese

Uoshin Honten is a bit more unique than most other sushi restaurants you will find in Osaka. They serve sushi with large slices of fish, yet the prices are still affordable and they don’t compromise on taste or quality. Because of the size of their sushi, the prices on the menu are for one piece, not one plate. One order comes with two filling pieces of sushi that will simply melt in your mouth. Grab a seat at the counter and watch the chefs at work.

Corlena Bailey also contributed to this piece.

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