The Tenma district is where travellers go to get acquainted with a more authentic and friendlier side of Osaka. Here are seven lovely bars to get better acquainted with the locals.
At night, Tenma‘s winding, narrow back streets come to life with lively, lantern-lit izakaya and bars. There are far too many to count, and most aren’t listed online and can only be discovered with a nighttime wander. Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you and have come up with this list of seven fantastic bars in Tenma. Kampai!
Beer Belly is owned by the sisters behind award-winning Minoh Beer, a tasty and internationally renowned craft beer made in Osaka. Beer Belly always serves a rotating selection of 15 different Minoh brews on tap, including limited seasonal favourites. It also functions as a restaurant, serving a wide selection of gourmet tapas, grilled dishes and other beer-friendly foods. More spacious than the typical Japanese bar, there’s ample counter seating as well as tables outside and upstairs. Open every day from 3pm to midnight, it’s a great stop for an afternoon pint or a late-night snack.
Cosy and sophisticated Bar Sead specialises in whisky. The space has a relaxed atmosphere that’s in direct contrast with the hustle and bustle just outside. Comfortable seating, dim lighting, and attentive customer service allow guests to fully savour their food and drinks. Whether you like whisky straight, on the rocks, mixed into a cocktail or not at all, Bar Sead provides a myriad of concoctions that are both delicious and aesthetically pleasing. Bar and table seating is available, as are private rooms for parties and dates. Bar Sead is open every night until 5am (except for Sundays).
Owned by World Boxing Association light flyweight former world champion Keiji Yamaguchi and his wife, this cocktail bar has acquired local celebrity status. Boxing fans especially will delight in this tiny but friendly establishment – Hokkaido-born Yamaguchi himself is generally the one tending bar, and his world champion belt is on display for all to see. However, with over 70 types of drinks available, Bar Hamed is also sure to please connoisseurs and fans of alcohol alike.
Daiyasu is a tachinomiya, a ‘standing bar’ without seats where guests crowd around the bar to drink and mingle. This type of joint is popular in the Temna area, as they fit easily into areas without abundant real estate and practically force patrons to get to know each other. Daiyasu specialises in two things in particular – seafood dishes and nihonshu (Japanese sake). Fresh sashimi pairs exquisitely with locally brewed sake, and Daiyasu serves a plentiful variety of delicious and affordable versions of both.
Luv Wine is a specialty shop for people who, well, love wine. It’s run by a licensed sommelier whose fascination with the drink led him to train at a restaurant in Paris, so guests can expect expert recommendations – even in English. The bar stocks selections from all over the world, and a different region is featured every week. Varying qualities of reds and whites are available, so anyone can afford to enjoy the diverse selection. Glasses start at ¥600 (£4.20) and go up from there; bottles are available at the retail cost plus ¥1,000 (£7). Menu items like smoked pork ribs and blue cheese pizza perfectly complement the delicious wines.
Serving up Osaka’s street food speciality okonomiyaki alongside refreshing beers and cocktails, Bar Source is must-visit locale for those who want to experience the best of Osaka cuisine and nightlife in one go. Laid-back and welcoming, Source features both an outer kiosk where passersby can order to go, and interior counter seating for those who want to drink and dine in. The owner singlehandedly makes the food and drinks in the small shop, which only enhances the experience by making it more intimate. Source is open daily (except Mondays) until 3am.
The friendly atmosphere and attention to detail at Kemupa keeps customers coming back as much as the delicious food and drinks. A variety of spirits including wine, whisky and sake are available, but it’s the specialty cocktails like the refreshing cucumber gin and tonic that entice visitors into staying. The handmade dishes include smoked fare ranging from fish to quail eggs, all made from locally sourced ingredients. Don’t forget to get the baked cheesecake to go – small wonder this shop is so well loved in the Tenma area.
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