Osaka, about 330 miles southwest of Tokyo, is the second largest city in Japan famous for its modern architecture, vibrant club scene and tasty street food. This is a top spot in which to grab some first-class fare as top-quality restaurants are plentiful. Here you can find the very best in authentic Asian and tasty international food. So, if you’re seeking a first-class dining experience in Osaka, you’ve come to the right place; here’s our guide to the top 10 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city.
Koryu is a three-star Michelin restaurant in Osaka. This is a small and exclusive spot, with room to accommodate only ten diners at a time, and the interior is sleek and chic, featuring polished tables and simple wood flooring. The service is attentive yet unobtrusive, and the flavors are balanced and strong. There are no menus; the chefs create Asian delicacies in accordance to what is seasonably available in the local markets, ensuring unbeatable freshness. Watch out for the head chef, Matsuo-san, who is always popping out of the kitchen to say hello to diners.
Hajime is a restaurant with two Michelin stars, and is the brainchild of talented chef Hajime Yoneda. A modern and trendy establishment, the salmon here is exquisite, served in a buttery sauce along with tender roasted vegetables and a fresh salad. There is a huge variety of sweet and moreish desserts too, and the staff are extremely polite and efficient. The expert wine sommelier will be only too happy to help you pair your meal with a suitable vintage.
A top spot for meat in Osaka, the Michelin-starred restaurant of Harijyu serves cuts of meat divided into five different grades, all of which are of excellent quality and marinated in flavorful spices. The steak here is divine, as is the pork chop and the rack of lamb; a meat eater’s heaven. The restaurant is set on the second floor in a beautiful tantami room, a typically Japanese space where diners sit on mats. There is a top-quality butchers on the first floor where you can buy meat to take home.
A three-star Michelin joint, Fujiya 1935 offers a quiet, elegant space in which visitors can enjoy contemporary dishes. It oozes a warm and friendly atmosphere and features large, spacious tables, quaintly decorated as well as a tasteful cream and wood design. The dishes here are beautifully presented with colorful flowers and dried leaves, and a top menu pick is the capellini with lavendar and jumbo shrimp. The chefs serve all the meals personally, direct from their kitchen to your table.
Asai is a one-star Michelin eatery in Osaka and brings visitors the best in kaiseki dining, a style of traditional Japanese cuisine in which a series of very small, intricate dishes are prepared. The owner, Kigawa Asai, reportedly modelled the place in a fairly industrial manner in an effort to contrast it with the more refined kitchens of Kyoto. The result is a no-fuss, warm and homely space. Crab and mushroom soup, tempura fried cod roe and a mixed plate of finely crafted sashimi are just a few of the dishes which should not be missed here. A great feature is the open kitchen, allowing diners to view all parts of the preparation and cooking process.
Takama is an Osaka restaurant boasting one Michelin star, a place which exudes a tranquil atmosphere and is famous for its delicious broths. Each broth is made to an age-old recipe passed down through the owning family, and each one is fabulous when paired with the crispy tempura prawns or seasonal vegetables on offer. Look out for the friendly owners who are always on hand to dispense advice about top menu picks.
Pierre is a one-star Michelin French restaurant. It is located on the 20th floor of the new Intercontinental Hotel; a fantastic setting. The views here are great, with the spacious rooms and high glass windows offering panoramic vistas of the city. Impeccable service and a relaxed atmosphere keep diners coming back for more here, and the foie gras is out of this world. Try the chef’s tasting menu, offering an exquisite little bit of everything in one sitting.
This place is very famous for their freshly made noodles, but the Michelin restaurant of Naniwa Okina is a top spot to sample an impressive range of flavorsome soups, too. The ramen here is light and tasty, and the gyoza noodles are a popular pick also. Simple food with flawless presentation is the motto adhered to here.
Wasabi is a small and elegant Michelin one-star restaurant, serving up the best in traditional Asian cuisine. Don’t miss the fluffy dumplings here or the sweet and tangy orange chicken with chargrilled vegetables. Choose from two menus; the wasabi menu and the set menu, and sit back and enjoy some first-class food in the heart of Osaka. There are only 16 seats in the restaurant, so booking ahead is a must.
La Baie is a sophisticated, French-style restaurant serving very creative dishes which confirm its Michelin-starred status. Walking in here is like stepping into 18th century France, with its high ceilings, dramatic paintings and flawless wood furniture. Located in the Ritz Carlton Osaka, this is a great place to try a crispy and fruity range of vintages, and there is a large range of merlots, montepulcianos and cabernet sauvignons available for tasting.