Delicious foods in Japan are not limited only to sushi and tempura. Although not known worldwide, there are lots of other Japanese dishes loved by locals, and this article will help you find them. Here are 15 carefully selected izakaya (Japanese pub) that serve very good food, and enjoy well-deserved popularity among Osaka locals.
1. Niku Bar GABURI Osaka Umeda Branch
Named after the Japanese sound effect of chewing food, GABURI offers meat dishes that you will surely want to gobble up. They take great care of their customers' safety, so they use only the freshest beef, pork, and chicken for their juicy and exquisite meat dishes. Some of their must-try dishes are their superb [Bone-in Rib Eye Steak] and [Sirloin Steak] (both weighing 1 pound (450 grams) per serving). They also have the [5 Kinds of Grilled Meat Assortment], with different textures and umami (Japanese savory taste) for each kind that will surely please meat lovers. Since the restaurant offers completely private rooms, you can enjoy dining without needing to be conscious of your surroundings.
Niku Bar GABURI Osaka Umeda Branch
: [Dinner] 5:00 pm - 00:00 am (reservations accepted from 10:00 am - 00:00 am)Closed
: NoneAverage price
: [Dinner] 2,980 JPYAddress
: 9F, LEI'S UMEDA Bldg., 2-1-21, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Map More DetailsMore Details
2. Ginpei Kitashinchi Branch
Taking pride in choosing the freshest fish and ingredients, Ginpei Kitashinchi Branch serves Japanese cuisine with trademark Japanese hospitality. Their carefully selected seafood is delivered from Minoshima Fishing Port in Wakayama Prefecture (located next to Osaka), as well as from other parts of the country. You can have a taste of their fresh fish with the [Tsukuri Moriawase] - an assortment of fresh sashimi served on a dish filled with ice to retain its freshness. It is best enjoyed with their special soy sauce and wasabi that make the seafood even more delicious - just try it for yourself! They also use their special soy sauce in [Ni-zakana] (simmered fish dishes). For example, their [Kinmedai] (Splendid alfonsino fish) that is boiled with only their special soy sauce and water has a refreshing taste that pairs perfectly with sake (Japanese alcohol).
Ginpei Kitashinchi Branch
Open: [Weekdays/Saturdays/Day before holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm / Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Average price: [Dinner] 6,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 5 minute walk from Kitashinchi station.
Address: 1F Hatsune Building, 1-5-4 Dojima, Kita-ku, Osaka, Osaka ()
3. Hanakujira Kita Branch
Hanakujira's main branch is known for their [Oden], which was chosen as a representative dish of Osaka. It is so famous that it is included in the list of starred restaurants in Japan that do not price their dishes over 5,000 JPY. Oden is a dish that consists of fish cake, tofu, daikon (Japanese white radish), konnyaku (yam cake), and other ingredients boiled together in a soup stock. It is a typical Japanese fast food that's often sold at convenience stores or cooked at home. A must-try variety is their [Harihari Maki], which is made with a bunch of Japanese mustard greens rolled in whale skin. However, keep in mind that it is a seasonal product that's served only from October - March. They have other varieties too, including the [Cheese Roll Cabbage] (ground meat and melted cheese wrapped in steamed cabbage), as well as the classic oden - feel free to try them!
Hanakujira Kita Branch
: 4:30 pm - 00:00 am (L.O. 11:20 pm)Closed
: Sunday, National HolidaysAverage price
: 2,000 JPYAddress
: 6-20-6, Fukushima, Fukushima-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Map More Details
4. Noon Namba Branch
This restaurant has private rooms available for pairs or for groups of up to 40 people. They offer Mediterranean and Korean cuisine, as well as classic izakaya dishes made of farm-fresh ingredients. Some of their popular dishes that are especially popular among female customers include [Cheese Dak Kalbi] (Korean stir-fried chicken and assorted vegetables covered with red chili paste) and [Cheese Bulgogi] (Korean grilled beef in a marinade made from soy sauce and sesame oil), which can be enjoyed by dipping it in cheese fondue. The restaurant also offers all-you-can-eat courses that include this dishes at very affordable prices, as well as free [Greeting Cakes] for birthdays and anniversaries (limited to 5 cakes per day).
Noon Namba Branch
Open: 5:00 pm - 00:00 am
Average price: [Dinner] 3,480JPY
Address: 4F, Okucho Bldg., 3-2-35, Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
5. Vino-tei Umeda Eki-mae Branch
Vino-tei offers private rooms for its customers, so they can enjoy their meals without needing to be conscious of their surroundings. The restaurant serves Japanese cuisine, such as [Shabu-shabu] (sliced meat parboiled with vegetables) and [Chanko Nabe] (hot pot filled with vegetables and protein in a rich chicken stock), as well as meats grilled Korean-style. Other popular dishes include [Cheese Dak Kalbi] cooked on a hot iron plate. Its spiciness mixes with the flavor of the rich cheese, creating an irresistible taste. It can also be enjoyed as a cheese-filled risotto by adding rice during the last part of the cooking process. It is best paired with [Nanairo Makgeolli] (a slightly sweet alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice and flavored with 7 kinds of fruit).
Vino-tei Umeda Eki-mae Branch
: [Dinner] 5:00 pm - 00:00 am (L.O. 11:00 pm) *Reservations accepted from 10:00 am - 00:00 amClosed
: NoneAverage price
: [Dinner] 2,980 JPYAddress
: 9F, LEI'S UMEDA Bldg., 2-1-21, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka MapMore DetailsMore Details
6. Umeda Ichi-rin Osaka Eki-mae Branch
Ichi-rin is a restaurant that can cater to almost every need. They have several types of rooms, such as private rooms with horigotatsu (sunken kotatsu table) so that you can relax and stretch your legs while enjoying your meal, private rooms with round tables, and private rooms for 2 people (recommended for couples). In addition, they serve authentic Japanese cuisine made with exquisite ingredients, such as carefully selected Kobe beef, horse meat, and seafood that's freshly sourced from all over the country. They also have plenty of course meals that can be ordered if you have 2 or more people in your group. One of their courses is the must-try [Megumi Course] (served from Sunday - Thursday), which consists of dishes made with carefully selected seasonal ingredients, such as kurobuta (black pork) from Kagoshima Prefecture and 3 kinds of fresh seasonal fish.
Umeda Ichi-rin Osaka Eki-mae Branch
: 5:00 pm - 00:00 am (L.O. 10:30 pm, Drinks L.O. 11:00 pm)Closed
: Beginning and end of the year (December 31, January 1)Average price
: [Dinner] 3,000 JPYAddress
: 5F, excel Umeda Bldg., 2-3-9, Shibata, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
7. Italian Bar Vino
Vino offers wines directly imported from Italy and France. Wine lovers will be pleased with their [All-You-Can-Drink Course] that features 10 kinds of white and red wines, plus 3 kinds of sparkling wines. The course goes well with their [From Spain, Italy, Japan - All-You-Can-Eat Cured Ham]. As for their dishes, the popular and filling [Tournedos Rossini] (filet mignon with seared foie gras) is a must, as it can satisfy a group of 3 or even 4 people! They also have another popular dish called [Vino Jiman no Bagna Càuda] (anchovies, softened garlic, and olive oil are mixed into a paste, and then veggies and other ingredients are dipped into it). Made with farm-fresh vegetables, this special dip that has a hint of onion in its flavor is enjoyed like a fondue.
Italian Bar Vino
: [Dinner] 5:00 pm - 1:00 am (Food L.O. 00:00 am, Drinks 00:30 am) / [Lunch] 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm)Closed
: NoneAverage price
: [Dinner] 3,500 JPYAddress
: 1F, Rose Lips, 2-6-3, Nishi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Map More Details
8. Nonin Bashi Kaminoza
Taking great care in preserving the basics of traditional Japanese cuisine, Kaminoza treats their customers to creatively arranged Japanese dishes, along with a special way of savoring them. Instead of enjoying their fresh sashimi assortments with plain soy sauce, they provide a special sauce made with shoyu koji (a combination of soy sauce and rice malt), which is also known as the "fruit of soy sauce". Leaving the mix of soy sauce and rice malt to age for a few months makes the consistency and taste thicker and richer, further enhancing the taste of fish. Aside from that, they also serve sauce made from sake lees that enhances the flavor of grilled fish and many other dishes. You'll be able to treat not only your palate, but your eyes as well, since their delectable cuisine is also served in carefully selected bowls made by contemporary ceramic artists.
Nonin Bashi Kaminoza
: [Weekdays, Saturday] Dinner 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
[Saturday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm) *Reservations onlyClosed
: SundayAverage price
: [Dinner] 10,000 JPY / [Lunch] 4,000 JPYAddress
: 3-1-25, Noninbashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Map More Details
9. Ginpei Shinsaibashi Branch
Ginpei serves fresh, carefully selected seafood delivered on the same day from Wakayama's fishing port. You will surely love the freshness of their sashimi selection. Usually made with 5 - 7 kinds of fish, their assortments of sashimi have unique umami, and their rich taste is further enhanced by the slightly sweet soy sauce. A must-try is their specialty [Tai Meshi] (sea bream with rice) that comes with a bowl of rice and tai cooked with kelp dashi (broth). It has a very rich flavor that can be tasted in every grain of rice. Another dish that they take pride in is their [Ni-tsuke] - an umami-rich dish made with fish that has been simmered in only water and soy sauce. Be sure to try it!
Ginpei Shinsaibashi Branch
Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm) *L.O. for national holidays may vary depending on the situation
Average price: [Dinner] 6,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,050 JPY
Address: B1F, Falcon Bldg., 1-15-15, Higashi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
10. Kitaichi Sakaba Umeda Branch
Being surrounded by the ocean, Hokkaido is said to be a treasure house of seafood, since it is home to a wide variety of sea creatures. At Kitachi Sakaba, you can enjoy a wide variety of seafood dishes. They take pride in getting large quantities of the freshest seafood from their contracted fishermen and fish shops in Hokkaido. One of their dishes, [Ryoshi-machi no Sashimi Sandan Ita Mori], is a sashimi assortment made of thickly sliced fish with high fat content. It is sourced directly from the market, so you can enjoy it fresh without having to break your budget. Those who love crabs can have their best-selling [Kani-Bukkake Dashi Maki Tamago] (a generous serving of Japanese omelette covered in crab flakes). The restaurant has private rooms with horigotatsu (sunken kotatsu table), so you can dine and relax without caring about others.
Kitaichi Sakaba Umeda Branch
: 4:00 pm - 1:00 amClosed
: NoneAverage price
: [Dinner] 3,800 JPYAddress
: 6F, Zero Kitashinchi Bldg., 1-5-18, Sonezaki Shinchi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Map More Details
11. Torimasa Umeda Chayamachi Branch
Torimasa specializes in chicken dishes. They use Daisen-dori chicken, which is a known brand of chicken that's raised in a healthy environment in Tottori Prefecture. For eggs, they only use Ryu no Tamago, which is a high-grade brand from Oita Prefecture that's chosen for its high nutritional value and rich taste. Almost all of their chicken dishes go perfectly with carefully selected Japanese sake from Kumamoto Prefecture. In addition, they offer the [All-You-Can-Eat Cheese Fondue] - a must-try course with 10 kinds of dishes that are best enjoyed when dipped in their rich cheese. The restaurant offers a modern Japanese interior, with tables and horigotatsu for a relaxing dining experience. If you want to enjoy a fantastic view while dining, you can also try their window seats that overlook the city.
Torimasa Umeda Chayamachi Branch
Open: 5:00 pm - 00:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY
Appetizer Fee 420 JPY / Service Fee 10%
Address: 5F, E-Square Chayamachi, 2-16, Chaya-machi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Zatoichi is a Japanese-style tachinomi (standing) pub that is located in Kita Shinchi, otherwise known as Osaka's version of Tokyo's Ginza. This enables them to stand out from the high-end restaurants and shops around the area. Due to getting their seafood, chicken, and other ingredients via their own supply route, they can offer traditional Japanese cuisine and Japanese cuisine-inspired creative dishes made with fresh ingredients at a surprisingly affordable price. Some of their exquisite, must-try dishes are the [Tsukuri Roku-shu Mori] (6-kind sashimi assortment), [Nigiri Gokan] (5 kinds of sushi), and the [Torizukuri San-shu Mori] (3-kind chicken meat sashimi assortment) that lets you enjoy the flavor and texture of fresh chicken. Surprisingly, the combined cost of all 3 dishes is less than 2,000 JPY!
Open: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am (L.O. 00:00 am)
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY
Address: 1F, Nippo Star Bldg., 1-3-21, Sonezaki Shinchi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
13. El Paraguas
El Paraguas offers authentic Spanish cuisine. The restaurant has 2 floors: the 1st floor contains counter seats for solo customers and groups of less than 5 people, while the 2nd floor contains a private room (reservation required) that's suitable for 6 - 15 people. The private room has a relaxing sofa seat that will let customers dine comfortably, like as if they were at home. One of their must-try dishes is [Ajillo] - a dish of meat or seafood with other seasonal ingredients and sauce made from olive oil and garlic. Their [Seafood Paella], wherein rice and a generous helping of seafood are cooked with rich, exquisite broth containing sea bream extract, is also popular. If you want various appetizers on a single plate, you can also try their [Zensai Moriawase], which includes a platter of El Paraguas' best-selling appetizers.
Open: [Tuesday - Thursday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 3:00 am (L.O. 2:00 am)
[Sunday] 5:00 pm - 00:00 am (L.O. 11:00 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY
Address: 2-9-6, Sonezaki, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Feel free to use this article as your guide to enjoying good food and drinks in Osaka!
Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.