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10 Best Restaurants in Osaka: Where to Eat in 2024

By Bryant Chan
Updated: July 5, 2024

The pulse of Kansai, raucous, lively Osaka stands in stark contrast to its more traditional, restrained sibling Kyoto. The difference between the two can be summed up in the Japanese saying “Kyoto no kidaore, Osaka no kuidaore”: Kyotoites are driven to financial ruin by fashion, but Osakans spend every last penny on food. 

Not that Kyoto has its own shortage of good eats, of course, but if there is one thing that an Osakan is known for, it’s their love of food. Fittingly, Osaka is home to some of the best restaurants in the whole Kansai region — if not the whole country.

Follow this list and you’ll always know where to eat in Osaka.

10 of Osaka’s Best Restaurants: Where to Eat in 2024

  1. Hozenji Sushidokoro Nakatani 
  2. BELLA PORTO
  3. Wagyu Kappo Toraichi
  4. Yakitori Matsuoka
  5. Sukiyaki Kushikatsu Haruna Honcho 
  6. Numata (or alternatively, Kitashinchi Tentomi)
  7. Jibundoki
  8. Gastroteka Bimendi
  9. The New World
  10. Kitashinchi Kushikatsu Bon

1. Hozenji Sushidokoro Nakatani 

An expert chef slicing fish at Hozenji Sushidokoro Nakatani.

The holder of a Michelin star for multiple years, Hozenji Sushidokoro Nakatani is famous for two things: the impeccable quality of its sushi, and the obscurity of the whole affair. 

Pictures of the food or interior are strictly forbidden. With its calendar only opening a month in advance, reservations are incredibly difficult to secure, and have a notoriously strict cancellation policy — the moment a reservation is secured, any change or cancellation incurs a 100% fee.

So why is Chef Nakatani Hiroyuki’s list of regulars so long? Because simply put, a meal at his restaurant is an experience. The counter seats only eight, and Chef Nakatani makes sure to give each diner personal attention. His 20-item course is made with exceptional care and attention, using ingredients that he purchases every morning at local Osaka markets. 

In true Edomae tradition, Chef Nakatani also keeps his shelves well-stocked with a fine selection of sake, and his encyclopedic knowledge of it means he’s always ready to give pairing recommendations. Right next to Hozenji Temple, it’s an easy recommendation to anyone giving the area a visit. 

Reserve your seat for Michelin star sushi at Hozenji Sushidokoro Nakatani.

2. BELLA PORTO 

A picturesque dish at BELLA PORTO, showing the expertise and skill of the chefs.

Nakatsu restaurant BELLA PORTO — “beautiful port” in Italian, though not often spelled with quite as much gusto — takes its name not just from Osaka’s historic status as one of Kansai’s main ports, but also due to its desire to serve as a “port” that connects diners with the hard work of farmers from all over Japan. 

BELLA PORTO’s main draw is its commitment to organic, pesticide-free produce, sourced from the surrounding areas of Amagasaki and greater Osaka, but also from as far away as Kanagawa. 

Skilled chefs turn these ingredients into novel, contemporary dishes, like petits fours made from flowers, served with kombucha consomme, or a foam-topped vegetable potage that the chefs call “Blessings of the Earth.” 

Unsurprisingly, with such an emphasis on organic ingredients, the chefs are only too willing to accommodate various dietary restrictions to the best of their abilities. Make an inquiry when making a reservation — you’d be surprised as to how far they’ll go. 

Reserve a spot at BELLA PORTO for organic Italian cuisine.

3. Wagyu Kappo Toraichi 

A thinly sliced cut of marbled beef at Wagyu Kappo Toraichi, decorated with edible flowers.

Like it or not, Japanese fine dining is often exclusive. Many of the finest restaurants have members-only requirements. Among them is Wagyu Kappo Toraichi, a restaurant in the upscale Umeda district of central Osaka.

An inconspicuous, unassuming establishment on the street corner of two major thoroughfares, a service at Wagyu Kappo Toraichi grants members access to some of the best wagyu beef available in all of Japan. 

Smartly dressed chefs in waistcoats and shirtsleeves cut this fatty meat with machine-like precision, preparing it in a variety of different ways, complementing the luxurious beef with ample use of equally premium accompaniments like truffle and caviar. The meal isn’t complete without the head chef dispensing black pepper, by way of a colossal pepper grinder the size of a small boat anchor. 

This experience is ordinarily limited to a select number of members, who have to go through a selection process before they are even granted access. However, byFood enjoys a special agreement with Toraichi, giving guests a back door into this highly exclusive wagyu experience. 

Reserve a table for wagyu beef at Wagyu Kappo Toraichi.

4. Yakitori Matsuoka 

A picture-perfect plating at Yakitori Matsuoka, garnished with flowers.

With its recent inclusion in the Michelin Guide 2024 as a Michelin Selected restaurant Yakitori Matsuoka has received a boost in popularity — but it enjoyed a significant following long before that. 

Located near Osaka Castle, Yakitori Matsuoka uses exclusively free-range kuro-o chicken from Kagoshima Prefecture in its dishes, a breed renowned for its flavor and texture. It is then grilled over white-hot Kishu bincho-tan charcoal, which gives it a smoky aroma that fills the mouth from the first bite. 

Paired with a glass from Chef Matsuoka Hiroki’s extensive selection of sake and whiskies — including the “phantom sake” Juyondai from Niigata Prefecture — it’s the pinnacle of yakitori experiences. 

Visitors will notice that there is a significant population of overseas travelers among its clientele; Chef Matsuoka’s fluency in English puts English speakers at ease, knowing that they can communicate with the chef without difficulty. 

Reserve Michelin Selected yakitori at Yakitori Matsuoka.

5. Sukiyaki Kushikatsu Haruna Honcho

A table filled with different meats, tofu and vegetables at Sukiyaki Kushikatsu Haruna Honcho.

Not all pork is made equal, and Sukiyaki Kushikatsu Haruna Honcho is determined to make people understand this. It’s a hotpot restaurant that uses mostly Ibu Biton pork from Wakayama Prefecture, one of the most highly regarded types of pork in all of Japan. 

Ibu Biton — literally translating to “beautiful pork” — is raised only on farms in the coastal town of Susami, and is the result of careful breeding between domestic pigs and wild boar, to give it the delicate fatty taste and satisfying texture of both, while getting rid of the characteristic gamey smell of the latter.

Fun fact: The pigs are also fed grain treated with plum vinegar extract, which gives the meat an especially sweet flavor. 

At Haruna Honcho, diners can choose to eat this beautiful meat either as sukiyaki (simmered in a mixture of mirin, soy sauce and sugar) or as shabu-shabu (flash-boiled, then dipped in a variety of different sauces). Shabu-shabu lets the pork’s natural flavor shine through more distinctly, but sukiyaki amplifies the pork’s innate sweetness. Nonetheless, it’s delicious regardless of how you choose to eat it. 

Reserve your seat for premium pork at Sukiyaki Kushikatsu Haruna Honcho.

6. Numata (or alternatively, Kitashinchi Tentomi)

A serving of noodles in a cocktail glass at Numata.

Tempura in Osaka’s Umeda and Kitashinchi areas is dominated by one name: Numata. Unquestionably Osaka’s finest tempura restaurant, it is also only one of two double-Michelin-starred restaurants in Osaka to specialize in tempura (the other being the equally fantastic Shunsaiten Tsuchiya, which bills itself more as “tempura kaiseki”). 

Numata should definitely be on any foodie’s list, of course. But with the notoriously long waitlist and limited availability that come with holding two Michelin Stars, you might have to find an alternative.

Reserve your table at Numata (if you can!).

Alternative tempura restaurant in Osaka: Kitashinchi Tentomi

While they may not hold the same level of prestige as Numata, Kitashinchi Tentomi, literally just one block south of Numata, serves a 10- to 13-item tempura course at a fraction of the price — and actually ranks significantly higher on Tabelog. 

Specializing in seasonal tempura, such as ayu sweetfish and conger eel in the summer, the chefs at Tentomi try their best to make sure that no two omakase courses are ever exactly the same. 

7. Jibundoki 

A plating of sauce-covered okonomiyaki at Jibundoki.

When you think of Osaka food, you automatically think of one of two things: takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (a savory grilled pancake stuffed with various ingredients). There are few finer places in Osaka to try the latter than at Jibundoki, an okonomiyaki restaurant just south of Hommachi Station. 

If you’re looking for a more traditional okonomiyaki experience, this probably isn’t it. Jibundoki established its reputation on its esoteric takes on this Kansai staple, with fillings like ham-wrapped mochi and roasted potatoes. Strange but delicious — and the Michelin inspectors definitely agree, giving it a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019.

Supplementing the star of the show is a wide selection of snacks and drinks. The kushiage (deep-fried skewers) in particular is just as eclectic as the okonomiyaki, featuring things like cheese and walnuts, or scallops with green peppers — things that you might not have thought lent themselves well to being deep-fried, but end up being surprisingly delightful. 

Reserve your table for Michelin Bib Gourmand okonomiyaki at Jibundoki.

8. Gastroteka Bimendi 

A selection of small bites at Gastroteka Bimendi, providing a snapshot into the culture of Spanish cuisine.

Kansai favorites like the aforementioned okonomiyaki and takoyaki are obviously popular in Osaka, but as one of the cultural centers of Japan, cuisines from all cultures and countries can be found in the city. 

One such restaurant is Gastroteka Bimendi, which has enjoyed unprecedented popularity in spite of serving a type of cuisine that would be considered esoteric even outside of Japan: Basque. 

This gastroteka brings food from the northern Basque country in Spain to Osaka’s Honmachi business district, making pintxos (small bites) with ingredients shipped directly from Spain, such as pickled sardines and Iberico pork. It’s also one of the very places that you can likely try traditional Basque cider, cloudy and extremely sour — but also infinitely drinkable. 

It hasn’t just proven to be popular with locals; Michelin inspectors awarded it a Bib Gourmand in 2021 for that beautiful balance of price and performance. 

Reserve for Michelin-recognized Spanish cuisine at Gastroteka Bimendi.

9. The New World 

A selection of different dishes at The New World, featuring meats, pickled vegetables and more.

Holder of a Michelin Bib Gourmand, The New World is one of the newer brainchildren of the legendary sio group, a Japanese restaurant group that collects Michelin accolades like they’re going out of fashion.

Set in the basement of Parco Shinsaibashi, this fusion izakaya sees a variety of faces seated at its counter, from salarymen after work to couples on date nights. All of them are drawn by the laid-back, casual atmosphere and the food, which is simultaneously adventurous and yet familiar. 

Japanese favorites like obanzai platters and beef bowls are given creative spins, the latter elevated by the use of wagyu beef sirloin from Amakusa in Nagasaki Prefecture. 

10. Kitashinchi Kushikatsu Bon 

A single serving of kushikatsu at Kitashinchi Kushikatsu Bon.

Though it may now be famous all over the nation, kushikatsu is another street food with its roots in Osaka. The former holder of a Michelin Star, Kitashinchi Kushikatsu Bon takes this humble food and elevates it through its use of fine ingredients — including wagyu chateaubriand, foie gras and sea urchin — and impeccable technique. 

Omakase courses serve individual skewers of these precious ingredients, deep-fried with great skill in cottonseed oil to ensure that the taste of the oil is not overly cloying. Feel like a pairing to go with your skewers? A professional sommelier is on hand to offer recommendations from the restaurant’s extensive selection of French and Californian wines. 

For those worried about not knowing how to order, fear not — the worldwide popularity of Bon (it even has a Michelin-recognized outlet as far as Paris) means that the staff has made accommodations for overseas guests. An English menu is available, as are some English-speaking staff. 

With all these outstanding restaurants to try, you might be tempted to stay in Osaka for a while longer. Read through our 3-day Osaka itinerary, savor Osaka’s sushi scene with the best omakase sushi restaurants, or learn a new skill in these unforgettable Osaka cooking classes.

Best restaurants in Osaka FAQs

A high-up shot of the twinkling Osaka skyline at night.

Are there vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Osaka?

Yes, Osaka offers a variety of vegetarian-friendly restaurants that cater to different dietary preferences.

What is the average cost of a meal at a restaurant in Osaka?

The average cost of a meal at a restaurant in Osaka can vary depending on the type of cuisine and the restaurant's location. On average, you can expect to pay around ¥1000 to ¥3000 per person.

What are some must-try dishes at restaurants in Osaka?

Okonomiyaki cooking on a grill at a restaurant in Japan.

Osaka is famous for its street food like takoyaki, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu. Don't miss out on these delicious local specialties when dining in Osaka!

Are there English menus available at restaurants in Osaka?

Many restaurants in Osaka cater to international visitors and offer English menus or have pictures on the menu to help non-Japanese speakers make their selections.

Do restaurants in Osaka accept credit cards?

While many restaurants in Osaka accept credit cards, it's always a good idea to have cash on hand as some smaller eateries may only accept cash payments.

Are reservations required at restaurants in Osaka?

Reservations are recommended, especially for popular restaurants or during peak dining hours. However, some restaurants may also accommodate walk-in customers.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Bryant Chan
A former Kyushu resident originally from Singapore, Bryant lives in a state of perpetual yearning for the pristine beaches of Miyazaki Prefecture, where he left his heart and paddleboard. Now working in Tokyo, he seeks out anisong rock concerts, oat milk lattes, exotic bird life, and that ever-elusive white whale: work-life balance. The search continues.
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