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13 Essential Osaka Food Tours: Explore the Nation's Kitchen

By Callum Howe
Updated: February 2, 2024

Osaka is home to a vast range of Japan’s favorite dishes, from okonomiyaki to takoyaki and more. Kyoto may have a monopoly on historic Japanese dining culture, but it’s Osaka that’s the real culinary playground for the 21st century. After touching down in this neon-bathed metropolis, you might be wondering where to start. The solution? An Osaka food tour.

Japan’s third most populous city is at times an extravaganza of organized chaos, with a seemingly endless number of restaurants, street food stalls, bars, clubs, and blaring pachinko parlors all clamoring for attention. To cut through the noise, simply join one (or more!) of the following guided tours.

13 Best Food Tours in Osaka 

A woman eating takoyaki in Osaka

Here’s our pick of the most highly recommended Osaka food tours, to help you maximize your experience of the nation's kitchen, while making a few new friends along the way!

  1. Osaka Food Tour
  2. Guided Food Tour in Osaka's Historical & Cultural Districts
  3. The Ultimate Osaka Night Tour
  4. Kuromon Market and Kitchen Town Tour
  5. Shinsekai Street Food Tour
  6. Daytime Dotonbori Food Tour
  7. Immersive Osaka "Foodhood" Tour
  8. Backstreets of Osaka Food Tour
  9. Unfiltered: Deep Backstreet Osaka Tour
  10. Osaka Night Life: Eating and Drinking Tour
  11. Half Pint Craft Beer Tour in Osaka
  12. Namba After Dark: Bar Hopping and Nightlife in Osaka
  13. Market Tour in Osaka

1. Osaka Food Tour (The Basics & So Much More)

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This Osaka food tour is an unforgettable dining experience with 5 stops and 13 mouthwatering dishes. Your guide’s recommendations will include the most flavorful and iconic Japanese dishes and drinks, from local beer, Japanese sake, chuhai, highball, plum wine, and cocktails. Some non-alcoholic options are also available, like soda and juice.

While strolling around the area, you’ll learn about all of the ingredients, dishes, and drinks you’ll encounter and get an overview of the area's deep history and how it ties into the local cuisine. Book the Osaka Food Tour (13 Delicious Dishes at 5 Hidden Eateries)

2. Guided Food Tour in Osaka's Historical & Cultural Districts

Guided Foor Tour of Osaka's Shinsekai district

Embark on a tour of Osaka's Shinsekai, Tsuruhashi, Kyobashi, and Tenma districts and feast on delicious Japanese food along the way.

Your journey begins in Shinsekai, a district that debuted in 1912 as a modern food, culture, and entertainment precinct. Here, you’ll explore the colorful streets and try kushikatsu, a deep-fried skewer delicacy born in Osaka in the late 1920s. Then, venture over to Tsuruhashi, home to Japan’s largest Korean community, to discover the post-war connections and history of Osaka. Keep exploring and head to Kyobashi, an area with old-world charm renowned for its proximity to Osaka Castle. and fill up on a sushi set paired with a choice of beer, sake, or soft drink. Next, take a journey back in time to Tenma, known as the historic epicenter for food enthusiasts.

End the tour with a cold one after a visit to a local bar serving craft beer from Minoh. Book the Guided Food Tour in Osaka's Historical & Cultural Districts.

2. The Ultimate Osaka Night Tour (It Really Lives Up to Its Name)

Kicking things off with a bang, the wildly popular Ultimate Osaka Night Tour is your window into the ultra-cool, ultra-varied drinking culture of Osaka. You’ll start by preparing yourself for the night ahead with a visit to a local izakaya (Japanese gastropub), where you’ll get a showcase of casual Osaka dining with a drink included.

This will be followed by a bar-hop around Namba, the city center area packed with loads of small bars of all styles and specialties. The guided tour ends with a trip to the city’s nightclub district, via the famous Dotonbori Canal. An added benefit of this three-hour tour is that you’ll get a ticket which gives you discounted entry into some of the bars and clubs around the area, so if you want, you can keep the party going until the morning! Book The Ultimate Osaka Night Tour.

3. Osaka Kuromon Market and Kitchen Town Tour (One for the Foodies)

Kuromon Market in Osaka

Kuromon Ichiba Market is the beating heart of Osaka’s restaurant culture. Every day, hundreds of restaurateurs descend upon it to snatch the best seafood, produce, and meat. There is a vast range of greengrocers, fishmongers, and butchers, alongside around two dozen restaurants where you can enjoy some of the freshest food in the city—straight from market to plate!

On the Osaka Kuromon Market and Kitchen Town Tour, you’ll be led around this bustling foodie playground by an expert local guide who will give you insights into the various regions and foods represented here. You’ll have a chance to try some for yourself, of course!

With five food stops across the three-hour timespan, you’ll sample some of the goods from the various food stalls, including Osaka’s famous takoyaki. Continuing on, you’ll also take a look at the Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street which keeps the city’s top kitchens running, with a vast number of artisan dishware and cooking utensil stores. Book the Osaka Kuromon Market and Kitchen Town Tour.

4. Shinsekai Street Food Tour (Step Back in Time With This One)

You’ll know you’re near Osaka’s Shinsekai district when you see Tsutenkaku Tower stretching up above. On the Nostalgic Shinsekai Osaka Street Food Tour, you’ll meet up with an expert local guide who’ll show you around the retro-looking area at the base of the tower, a major entertainment center in Osaka for over a century. 

This cluster of streets, packed with restaurants and bars, is a Japanese street food haven. Across five food stops, you’ll get the chance to sample some kushikatsu (breaded and deep-friend skewers), along with the takoyaki (octopus batter balls) no Osaka trip is complete without!

You can choose to visit in either the daytime (great for avoiding crowds) or after dark (best for soaking up the full atmosphere of the area). Either way, you’ll spend a memorable three hours exploring the very best that Shinsekai has to offer. Book the Shinsekai Osaka Street Food Tour.

5. Daytime Dotonbori Food Tour (Top Family-Friendly Choice)

Dotonbori, Osaka - the canal by day

For a panoramic insight into the ins and outs of Japan’s most celebrated foodie city, the Daytime Food Tour in Osaka Dotonbori is the food crawl to go for. Your friendly guides will take you on a gastronomic treasure hunt through the hidden streets of the popular Namba and Dotonbori districts, introducing you to shops where you can try a variety of different local foods, including Michelin-rated takoyaki and kushikatsu.

You'll pop into an izakaya for a special seasonal lunch set, and end off the tour on a sweet note, with a local street food dessert! This three-hour tour is perfect for families and those who only have a limited time to unlock the secrets of Osaka’s food culture. Book the Daytime Food Tour in Osaka Dotonbori.

6. Immersive Osaka "Foodhood" Tour (Extremely Popular)

Although the popular downtown areas are great for soaking in the chaotic atmosphere, some locals tend to avoid them for that very same reason. On the three-hour Osaka Foodhood Tour, you’ll get a chance to discover some of the lesser-known local spots where Osakans hide out instead.

The first is Tenma: home to great shopping and the famous Tenmangu Shrine. Here you can enjoy street food stalls and drinking alleys where couples and youngsters spend their evenings. The second stop is Kyobashi—a nostalgic area near Osaka Castle, filled with rosy-cheeked salarymen belting out karaoke tunes.

This tour reveals the other (more authentic) side of local life. You’ll dine like an Osakan at standing bars and restaurants, trying dishes like local-style sashimi and kushikatsu fried skewers. 

With three drinks included, and 15 delicious foods to try, this is one of the best access points to the true Osaka experience. Book the Immersive Osaka Foodhood Tour.

7. Backstreets of Osaka Food Tour at Night (Duck and Dive Through Drinking Alleys)

An izakaya in Osaka, with the proprietor standing outstide, at night

Warning: Japan is crowded. So crowded that sometimes you’ll even have to squeeze onto trains, nose-to-nose with a mass of weary commuters. Osaka’s Dotonbori area can get like that during the busy night hours. Instead of getting swept away by the masses into some subpar tourist trap, jump on the Backstreets of Osaka Food Tour at Night to beat the crowds and discover the real gems this area has to offer. 

Ducking and diving through the alleys and side streets of Dotonbori, your local guide will introduce you to some of the best small standing bars and izakaya gastropubs, with an Osaka food showcase along the way. This includes grilled skewers, tempura, sukiyaki hotpot, kushikatsu skewers, and even Michelin-starred takoyaki! 

If you feel like keeping the party going after the three-hour tour finishes, your guide will give you a suggested itinerary to see you through the rest of the evening. Or you could wing it yourself—by then you’ll be a local expert yourself, after all. Book the Backstreets of Osaka Food Tour at Night.

8. Unfiltered Osaka: Good Food, Gritty Streets (Taboo Topics & More)

Shinsekai Osaka at night

Go even deeper into Osaka with the award-winning Deep Backstreet Osaka Tour. Your no-nonsense, tells-it-how-it-is Japanese-Australian host will guide you through Osaka's gritty past, taking you through back streets and bold tales of mobsters and more.

You'll see Shinsekai and the well-preserved red-light district (if you like), learn a little bit about the yakuza (!), and peek at abandoned buildings and gambling dens.

Along the way you'll sample eight delicious dishes, at three hidden eateries, before wrapping up the four-hour tour with a course meal at a local pub. Book the Deep Backstreet Osaka Tour (With Dinner).

9. Osaka Night Life: Eating and Drinking (Till You Drop, in Quirky Tenjinbashi-suji) Tour

Tenjinbashi-suji filled with shoppers in Osaka

Osaka is a great place to be at any time of the day, but the city really comes alive at night. The Osaka Night Life: Eating and Drinking Tour is a perfect window into the nocturnal culture which makes Osaka Japan’s coolest (and probably rowdiest) city.

You’ll rub shoulders with Osakans in true local style, visiting Tenjinbashi-suji Shotengai—the longest shopping street in Japan. Here, locals gorge themselves on traditional traditional Japanese foods and drinks, and you’ll get a chance to do so too with takoyaki, sushi, sake, wagyu yakiniku, and ramen. 

The two and a half hours of this Osaka food tour really sum up the local term kuidaore, meaning “to eat yourself to ruin”. In true local style, the four jam-packed stops of this food tour will leave you ready to drop. Book the Osaka Night Life: Eating and Drinking Tour.

10. Half Pint Craft Beer Tour in Osaka (All About Japanese Craft Beer)

Whether you're team IPA or prefer pilsners, the Half Pint Craft Beer Tour in Osaka is for you. Beer lovers can indulge in a half-pint at several bars around Umeda, Osaka's northern entertainment hub, while learning about the Japanese craft beer scene.

Your guide is a certified beer server, who will be able to answer your questions about what's brewing in Osaka and the rest of the country.

While there is no food included in the tour package, you'll be able to order snacks and Osaka specialties as you like, along the way. Book the Half Pint Craft Beer Tour in Osaka.

11. Namba After Dark: Bar-Hopping and Nightlife in Osaka (Easy Evening Tour)

People having fun making okonomiyaki on the Namba After Dark Food Tour Osaka

If you're keen to experience Osaka nightlife but don't want to pull an all-nighter, this tour is the perfect fit. To start things off, your guide will take you to a dedicated sake bar to sip on Japan's finest nihonshu, before a stroll to see. the glowing Glico "Running Man" signboard—where you can take the quintessential Osaka selfie.

After that, you'll mosey over to Hozenji Yokocho, a popular izakaya alley, to try takoyaki, kushikatsu and other Osaka street food. The tour wraps up after three hours spent in warm company, but the memories will last a lifetime. Book the Namba After Dark: Bar-Hopping and Nightlife in Osaka Tour.

12. Market Tour in Osaka (Plus Tea in a Japanese Home)

Osaka food tour of Kuromon Market; Tour Guide Yoko leads the way

On the three-hour "Market Tour in Osaka, the Culinary Capital of Japan" experience, you'll explore Kuromon Shopping Street, the amazing "food basement" area of a department store, and a famous shrine. To end off the day, your host will make you a quick cup of tea in their cozy Japanese home.

Your highly experienced guide, Yoko, will show you her favorite places (and street foods) in Dontobori, including the tiny but delightful Hozenji Temple, and take you on a gastronomic adventure along the legendary Kuromon Shopping Street.

Come hungry—because after that the next thing on the menu is lunch, and you can choose from sushi, tempura, okonomiyaki, ramen, Japanese curry or any other dish under the sun! Book the Market Tour in Osaka, the Culinary Capital of Japan.

Osaka Food Tours

So there you have it—the best food tours in Osaka. Whether you’re a big drinker, a big eater, or just a big culture lover, you’ll love every second spent in this city. Take your pick of these fabulous food tours to maximize your time and unlock the hidden secrets of Japan’s modern foodie Mecca.

For more food experiences, see our full list of food tours in Osaka. You might also be interested in an Osaka cooking class, or perhaps the best yokocho (bar alleys) in Osaka.

Osaka Food Tour FAQs

Two chefs cook Osaka street food

We answer some of the most common questions that come up around food tours in Osaka.

What is Osaka's Famous Dish?

Osaka is famous for three foods in particular—okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancakes), kushikatsu (skewered and deep fried meat and vegetables) and takoyaki (octopus batter balls). You might think of these street foods as Osaka's signature dishes, or local specialities. You're almost guaranteed to encounter them on any good Osaka food tour!

Which District in Osaka Has the Best Food?

Dotonbori is famous for its street food; it showcases the best that Osaka has to offer. Namba, Tenjinbashi, Umeda and Temmabashi are also popular dining spots, and are featured in many Osaka food tours. There's also Kuromon Shopping Street!

Why is Osaka Famous for Food?

Osaka has a long history as a port city of commerce, where merchants and trade have flourished for centuries. Osaka likes to work hard, and party even harder—and good food is an integral part of the lifestyle. The local chefs take pride in their trade, perfecting dishes over decades in front of the flames.

How Much is Street Food in Osaka?

It depends what you want, and how fancy you want it to be, but a full serving of e.g. takoyaki or okonomiyaki will run you around 800 - 2000 yen.

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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Callum Howe
Originally from Fife, Scotland, Callum is a literature graduate, freelance writer, and English teacher living in Tokyo. An interest in Zen drew him to Japan, so you can often find him visiting temples around Tokyo and beyond. He loves getting involved with the local music, sports, and arts scenes.
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