Street Food in Osaka: Top 10 Must-Try Dishes

By Annika Hotta
Updated: July 3, 2024

Known for its vibrant culture and drool-worthy food, it’s no surprise that Osaka is a top destination for foodies from across the globe. But did you know that Osaka’s street food is just as worthy of the hype?

While you may be familiar with Osaka specialties like okonomiyaki cabbage pancakes and takoyaki octopus balls, we want to share other street food you should try while you’re in Osaka, as well as the best spots to find it.

And if you’re looking for more ideas of things to do in Osaka, save this Osaka 3-Day itinerary for later — after you’ve figured out what you want to eat, of course!

5 best spots for Osaka street food options

  1. Dotonbori
  2. Ebisubashi-suji Shopping Street
  3. Kuromon Market
  4. Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street
  5. Hozenji Yokocho

1. Dotonbori

The vibrant entrance to Dotonbori, standing out against the night sky.

No doubt the most famous area in Osaka, Dotonbori is the nightlife hub of the city — but it’s also great during the daytime! Running through the downtown Namba area, Dotonbori is home to a major shopping street and plenty of back alleys where you can find exclusive street food. 

We’ll cover what you can eat there in a minute, but here’s a list of fun things to do in Dotonbori, Osaka’s entertainment district. 

2. Ebisubashi-suji Shopping Street

The grand entrance to the Ebisubashi-suji Shopping Street, a covered shopping street in Osaka.

Located in southern Osaka is Ebisubashi-suji Shopping Street. As the name implies, this bougie area is lined with dozens of shops selling souvenirs, wares, and — you guessed it — street food. 

While you can get the standard takoyaki, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu deep-fried skewers there, Ebisubashi-suji is also known for its many dessert shops, so if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat after shopping, you’re in the right place.

3. Kuromon Market

The eye-catching interior of Kuromon Market, filled with signs, lanterns and street food vendors.

As the most well-known fish market in Osaka, Kuromon Market is the ultimate destination for seafood lovers. But if you or your traveling companions aren’t big into fish, not to worry — Kuromon Market also has plenty of pickled goods, produce, dry goods and desserts for all members of your party to enjoy. 

The two most popular dishes at Kuromon Market are conger pike, or hamo, in the summer and fugu (blowfish) in the winter. As the many restaurants here specialize in these two dishes, make sure to try them while you’re there! 

4. Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street

Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, welcoming in guests with bright signs and lights.

Joined with Ebisubashi-suji Shopping Street is its beloved neighbor, Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street. Spanning roughly eight blocks, you could easily spend an entire day here, and you’ll need some fuel to do so. 

Although you can easily enjoy the abundance of fast food joints like Shake Shack or cafes like Cafe de Paris for a place to sit down, don’t underestimate the street food here. Head to the food court, or shokudougai, and eat everything your heart desires, ranging from takoyaki with a whole octopus inside to grilled izakaya meats and refreshing lemon sours.

5. Hozenji Yokocho

Hozenji Yokocho at night, giving an insight into the traditional backstreets of Osaka.

In a stone-paved alleyway near Hozenji Temple lies numerous street food stalls waiting for you to feast. Enjoy the classics like okonomiyaki and yakitori — but don’t forget to wash it down with some local sake!

10 best street foods in Osaka

  1. Takoyaki
  2. Okonomiyaki
  3. Andrew’s egg tarts
  4. Crab battera sushi
  5. Gyoza
  6. Beef katsu sandwich
  7. Imo nikki sweet potato
  8. Custard pudding
  9. “Candy tree” candied fruit skewers
  10. Nashiro Basho

1. Takoyaki

A street food vending in Osaka making takoyaki.

A classic for a reason. These crunchy, gooey balls of dough are stuffed with octopus and covered in mayo, takoyaki sauce, bonito flakes, nori and more. Enjoy as a snack or as a meal before exploring more of Osaka’s vibrant streets. 

2. Okonomiyaki

A close-up shot of okonomiyaki, smothered in sauce and garnished with bonito flakes and seaweed.

Translating to “as you like it pancake,” these savory pancakes are made from chopped cabbage held together by an eggy batter. As the name suggests, you can get delicious add-ins like pork belly, kimchi, cheese and more. 

All this goodness is then coated in okonomiyaki sauce, mayo, nori and bonito flakes. 

3. Andrew’s egg tarts

A display case filled with pastel de nata, Portugese egg tarts.

Bringing over the well-loved treat from Portugal and Macau, Andrew’s Eggtart in Dotonbori serves up some of the best egg tarts in Japan. Not only do they have the usual custard-filled delicacies, but they also offer some entirely new flavors you’re unlikely to have found anywhere else: creamy chocolate, seasonal chestnuts, tart matcha and so much more.

A selection of pastel de nata in different flavors, including chocolate, matcha and chestnut.

For the full experience, order a few different flavors and enjoy the sheer versatility of this international sweet.

4. Crab battera sushi

Crab battera sushi, a rectangular type of sushi that's been covered in crab meat.

At a street vendor with all kinds of fresh crab delights, ranging from crab sushi rolls to crab-filled bento boxes, there’s a lesser-known crab sushi that you need to try: crab battera sushi. Wrapped in a premium takeaway box and containing the cutest crab-shaped soy sauce container, you’re sure to get admiring glances as you enjoy.

Here, battera refers to the way the sushi is made. It is pressed inside a rectangular sushi-making box, creating uniquely uniform sushi rolls that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the taste buds.

5. Gyoza

Chopsticks picking up a single gyoza, crispy on one side and doughy on the other.

Just like the Chinese dumplings, gyoza are typically filled with chopped vegetables and meat stir-fried in a rich sauce. Most places will not have vegetarian options, though you can always ask. 

Osaka Ohsho is especially popular, serving gyoza with a perfect balance between chewy dough and crispy, pan-fried textures, and also known for being generous with the garlic seasoning.

6. Beef katsu sandwich

The juicy beef and crispy bread of a beef katsu sandwich street food vendor in Osaka.

For the sandwich that is called the “taste of Osaka,” head to Nikuryori Sakamoto for its beef cutlet sandwich. Equally juicy and crispy, this sandwich is simple in appearance, but unforgettable in flavor. 

It makes for a perfect on-the-go meal for one, or can be split between friends for a tasty snack while you search the horizon for more Osaka street food.

7. Imo nikki sweet potato

Imo nikki, a sweet potato and cinnamon treat, wrapped in plastic for sale.

If you love sweet potatoes, the imo nikki (sweet potato and cinnamon) at Nakayama Kaho will blow your mind. Savor the sweetness of the Japanese sweet potato with a white bean paste filling and a dusting of cinnamon for a rich, traditional snack or dessert.

8. Custard pudding

Traditional custard pudding for sale at a 105-year-old shop in Osaka.

At the same shop is the custard pudding, a delectable take on Japanese pudding that perfectly balances the egg and caramel flavors. And, since this family-owned store has been around for 105 years at the time of writing… you know they’re getting something right!

9. “Candy tree” candied fruit skewers

The “candy tree” candied fruit skewers at Taro's Parlor, featuring different skewered fruits covered in sugar.

Head over to Taro’s Parlor in Dotonbori for a popular street food — candied fruit skewers. You can get all strawberries or a mix of different fruits, depending on what suits your mood, but no matter what you choose, you’re sure to end up with an effortlessly Instagrammable dessert with a satisfyingly sweet crunch.

10. Nashiro Basho

Nashiro basho, a cakey manju exterior in the shape of a banana, filled with sweet white bean paste.

A uniquely modern take on culturally Japanese sweets, confectionery store Tsuriganeya Honpo has created the “nashiro basho” — a traditional manju bun in the shape of a banana, wrapped around the delicate sweetness of white bean paste.

Fun fact: It’s shape is based on the fact that bananas were considered a luxury all the way back in the Meiji Period, when this shop was opened, and this comes through in the gentle banana scent and aftertaste, despite no bananas being used in production.

Experiences to try street food in Osaka

Osaka food tour (13 delicious dishes at 5 hidden eateries)

If you’re nervous about navigating the alleyways of Osaka, tag along with our Japanese-Australian guide on this Osaka food tour for a fun day or night out on the town.

You’ll get to enjoy up to 13 dishes and two drinks at five different spots — be sure to arrive hungry!

Deep backstreet Osaka tour with dinner

Multiple okonomiyaki on a grill, each smothered in mayo and okonomiyaki sauce.

Learn about the gastronomic underbelly of Osaka in this deep backstreet tour of Osaka. After you’ve eaten to your heart’s content, you have the option of walking through the Taisho-era red-light district and other areas of Osaka that are rarely visited by tourists. 

Come armed with all the questions you want to know about the real culture of Osaka and its irresistible street food. 

Osaka Kuromon Market and “Kitchen Town” tour

Street food in Kuromon Market, showing off a variety of fried tofu goods.

For a shopping and seafood extravaganza, book this tour of “Osaka’s Kitchen.” You’ll be allotted time to shop for souvenirs like Japanese kitchenware and be guided through all the local eateries until you just can’t eat or shop anymore. 

We have plenty more where that came from, so explore our full list of Osaka food tours for an experience you’ll never forget.

And for a closer look at all the tasty Osaka street foods we’ve been talking about, join Shizuka in this retro Osaka street food tour.

Or, watch this video of street food to eat in Osaka’s Dotonbori area!

Staying in Osaka for a little longer? Check out our 3-day Osaka itinerary, head to the best Osaka food markets, or take a deeper dive into what to eat in this city for foodies.

Osaka street food FAQs

The Osaka backstreets at night, lit up by the signs and lanterns of bars and food stalls.

What are some popular street foods in Osaka?

Some popular street foods in Osaka include takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (savory pancake) and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers).

Is Osaka street food safe to eat?

Yes, Osaka street food is generally safe to eat as long as you purchase it from reputable vendors and ensure it is cooked thoroughly.

How much does Osaka street food typically cost?

Prices for Osaka street food can vary, but you can expect to pay around ¥500-¥1000 per dish, depending on the type of food and vendor.

Are there vegetarian options available for Osaka street food?

The crowded stalls and vendors of Kuromon Market in Osaka.

Yes, there are vegetarian options available for Osaka street food, such as vegetable okonomiyaki or grilled corn on the cob.

Can I find street food vendors open late at night in Osaka?

Yes, you can find street food vendors open late in areas like Dotonbori and Shinsekai, where you can enjoy delicious treats well into the night.

How can I best experience the vibrant street food scene in Osaka?

To best experience the vibrant street food scene in Osaka, immerse yourself in the bustling food markets, try new and unfamiliar dishes and engage with friendly vendors to learn more about the local food culture.

For a helping hand, join one of our Osaka street food tours and you'll have an expert guide showing you the way!

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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Annika Hotta
After studying abroad in Shiga prefecture in 2019, Annika moved to Japan in 2021. In her writing, she highlights the best dishes and places to eat in Japan for both the picky and the adventurous.
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