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One of Osaka’s most famous dishes is takoyaki. Takoyaki is a round fried ball of wheat flour with a small piece of octopus inside. It’s delicious eaten fresh with sauce and mayonnaise. Takoyaki is arguably the best well-known Osaka fast food and is beloved by people of all ages. Here are 15 recommended takoyaki shops that you should try on your trip to Osaka.
1. Kougaryu (甲賀流 本店), Shinsaibashi
This popular restaurant is often featured in local magazines and on TV shows. It’s in the Amerikamura area of Osaka, an area frequented by young people due to the many casual brands and import shops. Kougaryu can be said to be one of Kansai’s top-class takoyaki restaurants. Prices are around $3-5.
2. Wanaka (わなか 千日前本店)nekotank/Flickr
3. Takoyaki Juuhachiban (たこ焼き十八番 本店), Minamikata
They receive a direct delivery of fresh octopus every day from Chuo Wholesale Market. This unique takoyaki is made with sakura shrimp, ginger, and tenkasu (the crunchy parts left over from making tempura), and the dough is made by mixing flour with both cow’s milk and dashi broth. The chefs have spent over 10 years refining their craft and cook on a copper sheet, a very unusual technique. The outside has the crunchy texture of the tenkasu while the inside is creamy and delicious. Prices run around $3-5.
4. Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan (あべのたこ焼き やまちゃん2号店), Tennoji
If you’re looking for the best takoyaki in the Tennouji and Abeno area, look no further. This takoyaki is made so the outside is crisp while the inside is moist and delicious. The dashi is flavored with sauce so it’s recommended that you don’t add more when you eat it. Prices average around $3-5.
5. Takohachi (たこ八 大阪梅地下店), Umeda
You can enjoy your preferred flavorings here because you can add the sauce or soy sauce yourself. But first you should taste it without adding any condiments so you can enjoy it as is. Prices are around $3-5.
6. Ganso Takoyaki Aiduya (元祖たこ焼き会津屋 梅田店), Umeda
This store appeared in Japan’s popular food manga Oishinbo. This small takoyaki has a strong flavor and it’s delicious even without sauce. Prices are around $3-5.
7. Dotonbori Honke Ootako (道頓堀 本家 大たこ), Dotonbori
Just as the name implies, this takoyaki restaurant uses large pieces of octopus. It’s beloved by the locals, and it isn’t just the size of the octopus that makes it so popular but also the taste. This is a good choice for people who stress importance of the size of the octopus. Prices are around $4-5.
8. Osaka Takoyaki Museum (大阪たこ焼きミュージアム), Universal City
Five famous, popular takoyaki shops (Aiduya, Kukuru, Kougaryu, Juuhachiban, and Yamachan) are gathered under one roof. If you go here you can try all of their takoyaki in one go. It’s the best for tourists who are traveling with a time crunch because you can efficiently snack on Osaka’s best takoyaki without leaving the building. Prices range from around $4-10.
9. Umaiya (うまい屋), Tenma
This shop is a well-respected shop in Tenma. They deliver a simple taste that locals love. You won’t be able to resist the crispy surface and the soft insides. Prices are around $3-5.
10. Ryomatei (龍馬亭), Fukushima
This takoyaki shop is in front of Fukushima Station and has many repeat customers. It’s recommended that you eat this handmade takoyaki covered in onions and soy sauce without the thick sauce usually used on takoyaki. It’s become an izakaya so you can also order drinks and other dishes. You can get 3 takoyaki for 120 yen, making it a very reasonable deal. Prices for takoyaki run around $1-5.
11. Jabon Souhonten (じゃんぼ総本店 天神橋１丁目店), Osaka Tenmangu
Their takoyaki is soft and the insides thick. You can enjoy it with many toppings, including kimchi or spring onions and mayonnaise. They also offer yakisoba and okonomiyaki so you can enjoy all of those dishes at the same time. Prices are around $3-5.
12. Takoyaki Dotonbori Kukuru (たこ家道頓堀くくる 本店), Dotonbori
On the Dotonbori riverside, there is a sign with a huge octopus on it that’s become a landmark of the area. This is a famous restaurant that’s been set up in the middle of the area that fights over the reputation for the best takoyaki. Here they use pieces of octopus so large it forces itself out of the ball, called “bikkuri takoyaki” (“surprising takoyaki”). You should definitely try it if you can. Prices are around $5-7.
13. Creo-ru (くれおーる 京橋店), Kyobashi
This popular takoyaki restaurant is only 2 minutes away from Kyobashi Station. It’s in Dotonbori and it sells not just takoyaki, but also okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and kushikatsu. Their takoyaki uses tenkasu as a not-so-secret ingredient. Prices are around $4-7.
14. Takoyaki Asuka (たこ焼き アスカ), Kyobashi
Sitting in the basement of Keihan Mall, this is a takoyaki restaurant that actually lets you sit down and eat rather than the usual standing style of most takoyaki stands. They offer ginger like sushi restaurants, so you can eat it deliciously with your takoyaki. You might find you prefer it this way. Prices are around $5-6.
15. Paku-Paku Ra-mu (PAKU-PAKU ラ・ムー)
Paku-Paku is a takoyaki stand that’s in the corner of the cheap supermarket chain Ra-mu all around the Kansai area. You can get six pieces for 100 yen. This takoyaki is beloved by locals. The octopus is little but the balls themselves are large, so it’s definitely a steal at 100 yen. Ra-mu isn’t really found in the sightseeing areas, so if you manage to find one, definitely try it! The price is $1!