7 Unique and Authentic Places to Eat Takoyaki in Osaka
If it’s Osaka-style cuisine you’re after, the flour-based dishes are the most famous! If you're in Osaka, you absolutely have to eat takoyaki (octopus fried in balls of batter), okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes) and negiyaki (a type of okonomiyaki with spring onion). The restaurants introduced in this article focus on takoyaki, and each store is both high-quality and unique. Depending on the store the taste can change quite a bit, so comparing each one on your quest to find the perfect takoyaki can be really fun!
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1. Takoyaki Do Raku Wanaka - Sennichimae Main Branch [Namba]
Takoyaki Do Raku Wanaka, a comedy hub located right next to the Namba Grand Kagetsu Theatre, is such a popular takoyaki stall that it often has people lining up. Their piping-hot takoyaki is just a tad larger than normal. The crispy surface of it is incredible. There is a slightly sweet sauce, as well as salty and spicy sauce, shoyu (soy sauce), and other sauces hat you can dress and eat with the takoyaki.
Aside from that, there is also a street food on offer here called "takozen" that is also very popular. Takoyaki is sandwiched between two senbei (Japanese rice crackers). It’s cheap and easy to eat in one hand while you go for a stroll.
2. Hanadako [Osaka, Umeda]
Hanadako is a takoyaki restaurant in the Shin-Umeda Shokudogai (Shin-Umeda Restaurant Street). The springy texture of the octopus is exquisite, while the batter is soft and super delicious. The sauce and mayonnaise can be applied to taste.
This store’s famed "negimayo" looks amazing! A heap of spring onions is placed on top of the takoyaki, and then mayonnaise is applied liberally. The sweet takoyaki sauce and the savory spring onion and mayonnaise create a wonderfully balanced flavor.
3. Takoyaki Juhachiban - Dotonbori Branch [Namba Station]
Takoyaki Juhachiman is a chain with stores in both Osaka and Tokyo. In the Dotonbori Branch, the street is particularly lively and always crowded with many tourists. There's usually a line, but the takoyaki is cooked so quickly that you won't have to wait long to eat.
The characteristic of this takoyaki is their generous use of ten-kasu (tempura flakes). The crunchy ten-kasu and the softness of the takoyaki is an excellent combination. The batter is slightly creamy due to the inclusion of milk. The half & half option is also a good pick, as it has both salted and sauced takoyaki.
4. Takohachi - Dotonbori Main Branch [Namba Station]
Takohachi is a popular takoyaki spot located in a very conspicuous area at a large intersection in Dotonbori. With 3 floors, it also has plenty of seating. This restaurant distinguishes itself by its menu, which offers a wide selection of dishes. Starting from the classic takoyaki, to okonomiyaki, negiyaki, and yakisoba, the full range of Osaka-style cooking can be enjoyed to your heart’s content here.
With a secret sauce that has been passed down from generation to generation, their ikayaki (grilled squid) is also highly recommended. Squid has a characteristic chewiness that is complemented by the dough. It might be nice to try it along with takoyaki so that you can compare their textures.
5. Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan - Main Branch [Abenobashi, Tennoji]
Down a narrow road immediately south from Osaka-Abenobashi Station, Yamachan is a takoyaki store that that uses a thin batter. The gooey interior is piping hot, and seems to be on the brink of overflowing.
Their takoyaki has many flavors to choose from. It’s delicious even without any extra frills. A sweet sauce with mayonnaise, shoyu with mayonnaise, shoyu with seaweed... the variations are endless. There’s also the option to add spring onion as a topping, which comes recommended.
6. Takonotetsu - Marubiru Branch [Nishi-Umeda & Umeda]
Takonotetsu is a takoyaki store located inside the Marubiru building in front of Osaka Station. The distinguishing feature of this store is the ability to cook your own takoyaki. Even in Osaka, this type of restaurant is rare. It’s a great place for having fun with your friends. Don't know how to cook takoyaki? Not a problem! The staff will patiently explain everything you need to know!
You can add sauce, mayonnaise, seaweed, and anything you'd like according to your taste. The choices range from classic takoyaki, to takoyaki with cheese and shiso (perilla leaves), an unusual yet delicious combination worth trying!
7. Aidu-ya - Main Branch [Tamade]
Aidu-ya Main Branch is a popular takoyaki place near the exit of Tamade Station along Japan National Route 26. The size of the takoyaki is small, so you can wolf them down quickly. The takoyaki is served without sauce, but there's sauce and other toppings available on the table, so feel free to add as much (or as little) as you want!
The radioyaki, which substitutes beef tendon and konjac jelly for octopus, is also recommended. The flavor of the ingredients is very delicious, but the winning feature is its fluffy texture. Radioyaki is said to be the origin of the now-widespread takoyaki.
If you're sightseeing in Osaka, then you have to try takoyaki! People who have never been to Osaka before might be surprised by the sheer number of takoyaki joints in the shopping districts, as it is both a sacred place and a fierce battleground of takoyaki. It’s a place where you should be surprised since there are too many delicious places to count!
Title Image: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.