Izakaya and sake specialists (they’re almost the same thing) are everywhere in Osaka. Spending an evening in an izakaya is one of the best ways to really experience this city - you’ll sample great food, meet the locals, and drink some fabulous sake or beer.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant: LMspencer/Shutterstock.com
There are quite literally thousands of izakaya in the city. You’ll find a high concentration of izakaya around every train station in town. They’re particularly abundant near Shin-Osaka Station, JR Osaka Station, Hankyu Umeda Station, Shinsaibashi Station and Tennoji Station. Here’s a list of our favorite izakaya in Osaka.
- Binbiya (Kita Area; moderate)
Binbiya is a high-end, 1 Michelin-starred izakaya in the Kita-Shinchi district specialising in fresh seafood dishes, but at surprisingly affordable prices. Dinner here is unlikely to run over JPY7,000 before drinks. Now that’s value for money!
- Chirori (Shin-Osaka Area; moderate)
Chirori is a local, contemporary izakaya serving up fabulous little dishes, with an incredible variety of sake to pair with each one. Located one stop south of Shin-Osaka Station, it’s great for dinner with friends.
- Shogin-an (Shin-Osaka Area; moderate)
Do you love soba but also enjoy having a variety of side dishes to go with it? Then get thee to Shogin-an, a quiet little izakaya near Shin-Osaka serving both soba and fabulous gastropub-style dishes. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a bottle of sake or two.
- Osaka Yakiton Center (Minami Area; moderate)
Fancy experiencing a super-local standing bar on your visit? Head over to the Osaka Yakiton Center in Namba for delicious grilled pork skewers. There’s no English menu, but the staff are friendly and, hey, you get to pour your own sake!
- Shinkawa Nishiya (Minami Area; moderate)
What’s not to love about a seafood izakaya like Shinkawa Nishiya? It’s centrally located smack in the middle of Namba, the food is great and reasonably priced, the drinks are good, and best of all, it’s open until 5:00am.
- Ginzaya (Kita Area; budget to moderate)
Want to drink and eat well on the cheap with Osakan locals? Head over to standing izakaya Ginzaya near Osaka Station to start off your night of bar-hopping. A draft beer is just JPY330, which bodes well for the evening ahead!
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Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Inside Osaka Google map:
- Open the Osaka map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Osaka Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Osaka guide
- Check Osaka accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Osaka
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Osaka's Kansai International Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare flight prices and timings to find the best Japan flight deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with the Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- Get a prepaid Icoca card to make travelling around Osaka easy – here's how
- Find out why travel insurance for Japan is essential – World Nomads is well-regarded