Kushikatsu is deep-fried, battered food on skewers - the perfect drinking food. Here's our list of recommended kushikatsu restaurants in Osaka.
Kushikatsu at Yaekatsu - image © Florentyna Leow
Kushikatsu refers to a genre of deep-fried, battered skewered food that you eat dipped in a thin, black, sweet-tangy sauce. Anything can be kushikatsu: meat, vegetables, cheese, and even fruits. It is easy to love. This is quintessential Osakan working-class food, and it’s great if you’re planning to drink alongside, or if you’re already drunk. There’s only one rule here - no double-dipping in the sauce is allowed. At all.
This cheap, cheerful, hearty food is typical of its birthplace, Shinsekai. But, you’ll find great down-to-earth kushikatsu restaurants all over the city. We’ve put together a selection of some particularly excellent places to try them.
- Bon (Kita; expensive)
'Deep-fried' and 'refined' are not two words that usually go together. But at underground restaurant Kushikatsu Bon in the Kita-Shinchi district, kushikatsu is elevated to new heights with the most exquisite ingredients and impeccable technique. Plus, they won’t stop giving you food until you tell them to stop. How’s that for service?
- Kushikatsu Daruma (Tennoji Area; budget to moderate)
Located near the base of Tsutenkaku tower in Shinsekai, Daruma is one of the area’s most popular kushikatsu restaurants. If it’s deliciously greasy, deep-fried meat and veg you’re looking for, your search ends here. Look for the large black and white sign.
- Tengu (Tennoji Area; budget to moderate)
Can’t be bothered to queue at Daruma? Don’t worry - there’s another kushikatsu restaurant in Shinsekai that’s just as good, if not better. Tengu is sure to satisfy all your greasy, deep-fried desires. Just be warned, sometimes there’s a queue here, too.
- Yaekatsu (Tennoji Area; budget to moderate)
Who doesn't love hot, cheap, greasy food made with good ingredients? Get your kushikatsu fix at Yaekatsu in Shinsekai, where they've been perfecting the art of deep-fried skewers since 1949.
- Shichifukujin (Kita; budget to moderate)
Shichifukujin in Tenma is a counter seat-only kushikatsu restaurant that’s super popular with the locals. Their deep-fried skewers are fabulous, the beer is cheap, and they serve oden (simmered things) to balance out all that fried food. A great choice if you’re in the area!
- Karatto (Minami; moderate)
Karatto is a stylish, slightly upmarket kushikatsu restaurant located a stone’s throw from Shinsaibashi Station. Not only is the food delicious and generously portioned, it’s open till 5:00am - great to finish off a night of karaoke or partying.
- Yakko (Tennoji Area; budget to moderate)
Yakko in Shinsekai is another kushikatsu restaurant we like and recommend - the beef tallow they use to fry their skewers really gives the food a flavour boost!
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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 from Klook 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