Often called "Japanese pizza", okonomiyaki is actually very different! Here's our recommended okonomiyaki restaurants in Osaka to try it yourself.
Okonomiyaki - image © Florentyna Leow
Osaka is famous for its “konamono,” or flour-based foods. These include takoyaki, kushikatsu, and okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is often translated in English as ‘Japanese pizza.’ However, this is a bit of a misnomer. It’s more like a thick, grilled pancake-slash-frittata, with all kinds of ingredients held together by a nagaimo (mountain yam) and wheat flour batter. In terms of toppings, anything goes: shrimp, squid, pork, even cheese. That’s all part of the name - “grilled as you like it,” or “okonomi”!
Okonomiyaki is one of Osaka’s signature dishes, and it’s characteristically cheap, unpretentious, and delicious. Unless you have gluten allergies, this is certainly a must-try. (But even then, there are one or two gluten-free options out there!) There are hundreds of restaurants in the city; these are just a few fabulous and friendly ones.
- Kiji (Kita; budget)
If you only have time for one okonomiyaki restaurant in the city, make it the Michelin Bib Gourmand-rated Kiji in Umeda. The constant queues in front are testament to its excellent dishes.
- Ajinoya (Minami; budget to moderate)
Ajinoya is a Bib Gourmand okonomiyaki specialist near the Dotombori Arcade. With fast, friendly service, and rich, delicious okonomiyaki, it’s one of our favourite places to sample Osaka’s signature dish. Recommended!
- Chibo (Minami; budget to moderate)
Located along the vibrant, bustling Dotombori Arcade, Chibo is one of the city’s most popular okonomiyaki restaurants, and for good reason - the pancakes here are awesome. It’s English-friendly, so don’t fret about ordering!
- Jibundoki (Central Osaka; moderate)
For brilliant and creative okonomiyaki, as well as some other dishes cooked on a teppan (iron griddle), try this excellent restaurant a short walk southwest of Honmachi Station. The name is written in English on the awning, so finding it shouldn’t be a problem.
- Kyochabana Shin-Osaka Eki (Shin-Osaka Area; budget)
Looking for a flavourful but healthy dinner option in Shin-Osaka Station? At Kyochabana, you get affordable, delicious, and creatively cooked Japanese food with a Kyoto twist.
- Mizuno (Minami; budget)
Mizuno near Dotombori Arcade has a permanent queue out of the door for their world-famous okonomiyaki, which is as delicious as the Michelin guide promises and entirely worth the wait. Vegetarians and gluten-intolerant diners aren’t left out, either - they have options for you, too!
Best Osaka Restaurant Recommendations
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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, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- Get a prepaid Icoca card to make travelling around Osaka easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world