Resutoran-gai or shokudo-gai are the Japanese equivalent of food courts. They're a great way to have lots of different food choices. Here's our list of the best resutoran-gai in Osaka.
Lalaport Tendon Kaneko - image © Florentyna Leow
Resutoran-gai or shokudo-gai are like little culinary enclaves or food streets - a cluster or entire row of restaurants conveniently located all together in a particular building or area in town. Sometimes they take the form of whole floors in department stores dedicated to restaurants and cafes; at other times they might be a street in a district of a city lined with bars and pubs. These kinds of places can be found all over the country in major cities.
While resutoran-gai are incredibly convenient for most people, the only downside is that they do tend to induce a certain paralysis of choice, especially if you haven’t decided beforehand exactly which restaurant to eat at! On the other hand, this encourages a certain adventure in trying new places - perhaps even several in a night.
The following is a list of major resutoran-gai in Osaka. They’re convenient for visitors and have a great selection of food at each of them.
- Shin-Umeda Shokudogai (Central Osaka; restaurant complex)
This is one of the cheapest places to eat in central Osaka. It’s packed with tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are popular with local office workers.
- Lalaport Expo City (Northern Osaka; budget to moderate)
The Lalaport Expo City shopping mall, near Banpaku Memorial Park, contains an almost endless selection of great eateries, covering all the bases of Japanese food, as well as many famous Western chains and specialties.
- Universal City Walk Osaka (Osaka Bay Area; budget to expensive)
Located outside Universal Studios Japan, this huge American-style dining and shopping complex can be visited for free (ie, without paying to enter Universal Studios Japan). The complex is filled with American chain restaurants and some local options.
- Tempozan Marketplace (Osaka Bay Area; budget to moderate)
Located between the Tempozan Ferris Wheel and Osaka Aquarium, this large shopping and dining complex has heaps of fast food and family restaurants.
- Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho (Osaka Bay Area; budget)
Located inside the Tempozan Marketplace (see previous entry), this is a faux Edo-era shopping street lined with small restaurants selling all the usual Osaka specialties like okonomiyaki, tako-yaki and kushikatsu.
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- Best Resutoran-gai In Osaka
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