Japanese cuisine has a number of fabulous noodles worth eating when you’re visiting the country. Soba, or buckwheat noodles, is one of the most popular around.
Akari Soba - image © Florentyna Leow
While they’re most familiar to overseas diners in their slender, mottled brown form, there are in reality many different styles of soba. Soba noodles can be thin and smooth, or rustic and a little chewier, and everything in between.
Best of all, you can find soba specialists at all price points. From the cheap and cheerful to the refined and expensive, there’s a restaurant for everyone! Any of these soba restaurants are sure to hit the spot when you’re out exploring Osaka.
- Akari Soba (Minami; budget to moderate)
Looking for an escape from Dotonbori's relentless crowds? Akari is a charming, homey soba shop will whisk you away to a calmer, quieter world - along with some delicious soba and tempura to boot.
- Takama (Kita; budget to moderate)
Located a 5-minute walk away from Tenjinbashisuji Rokuchome Station, 1-star Soba Takama serves glorious soba noodles at highly affordable prices. It might be one of the most affordable Michelin starred meals in the city!
- Sobakiri Arabompu (Kita; budget to moderate)
Udon restaurants may get a lot of attention in Osaka, but there are times when nothing but buckwheat noodles will do. Get your soba fix at Arabonpu in the Kita district, where the owner serves up beautifully-textured handmade noodles in a quiet, tiny shop.
- Nishiya (Minami; budget to moderate)
Located a hop and a skip away from Shinsaibashi Station, Nishiya is a long-standing, popular udon restaurant that’s great for a hearty meal in between all the shopping. They serve other dishes besides udon, so there’s usually something for everyone here.
- Shuhari (Osaka Castle Area; moderate)
Shuhari is a soba specialist that’s not too far from Osaka Castle Park - their soba and tempura are solid and well-made. The fresh wasabi, which you grate yourself, is a really nice touch. Look for the wooden steps at the entrance. Recommended!
- Sobayoshi (Shin-Osaka Area; moderate)
For a quick, filling meal, look no further than Sobayoshi. This soba specialist near Shin-Osaka Station serves up some great soba set meals. The service is fast and the food is good value for money.
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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 it's essential you have travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads.