Takoyaki is one of Osaka’s most well-loved dishes, and if you’re in Osaka it is a must-eat. Imagine golf ball-sized balls of gooey batter liberally studded with octopus bits - creamy, salty, and savoury all at once.
Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka - image © Florentyna Leow
Depending on which stall you hit up, tenkasu (crispy tempura batter bits) and pickled red ginger might make an appearance. Sometimes they’re slathered with tangy and savoury brown sauce, mayonnaise, and a scattering of bonito flakes. But sometimes, they’re best enjoyed as is.
Takoyaki are substantial enough to be a hefty snack, but light enough that it won’t ruin your next meal. While you can find takoyaki stalls across the nation, the best shops are all in Osaka. Plus, there’s something extra special about eating takoyaki in its birthplace. Be careful when you eat your takoyaki - they are always served scalding hot, and burnt mouths are a real hazard of eating this street food!
Check out our recommendations below. They’re all affordable, down-to-earth, and super tasty.
- Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan (Tennoji Area; budget)
Located in the Tennoji and Abeno districts, takoyaki purveyor Yamachan is one of the most famous and highly-rated in its genre, and for good reason - their octopus balls are just some of the most delicious ones around. A must-visit when you’re in the area.
- Takoya Dotonbori Kukuru (Minami; budget)
Dotonbori has several great takoyaki stalls to choose from, and Takoya Dotonbori Kukuru is super popular with lovers of this street food. What’s so great about them? Order their “bikkuri takoyaki” or “Surprise Takoyaki” to find out!
- TAKOPA (Takoyaki Park)（改称） (Osaka Bay; budget)
Visiting Universal Studios Japan and craving takoyaki? Never fear - TAKOPA (Takoyaki Park)（改称）in Universal City Walk. You can sample your way through five of Osaka’s best shops under a single roof. Efficient and tasty!
- Takohachi (Tennoji Area; budget)
For a twist on the usual takoyaki, head over to Takohachi in Tennoji and eat some akashiyaki instead. It’s similar to takoyaki, but is dipped in a light, delicious dashi broth instead. Great for those who want to try a lighter style of this snack instead.
- Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka (Minami; budget)
Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka’s takoyaki is another favourite with Osakans. They have several branches across the city from Namba to Nippombashi, but we like the Sennichimae stall - the takoyaki is fabulous, and you can have it for breakfast on the weekends, in true Osaka binge-eating fashion.
- Kougaryu (Minami; budget)
Shopping in Shinsaibashi but need a break? Grab some takoyaki from famed shop Kougaryu in Amerikamura. Not only is the takoyaki fabulous, there’s a wealth of intriguing toppings to choose from. Why not try them all?
- Takoyaki Juhachiban (Minami; budget)
Visitors to Dotonbori are spoilt for choice when it comes to food, but if you have to choose just one takoyaki stall here, make it Takoyaki Juhachiban. These octopus balls contain several surprise ingredients that take them to the next level of deliciousness.
- Hanadako (Kita; budget)
If you’re wandering around Shin-Umeda Shokudogai and wondering what to eat, Hanadako is an excellent choice. They nearly always have locals lining up for a taste of their famous negi-mayo takoyaki! Don’t worry if there’s a line, though: service is fast and efficient.
Best Osaka Restaurant Recommendations
- Best Osaka Restaurants
- Best Takoyaki In Osaka
- Best Okonomiyaki In Osaka
- Best Kushikatsu In Osaka
- Best Sushi In Osaka
- Best Ramen In Osaka
- Best Izakaya In Osaka
- Best Soba In Osaka
- Best Udon In Osaka
- Best Tonkatsu In Osaka
- Best Yakitori In Osaka
- Best Curry Rice In Osaka
- Best Vegetarian In Osaka
- Best Unagi In Osaka
- Best Kaiseki Kappo And Other Haute Cuisine In Osaka
- Best French Restaurants In Osaka
- 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, 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