Tonkatsu refers to a popular dish of breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets. Here are our recommended tonkatsu restaurants in Osaka.
Butagmui - image © Florentyna Leow
Usually with tonkatsu, you have a choice of pork fillet or loin. It’s pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring - sometimes the best things in life are just that simple. At its best, you’ll bite into a crispy breadcrumb shell encasing tender meat and a layer of fat that melts in your mouth. In Japan, it’s often served with a tangy brown tonkatsu sauce, a dash of karashi mustard, or salt. Heaps of shredded cabbage, a plate of rice, and miso soup round off the meal.
While tonkatsu isn’t a regional Osakan speciality, this city takes its food seriously, so it’s only natural that it’s home to some astounding tonkatsu restaurants. All of the following restaurants serve great renditions of this dish, and none of them will break the bank!
- Takuya (Kita; moderate)
Takuya is a small, counter seat-only tonkatsu restaurant near Higashi Umeda located in a backstreet jumble of tiny bars and restaurants. Their deep-fried, breaded pork cutlets are a cut above the rest - so tender and juicy that you’ll wish you eat here every week.
- Epais (Kita; moderate to expensive)
Who doesn’t love deep-fried, breaded pork cutlets? Tonkatsu is an art form, and Epais in the Kita-Shinchi district is one of the best in Osaka. It’s not the easiest place to find so give yourself some time to locate it before popping in.
- Tonkatsu Daiki (Minami; budget to moderate)
Craving something homey, approachable, and affordable? At Daiki, a tonkatsu specialist in Higashi-Shinsaibashi, you’ll find gorgeous deep-fried pork cutlets at affordable prices. Lunches are great if you’re on a tight budget, but dinner won’t exactly break the bank either.
- Katsukura Umeda Chayamachi Branch (Kita; budget to moderate)
Katsukura’s tonkatsu is a cut above many places: the pork is excellent, and the sauce is homemade. Plus, this restaurant in Umeda serve tasty crab croquettes and chicken cutlets - perfect when not everyone wants to eat the same thing!
- Tazumura Daimaru Umeda Branch (Kita; budget to moderate)
If you’re around JR Osaka Station and craving lunch, the 14th floor of Daimaru Umeda is chock-a-block with tasty restaurants. Tonkatsu specialist Tazumura is just one of many choices on this floor - and it’s a fabulous option for pork lovers!
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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.