Osaka is famous for “konamono,” or dishes made primarily from wheat flour. These include okonomiyaki and takoyaki, but oddly enough, not udon, which are wheat flour noodles. However, there are so many great udon restaurants in Osaka that we think they should be included in the official konamono pantheon!
Odoru Udon - image © Florentyna Leow
While there’s no overarching Osaka style udon to really speak of, there are a few distinguishing characteristics. The noodles slurp smoothly and have a nice bite to them, but they’re not as chewy as those from the Sanuki region (Kagawa prefecture), nor are they soft like those from Fukuoka - the texture falls somewhere in between. The broth used in Kansai (West Japan) is also lighter overall.
There are quite literally over a thousand udon restaurants in Osaka. The following are just a few that are worth checking out.
- Kidatake (Minami; budget)
Kidatake is a rough and ready udon specialist in Namba serving one of the best bowls of udon noodles in the city. It’s perfect for a casual lunch while exploring the area. Recommended!
- Udon Ippuku (Osaka Castle Area; budget)
Looking for a bowl of curry udon to warm your heart and soul - without the queues? When you're near Osaka Castle, head just slightly further afield to Udon Ippuku in Tanimachi Yonchome.
- Tokumasa Udon (Osaka Castle Area; budget)
Near the southeast corner of Osaka Castle Park, this restaurant serves a very decent bowl of curry udon, a spicy and filling dish that’s perfect for powering you through a day of sightseeing. Look for 得正 (Tokumasa) on the sign.
- Odoru Udon (Kita; budget)
If you're looking for a super-fast, cheap, hearty meal, udon is the way to go. Odoru Udon near Umeda Station is a great place to get your fix without the crowds.
- Nishiya (Minami; budget)
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.
- Dotombori Imai (Minami; mid-range)
Dotombori can overwhelm with the crowds, chaos, and colours - but classic soba and udon purveyor Imai is a calm refuge right in the middle of the arcade. The noodles are merely average, but the setting is very nice.
- Byakuan (Shin-Osaka; budget)
A bit of a hike from Shin-Osaka Station, close to Kanzakigawa Station on the Hankyu Kobe Line, this sanuki udon specialist is worth the trip for udon fans. The name is written in English on the sign, so it should be easy to find.
Best Osaka Restaurant Recommendations
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- Best Soba In Osaka
- Best Udon In Osaka
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- Best Vegetarian In Osaka
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- Best Kaiseki Kappo And Other Haute Cuisine In Osaka
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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, 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