If you only have time for one okonomiyaki restaurant in the city, make it the Michelin Bib Gourmand-rated Kiji in Umeda. The constant queues in front are testament to its excellent dishes.
Kiji - image © Florentyna Leow
Osaka has hundreds if not thousands of okonomiyaki restaurants across the city, but Kiji continues to be a favourite with locals and tourists alike. It’s a great introduction to the art of okonomiyaki. While we’d take the Michelin Guide with a heavy pinch of salt, Kiji’s Bib Gourmand status is well-founded given its consistently excellent food over the years. That it continues to be a cheap and cheerful meal doesn’t hurt, either.
Kiji serves Osaka-style okonomiyaki. The word literally means ‘as you like it,’ and as that suggests, pretty much any ingredient is fair game. Pork? Squid? Cream cheese? It’s all good. ‘Okonomiyaki’ is often translated in English as ‘Japanese pizza,’ but this is a bit of a misnomer. It’s more like a thick, grilled pancake, with all kinds of ingredients held together by a nagaimo (mountain yam) and wheat flour batter. They also serve modanyaki, which is a variant stuffed with plenty of noodles.
Kiji - image © Florentyna Leow
One of the secrets - of which there are no doubt many - to Kiji-style okonomiyaki - is the addition of ooba or perilla leaf, which gives it a refreshing and lightly zingy flavour. Okonomiyaki can be pretty hearty and heavy, and using this herb gives it a wonderful lightness.
Besides the main restaurant in Shin-Umeda Shokudogai, Kiji also has a branch in the Umeda Sky Building basement called Kiji Sky. It’s as tiny as as the original branch, and serves the same excellent okonomiyaki. Kiji Sky does see more tourists due to its proximity to the observatory. If this is something you’d rather avoid, consider heading over to the original branch. Eating okonomiyaki while hearing the trains rumble by right above you is a unique experience.
Osaka Restaurant Reservations Service: You can easily make hassle-free reservations online for scores of Osaka restaurants, many Michelin-starred, with Voyagin's Osaka Restaurant Reservation Service.
For more Osaka okonomiyaki choices, see our Best Okonomiyaki in Osaka page.
Shin-Umeda Shokudogai, 9-20 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, 530-0017
〒530-0017 大阪市北区角田町9-20 新梅田食道街
Train and Subway: Directly connected to Umeda Station.
Train: 3-minute walk from the Midosuji exit of Osaka Station.
Official website (Japanese)
:: Read customer reviews of Kiji on TripAdvisor.
Best Osaka Restaurants
See our list of the best Osaka restaurants for even more ideas about great places to eat 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
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- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Osaka
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- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
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- 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