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.
Sobakiri Arabonpu - image © Florentyna Leow
Located down a quiet side street next to a tea shop, Arabonpu is a tiny 7-seater soba shop that’s a favourite with locals. The soba is excellent and there’s sometimes a queue. Luckily, noodles are pretty much fast food and turnover will be reasonably fast. You shouldn’t have to wait too long before you get a seat.
Like most soba restaurants, the menu isn’t very extensive - unsurprising given that this is a one-man show. There are several variations on cold and hot noodles and the menu changes slightly from time to time along with the seasons. You might see, for instance, duck soba on the menu in winter. There are also a few small side dishes you can order, though there are times that they’ll sell out quickly.
Noodle connoisseurs should consider ordering the そば三昧ざる soba zanmai zaru, which allows you to compare three different soba noodles side by side - coarsely-milled 100% buckwheat noodles, finely-milled 100% buckwheat noodles, 2:8 wheat-buckwheat noodles.
When having cold soba noodles, don’t forget to finish with the ‘soba-yu.’ You’ll receive some hot, cloudy water that was used for boiling buckwheat noodles in a small teapot. Pour as much as you need into the dipping sauce to dilute it and make a lovely, warm broth to finish your meal. It’s reputedly very good for you, too.
The only downside to Arabonpu is that it’s open only between 11am and 4pm, which means no late night dinners of soba and sake. Still, that means you could potentially come in for a late lunch - great if you’ve woken up too late and haven’t had a respectable breakfast yet. Stretch your legs afterwards with a walk to nearby Nakanoshima-koen Park to enjoy the roses.
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4-1-11 Nishitemma, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, 530-0047
Thursday and Friday: 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-8pm
Closed irregularly Tuesday and Wednesday
Train: 6-minute walk from exit 1 of Naniwabashi Station on the Keihan Nakanoshima Line.
Subway: 8-minute walk from exit 2 of Minami-morimachi Station on the Osaka Metro Tanimachi and Sakaisuji Lines.
Official website (Twitter in Japanese)
:: Read customer reviews of Sobakiri Arabonpu on TripAdvisor.
Near To Here:
Sobakiri Arabonpu is located in Osaka's Kita and Umeda district. See our complete list of things to do in the Kita and Umeda district, including places to eat, nightlife and places to stay.
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