Dotonbori Area and Shinsekai District: Best Food Experience in Osaka

Traveling for food? CNN Travel (CNN International travel website), releases an article about World Cuisine: 10 best food culture. Included on the list is Japan as one of the best country to visit for food.

We survived our stay in Osaka by eating mostly a convenience store food from Family Mart, 7/11 and Lawson where a fantastic selection of fresh and delicious meals can be found. While travelers can live off buying food from convenience store, it is also highly recommended to try Japanese culinary delights from famous places in Osaka like Dotonbori and Shinsekai.

Sharing our experience:

Dotonbori Area:

The most famous place in Osaka known for the best shopping and eating experience. Also widely known for bright and extravagant neon lights. This area is definitely a must visit destination in Osaka.

  • Best Takoyaki experience Takoyaki is a small ball-shaped Japanese snack or appetizer made of wheat flour-based batter, usually filled with bits of octopus and cooked in a special molded pan.

We tried Takoyaki at Juhachiban, one of the most famous Takoyaki stalls here.

We placed our order at this machine. Surprisingly, there are a lot Takoyaki flavors and toppings to choose from. A ticket will come out of the machine after payment. I gave the order ticket to the sales staff to prepare our Takoyaki order.

I enjoyed watching how our Takoyaki was cooked. The staff was very quick in flipping the Takoyaki balls using small skewers

Flipping the Takoyaki balls

I ordered 12 pieces of Takoyaki balls with a variety of toppings priced at ¥ 1,000. This one is very flavorful! Thinly crispy outside yet soft and almost chewy inside, perfectly matched with the takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, and toppings (dried sea weed, spring onions and Bonito flakes) . There are slices of octopus inside the Takoyaki balls (no kidding). There’s a small dining area upstair just enough for a few customers.

  • We also tried Japanese corn dog for ¥ 500 in one of the food stalls along the street. It is a Japanese hotdog wrapped with hotcake mix. What special about this corn dog is that it has mozzarella cheese and the bread is a little sweet because of the coconut sugar sprinkled on it. A drizzle of cheese and catsup add flavor to the corn dog.

The popularity of this restaurant can be guaged from the queue outside. I heard about Ichiran before but never expected that customers will line up for a ramen under the heat of the sun. (we visited Osaka on a Summer) Well, let’s see…

Queue outside Ichiran

How to order:

  1. Order the set menu on the ticket machine.
  2. Put the money in and press the button with the picture of the set menu of your choice. I press 5 set menu priced at ¥1,490 each.

  3. A ticket will come out from the machine together with your change.

Order machine

  1. Look for a vacant seat at this seat indicator.

Expect cubicle style eating, dimly lighted room, and and a homey ambience. Bag and coat hanger are also provided.

  1. Customize your ramen by filling in the order sheet. Circle your preferences for soup base, noodle texture, with or without sliced pork, garlic, green onion and spices. Press the red button if your done.

After A few minutes, your ramen is ready and it will be served in front of you by lifting up the wooden curtain like in front of the cubicle. You may opt to add boiled egg in your ramen. There’s a tap drinking water on the side of the table

Indeed, this ramen tastes soooo good. The broth is so flavorful, the noodles are just right and the pork is tender.

The only downside here is the long queue but overall, our ramen experience here is the best so far.

Shinsekai District

Although not as famous as Dotonbori, this place is another must visit in Osaka. It is a colorful area best known for cheap shops and eateries.

Shinsekai District is also well known for its iconic Tsutenkaku Tower. It has two observation deck on the 4th and 5th floor from which you can enjoy the panoramic view of the city. Admission fee is ¥ 500.

We grabbed a quick bite of another Takoyaki at this food stall. I ordered 6 pieces for ¥ 500 and soft served vanilla ice cream for ¥ 300. In my opinion, Takoyaki in Dotonbori is still the best. Nothing special on vanilla ice cream.

Shinsekai Area is one of the instagrammable places in Osaka because of its colorful signages. Tourists go here to take cool photos too.

Inside a typical Japanese local eatery in Shinsekai.

We ordered udon noodle, karaage (fried chicken), bacon pork slabs and rice. I paid ¥ 2,500 for this food. Service water is available for one round only.

The noodle broth was very flavorful. There is something in the broth that made it special. Karaage is really crunchy and tasty specially when you dip it in the mayo. Same thing with the pork.

We also had a great dining experience here.

Hope you got some insights on our Osaka food experience.

Thank you for reading!

God bless always,

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