Japan

Osaka’s Amerikamura – Culinary Hot Spots

by Dan Ayres  |  Published January 22, 2016

In the beating heart of the giant metropolis of Osaka lies Amerikamura, an urban wonderland of quirky shops, hip bars and cafes; where ultra-fashionable youth go out to see and be seen. And like anywhere in Osaka, food is never far away. We take a look at some top places to grab a bite in this electric area in Japan’s foremost foodie city.

East truly meets West in Amerikamura, Osaka (Photo: OZinOH via Flickr)

East truly meets West in Amerikamura, Osaka (Photo: OZinOH via Flickr)

Best for – Traditional Japanese Cuisine

If you’re looking for an authentic and elegant Japanese eating experience, you can’t go wrong with kaiseki, a style of high end restaurant which features multiple portions of unspeakably beautiful dishes brought to you on trays, including sashimi and tempura. Try Kaiseki TAMA for a genuine kaiseki experience, where they provide dishes that look too beautiful to eat. The traditionally clad staff are very friendly, speak excellent English and will gladly explain the often complex dishes in more detail.

A delicious spread at Kaiseki Tama (Photo: Kaiseki Tama)

A delicious spread at Kaiseki Tama (Photo: Kaiseki Tama)

Best for – Japanese Curry

Whether you’re exhausted from perusing the seemingly endless selection of cool and quirky Amerikamura shops or still recovering from hitting the bars a bit hard the night before, comforting Japanese curry is guaranteed to get you back on your feet. Madras 5 is a refreshing contrast from the usual chain restaurants serving Japanese curry, offering dishes made with an original tomato based curry sauce meaning it’s suitable for veggies and vegans (rather rare in Japan). Try the katsu curry with wholesome brown rice and leave feeling ready to take on all Amerikamura has to offer.

Japanese Curry (Photo: Paul Martin via Flickr)

Japanese Curry (Photo: Paul Martin via Flickr)

Best for – Local Specialties

It is practically illegal to visit this part of Osaka and not get involved in the celebrated local cuisine, the most famous of which is takoyaki, little balls of cooked batter filled with diced octopus and topped with mayo, special sauce, nori seaweed and bonito flakes. Whilst many opt to grab takoyaki from a street vendor and eat in the oh-so fashionable concrete triangle park overlooked by a Statue of Liberty replica, we recommend a trip to Tako Tako King for the superb boisterous atmosphere that Osaka does so well. Get your takoyaki and even okonomiyaki (Osakan savoury pancakes) cooked fresh and wash it all down with lashings of beer.

Takoyaki being prepared at a street - side establishment (Photo: D'n'c via Flickr)

Takoyaki being prepared at a street – side establishment (Photo: D’n’c via Flickr)

Best for – Crab

One of Osaka’s iconic installations is the giant robotic crab snipping away in the nearby neon wonderland of Dotonbori. But for a proper crab feast in a less touristy environment, go for Amimotobekkan. Here you’ll be seated in private tatami rooms and served an assortment of exquisite crustacean dishes, paired with equally exquisite sake.

Fresh Crab (Photo: Ken via Flickr)

Fresh Crab (Photo: Ken via Flickr)

Best for – International

As you might expect from an area with a name like Amerikamura (which translates as ‘America village’), there are a fair few international eating options around. One of the very best is Cafe Absinthe, a stylish, chilled and always popular institution that specialises in all things Mediterranean.  With falafel, moussaka and kebab options, as well as obscenely good cocktails and genuine shisha, this is the place to kick off a night out in one of Osaka’s coolest areas.

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