Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

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Osaka Food Guide: 23 best restaurants and cafes you must visit in Osaka!

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Osaka is a popular destination for shopping and eating in Japan! In fact, some regard Osaka as the Kitchen of Japan! Being near to the Kansai International Airport,  and serving as a central location to visit nearby cities such as Kyoto, Kobe, Nara ~ it is one of the most popular place to stay when visiting the Kansai region of Japan. Osaka to me is popular for its street food or snack food – such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu. To write this guide, I used the Japanese websites to look out for the best places to eat in Osaka as well as the best cafes to enjoy the coffee culture in Osaka. You will not see themed cafes or Pablo in this guide – this is a strictly tried and tested Osaka Food Guide, the most delicious food and coffee Osaka has to offer, which are recommended by Japanese themselves!


Travel tip: How to travel around the Kansai Region

[OrdinaryCar]7DayWholeJapanRailPass

If you plan to visit neighbouring cities around Osaka = Nara, Kobe, Kyoto, Arashiyama or even a long trip to Tokyo – it’s best to get a JAPAN RAIL PASS. For me, this is the most economical and fastest way to travel. There are different types of JR passes that you should carefully study and read about before purchasing. For instance if you are only travelling around the Kansai region and not going to Tokyo, buying a Kansai Pass might be a cheaper option but if you want to go to Tokyo (2 hour and 20 minutes only from Kyoto station), then it is best to buy a JR Pass which can save you a lot of money considering a one way ticket from Kyoto to Tokyo will be 13,080 yen (about 160SGD) one way! I was trying to save money and decided to fly domestic airlines from Tokyo to Osaka (which was cheaper but you lose up to a whole day in travelling from city to airport plus hours of waiting around in the airport whereas the JR would only take less than 3 hours). Click here or the picture to look at a variety of Japan Rail Passes to save money and time.


Travel tip: Get a wifi egg

4GWiFi(JPAirportPickUp)forJapan

You will need internet to survive in Japan – especially when you need to use google maps and also find out which subway or bus to take to get around so internet is the most important thing to get before visiting Japan. Unfortunately, Japan has one of the most expensive data plans for tourists in Asia so expect to pay a higher place than neighboring Asian countries. If you travel in groups, the economical option is to pre-book a wifi egg online and collect at the airport (Klook allows you to collect it from various airports such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok apparently). Click here or the picture to have a look.


Other fun things I enjoyed doing in Osaka besides eating!

While Osaka have a lot of food ~~ I had the opportunity to do some other activities ~~ below are some of the ones I really enjoyed!


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The Osaka Aquarium was a super fun half day for us and highly recommended to check out! You can buy them at some stations or you can just buy them online and collect at the airport. Click here or the picture to buy the tickets in advance!


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Harry Potter at Universal Studios was loads of fun for us ~~ We managed to finish all the rides within half a day (thanks to the expensive express pass but I felt it’s worth it and saves SOOOO much time)! If you don’t mind buying the express pass (not inclusive of ticket) – click here or the picture to check out the express pass which will enable you to play most of the rides within half a day!


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Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum where we custom made our own Instant Cup Noodles!


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Shop till you drop squeezing with other tourists at Dotonburi and Shinshaibashi!! Note: please take care of your belongings as a friend of mine got pickpocketed while she was at Dotonburi ~~


Daruma Kushikatsu だるま

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I’m usually skeptical about the tourist favourite places but Daruma is an exception. From seating to ordering, the staff will guide you on what and how to order and enjoy the food. Perhaps due to their experience with English speaking tourists, they are very accommodating and provide good service. You can choose from a wide range of skewers to dip with their sauce – remember the no double dipping rule!


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The skewers can be very addictive and you might end up ordering too much! What I like about Daruma is that they will tell you each and every individual skewers when the orders arrive to help you know what you are eating!


Daruma (だるま 心斎橋店)

1-5-17 Shinsaibashisuji Chuo-ku Osaka Osaka

Opens: 11:00am~10:30pm


Yaekatsu (八重勝) – Kushikatsu and Doteyaki

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Yaekatsu is where most of the locals go and I didn’t see much tourists. Fortunately, you can ask for an English or Chinese menu when you are inside. The service will not be as good as Daruma but I actually prefer the Kushikatsu here ~~ and you will be able to get a view of the food being cooked!


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The kushikatsu will come bit by bit instead of all at once ~~ and usually they will be too busy to tell you what skewer it is ~ you will have to taste and find out! LOL!


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This is one of the highlights of Yaekatsu! Introducing the popular Doteyaki, which is a type of stewed beef tendon, enjoyed with a lovely thick miso sauce, sprinkled with Japanese peppery spices. This is seriously good that I ordered extra portions!


Yaekatsu (八重勝)

3-4-13 Ebisuhigashi Naniwa-ku Osaka Osaka

Opens: 10:30pm~9:30pm


Meijiken (明治軒) – Curry Rice, Omurice and Kushikatsu

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I admit I’m a super big fan of Japanese Curry Rice, served with their fried breaded katsus ~~ so when I arrived in Japan, I will try as much as possible. Meijiken ranks quite high on my list for their delicious curry katsu rice in terms of flavour of the curry and the quality of the fried meat they serve it with!


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While many recommend  Hokkyokusei for good omurice in Osaka, I tried it and find that it is not as good as Meijiken, who also specializes in Omurice and Kushikatsu. Having them together as a set is a big plus and I really enjoyed their omurice!


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Ahhh oishiii!! Meijiken is my choice for Omurice and Curry Rice!


Meijiken (明治軒)

1-5-32 Shinsaibashisuji Chuo-ku Osaka Osaka

Opens: 11AM–3:50PM 5–10PM


Takoyaki Yamachan (やまちゃん 本店) – One of the best Takoyaki in Osaka

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My whole love affair with takoyaki was a lie until I arrived in Osaka and had my first taste of authentic Takoyaki! It was so much better that I couldn’t believe it! The famous Takoyaki Yamachan is a must try in Osaka and one of the most highly rated ones amongst locals and tourists.


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The takoyaki was piping hot and creamy on the inside! What an amazing texture! Ooooh my gawd! I can’t believe all the takoyakis I’ve eaten in other countries were inferior knockoffs – sigh~~ that means I can never enjoy takoyaki outside of Japan again!


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I went all out and ordered the most expensive takoyaki on the menu ~~ mind blown delicious!!!


Yamachan (やまちゃん 本店)

1-2-34 Abenosuji Abeno-ku Osaka Osaka

Opens 11am – 10pm (or 11pm depending on which day)


Kou Ga Ryu (甲賀流 本店) – One of the best Takoyaki in Osaka

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Perhaps having Yamachan Takoyaki did set the bar too high for a few other takoyaki stalls in Osaka. I personally tried quite a few different stalls and found that they pale in comparison to Yamachan. Thankfully I found another good one at Ko Ga Ryu takoyaki while I was shopping around for shoes around American Village in Osaka. The texture and flavour was spot on and super delicious. Go to their main branch in America Mura (and you can do some shoe shopping there like me too!)


Kou Ga Ryu (甲賀流 本店)

2-18-4 Nishishinsaibashi Chuo-ku Osaka

Opens: 10:30 am – 8:30pm


Takoyaki Wanaka Sennichimae  たこ焼道楽 わなか 千日前 本店

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Another pretty good one to try is Takoyaki Wanaka Sennichimae. You can order downstairs then bring it upstairs to eat. Flavour and texture is as good as the other two mentioned.


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Hmmmmm ~~~ takoyaki will never taste the same again outside of Japan. Do you feel the same way too?


Takoyaki Wanaka Sennichimae  たこ焼道楽 わなか 千日前 本店

11-19 Nanbasennichimae Chuo-ku Osaka

Opens: 10AM–11PM on weekdays, 8:30am – 11pm on Saturdays and Sundays


Fukutarou (福太郎) Best Negiyaki and Okonomiyaki in Osaka

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Okonomiyaki is the Japanese version of pancake but its more on the savoury side ~~ the fun part of okonomiyaki is having your food cooked in front of you on a hotplate making the dining experience more enjoyable! Be sure to take videos of them cooking! I’ve tried a few places in Osaka and my favourite one comes from Fukutaro. As you can see – you can have octopus or bacon with your Okonomiyaki! OMG!


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I decided to give Negiyaki a try ~ the main difference is that it has a lot of leeks (green onions) instead of cabbage – and less saucy as opposed to Okonomiyaki ~~ notice that you are eating the pancakes on a hotplate to keep it hot!


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You can tell the texture is gonna be AWESOME!! ITADAKIMASUUUUU ~~~


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My wife personally prefers the Okonomiyaki ~~ maybe the combination of the sauce and mayo is nicer ~~


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Ooooh YASS ~~~


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They have teppanyaki noodles too but I don’t really recommend it ~~ save your money to have Japanese beer with your okonomiyakis instead ~~ LOL


Fukutarou (福太郎)

2-3-17 Sennichimae Chuo-ku Osaka

Opens: 5pm till 12:30am on Weekdays, 12pm – 12am on Saturday and Sundays


Klook.com

Muteppou 無鉄砲 大阪店 – One of the richest ramen broth in Osaka

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Muteppou is one of those seriously rich and thick tonkotsu ramen you can find around Osaka. While it was difficult for me to find a ramen that is definitive to Osaka and challenge Tokyo and Kyoto, I tried quite a few ramen places in Osaka, including some introduced by bloggers, only to be deeply disappointed – luckily for me – the saving grace was Muteppou which serves a rich gravy like consistency tonkotsu broth that will make you go wow!


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I was lucky to arrive 20 minutes before opening time and there’s only a short queue. When they opened, there was quite a long queue behind me, coming early paid off! The queue is not surprising given that Muteppou highly rated and featured in many magazines and talk shows! Interesting note: Muteppou actually was the inspiration that led to Mori Higashida opening up the famous ramen joint Gumsharra in Sydney!


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You can actually select how rich and thick your broth is and I selected MEDIUM ~~ but look at how thick that soup is ~~ almost gravy like consistency ~~ when you slurp your noodles you can feel the texture of the soup! Oh my god! Heaven in every slurp!

Muteppou

1-5-21 Ebisuhonmachi Naniwa-ku Osaka Osaka (near Imamiyaebisu Station)

Opening Hours: 11AM–3PM, 6–11PM Closed on Mondays


Menya Jouroku 麺屋 丈六 Top Rated Raman in Osaka for 2016

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I have to say I write this part with deep regret that I did not managed to try out Menya Jouroku, which was voted in Tabelog as best ramen in Osaka n 2016, as I went twice and they were closed due to some emergency (from what I tried to decipher with my limited language skills). It would be a shame not to include them so if you do visit Osaka, please try out this ramen on my behalf.


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Both pictures were taken from their Facebook page and from what I read, they serve Higashi-Osaka Takaido ramen, a light shoyu chicken broth ramen, it must be quite a good shoyu ramen to have won best ramen as voted by the Japanese for Osaka!


Menya Jouroku

Nanbasennichimae Chuo-ku Osaka Osaka (Near Namba Station)

https://www.facebook.com/menyajouroku Look up their Facebook page for opening hours before you visit.


Manger とんかつ マンジェBest Tonkatsu in Osaka

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Manger at Osaka has a name for being the top tonkatsu place in Osaka, some might even argue it’s the best in Japan itself! You will need to arrive at least 2-3 hours before opening to write your name and number of people on a piece of paper right outside the restaurant to confirm your place or you might end up not even getting a seat! Arrive early to write your name down, then go somewhere else – and come back later. You can choose your pork from Kurobuta, Tokyo X and Spanish Iberico Pork for your tonkatsu. The best is of course the most expensive Spanish Iberico tonkatsu ~~ *drools*


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Be sure to try out their gorgeous foie gras tonkatsu ~~ which is goose liver stuffed inside the pork and deep fried ~~


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This is mind blowing goood! OMG OMG!


Manger とんかつ マンジェ

2-3-22 Yokoen Yao Osaka

Opens: 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–9PM Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. (Arrive 2-3 hours before opening hours in advance to fill in your name on the paper at the door!)


Harukoma – Best value quality sushi in Osaka

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While many high quality sushi places in Osaka can be pricey (at least 100 – 150 sgd per person) – and difficult to make reservations – there’s a popular place that is not only affordable but also serving good quality sushi in Osaka. They are one of the highly rated affordable sushi by the locals as well ~~ so you must check out Harukoma! Pictures  of Harukoma are courtesy of Kanokwan Pakmethee as I didn’t get to take pictures of this place but I feel this is a must visit sushi place if you are in Osaka.


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Seriously good sushi at reasonable prices!


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Order their season specials!!


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Of course – be sure to order the good stuff such as fatty tuna or toro ~


Harukoma (春駒) Make sure you go to this branch! The other branch has a much lower rating.

5 Chome-5-2 Tenjinbashi, Kita, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 530-0041, Japan ( Nearest station: Tenjimbashisuji Rokuchome)

Opens: 11:00AM~10:30PM


Kiyasu 喜八州 – Delicious grilled rice dumplings and sake buns!

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I passed by this shop a few times in Osaka and always noticed a crowd queueing to buy ~~ so I got curious and got one for myself ~~


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They have quite a few branches around Osaka so keep your eye out for them!


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Their sake buns filled with bean paste is pretty fragrance and lovely ~~~


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The star however are these grilled rice dumplings or mochi kinda skewers – then dipped in their secret sweet sauce ~~ very delicious and I insist you buy one to try!


Kiyasu 喜八州 (google map the nearest one to you)

1-4-2 Honmachi Jyuso Yodogawa-ku Osaka

Opens: 8:00am to 11:00pm (depending on branch)


Yamato Curry Udon 大和 Best Curry Udon in Osaka

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Yamato opens as early as 5am in the morning at Kizu market (where you can buy cheaper sashimi and fruits than the tourist crowded Kuromon Market) but you will see a queue already! This place is famous for delicious curry udon and soba! You might need to wait 30 minutes to an hour to eat here!


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Being a fan of curry and also udon~~ of course I would try out this place!


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The portions here are HUGE! If you order the ones I did – you will have Tempura and also sliced beef with your curry udon ~~ that’s their Number 1 top seller and I must say it’s damn worth it!


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There’s actually scallop tempura! OMG OMG OMG!


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Their prawns are huge as well ~ which is understandable given that this restaurant is located within a fish market ~ giving them fresh supply of prawns ~~


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Look at the thin slices of wagyu beef with your udon curry ~~ seriously tenderliciously good!


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I can’t believe I am having this at 6am in the morning ~~ such a heavy meal but its good to come here before you go sight seeing as they open early!


Yamato Curry Udon

2-2-8 Shikitsuhigashi Naniwa-ku Osaka Osaka (near Daikokucho station)

Opening hours: 5:00AM – 2:00 PM Closes on National Holidays, Kizu Market Holidays and occasional Wednesdays


Dotonburi Imai 道頓堀 今井 本店 Best Udon, Soba and Oyako Don in Osaka

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Dotonburi Imai is a popular place for both Udon and Soba – the service is very good here and we had a very comfortable meal. If you are in a mood for either udon, soba or oyakodon ~ this is the right place to enjoy these in Osaka. Here’s our special bamboo soba which is a seasonal menu.


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We got really adventurous and tried their duck soup udon which was good~~ *drools* To be fair – while this is good – I prefer the one I had at Oka Kita in Kyoto but in Osaka – this will be my choice ~~ do drop by for their Oyako Don as well ~~ which is chicken and egg rice bowl ~~


Dotonburi Imai 道頓堀 今井 本店

1-7-22 Dotonbori Chuo-ku Osaka Osaka

Opens: 11:00AM~10:00PM


Zuboraya  づぼらや 道頓堀店 Fugu Specialty Store

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If you had never tried Fugu (pufferfish) before – then you must try it out when you are in Osaka! At Dotonburi – there’s a shop called Zuboraya that specializes in FUGU Course Meals! Just look out for a big mascot of a pufferfish as their signboard!


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You can order more of course if there’s more of you ~~ we ordered one of the cheaper courses just to try between the two of us ~~ You will get a taste of Fugu/Pufferfish cooked different ways to have a feel of the fish ~~


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Fugu Sashimi ~~~


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Fugu Soup ~~~


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Grillled teriyaki Fugu ~~


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Fugu tempura ~~


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Fugu Chawanmushi ~~ egg custard ~~~


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Fugu Sushi ~~~


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There’s more choices if you want to spend more of course!! It’s an interesting experience for us and I think if you ever want to cross Fugu off your bucket list ~~ check out Zuboraya at Dotonburi ~


Zuboraya  づぼらや 道頓堀店

1-6-10 Dotonbori Chuo-ku Osaka Osaka

Opens: 11:00am~11:00pm


Kizu Market 大阪木津卸売市場 – A good alternative to Kuromon Market

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While people usually visit Kuromon market when they are in Osaka – I personally think Kizu market is less touristy and more catered to the locals though I did see some smart savy tourists from other countries coming here to shop for quality ingredients to bring home!


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While we don’t speak Japanese and they don’t really speak English – it was quite an challenging yet interesting experience to purchase a lovely chunk of wild tuna ~~ sooo delicious and I think it was pretty cheap too ~~ way cheaper than Kuromon!


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Plenty of in season fruits to choose from ~ some maybe pricey but they are really high quality fruits~~ I ought these grapes which taste a bit like cotton candy!


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Quite a lot of things to buy here ~~ so be sure to check out Kizu market if you are in Osaka!


Kizu Market 大阪木津卸売市場

3 Chome-6-16 Shikitsuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 556-0012, Japan


Luke’s Lobster – When you want a lobster sandwich and had enough of Japanese food

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Okay ~ I know Luke’s Lobster isn’t exactly Japanese but it’s conveniently located at Shinshaibashi shopping area and it’s a LOBSTER SANDWICH! How can I not include this?!


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Now look at this gorgeous sandwich and tell me that’s not worthy of being in Osaka must eat? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEHHH!!!


Luke’s Lobster

1 Chome-3-21 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0085, Japan

Opens: 11AM–9PM


MAISON de gigi – great place for waffles, parfaits and pancakes!

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Located near Luke’s lobster is a cosy place for yummiest waffles! After a long afternoon of shopping at Shinshaibashi, this would be a good place to sit down and enjoy their lovely selection of desserts!


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Go upstairs and relax over dessert at MAISON de gigi! As you can see – they are pretty popular!!


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Step inside and oogle at their lovely waffles!!


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Lovely second floor for you to rest your tired feet and nom nom dessert!!!


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They have quite a good selection of parfaits too! *swoons*


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Look at how amazing these fluffy pancakes look!!!


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You can have their takeaway waffles with soft serve ice cream on the go too!! OMG!!


MAISON de gigi

2 Chome-2-17 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0085

Opens 10am – 10pm

Tel phone number : 06 6210 5944

Website : www.maison-de-gigi.jp

Instagram : @maisondegigi

FB https://www.facebook.com/MAISONdegigi/


Cafes of Osaka

If you really must have good coffee ~~ then you are in luck ~~ Osaka has plenty of good cafes for coffees – none of those themed coffee or franchises in this list!


Streamer Coffee Company

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Streamer Coffee Company is a pretty hip place at Shinshaibashi area and be sure to try out their signature lattes prepared by their barista ~~ ask their barista to recommend a drink for you! They also open pretty early which is a big plus for Japan!


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Ahhh ~~ what do you feel like having today?


Streamer Coffee Company

1 Chome-10-19 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0086, Japan

Opens 8am – 10pm


Lilo Coffee Roasters

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Along the same street as Streamer is the popular Lilo Roasters ~~ which serves a pretty good latte and they even have a chart to help you decide which beans you would like to try ~~


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I had quite a lot of fun reading about the different beans they have ~~


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Keita Nakamura also showed me the American Press which got me really interested and ordered them online ~ it is now my favourite way to brew coffee! They actually roast quite a lot of different single origins so you are gonna have a headache in choosing what coffee to have!


Lilo Coffee Roasters

542-0086 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo, Nishishinsaibashi, 1 Chome−1−10−28

Opens: 11AM–11PM


Grandknot Coffee

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Grandknot is not only a pretty hip place with artistic decor but they serve quite a good cup of coffee as well!


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They have quite a lot of picture frames with cool and funny quotes about life ~ haha ~~ very typical hipster place indeed ~~


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One things for sure ~~~ you can expect a good cup of coffee early in the morning here ~~


Grandknot Coffee

1 Chome-23-4 Kitahorie, Nishi Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 550-0014, Japan

Opens 9AM–6PM (Tuesday, Wednesday Friday) 11AM–6PM (Saturday and Sunday) Closes on Monday and Thursday


Mondial Kaffe 328

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Located at Amemura-Yokocho in Osaka, Mondial Kaffee 328 is a great place for breakfast/brunch! You will get a whiff of the freshly baked goods and of course the smell of coffee ~ ahhh ~~~


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Great place for baked pastries, bread and cookies ~~ and they do sandwiches too to match the lovely coffee here!


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Yummy breakfast = happy wife!


Mondial Kaffee 328

550-0014 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Nishi Ward, Kitahorie, 1 Chome−6−16

Opens: 8:30AM–9PM


% Arabiya Coffee

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Known for their minimalistic ambience and down to earth coffee ~~ Arabiya is very popular amongst the hipsters though I only visited the Kyoto Arashiyama branch ~ you can check out their branch in Osaka to take great OOTD pictures and enjoy their iconic %Arabiya coffee!


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Taken at Arabiya Arashiyama Kyoto ~~~


Arabiya Coffee Osaka

1 Chome-6-7 Nanba, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0076, Japan

Opens: 10AM–7PM (Sunday to Thursday),  10AM–10PM (Friday and Saturday)


Takamura Wine and Coffee Roasters

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Takamura started off as a wine lover and vowed to spread the culture of wine drinking through his business and you can see there’s a lot of wine to try and taste ~~ but he also have a vision to bring in good quality coffee to the establishment ~~ thus the beginning of a great place for both wine and coffee lovers!


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I seriously love the ambience of Takamura – a very spacious yet artistic feel where you can unwind through coffee and wine alike ~~


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Expert baristas kept busy with a lot of orders for all sorts of coffees ~~ I wonder how they keep up!


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Oooh yesh ~~ how can I not try these?!


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Ahhhh lovely cup of coffee ~~ but I’ll love to come back here again to savour some wine at night!


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oooh these wine are making me thirsty ~~ you can order by the glass and try as much as you can handle!


Takamura Wine and Coffee Roasters

2 Chome-2-18 Edobori, Nishi Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 550-0002, Japan

Opens: 11AM–7:30PM (closed on Wednesdays)




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