Osaka - the land of cheap street eats - is filled with the best food in Japan. Sometimes after eating all that okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and other grilled goodness you get a craving for something not so flour filled. Perhaps some meat with a bit of spice? That is where Tsuruhashi comes to play. Tusuruhashi is Osaka’s Koreatown, located about fifteen minutes from the city center. The area has a large fresh market, where residents pick up in bulk kimchi, fresh seafood, meat entrails and other Korean delicacies. After dining at these delicious restaurants, don’t forget to explore the outdoor stores to stock up on skincare and makeup.
Wagaya serves up authentic Jeju Island fare, an island about one hour south of South Korea. The restaurant prides itself on their homestyle cooking, the large portions are authentic and cozy. A large variety of food is available, from spicy hot pots to lunchtime bibimbaps. For dinner, their yakiniku grilled meat is a must have. Dinner time courses starting from 2,750 JPY and include a plethora of side dishes alongside the main course. Kimchi pickles, chijimi (Korean flat pancakes), and salad make up the lighter fare while the heavier dishes include samgyeopsal (juicy grilled pork belly), hot pot and sundubu-jjigae (steaming spicy tofu stew). A couple rounds of soju will round out the night.
Dinner courses start from 2,750 JPY. Wagaya is open from 11:30am to 9:00pm and closed on Wednesday.
Tsuruhashi is lucky to have dozens of yakiniku joints up and down their streets. When spoiled for choice, it can be difficult to choose an everyday dining venue. But how about for a classy night out? Yakiniku Mimatsu is owned by a butcher and is confident in their cut and quality of the meat. Their meat is soft and tender and melts in the mouth. Gourmet options, such as dinnertime domestic black beef course, starts around 4,000 JPY but lunchtime options are much more affordable, at 980 JPY and up. Don’t want smoke on your clothes? There’s no need to worry at Mimatsu, since each table is equipped with a smokeless roaster.
Yakiniku Mimatsu is open everyday from 11am to 11pm (lunch from 11am to 5pm). Lunch sets start from 980 JPY and dinner courses start from 4,000 JPY.
Spend the whole day shopping for Korean skincare and pickles but feeling something domestic for dinner? Boinboshoku Toyu is a seafood izakaya serving traditional Japanese drinking cuisine and meals. Sashimi, rather than the ever-popular yakiniku, is the main course here in addition to typical izakaya fare like sweet tamagoyaki and fried chicken. Only local, fresh fish is used for sashimi and is a fresh respite from meat-loving Tsuruhashi. The izakaya is also known for their cheese tofu, a soft assortment of up to five different cheeses. Affordable all-you-can-drink plans are available for the heavy drinker, and the restaurant is located right next to the station so diners can easily dash and grab their last train back to central Osaka.
Boinboshoku Toyu is open only for dinner, from 5pm to midnight. All you can drink courses start from 3,500 JPY.
Click and Clack is an adorable, light-filled cafe named after the nearby rattling of the train tracks. The two-floor cafe encourages diners to linger over their coffee while working on their laptop or reading a borrowed book. At lunchtime, the menu focuses mainly on fried chicken with healthy sides such as macrobiotic brown rice and assortments of seasonal vegetables. If you’re feeling peckish in the afternoon, stop by for a cup of tea with a hefty slice of fluffy chiffon cake, in earl grey, chocolate or caramel. Despite the name, Click and Clack Cafe is actually a quiet space where visitors can spend time catching up with a friend or writing in their journal.
Click and Clack Cafe is open from 11am to 9pm (Monday-Thursday), 11am to 11pm (Friday-Saturday) 11am to 6pm (Sunday). Drinks start from 370 JPY and lunch starts from 787 JPY.