What are the best Ramen in Osaka? In this article we will give you 5 recommendations of Ramen that you must try when being in Osaka.
- Menya Jouroku
- Ikareta NOODLE Fishtons
- Bokkoshi Ramen
- Nikumen Hidamari An
Osaka, the third most populous city and second largest metropolitan area, is a modern and vibrant city known for nightlife and hearty street food. There are so many unique food experiences in Osaka that include Takoyaki, Butaman or Kushikatsu. And of course delicious and unique Ramen dishes.
Join us in this article for a tour of some of the must-try ramen shops around Osaka.
The City of Osaka
Osaka is located in the Kansai region which is the second largest metropolitan area after Toyko. It’s still a huge city but not as crowded as Tokyo. Staying around there is more relaxing and more comfortable than the busy streets and trains of Tokyo.
Osaka is a very modern city. It has a great nightlife. Osaka people seem to like to stand (or quickly) sitting somewhere to grab a snack and a drink. This is reflected in the types of restaurants and bars and the food they offers. The most famous dishes are probably Takoyaki, balls of octopus cooked on a kind of waffle iron and Kushikatsu, skewers with fried meat or vegetables.
The heart of the nightlife area is around Namba station. There you can find the famous Dotonobori street and river. The street is packed with restaurants and bars and you find something for every taste. It’s also walking around and soaking up the atmosphere. Some of the restaurants in this guide are also located around there. So you can either start your evening with a hearty ramen dish or do the Japanese style and have ramen to finish the night.
Getting into Osaka is quite easy. The Shinkansen stops at the Shin-Osaka station. This station is located a little outside the center in the north but connected by the Midosuji subway line. Kansai Airport is an international airport located about an hour by train outside of the city.
Also a dense network of local trains connects Osaka to the surrounding cities of Kansai and beyond.
Enough for the introduction, let’s dive directly into some delicious foods and checkout some of the best Ramen in Osaka.
As many cities or areas in Japan also Osaka has its own local and unique ramen flavor. That is the so called Takaida (高井田) Ramen. In this style the noodles are thick and straight. Chicken and kelp is used for the soup which is finally flavored with Soy Sauce so they are Shoyu Ramen. This flavor is originated in western Osaka. However, there is also one shop in Namba that offers this type of ramen. It’s called Menya Jouroku.
The shop is reachable with an about 10 minutes walk from Namba Station. It’ in a smaller alley a bit tricky to find. So having a closer look to the map is recommend. The shop has seven counter seats and twelve waiting seats inside seperated by some corona-conform distance. When we went there only two people where in front of us. But their waiting area indicated that they are usually more crowded.
Their signature dish is Chuuka Soba in the Higashi Osaka Takaida Fu style. The normal size version comes incredible cheap for just 750 Yen.
This dish looks really good and is steaming hot when served. The noodles are thick, flat and straight. They float in a dark soup with little fat eyes on top. The broth tastes strong and hearty. It’s a bit salty and there’s a hint of pepper. The topping in a minimal but perfectly fitting. There are slices of lean meat, bamboo shoots and green parts of spring onions. That’s it, simple but perfect match.
It’s a Shoyu-base ramen in perfection. Until now I thought I’m not a great fan of Shoyu-base Ramen, however that this changed by mind completely. Nice side-effect, it’s not so heavy and stuffing as a Tonkotsu Ramen.
|Chuuka Soba (Regular)
Higashi Osaka Takaida Kaze
Best Ramen in Osaka Empfehlung #1 – Menya Jouroku
Adresse: 6-16 Nanbasennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0075, Japan
Ikareta NOODLE Fishtons
A little north of Namba near the stations Shinsaibashi or Nishi-Ohashi is a shop called Ikareta NOODLE Fishtons. As the first row of the vending machine there indicates, their expertise is Tsukemen. This is a Ramen variation where soup and noodles are served separately. Grab the noodles, dip them into the soup and enjoy. Tsukemen is great and typically rare outside Japan. So it’s a good choice to try them in Japan.
Prices at Ikareta are at the upper end but totally worth it due to great quality and taste. We choose their most popular dish called “Special Thick Tsukemen”. Noodles topped with 4 slices of chashu and egg. Soup as well as onions and spices are served separately.
The noodles are incredible. Thick, straight and long and cooked to perfection. They are darker in color than typically ramen so I assume they are using some whole grain flour. The soup is dark, creamy and intense in taste. The chashu and not fatty but tasty. The dish is when served looks beautiful and taste delicious. A pure recommendation and another must try ramen in Osaka.
|Tokusei nōkō tsukemen (Special Thick Tsukumen)
Best Ramen in Osaka Recommendation #2 – Ikareta NOODLE Fishtons
Adresse: 1 Chome-25-18 Shinmachi, Nishi Ward, Osaka, 550-0013, Japan
A popular shop just one turn away from the famous Dotonbori Street is Hanamaruken. They are at least prepared for tourists by having English names for their ramen written on the signs. Their ramen are called “Happiness Ramen”. A nice promise but necessary to check out.
Worth to note that shop is open 24 hours. So either you finished drinking late or need a hangover breakfast ramen this one could be your choice.
What draw our attention here was the “Slow Cooked Pork Rib Ramen”. A dish with a huge, fatty and heavily marinated piece of pork rib on top. The meat was super soft and delicious. A bit too fatty, tough. Something to enjoy ones but not recommended to often. The soup was pretty good. Further toppings were Bamboo, Naruto and Negi.
If you are up for a heavy fatty ramen dish, than this one is definitely a must try ramen for you.
|Torokotsu Ippon Nose Ajitama Ramen
Best Ramen in Osaka Recommendation #3 – Hanamurekn
Adresse: 1 Chome-2-1 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0076, Japan
A shop located a few alleys away from the famous Dotonbori Street that offers chicken based broth Ramen. The entrance is a bit hidden but possible to find with careful looks.
Their styles is a creamy chicken based broth with straight noodles and a minimal but delicious topping called Tori Paitan. They serve a white, black and red version of their signature dish.
The black version is called “burnt”. It has some smokey or burnt flavor. The chashu here also also a chicken one and green leaves are added as additional topping. Egg, more chashu and other topics can be added to the order.
The creaminess of the broth and the intense taste is really great. Due to the used chicken it’s a totally different experience than Tonkotsu. To get some variety in your Ramen life, this is definitely a must try and a good choice.
|Nitamago Kogashi Tori Paitan
Best Ramen in Osaka Recommendation #4 – Bokkoshi Ramen
Adresse: 2 Chome-6-10 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0086, Japan
Nikumen Hidamari An
This shop is located a bit outside of Osaka in the city of Sakai. It can be reached by Nankai from Namba Station to Sakaihigashi followed by a short walk.
Their broth-less Ramen is a unique experience. Especially if you like to get some meat. The noodles are topped with four different kinds of chashu ranging from fatty to non- fatty-. We went for the “large” version Niku Niku Mazesoba Koteri Shoyu. It was a good amount of noodles. The noodles are medium thick and medium hard. They are lying in a bit of oil and sauce. As this was Mazesoba there is no soup or broth. Finally it’s topped with the raw yellow part of an egg. Looks delicious and tastes delicious. Only some vegetables are kind of missing.
It’s a really delicious dish. The broth-less ones are especially a recommendation in hot Japanese summer when you do not want to hold you sweating face above a steaming soup. A must try ramen dish in Osaka.
|Niku Niku Mazesoba (Large)
Best Ramen in Osaka Recommendation #4 – Nikumen Hidamari An
Adresse: 1-19 Minamikawaramachi, Sakai Ward, Sakai, Osaka 590-0078, Japan
Stay in Osaka
As any big cities Osaka offers the full range of hotels from budget hostels over standard business hotels into luxury hotels. There are also different areas with advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the location of your hotel might depend on your travel plans and budget.
In my experience the area of Namba is in most cases a good choice. Shopping, eating and drinking is in walking distance. Namba station is perfectly connected by subway, local and even longer distance trains. So it’s the perfect hub for sightseeing and nightlife. Prices of hotels there are not cheap but moderate and the selection is huge. We already stayed a couple of times in the Namba Oriental Hotel which is great for its location. Further the rooms are really spacious which is rare in Japan.
If you are really on a tight budget the area around Dobutsuenmae could be your choice. The name literally means “in front of the zoo”. And it might be the worst area of Japan. It is still much better than the worst area in most other countries in the world. But, it’s something you would not expected in Japan. Homeless and wired drunk people can be seen frequently on the streets and houses and streets are not beautiful. However, I would say that it’s not dangerous being there. Hotels and hostels there might start from as low as 1000 Yen per night. Often you get a futon in a tatami room and a shared bathroom. Some of the hotels are really bad, other are really great deals for the money. About night years ago we regularly stayed in the Hotel Toyo, which offered a decent experience at low prices.
The area Dobutsuenmae itself has good connection by subway to the major attractions and to Shin-Osaka Station.
Find unique experiences and acitivites in Osaka *
Remark: All listed prices are of August 2022.