JR Osaka area
This section covers Umeda 3-chome (Acty, Daimaru, Hotel Granvia), Umeda 1-chome (E-ma, Maru Bldg, etc.), and south of Kita-Shinchi. Areas to the west (Herbis Plaza, Ent, Hilton West) are covered in the Umeda 2-chome
guide, and those to the north and east are covered in the Hankyu Umeda
See area restaurant map
This lively hotel restaurant is worth knowing about for its lunchtime buffet (Y1890 weekdays, Y2100 weekends). They also offer a dessert buffet if you're in need of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Umeda 3-1-1, Grand Via Hotel 19F. Open 11am-3:30, 4:30-11pm daily.
This stunningly appointed restaurant offers serious modern Italian cooking at accessible prices - full-course lunches are Y2100-4725, and dinners start at Y5775, although the bill climbs quickly when you order a la carte (main dishes average around Y4000). The magnificent dining room - with its high ceilings and panoramic views - is as important a part of the experience as the food.
Umeda 3-3-20, Meiji-Yasuda Seimei Bldg 30F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-9:30pm. Closed 1st, 3rd Mondays.
Excellent home-made tofu is the core of the menu here, with tofu-centered set meals at various price levels (Y4000-10,000).
Umeda 2-6-20, Pacific Max Nishi-Umeda 2F. Open 11am-3, 5-9pm (LO) daily.
Good curries at budget prices in this basement branch of Kyoto's famous Indian-restaurant landmark.
Umeda 1-9-20, Maru Building B2F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-9pm (LO). Closed 3rd Monday.
(Misc. Southeast Asian). 06-6347-0015
The elaborate interior here looks like it was airlifted from a beach resort in Bali, and the space is set up for parties of up to 100 people at a time. The food is a fun mix of various Southeast Asian favorites.
Umeda 1-9-20, Maru Building 3F. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
One of the rare places in town where you'll find Nagasaki-style noodle dishes, including sara-udon - stir-fried seafood, pork and vegetables in a thick sauce served on a bed of crunchy ramen noodles.
Umeda 1-9-20, Maru Building B2F. Open 11am-10pm. Closed 3rd Monday.
Sure you can get takoyaki anywhere in town, but here the metal takoyaki grills are actually built into the tables, and the grills also serve as a motif for the decor here, if it can be called that. Signed photos of local celebrity diners adorn the walls.
Umeda 1-9-20, Maru Building B2F. Open 11am-11pm. Closed 3rd Monday.
One of Umeda's biggest food floors is located in the basement of Hanshin.
Umeda 1-13-13. Open 10am-8:30pm daily.
This hip little cafe with attached art-oriented bookstore is a relaxing place for a break from shopping in E-ma or nearby. There's a substantial, inexpensive food menu featuring quiche, stews and lasagne plus pies and cakes.
Umeda 1-12-6, E-ma B1F. Open 9am-11:30pm daily.
The big counter area visible from the entrance only hints at the marvels that lie within - this tastefully decorated dining bar is a cut above the average izakaya, with an excellent (and inexpensive) sake list and quite good snacks to go with it.
Umeda 1-12-6, E-ma 5F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
The very popular Restaurant Okinawa fills up soon after work lets out, probably because of their cheap drinks. The Okinawan food - dishes like champuru stir-fries and pig's ear - seems mainly intended to accompany the drinks.
Umeda 1-1-3, Umeda Ekimae Dai-3 Bldg B1F. Open 5-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
South of Kita-Shinchi
Earthen walls with backlit niches and the spacious dining room at Mogami elevate the humble kushikatsu (fried morsels on skewers) to a feast. There are 36 different kinds, from fish to vegetables, quail eggs to cheese. However, the indecisive are well catered for. The chefs serve an array of skewers at your table or your place at the long, wide counter until you have had enough. You then say "koko made desu" ("until here" in Japanese). You pay for what you have eaten, as well as any Yamagata sake or wine you have drunk along the way. There is an English-language menu at Mogami and the staff speaks English. Y16,000 for two, including drinks.
Sonezaki Shinchi 1-10-16. Open 11:30am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
(Steak house). 06-6344-6664
A classic old-style Kansai steakhouse that looks like it was frozen in time at some point in the late 1970s; the picture of Bill Clinton on the wall dates back to when he was a governor. Dinner starts at Y8000.
Sonezaki Shinchi 1-10-2. Open 11:30am-2, 5-9:30pm. Closed Sundays.
One of the older branches of Sun (they opened in 1996), with first-rate izakaya fare, pleasant decor and panoramic views in several directions. Full-course menus start at Y5500, or you can order a la carte.
Nishi-Tenma 4-15-10, Phoenix Tower 27F. (on the triangular block at Umeda-Shinmichi and Midosuji) Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm daily.
You'll find authentic Portuguese cuisine prepared by a native chef in this homey little restaurant. The food is very down-to-earth - rabbit stew, garlic-fried shrimp, grilled meats, codfish croquettes, vegetable soups. There's an impressive selection of unusual Portuguese wines, with premium wines of the day priced around Y1500 and house wines under Y1000/glass. Budget around Y5000-7000 for dinner and drinks.
Nishi-Tenma 4-12-11. (just north of the American Consulate) Open 11am-2, 6pm-2am (food LO 10:30pm). Closed Sundays.
(Japanese regional). 06-6341-3910
The prices on the menu outside Akashiya are in U.S. dollars and the sign reads: we have loco food. Does this mean crazy or local? It's a little of both. Masa, your congenial host, will cook up an Osaka culinary storm of akashiyaki (takoyaki in a light soup), ikayaki (grilled squid) and handmade gyoza. And what could be better than a glass of super-strong Samurai sake to wash it down with? The daily set menu is Y2500 on weekdays and Y2100 on weekends, when Kita-shinchi slows down a little. The set includes a fish dish, gyoza, rice, pickles, and of course, akashiyaki.
Dojima 1-3-23, Osakaya Kita-shinchi Bldg B1F. Open 5pm -2am (LO). Closed Mondays.
Run by a long-term German resident of Osaka, this pub has been going strong since 1974. The menu offers meaty German cuisine and a good variety of German beers from all over the country.
Dojima 2-2-2, Kintetsu Dojima Bldg B1F. Open 6-10:30pm (Sat -9:30pm). Closed Sundays.
The provincial cuisine of Bretagne (Brittany) is the specialty here, including some 40 varieties of galettes (savory buckwheat crepes). Lunch is served till 3pm, and in the evenings the bar is open till 2:30am; the regular food menu is served till 11pm. The interior is huge and spaciously laid out, and outdoor terrace seating is also available.
Dojima-Hama 1-4-27, Dojima Nakamachi Bldg. 1F. (1 min. from exit C-92 Kita-Shinchi station Dojima Chika Center) Open 11:30am-3am daily.
More of a bar than a restaurant, with counter seating on the main level and lounge-y sofas upstairs. They offer a limited Italian food menu, and serve Belgian beers as well as Italian wines.
Dojima-Hama 1-1-9. (on the N bank of the river, just W of Midosuji) Open 5pm-1:30am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Oude Kaas's chef worked in Holland for 13 years before he decided to bring the flavors of Dutch cooking back to Osaka with him. There's a good selection of beers (German and Belgian mainly) to go with the unusual food. The latter include excellent stamppot (mashed potatoes with whatever vegetables and seasonings are around the kitchen that day) and over 60 pancake variations (combos like cheese, banana, rum raisin and salami). (Note the new location.)
Nishi-Tenma 2-5-6 2F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.