JR Osaka area

Osaka Station City

Wired Cafe Lucua (Cafe). 06-6151-1329
Decent food and a very lively atmosphere at this branch of the popular Wired Cafe chain. There is some terrace seating looking out over the Osaka Station City complex below.
SunUmeda 3-1-3, Lucua 7F. Open 10am-10pm (LO) daily.
Camp (Curry). 06-6940-7155
Vegetable-centered Japanese curries are the specialty at this popular Tokyo-based shop, and their signature dish promises a full day's ration of vegetables. Lunch and dinner sets average around Y1000.
SunUmeda 3-1-1, JR Osaka Station Eki Marche Osaka. Open 10am-10pm (LO) daily.
Rikyu (Japanese regional). 06-6343-0910
Good charcoal-grilled beef tongue from this Sendai-based chain. You'll also find beef-tongue curries, stews, sausages and other yoshoku-style dishes, along with regional sake from Miyagi Prefecture. Located in the Eki Marche complex inside JR Osaka station.
SunUmeda 3-1-1, JR Osaka Station Eki Marche Osaka. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Ab (Buffet). 06-6347-1439
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.
SunUmeda 3-1-1, Grand Via Hotel 19F. Open 11am-3:30, 4:30-11pm daily.

Umeda 3-chome

Modo di Ponte Vecchio (Italian). 06-4795-8888
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.
SundecorUmeda 3-3-20, Meiji-Yasuda Seimei Bldg 30F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-9:30pm. Closed 1st, 3rd Mondays.

Umeda 1-chome

Ashoka (Indian). 06-6346-0333
Good curries at budget prices in this basement branch of Kyoto's famous Indian-restaurant landmark.
SunUmeda 1-9-20, Maru Building B2F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-9pm (LO). Closed 3rd Monday.
Bali Lax (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.
SundecorUmeda 1-9-20, Maru Building 3F. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Chuoken (Ramen). 06-6442-4158
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.
SunUmeda 1-9-20, Maru Building B2F. Open 11am-10pm. Closed 3rd Monday.
Hakkakuan (Tofu). 06-6343-6608
Tofu and yuba are the specialties here, and the menu offers some unusual dishes like soy-milk cheese fondue, nama-fu and soy-milk gratin, and hot apple pie with soy ice. Lunch sets (from around Y1500) come with freshly made tofu and various seasonal delicacies, and make a nice introduction to tofu cuisine. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime.
SunUmeda 1-9-20, Maru Building B2F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Takonotetsu (Takoyaki). 06-6314-0847
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.
SunUmeda 1-9-20, Maru Building B2F. Open 11am-11pm. Closed 3rd Monday.
Craft Beer Base Bud (Beer bar). 06-6225-7807
A lively, very down-to-earth craft-beer bar, Bud offers an inspired selection from their eight taps - generally four brews from the US and two each from Japan and Europe. All pints are priced at Y1000 while half-pints are Y700. The very casual food menu is also well thought-out and well executed.
SunUmeda 1-3-1, Osaka-ekimae First Bldg B2F #22. Open 11:30am-10:30pm daily.
Craft Beer Base Seed @Hanshin (Liquor shop). 06-6345-1201
Located in the liquor section of Hanshin department store's food hall, this outlet of the Western-Umeda beer shop offers around 100 craft beers and Belgian beers for sale. Prices are slightly higher than at the main shop, about ten minutes away.
SunUmeda 1-13-13, Hanshin Department Store B1F. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Hanshin Department Store (Retail). 06-6345-1201
One of Umeda's biggest food floors is located in the basement of Hanshin.
SunUmeda 1-13-13. Open 10am-8:30pm daily.
Cafe Biblioteque (Cafe). 06-4795-7553
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.
SunUmeda 1-12-6, E-ma B1F. Open 9am-11:30pm daily.
Cante Grande (Indian). 06-4795-7561
From the outside it may remind you of one of those little boutiques selling African carvings and Indian-print dresses; inside you'll find curries and other "ethnic" dishes plus a good dessert selection. Part of a popular local chain, there are eight other branches in Osaka.
SunUmeda 1-12-6, E-ma 5F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
Uoman (Nabemono). 06-4795-7517
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.
SundecorUmeda 1-12-6, E-ma 5F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Okinawa (Okinawan). 06-6344-4567
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

Mogami (Kushiage). 06-6345-9085
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.
SunSonezaki Shinchi 1-10-16. Open 11:30am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Ron (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.
Sun (Japanese). 06-6367-5512
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.
SundecorNishi-Tenma 4-15-10, Phoenix Tower 27F. (on the triangular block at Umeda-Shinmichi and Midosuji) Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm daily.
Portugalia (Portuguese). 06-6362-6668
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.
lateNishi-Tenma 4-12-11. (just north of the American Consulate) Open 11am-2, 6pm-2am (food LO 10:30pm). Closed Sundays.
Akashiya (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.
SunlateDojima 1-3-23, Osakaya Kita-shinchi Bldg B1F. Open 5pm -2am (LO). Closed Mondays.
Loreley (German). 06-6341-0043
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.
Amelie (French). 06-6341-7782
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.
SunlateDojima-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.
Kopta (Beer bar). 06-7493-1271
With just five taps and two tiny seating areas, Kopta might be better as a stop on a neighborhood beer-bar tour rather than an evening's destination. The kitchen offers a diverse menu, but exotic-sounding dishes like Moroccan green-bean fritters sound more exciting than they taste. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunFukushima 1-7-15. Open 5-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Molto!! Fukushima (Beer bar). 06-6345-2940
Open since March 2016, this third branch of the casual Molto chain joins the ranks of craft-beer bars in the Fukushima neighborhood. They offer seven taps of Japanese beers along with an Italian-inspired food menu and various sausages. Craft beers are priced at Y1000 for a 400ml glass and Y1480 for a large-size 600ml pour.
SunFukuhsima 2-7-16. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Pogo (Beer bar). 06-6131-9135
One of a growing number of craft-beer bars in the Fukushima neighborhood, this attractively appointed two-story bar offers eight taps dispensing both Japanese and imported brews. Service is friendly, music is above average, and there's some outdoor seating when weather permits. [See FULL REVIEW.]
decorFukushima 2-9-10. Open 6pm-1am. Closed Sundays.
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