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Beer Bars
Beer Bars
We've divided our beer specialty bars into those with Japanese microbrews and those with Belgian or other interesting imported craft beers, although there's often an overlap between the two categories.

See also:
Glenn Skoggins's beer tour of Osaka in Brews News.
Brews News current issue.
Kansai beer map.

Brewpubs & Japanese Microbrews

Osaka: Chayamachi -- Artemis. 06-6377-0707
This old-fashioned hideaway bar is notable for their excellent Japanese real ale (Yona Yona) on draft as well as their single-malt scotch collection. The food is mainly pastas and other light items.
SunlateChayamachi 1-5, Chayamachi Chabindo Bldg. B1F. (on the little street running between EST and Ings, about 1 min. past Ings on the left, just past a soccer shop and downstairs from a large karaoke establishment) Open 6pm-2am. Closed Mondays.
Osaka: Chayamachi -- Peko. 06-6371-3321
This quiet, well-hidden bar has plenty of space spread out over three floors, and they offer a good selection of whiskey and bourbon, cocktails and a few Japanese craft beers, as well as an inexpensive food menu.
SunlateChayamachi 13-9. (walk N on the street running along the E side of Umeda sta about 3 min. N of the station, turn R (just before Chayamachi Applause and the Hotel Hankyu International)) Open 6pm-2am (5am weekends) daily.
Osaka: Higobashi -- Beer Belly. 06-6441-0717
This small specialty beer bar is managed by Minoh Brewery, which is well represented at the taps. They offer seven other Japanese craft beers as well, all on draft, along with a small but tasty food menu.
Tosabori 1-1-30, Osaka River Building 1F. (on the N (river) side of the little road that runs alongside the river, between Higobashi (bridge) and Chikuzenbashi (bridge), 4 doors E of the latter) Open 5-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Higobashi -- Beer Belly Edobori. 06-6445-6366
This new branch of Beer Belly is quieter, more spacious and more gently lit than the original Higobashi branch. They offer a weekly rotation of fifteen Japanese craft beers plus the full line of Minoh beers, with an emphasis on higher gravity beers. Highlights on the ever-changing food menu include beef tongue udon and broccoli-cheese udon.
lateEdobori 2-1-21. (from the West Exit of Higobashi Station, walk 8 minutes on Tosabori-dori, and then turn left at Trajal College of Hospitality and Tourism) Open 5pm-1:30am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Honmachi -- Qbrick. 06-6203-0690
Despite its small size, Qbrick plays an important part in Osaka's beer scene as a host location for various craft-beer and real-ale events. The regular menu features more than 200 brews from Japan and around the world.
Hiranomachi 4-6-12, Kyo-on Bldg 1F. Open 11am-midnight (Sat 5pm-). Closed Sundays.
Kyoto: Karasuma -- Wachi. 075-212-6342
Great grilled chicken, smoked dishes and craft beer are the specialties at this late-night, fourth-floor-walkup in the shadow of Daimaru department store. The menu offers two dozen or so Japanese microbrews by the bottle, and around the same number of Belgian beers; there are also shochu and sake options if you're so inclined.
SunlateObiyacho 571, Satake Bldg 4F. Open 6pm-3am (LO) daily.
Kyoto: Karasuma-Oike -- Yoramu. 075-213-1512
You'll find a fantastic trove of unusual, limited-edition sakes in this off-the-beaten-track sake pub. The food menu is just as eclectic, and well suited to the drinks. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunlateNijodori Higashinotoin Higashi-iru. (on Nijo, 2 blocks north, 2 1/2 blocks east of Karasuma Oike intersection) Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Mondays, 1st Sunday.
Kyoto: Kyoto City Hall -- K6. 075-255-5009
A pleasant, medium-sized bar with a serious selection of single-malt Scotch whiskies and one very good Japanese microbrew beer (Yona Yona real ale on tap).
SunNijo Kiyamachi Higashi-iru, Valls Building 2F. (across the street from Hotel Fujita) Open 6pm-3am (5am weekends) daily.
Kobe: Sannomiya south -- New Munchen Kobe Taishikan. 078-391-3656
This charming Kobe landmark serves a full range of Sapporo beers, and a huge, 150-item food menu. The small brewery in the basement produced two craft beers - a somewhat fruity wheat beer and a Vienna-style beer that uses Saaz hops. English menus available. Lunch served to 2pm.
SunSannomiya 2-5-18. Open 11am-11pm daily.

World Beers

Osaka: Chayamachi -- Dolphins Umeda. 06-6373-9041
This conveniently located cafe is part of the popular chain of Osaka Belgian beer bars, and stocks around 100 beers, mostly from Belgium. Unfortunately the food menu is rather lackluster, and even Belgian specialties like mussels and frites are only average. The main dining area is lively but it can get smoky.
SunShibata 1-5-2. (on a small alleyway 2 blocks north of New Hankyu Hotel) Open noon-12:30am (LO) daily.
Osaka: Chayamachi -- Drunk Bears. 06-6372-7275
Bears serves more than 100 different beers from around the world, along with bar food like nachos, sausages, calamari, and fried chicken fajitas. The stand-up bar is open till 2am weekends; there's also a sit-down dining room across the hall.
SunChayamachi 10-12, NU Chayamachi B1F. Open 11am-10pm (LO; 2am Fri/Sat) daily.
Osaka: Chayamachi -- Nakai. 06-6155-5547
There are plenty of places in town to get some yakitori and beer, but the beers here are Belgian craft beers and the yakitori is made from free-range Tamba birds, an heirloom breed prized for its flavor. Run by the Dolphins group of Belgian beer bars (and located next to their Umeda branch), Nakai offers thirty Belgian brews by the bottle and a couple on draft. Yakitori starts at Y150 per skewer, with dinnertime set meals from Y1800.
SunShibata 1-5-6, Umeda Asahi Bldg 1F. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Osaka: Higobashi -- Dolphins (Higobashi). 06-6443-6869
More Belgian beers and inexpensive food from this popular beer-bar chain.
Edobori 1-18-27. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Honmachi -- Dolphins. 06-4705-0012
The Sekaisuji-Honmachi outpost of Dolphins is the "beer bistrot" branch, with a basic food menu and a large selection of Belgian beers.
SunHonmachi 1-7-1, B1F. (in front of exit 13, Sekaisuji-honmachi subway station) Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-11pm daily.
Osaka: Honmachi -- Qbrick. 06-6203-0690
Despite its small size, Qbrick plays an important part in Osaka's beer scene as a host location for various craft-beer and real-ale events. The regular menu features more than 200 brews from Japan and around the world.
Hiranomachi 4-6-12, Kyo-on Bldg 1F. Open 11am-midnight (Sat 5pm-). Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Namba -- Kua 'Aina. 06-6635-1610
Thick, meaty hamburgers and a good assortment of sandwiches are served at this Hawaii-based shop. There's some terrace seating.
SunNanbanaka 2-10-70, Nanba Parks 6F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Osaka: Shinsaibashi -- Grand Dolphins. 06-6244-0168
Known as the "beer dining" branch of Dolphins, they offer mussels, frites and other Belgian and French fare along with plenty of Belgian beers.
SunlateHigashi-Shinsaibashi 1-8-14. (from Shinsaibashi sta. exit 5 walk E about 5 min, just past the Minami-Shogakko (elementary school); also accessible from Nagahoribashi sta. exit 7 - walk W about 1 1/2 blocks) Open 4pm-1am daily.
Osaka: Tenmabashi -- Dolphins (Tenmabashi-ten). 06-6942-8890
This flagship of the Dolphin group of Belgian beer bars offers a huge selection of Belgian beers along with inexpensive food.
Uchi-Hiranomachi 1-2-6. (from Tenmabashi sta. exit 4 walk S, turn W at the Freshness Burger) Open 11:30am-2, 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Umeda -- Donna Canna. 06-6345-6783
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.
lateDojima-Hama 1-1-9. (on the N bank of the river, just W of Midosuji) Open 5pm-1:30am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Osaka: Umeda -- Loreley. 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.
Osaka: Umeda -- Oude Kaas. 06-6361-3292
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.
Osaka: Umeda 2-chome -- Flanders Tale. 06-6344-5258
Nine Belgian beers on draft and many more by the bottle are served at this sprawling pub-restaurant. The food menu includes Belgian standards like mussels and frites, plus teppan-grilled meats and seafood, sausage and charcuterie platters and of course Belgian waffles. Festive group revelers can take advantage of several different all-you-can-drink party plans.
SunUmeda 2-5-25, Herbis Plaza B2F. Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Osaka: Yodoyabashi -- Barrel. 06-6233-0455
Good, authentic Belgian cuisine and a nice assortment of Belgian beers, including several on tap.
Kitahama 4-7-28, Sumitomo Bldg #2, 1F. Open 11:30am-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Kyoto: Karasuma -- Wachi. 075-212-6342
Great grilled chicken, smoked dishes and craft beer are the specialties at this late-night, fourth-floor-walkup in the shadow of Daimaru department store. The menu offers two dozen or so Japanese microbrews by the bottle, and around the same number of Belgian beers; there are also shochu and sake options if you're so inclined.
SunlateObiyacho 571, Satake Bldg 4F. Open 6pm-3am (LO) daily.
Kyoto: Kyoto City -- Le Monument Bleu. 075-315-7000
Located just one minute from Hankyu Nishiin station, this attractively decorated specialty bar is worth seeking out if you're a fan of Belgian beers. The list of brews is impressive, and it's matched up with traditional Belgian dishes like steamed mussels, carbonard (beef stewed in beer), quiches and galettes.
SunlateNishiin Nishi-sanzocho 13-1, Mark Bldg B1F. Open 6pm-2am. Closed Mondays.
Kyoto: Kyoto City Hall -- Hub. 075-212-9026
This very casual beer bar attracts an assortment of tourists and representatives of Kyoto's foreign community. (Open to 3am weekends.)
SunKawaramachi-dori Sanjo-sagaru, Kuromachi 71. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Kobe: Nishinomiya -- Beer Cafe Barley. 0798-65-6135
This cozy and pleasant beer specialist has seven seats at the bar and a few tables. In addition to four hand-pumped ales they offer more than 100 bottled beers, including a wide selection of Belgian styles and the full line of brews from Baird, one of Japan's best microbreweries. The substantial food menu features pizza, pasta, Shepherd's pie, and several dishes made with beer (try the chicken cooked in Asahi stout).
SunNishinomiya, Nagatacho 1-15, Liberty 2 Bldg 2F. (3 minutes from the North exit of Hankyu Nishiguchi Station, above a barber shop) Open 1pm-midnight. Closed Tuesdays.
Kobe: Sannomiya -- Cafe Brugge. 078-333-0887
One of the few places in town where you can find a multiplicity of Belgian beers, in a convenient location right at the foot of Ikuta Road.
SunKita-Nagasa-dori 1-1-3. (at the base of the road leading up to Tokyu Hands, at the railroad tracks) Open 11:30am-11pm daily.
See also:
Glenn Skoggins's beer tour of Osaka in Brews News.
Brews News current issue.
Kansai beer map.
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Updated 2012/05/07
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