Osaka Bob FAMILY


7 takoyaki spots you’ve just got to try on your trip to Osaka

Osaka is famous for its takoyaki. And rightly so, it’s absolutely delicious!
I’m a food addict and I can tell you all about why takoyaki is a must-try food on your trip to Osaka. Oh yeah, and my name is Shen. Nice to meet you!

Takoyaki is affordable. It’s round and cute. And it’s something that people associate with Osaka. It’s one of our local dishes and there are street stalls abound selling freshly grilled takoyaki. There are so many places to choose from. I’m not saying that you could get a bad plate of takoyaki, but since you’re trying it, you might as well try something that is pre-approved and guaranteed to be good. So here are some of my favorite spots to get good takoyaki…


Osaka Tamade Aiduya—The original takoyaki! Tastes great without sauce!

Takoyaki was first invented in 1935. It was created by Tomekichi Endo, the founder of Aiduya, who tried replacing the beef sinew with octopus in a food called radio-yaki (the precursor to takoyaki, which shares a similar shape).
Aiduya’s takoyaki is the original, the first ever takoyaki!
So what’s their takoyaki like? Well…

takoyaki from Aiduya, the creators of takoyaki

It doesn’t have sauce!
Strange, but true—the original takoyaki is sauce-less. It was made this way so you could pop one in your mouth without getting your hands dirty. And Aiduya has preserved its heritage. The takoyaki itself is very flavorful. You can taste the dashi and soy sauce when you bite into one.
They go great with beer too! For non-drinkers, eat yours with a refreshing cola.

Aiduya takoyaki stand, the inventors of takoyaki

Despite the changing times and tastes, people still love this original style of takoyaki.

Osaka Amemura Kogaryu—Classic sauce and mayonnaise flavor!

While Aiduya has the market cornered on no-sauce takoyaki, Kogaryu is well-known for their fantastic sauce and mayo takoyaki.

dish of Osaka's favorite street food, takoyaki from Kogaryu

Flavors of apple and onion mingle to make a fruity sauce that goes perfectly with their house-made mayonnaise. Whoever came up with this recipe is a true genius!

osaka takoyaki stand kogaryu chef flipping on the grill

Kogaryu takes its name from a school of ninja arts of the same name. It reminds me of the skill and artistry that goes into cooking takoyaki into perfect balls of deliciousness. In addition to their amazing sauce & mayo combination, they have an extensive menu of takoyaki variations. Try the bold soy & mayo, or the tangy soy ponzu topped in a mound of sliced green onions. They’re all delicious so you’ll want to order more than one dish!

Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan—Rich soup flavor and a secret recipe!

Takoyaki Yamachan is the big name in the Tennoji area. Their secret is in the soup—which goes into the takoyaki. The stock is drawn from chicken bones and 10+ kinds of fruits & vegetables that are simmered for 4 hours. Then kombu (kelp) and katsuo (bonito) are added to give it that authentically Japanese taste. This is what makes their takoyaki batter so flavorful.
There’s no way you could replicate this depth of flavor at home.
Like the original takoyaki from Aiduya, you can eat these takoyaki without any condiments and they are still delicious. I am a fan of the yuzu-salt-ponzu topping as well, so I recommend you try that one first.

Yamachan takoyaki covered in a mound of green onions and mayonnaise

A hearty mound of green onions grown locally and you’ve got yourself one of Kansai’s finest dishes. True takoyaki lovers will move beyond traditional sauce and soy sauce into ponzu territory and explore the deep complexity of takoyaki as a dish.
Yamachan is one restaurant you absolutely have to visit when you come to the Tennoji area. Their main location is right near Abeno Harukas so it can understandably get a little crowded. If you don’t want to wait or if you are with kids, I recommend heading around the corner to their second location. There’s a dining area so this is the place to go if you want to sit down and eat.

Takoyaki Juhachiban—Crunchy bits of tempura & milk in the batter make for a glorious taste combination!

There are so many bits of tempura (tenkasu) in Juhachiban’s takoyaki that you can see them on the outside of the ball.

Juhachiban takoyaki on a toothpick, the volume of tenkasu makes this takoyaki extra crunchy

You can probably tell just by looking at it, but these takoyaki are much more crispy and crunchy than your normal takoyaki. And they are delicious! The tenkasu plays a powerful role in this bite-sized dish.

tray of different types of Juhachiban takoyaki

The Juhachiban takoyaki are also extremely creamy inside. The store staff told me that is the flavor of the milk mixed with dashi inside the batter. It is perfect!
Crunchy, yet creamy, this is a taste combination you can’t beat.
They’ve been in business for 30 years, so it is a tried and true favorite among women, international travelers, and everyone who visits. In a place like Osaka, with takoyaki stands abound, it takes something really original to stand out among the crowd. Juhachiban is doing just that!

Takoya Dotonbori Kukuru—Plump octopus & a splash of white wine!

When you bite into a takoyaki from Kururu, you’ll notice the large, chewy pieces of octopus. That’s because they started as a restaurant specializing in octopus, serving octopus hot pots and octopus rice. They care deeply about the quality of the octopus that goes into their takoyaki and they use large 5 cm pieces of octopus.

dish of Kukuru takoyaki coated in sauce and mayonnaise topped with bonito flakes

Locally grown green onions, pickled ginger, and tenkasu all go into their batter with the sizeable chunks of octopus for an amazing flavor combination. Their takoyaki are finished with a splash of white wine to give it a smooth, yet rich flavor.

takoyaki chef serving up a plate of takoyaki at Kukuru

The experienced takoyaki chefs spin the balls quickly on the grill cooking them to perfection. The delicious results come from a combination of delicious ingredients and the chef’s skill. Dotonbori is the original Kururu store and now there are 50 locations nationwide. Of course, each location serves up amazing food, but there is something special about visiting the Dotonbori store for some freshly grilled takoyaki.

Head to TAKOPA after visiting Universal Studios Japan & compare takoyaki from 6 famous restaurants.

All 5 places that I introduced above—Osaka Tamade Aiduya, Osaka Amemura Kogaryu, Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan, Juhachiban, Takoya Dotonbori Kukuru—can be found together in one location, on the 4th floor of Universal City Walk at the Takoyaki Park, aka TAKOPA.

osaka takoyaki museum Takopa entrance and decorations at Universal City Walk

TAKOPA is the newest version of the Osaka Takoyaki Museum that opened here in 2006. In addition to the 5 establishments I mentioned above, there is a sixth restaurant called Tamaya located here too.

Juhachiban location at Takopa near Universal Studios Japan
Kukuru location at TAKOPA Osaka Takoyaki Museum at Universal City Walk

TAKOPA is so close to Universal Studios Japan! The closest station is Universal City Station on the JR Yumesaki Line and the restaurant area is halfway between the station and the entrance to the park. It’s a great place to stop for a meal on your way home from USJ!

Osaka Takoyaki Museum/TAKOPA (TAKOYAKI PARK)

Address: Universal City Walk Osaka 4 FL CITY SHOPS, 6-2-61 Shimaya, Konohana-ku, Osaka
Access: Right outside Universal City Station on the Yumesaki Line
Map & further info

Takonotetsu—Grill your own and eat them hot!

Maybe you’ve seen the pros make perfectly round takoyaki balls. Care to try it yourself? Takonotetsu makes that possible! This grill-your-own takoyaki restaurant is a frontrunner in the field the first to let customers take on the task of spinning their own takoyaki at the table.

grilling octopus and green onions in grill your own takoyaki at the table at Takonotetsu
takoyaki grilled at the table at Takonotetsu

The ingredients, batter, and tools are the same ask what a professional takoyaki chef would use, but the cooking part is all on you. Can you get them perfectly round. Are you brave enough to take on the challenge?

takoyaki grilled at the table at Takonotetsu

The takoyaki pick is easy to use if you know how, but first-timers might need a little help from the staff. They’re friendly and willing to help!
The most important skill you need to flip them is actually your patience. If you try to spin them to early, the outer edge won’t be cooked yet and will fall apart when you try to turn them. The trick is to wait until the outer part of your ball is firm and then give them a quick spin. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. And hopefully you’ll be a takoyaki professional by the time you finish your meal.

Takonotetsu Kakuta location

Address: 1-10 Kakutacho, Kita-ku, Osaka
Access: 3 min. by walk from Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station
5 min. by walk from Umeda Station on the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line
7 min. walk from JR Osaka Station
8 min. walk from Hanshin Osaka-Umeda Station
Map & further information

Dotonbori Akaoni main location—Creative takoyaki styles like shaved ice & cheese fondue!

Here’s one final takoyaki joint that puts a special twist on this beloved favorite Osaka food. This restaurant combines the traditional flavors of Osaka with the kind of adventurous cooking that put this dish on the map in the first place.
Among the many unique dishes on the menu, this one in particular caught my eye—korya korya takoyaki—and it’s served on a bed of shaved ice.

takoyaki shaved ice with a cherry on top at Akaoni

Is it takoyaki? Or kakigori? Apparently, it was born of an idea to make Osaka’s favorite food into a summer dish. The interesting blend of dashi flavors with ice and a pinch of wasabi reminded me of another warm-weather favorite, cold soba noodles.
They also serve takoyaki in a bowl of cheese fondue or warm dashi soup.

takoyaki cheese fondue at Akaoni in Osaka
takoyaki in dashi soup at Akaoni in Osaka

Some people add cheese to their takoyaki at home, that’s how good the two taste together. It adds a layer of sophistication to the dish. So I absolutely recommend you try the warm takoyaki fondue on a cold day.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Akashiyaki, takoyaki’s cousin that is dipped in dashi before eating. “Chapu-chapu” is Akaoni’s answer to Akashiyaki, takoyaki eaten from a bowl of dashi broth. The dashi seeps into the takoyaki ball adding flavor and softness to the outer surface. This was my first time to try it takoyaki this way and I can tell you it’s absolutely addicting.

Dotonbori Akaoni main location

Address: 1-2-3 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Access: 6 min. walk from Namba Station on the Osaka Metro, 5 min. walk from Nippombashi Station on the Osaka Metro
Map & further information

And there are so many other great takoyaki stands in Osaka. I can’t introduce them all in one post, but hopefully this list will get you started. Have fun trying Osaka’s favorite street food!

Osaka Bob FAMILY


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