Must see restaurants in Kansai

  • Y

    Top Choice

    Yōshūji

    Yōshūji serves superb shōjin-ryōri in a delightful old Japanese farmhouse with an irori (open hearth). The house special, a sumptuous selection of…

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    Top Choice

    Yoshino Sushi

    In business since 1841, Yoshino specialises in Osaka-style sushi, which is hako-sushi ('pressed sushi'). This older version of the dish (compared to the…

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    Top Choice

    Wanaka Honten

    This famous tako-yaki (octopus dumplings) stand, just north of Dōguya-suji arcade, uses custom copper hotplates (instead of cast iron) to make dumplings…

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    Top Choice

    Chibō

    One of Osaka's most famous okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) restaurants, Chibō almost always has a queue, but it moves fast because there's seating on…

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    Top Choice

    Yotaro Honten

    This two-Michelin-starred restaurant specialises in exceptionally light and delectable tempura served at the counter, where you can watch the chefs, or in…

  • E

    Top Choice

    Endo Sushi

    Trek out to Osaka's fish market to taste the exceptionally fresh sushi at cosy Endo, in business for over a century. You can choose from four different…

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    Top Choice

    Yururi

    Miyama's natural bounty is a big draw, and this restaurant in an elegantly updated thatched-roof farmhouse serves menus of seasonal local ingredients …

  • S

    Top Choice

    Shoubentango-tei

    That this kappō-ryōri (Osaka-style haute cuisine) restaurant isn't more expensive is surprising considering its pedigree: established over 100 years ago,…

  • G

    Top Choice

    Ganso Kushikatsu Daruma Honten

    Daruma has branches around town, but for many Japanese a pilgrimage to the original shop in Shinsekai – opened in 1929 and said to be the birthplace of…

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    Top Choice

    Imai Honten

    Step into an oasis of calm amid Dōtombori's chaos to be welcomed by staff at one of the area's oldest and most-revered udon specialists. Try kitsune udon …

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    Top Choice

    Bononsha

    This chill spot – more Goa than rural Japan – with great wooden beams serves vegetarian dishes like tofu cheesecake that seem indulgent compared to temple…

  • S

    Shōtō-an

    This antique-strewn century-old house is a wonderful place to sample Matsusaka's famous wagyū (Japanese beef). Lunch sets of sukiyaki (thin slices of beef…

  • K

    Kōbe Plaisir

    This is a great place to try Kōbe beef prepared in a variety of styles, including teppanyaki or shabu-shabu (thinly sliced beef cooked with vegetables in…

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    Mankō

    The speciality here is ochazuke, a bowl of rice and toppings over which hot tea is poured. Everyone's here for the popular katsuo ochazuke (¥1450), topped…

  • O

    Osatsu Komado

    In a hut overlooking the ocean, ama (professional, mostly female, shellfish divers) grill seafood lunches – including items from their morning haul – and…

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    Irori Dining Mikuni

    Mikuni serves local speciality Tajima-gyū (a high-end brand of Japanese beef). Different cuts are served different ways, and not just as steaks: sirloin,…

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    Mikami

    Mikami is a beacon of good food in the otherwise forlorn zone between Shin-Kōbe Station and Sannomiya. For both lunch and dinner it does excellent…

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    Orizuru

    This is an elegant sushi counter, frequented by locals, offering reasonably priced set meals. In winter you can sample local crab sourced from Tsuiyama…

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    Kadohama

    Kadohama specialises in goma-dōfu (sesame tofu) prepared several ways. The lunch sets come beautifully presented in bamboo baskets with eight small dishes…

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    Hirasō

    A good place to sample local Nara specialities like kakinoha-zushi (pressed sushi wrapped in persimmon leaf – don't eat the leaf!) and chagayu (rice…