10 Best Takoyaki Shops in Osaka

Going After the Takoyaki Trail with Osaka's Best Takoyaki Shops

At the heart of Japan’s street food scene, there’s a small, round delicacy that reigns supreme – Takoyaki. This snack is one of the symbols of Osaka, a city that buzzes with energy and culinary prowess.

In this article, we’re diving deep into the soul of Osaka’s takoyaki, exploring how it stands out in a country known for its regional specialties. From the bustling stalls of Dotonbori to quaint hidden gems in Umeda, we’re on a quest to find the 10 best takoyaki shops in Osaka, each telling its own story through flavors and textures.

For more restaurants recommendations:

Restaurants in Osaka

How is Osaka’s Takoyaki different from Tokyo’s Takoyaki?

Osaka and Tokyo offer distinctly different takoyaki experiences.

Osaka’s version is characterized by its exceptionally soft, fluffy batter, creating a melt-in-your-mouth feel. Key ingredients include octopus and tempura scraps, with variations of pickled ginger and green onions. Notably, it omits cabbage, focusing on the batter’s texture. Typically eaten with a bamboo skewer, it reflects Osaka’s culinary tradition.

Tokyo’s takoyaki, on the other hand, presents a crispy exterior with a soft interior. It shares ingredients with Osaka’s version but often includes cabbage or napa cabbage, adding a textural contrast. Enjoyed with chopsticks or a toothpick, Tokyo’s take offers a different yet enjoyable taste profile.

Now, without much ado, let’s go with the best takoyaki shops in Osaka!

1. Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka Sennichimae Main Store (Namba)

Takoyaki Shop Doraku Wanaka
© Wanaka Co., Ltd.

Located in the bustling area of Namba, Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka Sennichimae (たこ焼道楽わなか 千日前本店) is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The takoyaki here is celebrated for its excellent flavor, especially when enjoyed as a weekend breakfast treat in true Osaka binge-eating fashion. The shop offers a variety of toppings, including the classic sweet and tangy brown sauce, as well as salt, dashi stock, soy sauce, and bonito flakes.

For those who find it hard to choose, the o-iri sampler with four different toppings is a popular choice. The Sennichimae branch, known for its convenient location near Doguyasuji (Kitchen Street), opens as early as 8:30 am on weekends, making it an ideal spot for a delicious hangover cure or a late-night snack.

2. Kougaryu Amerikamura (Shinsaibashi) 

© kougaryu.Inc

Kougaryu Amerikamura (甲賀流 アメリカ村本店), situated in the heart of Amerikamura, is a staple for takoyaki enthusiasts. This shop stands out for its meticulous attention to detail, using sashimi-grade octopus and dashi stock with kelp in its batter. The mayonnaise is made in-house, offering a less tangy flavor that complements their homemade brown sauce.

The array of toppings at Kougaryu is intriguing, ranging from the classic sauce-and-mayo combo to more inventive options like black pepper, salt, mayonnaise, and lemon, or even takoyaki sandwiched between two senbei rice crackers with melted cheese. Located across Triangle Square, Kougaryu is a perfect pit stop during a shopping spree in nearby Shinsaibashi​.

3. Hanadako Shin-Umeda Shokudogai (Umeda) 

Hanadako Shin-Umeda Shokudogai Takoyaki Shop

Hanadako (はなだこ), located in the bustling Shin-Umeda Shokudogai, is a celebrated destination for takoyaki enthusiasts. Known for drawing a consistent line of locals, this shop is renowned for its negi-mayo takoyaki. The highlight here is their signature dish topped with a generous amount of lightly dehydrated scallions and swirls of mayonnaise, making the takoyaki nearly invisible beneath.

The classic sauce-and-mayonnaise option is also available, promising a gooey and creamy delight. Despite often having a queue, service at Hanadako is noted for being fast and efficient, making it well worth the wait.

4. Ganso Ajiho – Nishishinsaibashi (Chuo) 元祖 味穂

Ganso Ajiho (元祖 味穂), situated in the heart of bustling Dotonbori, is a go-to spot for local specialties, including takoyaki. The establishment is popular among both locals and tourists, offering a simple atmosphere with tasty takoyaki. Known for its variety of small plates, with takoyaki being particularly popular, every fresh batch here is quickly snapped up by eager customers.

The shop provides a warm and friendly service, adding to the appeal of its delicious offerings. While details about the specific takoyaki menu were not available, customer reviews highlight the overall quality and popularity of their takoyaki.

5. Takoyaki Juhachiban Dotonboriten

Takoyaki Juhachiban Dotonboriten Takoyaki Shop
©2023 たこ焼十八番

Takoyaki Juhachiban Dotonboriten (たこ焼十八番 道頓堀店) is a beloved staple in the vibrant culinary scene of Dotonbori. Specializing in takoyaki, this eatery has mastered the art of crafting these iconic octopus-filled balls to perfection. A crisp exterior encasing a delectably soft, warm center, with perfectly cooked pieces of octopus adding a delightful chewiness.

Patrons can personalize their experience with a variety of toppings and sauces, ranging from classic to innovative, each adding a unique twist to the traditional takoyaki. 

6. Aizuya Namba (Chuo) 

Aizuya Namba Takoyaki Shop

Aizuya (会津屋 ナンバ店), located in Namba and featured in the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand, is a notable takoyaki establishment rumored to be among the first to invent the dish. The shop stands out for its innovative takoyaki recipes, incorporating unusual ingredients like beef tendon and spring onions, in addition to the traditional boiled octopus.

Aizuya’s takoyaki is served without the typical sweet, brown sauce and mayonnaise, allowing the natural flavors of the batter and fillings to shine. The sampler plate is a popular choice, offering a taste of their various innovative takoyaki styles, as their combination of traditional techniques and creative twists has earned it a spot in the Michelin Guide and the hearts of many takoyaki aficionados.

7. Takoyaki Dotonbori Kukuru – Main Store (Chuo) 

Takoyaki Dotonbori Kukuru - Main Store

Takoya Dotonbori Kukuru (たこ家道頓堀くくる道頓堀本店) is a famed spot in the Dotonbori area, widely known for its “bikkuri takoyaki” or “Surprise Takoyaki.” The surprise element comes from the unusually large pieces of octopus used, with many pieces protruding from the takoyaki balls.

Besides the classic takoyaki, they also serve “akashiyaki,” a variation from Akashi City in Hyogo prefecture, known for its eggy batter and slightly spongier texture. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite on the go or sitting down to enjoy the bustling atmosphere of Dotonbori, Takoya Dotonbori Kukuru offers a unique and enjoyable takoyaki experience.

8. Atchichi Honpo – Dotonbori (Chuo)

Atchichi Honpo - Dotonbori
© あっちち本舗 道頓堀店

Atchichi Honpo (あっちち本舗), located near Nippombashi station in the Dotonbori entertainment area, is a specialist in takoyaki. Recognized for its skillful preparation, they offer four varieties of takoyaki per set of nine pieces. The octopus is sourced daily from the central market, and they use an exclusive original sauce.

Their takoyaki is known for its fluffy interior and crunchy exterior, with a good piece of octopus inside each ball. Around 90% of orders are takeout, but they also have tables available. The restaurant is popular, and despite frequent queues, the service is very fast. The preparation of their takoyaki is an attractive spectacle, adding to the overall experience.

9. Tamaya Honten (Tenjinbashisuji)

Tamaya honten Takoyaki Shop
© 2016 tamaya

Tamaya Honten (玉屋 本店), a pioneering takoyaki shop in the Tenjinbashisuji area, is on a mission to elevate takoyaki to the pinnacle of B-class gourmet cuisine. Their innovative approach involves three key aspects: natural flavor in the dough, visually creative takoyaki, and collaborations with staple foods. The secret to their deliciousness lies in the ‘ultimate dashi’ – a rich broth simmered for three days, incorporating flavors from the sea, land, and mountains. This includes a luxurious lobster broth made from whole lobsters, raw octopus, kelp, and sardines.

They also use a land-based broth made from chicken and pork bones, and a mountain broth rich in nutrients and sweetness from over ten types of vegetables and fruits. Tamaya Honten’s dedication to natural ingredients and creative culinary techniques make their takoyaki not just a snack but a gourmet experience, celebrating the rich flavors of the natural world.

10. Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan (Abeno District) 

 Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan
© あべの たこ焼きやまちゃん.

Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan (あべの たこやき やまちゃん ルクア大阪店), located inside LUCUA Osaka, is a celebrated destination for takoyaki aficionados. This stall stands out for its flavorful takoyaki, which features a lightly crisp exterior and a spectacularly gooey inside. The secret to their unique taste lies in the special stock used to make the batter. This isn’t just any bonito fish stock – it includes a variety of vegetables like onions and celery, along with fruits such as pineapples, bananas, and apples, all simmered with chicken and dried bonito. The concoction is cooked for four hours and then combined with kelp stock, resulting in a flavor-packed batter.

The staff at Yamachan recommends enjoying the takoyaki as is to fully appreciate the batter’s flavor. However, they also offer various flavor and topping combinations. The “Young B” style with soy sauce and mayonnaise is a flavor bomb, while the goma-shio (sesame oil and salt) option adds an addictive kick. Extra negi (Japanese scallions) is a popular addition. With these unique flavor profiles and high-quality ingredients, Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan is a must-visit for both takoyaki enthusiasts and newcomers to this quintessential Osaka street food.

Aren’t you hungry after reading about all these delicious places? Each shop offers a unique twist on this classic street food, so I really recommend exploring all of them!

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Written by

Photographer, journalist, and avid urban cyclist, making sense of Japan since 2017. I was born in Caracas and lived for 14 years in Barcelona before moving to Tokyo. Currently working towards my goal of visiting every prefecture in Japan, I hope to share with readers the everlasting joy of discovery and the neverending urge to keep exploring.