Eat & Drink

Where To Find Osaka’s Best Ramen

There is an old addage in Japan: People from Tokyo overspend on fine footwear, people from Kyoto on fine clothing, and people from Osaka on fine food. Kuidaore literally means “to eat oneself bankrupt.”

Osaka is known as Japan’s Kitchen, and for good reason. Locals take their food very seriously, and the quality of the city’s cuisine is a testament to its food-obsessed mentality.

Perhaps the most loved food in Osaka, and in all of Japan, is ramen. There’s literally thousands of spots to devour warm, noodly goodness in the city, but it can be hard to figure out where the real good stuff is hiding. So, we’ve compiled a list of great ramen spots not to be missed on your next trip to Kansai’s capital.

Ippudo

Simple, easy, and delicious is the philosophy of Ippudo. With only three types of ramen on the menu, it’s very much a quality-over-quantity set-up, and that’s exactly what keeps people returning in droves.

Originally from the Hakata region of Kyushu, you’ll find Ippudo more than 100 outposts all over Japan and 60 locations around the world, including New York, London, Paris, and Sydney.

The reason for its success is the way in which Ippudo prepares its signature silky smooth broth. Their Juku Kasane method involves adding layers of depth to the broth by cooking it in a massive cauldron for 18 hours, and then letting it age for a further 24 hours at a low temperature – resulting in some seriously delicious ramen.

It’s open daily between 11am and 2am.

Where: Ippudo Namba: 3-1-17 Nanmanaka, Naniwa Ward, Osaka


Zundo-ya

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Ahh, Zundo-ya. While it’s unknown to most travellers, Zundo-ya has established itself among locals as a warm, comforting place for friends to gather after a night out and enjoy some real quality ramen.

The local favourite is open 24 hours and is never quiet. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to show up at 3am and queue for 20 minutes before getting in. But the wait is always worth it, because there’s nothing quite like Zundo-ya’s signature creamy broth and perfectly soft-boiled egg.

It’s impossible to visit Zundo-ya just once, so, if you’re travelling through Japan, be prepared for a difficult goodbye to one of Japan’s best ramen joints.

Where: 1-5-7 Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku 1f, Osaka 542-0085


Muteppou

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The legendary Muteppou is a must-visit for any self-respecting ramen fan. Its super-thick pork bone broth has reached cult status among those who like their ramen to pack a powerful flavour punch.

Muteppou isn’t for the faint of heart, because the pork flavoring here is intense (to say the least), but those who love it will swear it’s the best ramen in Kansai. The richness and thickness of its broth is unrivalled – perfect for a cold winter night. Just make sure you don’t have much on afterwards as all you’ll want to do after a bowl of Muteppou ramen is curl up and relax.

It’s open 11am to 3pm and 6pm and 11pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Where: 1 Chome-5-21 Ebisuhonmachi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka 556-0013


Kinryu Ramen

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No list of Osaka’s best ramen would be complete without the iconic Kinryu – the symbol of Osaka ramen. There are a few stores located around Osaka, all of which serve cheap, fast, and delicious ramen around the clock – just look out for the giant dragons above every store.

Kinryu is the prefect spot if you’re looking for some quality ramen on a budget, as a bowl here will only set you back $7 (¥600)! It’s borderline blasphemous to pass through Osaka and not eat at Kinryu, so be sure to see for yourself what all the locals are raving about.

It’s open 24/7.

Address: 1 Chome-7-26 Dotonbori, Chuo, Osaka 542-0071

(Lead image: Wai Austin)