This bright and airy dining room offers a far more interesting menu than the typical hotel coffeeshop, with many organic and vegetarian dishes in the "Nature Cuisine" section. There's also a popular buffet lunch and Friday and Saturday evening dinner buffets.
Oyodonaka 1-1-20, Westin Hotel Osaka 1F. Open 6:30am-11pm daily.
A melange of South East Asian flavours, design and attitude with a Japanese twist. Dinner for two, with drinks, is around 6,000 yen. [See FULL REVIEW
Oyodo-minami 1-4-20. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm (bar to 2am) daily.
A popular venue for various beer and food festivals.
Hearty Osaka-style udon sukiyaki is the pride of the kitchen here, but they also turn out a full range of simpler udon variations, plus izakaya fare like grilled chicken, unagi, and shiso-cheese spring rolls. Budget around Y2000 if you go a la carte, or Y4000 and up for prix-fixe sukiyaki. The dining space itself is pretty basic, but it looks out onto a nice garden and pond.
Oyodonaka 1-1-90, Umeda Sky Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-9:30pm (LO) daily.
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.
Chayamachi 10-12, NU Chayamachi B1F. Open 11am-10pm (LO; 2am Fri/Sat) daily.
The restaurant's name pretty much says it all - you'll find plenty of oyster varieties, champagne, seafood and a smattering of Cajun-style dishes. The two-story chrome-trimmed dining area is one of the more dramatic spaces in the Nu complex.
Chayamachi 10-12, NU Chayamachi 8F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Lunches here include an excellent vegetable-centered buffet that's very popular with female diners, along with French- and Japanese-influenced mains. At dinner you'll find charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables, pot au feu and fondue, and a reasonably priced wine list, with eleven wines by the glass. There's also a selection of plum wine, plum sake and plum shochu.
Chayamachi 10-12, NU Chayamachi 8F. Open 11am-3, 5-11pm daily.
Coffee, wireless internet access and good food from the popular Wired Cafe chain. Open until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Chayamachi 10-12, NU Chayamachi 2F. Open 11am-midnight daily.
Katsukura prepares great Kyoto-style tonkatsu from good-quality pork, along with nice pickles and side dishes.
Chayamachi 19-19, Applause Town B1F. (underneath Hotel Hankyu International) Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
(Asian fusion). 06-6486-1100
Eve's unusual decor is fabulous and fun, with curtained-off private nooks, comfy sofas, a giant fishtank and inviting terrace seating. The music is appropriately cool, and the eclectic menu is entertaining, with a mix of Vietnamese, Balinese, French and other European dishes, a full cheese menu, and wines starting at Y2940/bottle. Budget around Y4000 for dinner and drinks. Open to 5am Fri/Sat.
Chayamachi 15-22, Urban Terrace Chayamachi C-4F. Open 6-11:30pm (LO); Sat/Sun from noon daily.
You'll find inexpensive but good-quality pastas, pizzas from a wood-fired oven and more substantial Italian fare at this popular Kanto-based chain. This wine list is similarly budget-friendly.
Chayamachi 15-22, Urban Terrace Chayamachi A-3F. Open 11:30am-3:30am (LO) daily.
"Healthy ethnic cuisine" is the theme at Monsoon Cafe, and you'll find dishes inspired by various Asian cuisines in a festive, resort-themed dining space.
Chayamachi 15-22, Urban Terrace Chayamachi A-4F. Open 11:30am-3:30am (LO) daily.
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.
Chayamachi 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.
Spicy chicken wings, yakitori and Nagoya miso specialties.
Chayamachi 2-16, e-square chayamachi 6F. Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
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.
Shibata 1-5-2. (on a small alleyway 2 blocks north of New Hankyu Hotel) Open noon-12:30am (LO) daily.
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.
Shibata 1-5-6, Umeda Asahi Bldg 1F. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
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.
Chayamachi 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.
A big, sprawling, comfortable cafe under the train tracks and highway. The menu is varied and casual, and lunch is served to 3pm.
Nakazakicho-Nishi 2-55, Chelsea Market. (next to Umeda Center Building, about 5 min. E of Umeda sta.) Open 11am-midnight daily.
Owner-chef Olivier imports a lot of his ingredients directly from his native France, and you'll find un-Japanese dishes like tripe, stewed rabbit, cous cous, and wine and cheese even at lunchtime. The wine list is reasonable, with eight choices by the glass or carafe, plus five Belgian beers. There's an all-weather terrace out front, with cozy, bistrot-style seating inside. Dinner is Y3800/5600/8000 prix-fixe, or a la carte. There are usually just one or two choices at lunchtime, so call ahead if you're fussy about what you eat.
Nakazaki-nishi 1-8-24. (Nakazaki-cho, Tanimachi Line. Take exit 4, first right. Walk straight for about 150 meters until you see the windmill.) Open noon-2, 5:30-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
We're always happy when our waiter asks "Would you like that spicy?", and at Rajastan they don't pull their punches if you answer in the affirmative. Owner-chef Osto presents a full menu of fiery curries, spicy stir-fried "deviled" dishes, roast chicken, salads and original dishes like his rice roll made with stir-fried pork and vegetables. The decor is quite festive, with rattan chairs, a wooden floor and two outdoor decks.
Nakazaki 3-5-14. (just west of Nakazaki 2-chome crossing) Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-11pm daily.
Hankyu Umeda station and east
This dessert complex in the Comme Ca store gathers together more than twenty cafes and sweets specialists in one area. You'll find cakes and cookies, puddings and cream puffs, ice cream and Italian ices, and various Japanese-style confections as well.
Ofukamachi 1-1-1, Yodobashi Umeda 7F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
This small shop serves takoyaki and akashiyaki (the Kobe-style version of the dish); take-out is available.
Shibata 1-1-3, Hankyu Sanbangai Minamikan B2F. Open 10am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Wines by the glass at very reasonable prices (Y300-550) at this informal stand-up wine counter in Hankyu Sanbangai. Inside, the Ishii shop sells imported foods, a large selection of wines and liquors.
Shibata 1-1-3, Hankyu Sanbangai Minamikan B2F. Open 11am-9pm daily.
Spicy Szechuan-style noodles at budget prices.
Shibata 1-1-3, Hankyu Sanbangai Kitakan B2F. Open 11am-9pm daily.
This smartly decorated little izakaya specializes in obanzai-ryori - home-style Kyoto cooking - plus a few nice premium sakes and shochus. Dishes start at Y480; dinners from Y2625.
Shibata 1-1-3, Hankyu Sanbangai Kitakan 1F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-11pm daily.
The menu here is deep, with strange and unexpected variations on the oden theme - shiitake mushrooms, lotus roots, ginkgo nuts, oysters, plus a separate menu of whale delicacies. The ambience is scruffy and down-to-earth - it really feels like you're under the tracks. There are two more branches within stumbling distance, which is helpful since this one is often jam-packed by 5pm. (See www.takoume.co.jp for more info.)
Kakudacho 9-25, Shin-Umeda Shokudogai. (in the ground-level warren of bars and shops between Osaka and Umeda stations) Open 4-10pm (LO) daily.
Besides the usual okonomiyaki variations, Fugetsu also serves grilled seafood - a combo of octopus tentacles, shrimp, squid and oysters is Y1050.
Kakudacho 8-47, Hankyu Grand Bldg 29F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
A cozy yakitori counter tucked into one corner of the "Sky Terrace" food-court area; don't confuse them with the nearby budget pasta restaurant of the same name.
Kakudacho 8-47, Hankyu Grand Bldg 29F. Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
This lively little robata-style izakaya has friendly service and a good selection of grilled meat and fish to go with your drinks.
Kakudacho 8-47, Hankyu Grand Bldg 29F. Open 11:30am-3, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Toribun's specialty is shamo (a game bird) served raw, oven-roasted, and on skewers as yakitori. Y4000 covers a prix-fixe dinner, or you can order a la carte. Drinks include shochu and some sake.
Kakudacho 8-47, Hankyu Grand Bldg 28F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
(Japanese regional). 06-6315-7580
Regional "Tosa cuisine" is the draw here, including lots of great fish and seafood fresh from the Kochi side of Shikoku. Dinner with drinks averages around Y5000.
Kakudacho 8-47, Hankyu Grand Bldg 28F. Open 11:15am-8:50pm (LO) daily.
This rather ordinary-looking dining room at least provides a skyscraper view. The food is home-style Korean (chige and other stews, chijimi pancakes) at moderate prices.
Kakudacho 8-47, Hankyu Grand Bldg 30F. Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Hep Navio area
This national chain prepares good-quality okonomiyaki, yakisoba, "modern-yaki", and interesting five-color "salads" of shredded vegetables. They also do a Hiroshima-style option. Take-out is available.
Kakudacho 7-10, Hep Navio 7F. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
Bruno brings you old-school retro curry-shop decor and a nice selection of Japanese curries - including squid - all at budget prices.
Kakudacho 7-10, Hep Navio 7F. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
Kamameshi steamed rice dishes and charcoal-grilled chicken and pork are the specialties of the house at this upscale izakaya; you'll also find a good list of regional sake and shochu brands. Budget around Y3000 for dinner with drinks.
Kakudacho 7-10, Hep Navio 6F. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
All-you-can-eat deep-fried skewers of meat and vegetables, plus assorted side dishes and desserts, will set you back Y2500 (or Y1260 at lunchtime). There's a two-hour limit, so don't dawdle over the fryer.
Kakudacho 7-10, Hep Navio 7F. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
Ippudo's Hakata-style ramen noodles, served in a surprisingly rich pork broth, draw the crowds here every night. It's worth the occasional wait.
Kakudacho 6-7, Kakudacho Building 1F. (across street from Navio Hankyu) Open 11am-3am daily.
Miyazaki free-range chicken is the main ingredient at Kuruma, with chicken sukiyaki and chicken shabu-shabu supplementing the usual yakitori menu. The tasteful interior is plusher than what you'd expect from the back-alley location.
Kakudacho 6-9. (in the alley running alongside Hep Navio, next to Ippudo ramen shop) Open 5pm-midnight (LO) daily.
south of Hep Navio
A lively Kyoto-based izakaya with an extensive menu - shabu-shabu, nabemono dishes and plenty of seasonal fish and seafood. This is also a good spot for reasonably priced fugu (from Y5000 for a full-course fugu meal).
Komatsubaracho 3-3, OS Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 4-11pm daily.
If you crave an environment of religious statuary, massive chandeliers and bordello-ready plush sofas when you dine out, we've got just the place for you. The over-the-top decor and late-night hours are the main draw, but the menu is also entertaining - Chinese- and Spanish-inspired nibbles accompany a bewildering assortment of cocktails.
The sophisticated interior here comes as a surprise amid all the noisy game arcades on this street, as does the upscale Japanese-fusion cuisine. Menu highlights include "modern" sushi (foie gras, for example) and other inventive original dishes.
Beef shabu-shabu and sukiyaki are the specialties here, with all-you-can-eat deals from Y2300. You can also opt for mixed shabu-shabu (beef and pork) and crab shabu-shabu in season. They're ready to handle parties of up to 100!
Doyamacho 10-2. Open 5-10:15pm (LO) daily.
Gay bars usually disdain flowers; this one embraces them. Could it be for the contrast they afford master Chanho-san's tattooed biceps? The internet can't compete with Chanho's generosity of spirit, and spirits - lashings of gin for only Y500! Log out and pop into Bacchus for a taste of Osaka - a la Caravaggio.
Doyamacho 6-14, Daini-shouei Kaikan 3F. Open from 8pm. Closed Sundays.
A more budget-oriented sister shop of Daidaiya, Chanto offers good, inventive izakaya dishes at reasonable prices.
Doyamacho 4-12, Shirobasha Bldg. Part I B1F. (upstairs from Whity exit M6, just inside the shopping arcade on the right) Open 5pm-midnight daily.
(Gay bar). 06-6311-1386
A small but comfortable gay bar with a friendly Australian publician and a lively, mixed crowd - gay and straight, foreign and Japanese. Homesick Aussies may appreciate the selection of Villi's Meat Pies and the Foster's and VB beers; the bar also serves Hoegaarden and many exotic cocktails.
Kamiyamacho 8-14, 1F. Open usually 8pm-2am daily.
This small, nearly impossible-to-find izakaya in the back streets of Umeda has a warm and cozy atmosphere that instantly relaxes you when you walk in. It's the kind of place where you can drop in just for a quick drink, or while away the hours exploring the extensive drinks menu (and waiting for your food!). [See FULL REVIEW
Doyamacho 17-5. (from Hep Navio walk NE to Shin-midosuji, turn right and walk south until just before you get to Tsutaya; at the tobacco and candy store turn left, and then turn left again down a narrow alley; Taberu is on the right side.) Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO; to 1am weekends). Open every day.
The splashy modern-Japanese decor is all part of the fun at En, but the excellent food and sake are just as big a draw. It's all pretty straightforward izakaya standards - sashimi, grilled fish and chicken, tofu - but beautifully prepared from premium ingredients.
A casual, no-frills izakaya serving home-style Okinawan dishes - pork stew, stir-fried champuru with Spam - along with fiery Okinawan awamori liquor and microbrew beer.
Sonezaki 2-16-22, American Bldg 7F. Open 5pm-12:30am (LO) daily.
This excellent Tokyo-based yakitori chain serves a variety of interesting chicken variations, plus a few Nagoya-style dishes, homemade tofu and an unexpected creme brulee for dessert.
Sonezaki 2-15-20, Swing Umeda Bldg 4F. (1 block E of Sonezaki police sta.) Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
This friendly, long-established shop (they opened in 1945) occupies spiffy new quarters and serves sells premium oden, numerous side dishes and shochu. Y4000 gets you a ten-piece oden assortment.
Sonezaki 2-5-30, Pont Nouveau Bldg. 2F. (on the main street beside the highway, above a large liquor store) Open 5-10:30pm. Closed Sundays.