You have probably already heard of / eaten this most well-known Osaka soul food called お好み焼き Okonomiyaki (in short term: お好み Okonomi).
You can find this savory pancake almost anywhere in Japan, but we, Osaka natives think we have the best Okonomi here and if you tell us you have visited Osaka but never tried our Okonomi, yes, that is an insult to us.
But of course, I’m not saying any Okonomi places in Osaka are good. To decide whether the place is good or not, I always use this check list:
1. Is it worth the price?
In my opinion, any Okonomi which costs over 1,000 yen is not Okonomi anymore. It was originally called “Issen Yoshoku”, which means 1 coin food. When I was a destitute student who devoted her school life to working part-time, the cheapest one in my neighborhood was 350 yen and the paper-thin Okonomi saved my life often times.
2. Is it not fancy?
I don’t trust fancy Okonomi restaurants. Likewise, I don’t date with a guy who eats Okonomi with a glass of champagne.
This is what the ideal Okonomi restaurant looks like:
3. Is it served on hot iron plate?
Please don’t serve it on a dish (I insist). It should be hot enough to burn your tongue.
4. Do they cook in front of you? (Or close enough for you to see them cooking?)
It is just fun to see. At some places they let you cook by yourself, but if you ask me, better leave it to a specialist.
5. Is it family-owned?
It is not necessary, but if so it is perfect, for it somehow adds special flavor.
6. Is it good?
Here are my 3 favorites which satisfy me and my list:
– 介 Suke
9 min walk from our hostel. They have not only Okonomiyaki but also multiple kinds of dishes which are perfect with beer.
– だん Dan
3 min walk from Glico man, the most famous symbol of Osaka. Opens until 4 am (not pm!) As Parisian eats croissant after a full night of drinking, we crave for ramen, udon, and Okonomi (a thing in common: made of flour!)
– だるま Daruma
Near Hanazono cho station. Family owned, cheap, not fancy and in a…unique area.
By writing this blog, I hope I could see less people leaving here without Okonomi experience. Please don’t tell me if you do so. Thank you very much.
This was taken at the first one, Suke. Fluffy af.
HOSTEL 64 Osaka