How to Enjoy the Best of Osaka’s Street Food Culture at the World Expo 2025

8 min read
how to enjoy the best of osaka's street food culture at the world expo 2025

Osaka, Japan‘s second-largest city and the host of the World Expo 2025, is famous for its vibrant and diverse street food culture. 

From savory pancakes to fried skewers, from grilled octopus balls to steamed buns, Osaka offers a mouthwatering array of dishes that reflect its history, identity, and spirit. Here are some tips on how to enjoy the best of Osaka’s street food culture at the World Expo 2025.

What to eat and where to find it

Osaka’s street food can be categorized into four main types: okonomiyaki, takoyaki, kushikatsu, and kuidaore. Each type has its own characteristics and variations, and can be found in different areas of the city.

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made with flour, eggs, cabbage, and various toppings, such as pork, seafood, cheese, or noodles. It is cooked on a hot griddle and served with a sweet and tangy sauce, mayonnaise, seaweed flakes, and bonito flakes. Okonomiyaki is considered to be Osaka’s signature dish, and can be found in many restaurants and stalls throughout the city. One of the best places to try okonomiyaki is in Dotonbori, a lively street along the canal that is lined with hundreds of food outlets and neon signs.

Takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack made with a batter of flour, eggs, and dashi, and filled with diced octopus, ginger, and green onion. It is cooked in a special molded pan and served with a similar sauce, mayonnaise, and toppings as okonomiyaki. 

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Takoyaki is another iconic dish of Osaka, and can be enjoyed as a quick bite or a full meal. One of the best places to try takoyaki is Shinsekai, a colorful and nostalgic area that features the Tsutenkaku Tower and many street stalls.

Kushikatsu is a skewer of meat, seafood, or vegetables that is coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried. It is dipped in a thick and savory sauce, and eaten with a variety of condiments, such as mustard, salt, or lemon. Kushikatsu is a popular dish in Osaka, and can be found in many izakaya (Japanese pubs) and restaurants. One of the best places to try kushikatsu is Kuromon Market, a famous seafood market that also sells fresh fruits, vegetables, and other delicacies.

Kuidaore literally means “to eat oneself into ruin”, and refers to the indulgent and extravagant way of eating in Osaka. Kuidaore is not a specific dish, but a style and attitude of enjoying food to the fullest. Kuidaore can be experienced in any of the above-mentioned dishes, as well as in other specialties of Osaka, such as udon noodles, ramen, sushi, and sweets. 

Kuidaore can be practiced in any of the areas of the city, as well as in the World Expo 2025, which will feature a variety of food pavilions and events.

How to eat and what to expect

Osaka’s street food culture is not only about the food, but also about the atmosphere and the interaction. Here are some tips on how to eat and what to expect when enjoying Osaka’s street food culture at the World Expo 2025.

Osaka’s street food culture is rich and diverse, and offers a lot of opportunities to try new and different dishes. Be adventurous and open-minded, and don’t be afraid to sample something that you have never seen or heard of before. You might discover a new favorite or a hidden gem.

Osaka’s street food culture is also based on respect and courtesy, both for the food and for the people. Be respectful and courteous, and follow the etiquette and rules of each place. For example, don’t double-dip your kushikatsu in the sauce, don’t waste your food, and don’t litter. Also, be friendly and polite to the staff and the locals, and don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations or tips.

Osaka’s street food culture is also about being social and fun-loving, and sharing the joy of food with others. Be social and fun-loving, and join the lively and festive atmosphere of each place. For example, chat with the chef or the owner, mingle with the other customers, and cheer for your favorite team or performer. Also, be ready to have fun and laugh, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

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