SF Bay Area
Food and drink that has us seeing gold
Here comes a few restaurants you shouldn't miss in Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto! Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!
Gram offers premium pancakes, such as their signature fluffy pancakes and special seasonal pancakes, that you cannot find anywhere in Los Angeles. My pick is their 2cm thick fluffy pancake that is only served between 11am and 3pm. It takes around 15 minutes to make, but it’s truly worth the wait. It tastes and melts in your mouth just as if you were eating a soufflé. You may also want to try their other popular items, such as the tiramisu or the yuzu pancake.
Tip: The fluffy pancake is only served during certain times of the day. Please call the café in advance.
Average Price: 1,000 YEN (~$10 USD)
Address: Japan, 〒542-0085 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, 中央区心斎橋筋1丁目5-24
This restaurant has been opened since 1922 and is recognized as the very first omu-rice restaurant in Japan. They offer a variety of different omu-rice options, such as chicken, mushroom, pork and many more. Their signature dish is the chicken omu-rice, on top of which you can also request cheese! They add onions and a special sauce to the rice, which adds delectable aroma of onions and accentuates the sweetness of the rice. No matter how full you are, you won’t be able to resist finishing the whole plate!
Tip: The wait time is around 30 minutes during lunch and dinner time.
Address: Japan, 〒530-8202 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita Ward, Umeda, 3 Chome−1−1
Average Price: 690 YEN (~$7 USD)
Takoyaki is a fast food that's representative of Osaka and Dotonbori Kukuru is one of the best takoyaki shops in Osaka. The restaurant is located on the Dotonbor riverside, and you can spot it by searching for the huge octopus sign that has become a landmark in that area. It was a satisfying experience watching the workers flip the takoyaki in front of me while I was chowing it down. The restaurant also has an area downstairs where you can make your own takoyaki with the help of the workers there!
Tip: I highly recommend you to try your hand at make-your-own takoyaki
Address: Japan, 〒542-0071 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Dotonbori, 1 Chome−10−5 白亜ビル 1階Average Price: 500 YEN (~$5 USD)
Rikuro’s is known for their fluffy Japanese-style cheesecakes. Their cheesecakes are freshly baked and comes in one size – 6 inches. The cheesecake is more like a soufflé than your average American cheesecake. If you like soufflé, then this cheesecake is for you.
Tip: Expect a 15-minute wait.
Average Price: 675 YEN (~$6 USD)
Address: Japan, 〒542-0076 Osaka Prefecture, 大阪市中央区 難波３丁目２−２８
Gozasoro is a Japanese bake shop located inside the JR Osaka Station that sells taiko manju. This traditional Japanese baked sweet is made from a batter of flour, eggs, and sugar and is baked in a drum shaped mold with a steamed red bean paste in the middle. Absolutely delicious!
Tip: One of the best desserts in Osaka.
Average Price: 150 YEN (~$1.50 USD)
Address: Japan, 〒530-0001 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, 北区梅田３丁目１−１, JR大阪駅 1F
Nowhere else can you eat super tender, melt-in-your mouth beef for only $10 USD. Unlike most restaurants, you first need to buy a ticket at the vending machine and hand it to the servers inside the restaurant. I picked the highly recommend beef don and it was amazing! This restaurant was one of the highlight of my trip to Japan and it left me craving for more. There is no way you wouldn't enjoy your beef don.
Tip: Everything tastes really good! You absolutely MUST visit this local spot.
Average Price: 1,200 YEN (~$12 USD)
Address: Japan, 〒651-0094中央区琴ノ緒町4-1-396高架下,Hyogo Prefecture
Since I am in the prefecture known for their beef, I might as well talk about a restaurant that serves high quality Kobe beef! This restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin Star in 2013 and it provides intimate dinning experience, with the chef preparing your course meals right in front of you. Besides the finest A5 grade Kobe beef, they also serve grilled abalone and other seasonal seafood.
Tip: There are only 25 seats available. Remember to make reservations in advance.
Address: Japan, 〒650-0001 Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe, Chuo Ward, Kanocho, 4−8−19, パルファンビル2階
Average Price：12,000 YEN (~$115 USD)
This restaurant serves the best authentic sukiyaki and is located at the busy junction of Teramachi-dori and Sanjo-dori, a popular shopping district and a major tourist destination. The restaurant has kept its original design since it first opened in 1873, and upon entering, I felt as if I had been transported into a different era. Upon stepping into the restaurant on the second floor, I was greeted by their friendly staff dressed in traditional kimono. The beef was evenly marbled and melted in my mouth. This place will definitely wow you!
Tip: Come in for lunch when its menu is half the price of the dinner menu.
Address: Japan, 405 Sakuranocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8035
Average Price: 7,400 YEN (~$71 USD)
If you think you’ll enjoy a culinary experience of watching chefs take you through the entire process of making omu-rice, then this restaurant is for you. The food is definitely not on the cheap side, but I guarantee you that the experience will be well worth it.
Tips: Make reservation two months in advance and do not be late for your reservation.
Address: Japan, 185-4 Zaimokucho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8017
Average Price: 2,400 YEN (~$23 USD)
You can find delectable shaved ice at the Fumon-an Ninosaryo, which is located near the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Their tea selection caters to all palettes, ranging from latte to bitter matcha. I would definitely recommend that you stop by when you are visiting Kiyomizu-dera. There is also a souvenir shop where you can pick up gifts for your family and friends!
Tip: Order the seasonal shaved ice!
Address: Japan, 〒605-0862 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 清水２−246
Average Budget: 800 YEN (~$8 USD)
(Picture from the hotel website)
This hotel is rated as #2 on tripadvisor and offers rooms with breath-taking views of Osaka. It is just located at Tennoji Station which is only 2-min walk from the station to the hotel. It also has a direct access to the shopping mall, Mio, with the most tax-free shops in Osaka. Service is exceptional and their concierge can help make restaurant reservations. The best way to get to the hotel from the Kansai Airport is via train which takes around 40-60 minutes.
@HangryDiary are the sister-sister pairing of Jocelyn and Justine. Their passion for exploring new restaurants inspired them to become food bloggers after graduating from USC and UCLA, respectively. They were raised in Hong Kong but moved to Los Angeles to study. You can often find them eating at the hottest restaurants in town and taking an obscene amount of time to shoot that perfect angle.