Takoyaki: A Specialty of Osaka たこ焼

Takoyaki, the Japanese street-food

Osaka is known for its many delicious dishes and street foods, the most famous undoubtedly being takoyaki! This is a must-try dish when you visit Japan. 

 

How to eat Takoyaki?

Takoyaki are not usually a meal in itself, but rather a snack eaten on the go, served in a small cardboard tray in a set of four, six, eight or more. Takoyaki are not generally eaten with chopsticks but with toothpicks. They are almost always served with aonori seaweed and dried bonito fish flakes sprinkled on top, with mayonnaise and/or okonomiyaki sauce, another typical dish of Osaka. The Japanese will eat them fresh off the hot plate (try at your peril, since the center can be extremely hot!). Instead of rushing to eat these, we suggest you take a moment to admire the dance of the bonito shavings waving about on the hot food.

Although they are almost always sold at yatai, street stands, takoyaki can also be served in restaurants, where they are often larger and contain a small whole octopus (idaka).

Another spectacle to admire is the talented chefs that prepare the takoyaki faster than seems possible, which you can find them doing at the festivals, flea markets and tourist sites where they set up their stands.

Here's a glimpse of how these famous octopus balls are made:

 

 

 

Takoyaki

Stand de takoyaki à Dotonburi

Wikimedia Commons

Takoyakit

Takoyaki avec de la bonite

Wikimedia Commons

  • Kogaryu

Arguably the most popular address among residents of Osaka. Here the takoyaki are sold as in trays of 10. Located in the heart of Amerika-mura, the trendy American district of the city, this shop allows you to test all kinds of takoyaki, with many variations of sauces, cheese, or in a wafer-like a taco. Nearby, the Wanaka restaurant is also a good alternative if Kogaryu is very busy.

Address: 2-18-4 Nishishinsaibashi Chuo-ku, Osaka

Opening hours: open every day from 10:30 a.m to 8:30 p.m.

  • Hanadako

In the Umeda district, to the north of the city, the Hanadako restaurant brings everyone together. Renowned for their takoyaki covered with a mountain of spring onion (negi), they are also known to cook their takoyaki at very high temperatures, which makes crunchy dumplings with a gooey filling.

Address: 9-16 Kakudacho, Kita-ku, Osaka 

Opening hours: Open daily from 10 a.m to 11 p.m.

Takoyaki

Le restaurant Kogaryu à Osaka

Wikimedia Commons

Takoyaki

Barquette de takoyaki de Kogaryu

Wikimedia Commons

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