Osaka is well-known to be the kitchen of Japan and a haven for gastronomists alike. You will be spoilt for food choices along the main dining street of Dohtonbori (道頓堀). Dohtonbori is best visited at night when the numerous neon billboards are lighted up. There, you will find the famous Glico Man who has been a resident since 1935. Dohtonbori is flanked by two rows of restaurants where you will be able to find street food vendors interspersed between the restaurants. Some ubiquitous street food which should not be missed will be Kansai-style okonomiyaki お好み焼き (a vegetable batter pancake topped usually with egg, bacon, brown sauce, bonito flakes and scallions) and takoyaki たこ焼き (chunks of octopus tentacles surrounded in a ball of pancake batter).
If you are feeling all touristy and interested in a good meal, why not try the famous crab restaurant ‘Kani Doraku (かに道楽)’?
It will be impossible to miss the giant mechanical crab which is hanging above the shop! Personally I have not tried this restaurant despite going to Dohtonbori many times. If you are on a budget or not a big fan of crabs, BBQ crab legs are available for sale along with special edition Kani Doraku (かに道楽) merchandise right outside the shop. There are two Kani Doraku (かに道楽) shops on Dohtonbori – the one nearer to the Glico Man is the main shop (本店).
Just across the Dohtonbori canal, you will be able to find the main covered shopping street of Shinsaibashi (心斎橋). Typically, I always plan a shopping trip to Shinsaibashi and subsequently, dinner at Dohtonbori. The shops at Shinsaibashi do not open till late and typically close around 8.30pm. Hence, shopping after dinner is not a very feasible plan unless you have a very early dinner.
How to Get There
Take the subway (various lines available) to Namba Station and walk the labyrinth of tunnels at the Namba Station underground (directions are not too useful? :P) till you emerge near Dohtonbori and Shinsaibashi area. (I can never emerge at the same exit every time I go!)