Udon, the food that is loved by people in Osaka because it is filling and priced reasonably; price starts from 200 JPY at cheap shops. We will introduce different restaurants that has brag worthy soups from common shops that lets you eat them as if you're eating fast food, to classy udon restaurants that shines with the skills of the udon maker.
1. Shio-ya Umeda Branch
Shio-ya Umeda Branch' is a small restaurant that is located in the underground shopping mall that offers home-made soba and udon. Kake udon is reasonably priced at 200 JPY (including tax) a bowl. Other than that, a lot of the menu is priced about 300 JPY each, so even if you asked for side order of onigiri (rice balls) 120 JPY (including tax), it will not be more than 500 JPY. The soup used in this restaurant is a golden colored soup with a full flavor and rich aroma. It is made by strictly selected and fresh ingredients like the konbu (kelp) from Hokkaido, bonito flakes from Kagoshima, and a long time is put into making the soup. The tenkasu (tempura batter bits that comes out when you're frying tempura) on the table are completely free, so please do eat it with your udon. Eating your udon with the tempura batter bits will make your udon taste even better. You can also enjoy the crunchy texture, so you will able to finish the whole bowl without feeling bored.
Daiichisoba' is a shop that is located at the Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street for more than 30 years. The restaurant's main customers are student or working men who are on short lunch breaks. The soup makes full use of the flavors from the konbu and bonito flakes, with balanced seasoning is highly recommended. The smallest kake udon (Udon in broth) (small size) is only 110 JPY (including tax)! It is cheap and the food arrives quickly (most of the food ordered will arrive in 1-2 minutes time), so it is very recommended if you're a little bit hungry. Kake udon (normal size) is 210 JPY. The rice bowls, mini udon or soba set are priced reasonably at 500 JPY - 600 JPY. It is not nice to your purse after spending so much on sightseeing and buying souvenirs, but comes in a volume that will satisfy you.
Otabe-ya, with its profound and kind tasting signature soup that is made carefully with konbu, herring, bonito, mackerel and sardines, is an udon restaurant that the media is paying attention to. It is extremely reasonable with its kake udon priced at 170 JPY, kitsune udon priced 230 JPY. Udon that is topped with flavored abura-age (deep fried thinly sliced tofu) tastes sweet and spicy is commonly called 'Kitsune udon' but this restaurant has jumbo sized abura-age. The size will surprise you. The sweet and spicy taste of the abura-age goes perfectly with the soup, so please do order it and give it a try.
4. Tsurutontan – Kitashinchi Branch
'Tsurutontan' is a popular udon restaurant that has even opened a branch in Tokyo. The menu types and atmosphere within restaurant is styled to different from other conventional udon restaurants. The standard 'Kitsune no udon' 720 JPY (including tax) lets you enjoy the delicate taste of the udon with soup that is made using konbu and bonito flakes. And there are a lot of creative udon dishes that use various flavored soups, and the famous ones are the rare or seasonal flavors such as the cream sauce or bacon carbonara flavored soups. Please do give it a try. Apart from udon, they also have a collection of dishes (sushi, rice bowls as well as desserts, etc.) and sake, so we recommend this place if you want to splurge on your food and enjoy your dinner leisurely.
*The picture is taken at the Tokyo branch.
5. Dotonbori Imai Main branch
Started right after the end of the war, this shop is an old shop that has been in business for more than 70 years. It is a very well known udon restaurant in Osaka. It's elegant and light soup is flavored properly using Hokkaido's natural konbu, Kyushu's mackerel and herring flakes, etc. The most popular item in the menu is the 'Kitsune Udon 756 JPY (including tax)', which is made carefully. Topped with 2 slices of thick abura-age. There a lot of items in the menu that uses the delicious soup, apart from the udon, there are also soba and rice bowls, and other creative dishes serve in the restaurant as well. Please enjoy the taste that has been enjoyed for a long time.
The udon soup has different characteristics depending on the region and the characteristic of the Kansai soup is the simple and kind taste that is draws out the full flavor of the konbu and bonito flakes, etc. You can enjoy eating udon in various ways, such as eating it quickly or sitting down and fully enjoying its taste.
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information.