Osaka, a city of gourmands, is a ruthless battleground for soba restaurants. Here are 5 carefully selected shops that are particularly delicious.
1. Naniwa Okina
This is a restaurant where you can eat soba made with care by a top-notch chef for high quality soba made with carefully selected, fresh ingredients. The most famous dish is definitely their Zarusoba (Nihachi) (900 JPY (incl. tax)), which is made in a style called "nihachi soba," in which the noodles are 80% buckwheat and 20% binding ingredients. The Futouchi no Juwari Soba (1,100 JPY (incl. tax)) are fat, black noodles made in limited quantities. They're made with 100% buckwheat, and since so much of the epidermis is kept in the flour, it has a sweetness that permeates your mouth. They also have seasonally limited soba dishes such as the Taisoba (2,060 JPY (incl. tax)) in the spring which has wild sea bream luxuriously placed on top or the Shirako Soba (1,850 JPY (incl. tax)) in the winter which is topped with soft roe from Pacific cod.
Futouchi no Juwari Soba is a dish made in limited quantities
This restaurant is just 5 minutes from Tenjinbashisuji Rokuchome Station. This restaurant feels like a hiding place, and earned 1 star in the Michelin Guide Kyoto-Osaka 2017. You should definitely try their simple Morisoba (950 JPY (incl. tax)). Everything about it is top-class, from the aroma of the noodles, the texture, the leek topping, the mellow yet spicy wasabi, and more. This restaurant also has other dishes like Dashimaki (850 JPY (incl. tax)), omelet made with dashi soup stock, that have been given rave reviews, so try those too.
3. Kappo Soba Kanda Umeda NU Chayamachi Plus Branch
You can eat flavorful, aromatic homemade soba made with buckwheat from Horokanai in Hokkaido here. Their Meibutsu Negiseiro Soba (1,000 JPY (incl. tax)) is cold soba eaten by dipping it in warm broth. Their broth comes with seiro kakiage (mixed vegetable and seafood tempura) made with small shrimp and steamed clams for an amazing dish! Also, since this restaurant has "kappo" in the name (referring to Japanese cuisine), you can also enjoy dishes like Anago no Yaki Tempura (1,020 JPY (incl. tax)), which is grilled conger eel fried as tempura, or even a course meal like the Kanda Meibutsu Kamo Nabe Course (4,320 JPY (incl. tax)) including a duck hotpot. There are private rooms that can hold 2-8 people, so please enjoy soba and other dishes in a relaxed manner.
4. Teuchi Soba Ishizuki
This restaurant uses the best buckwheat available from all over the country, which is then ground every morning in a stone mill in the restaurant, then diligently made into noodles by a skillful chef. This is a restaurant where you can be assured that you'll enjoy the flavor, fragrance, color, and texture of your meal. First, try the simple Seiro Soba (780 JPY (incl. tax)). If you want warm soba, try the Kyoage to Kujo Negi no On-Soba (1,200 JPY (incl. tax)). It's warm soba made with thick, broiled cuts of kyoage (a type of fried tofu from Kyoto) and topped with plenty of sweet Kujo green onions so you can warm up both body and soul.
This restaurant's soba is made with buckwheat from a plateau in a region that has wildly varying temperatures from day to night and it's eaten with a broth made with Kanto-style dark soy sauce. You should try the Ume Tororo Ankake Soba (880 JPY), covered with a piping hot starchy sauce and topped with grated yam and umeboshi (pickled plum). Other than the soba, dishes like the oyakodon (rice topped with chicken and egg) is also highly rated. You can try both of them in the Eraberu Donburi to Soba no Teishoku set (800 JPY) if you'd like. That set is offered between 11:00 am to 2:00 pm between Monday and Friday. It's a popular restaurant though, so it will be very crowded during those hours.
All of these shops offer soba made with their own unique attention to detail. You should definitely try and compare them and become a soba connoisseur!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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