When discussing Osaka, the conversation typically revolves around its rich culinary culture. While dishes like okonomiyaki and takoyaki have earned global fame, it’s important to understand that Osaka is more than just a culinary destination. This sprawling metropolis is more than just its gastronomy; it has the ambiance of an easygoing European coastal city.
Osaka exudes an openness and a slower pace compared to Tokyo, its larger sibling. Beyond the well-trodden tourist path that leads to Osaka Castle, Kuromon Ichiba Market, and Universal Studios, there’s another delightful way to experience the real Osaka – by diving into its diverse neighborhoods.
Fukushima – Best for Eating Out
Osaka’s unique dining culture is a core element of its identity. Locals have a saying, ‘Osaka no kuidaore,’ which roughly translates to ‘Eat the Osaka way until you fall into debt’! Kuromon Ichiba Market attracts food-curious visitors, while the Fukushima neighborhood is just one stop west of Osaka Station.
Try Josho New Street, which is lined with neighborhood izakayas (informal bars). Two standout establishments on this street are Moeyo Mensuke, renowned for its duck ramen, and Izumo Unagi, a freshwater eel specialist known for its diverse eel dishes.
Shinsaibashisuji – Best for Bars
Shinsaibashisuji offers an abundance of meticulously crafted beverages per square meter—including a vibrant hub of mixology and experiential bars.
Leading the pack is Bible Club Osaka, a speakeasy-inspired bar with a carefully designed interior that transports patrons to the US during prohibition times. Their menu features original and classic beverages with a twist.
Nakazakicho – Best for Wandering
Often referred to as Osaka’s ‘hipster’ district, Nakazakicho is perfect for aimless exploration. Salon de Amanto, a serene cafe that is buried behind thick walls of vines, acts as a community center and offers fair-trade Filipino coffee.
Another cafe, Gallery Arabiq, is a favorite among visitors for its library and signature frothy coffee sprinkled with colorful toppings.
Minamihorie – Best for Shopping
While Japanese pop-culture fashion thrives in Amerikamura, known as Osaka’s ‘American Village,’ the city’s boutique fashion scene finds its home in Minamihorie.
This neighborhood is a haven for shoppers, even if you’re merely window shopping. Studio d’Artisan is your go-to for high-quality denim clothing, while Achroma offers high-end Osakan streetwear. Minamihorie also hosts a cluster of classical record stores on the upper floors of buildings.
The James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel has taken his beloved NYC bakery to Las Vegas. Ansel is particularly famous for cronuts, a hybrid creation of croissants and doughnuts. Along with the signature cronuts, the new bakery opened on October 21st, is filled with many favorites from the chef’s original east coast location, as well as with several new sweet treats, specially developed by Ansel and his team to be exclusive to Las Vegas.
The New Bakery
Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas is the second domestic location for Ansel’s bakery, with the original standing in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan. The famed pastry chef also has a workshop in NYC and several locations in Hong Kong under the name Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel, which is a capsule collection of exclusive sweet treats. After the opening, the first 100 customers to stop at the Las Vegas bakery received a limited-edition gift in honor of the launch. Located adjacent to another famed diner Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, the new bakery is open from Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. The bakery also features a retail area and a café-style seating zone for up to 20 guests to enjoy freshly baked cronuts and other creations.
The Special Treats
The pastry chef is offering a range of new creations in his new Las Vegas bakery which includes a collection of delectable pastries named Lucky 7. It contains a French éclair filled with cassis jam, Valrhona Caramelia chocolates, and elderflower mascarpone mousse. A special fortune cookie, made up of a sable Breton base topped with jasmine tea cremeux and lemon curd, with a white chocolate fortune sticking out of the cookie, is also available. The bakery also serves familiar items like pan-au-chocolat and croissants and, of course, the celebrated cronuts.