Hidden beneath the clamor of Tsuruhashi Station is a three-story homage to meat and noodle lovers. Since its doors opened in 1999, Hakuundai has been serving delectable Korean royal court cuisine. The 76-seat restaurant caters to all needs from large parties to intimate meals. On-the-bone Kalbi beef is included with almost every set menu. If a cooler meal is more your style, all sides and salads are available a la carte as well as any of the cold noodles, all of which are made in-house. Lunch specials are delicious and substantial for the price, but the real treat is the dinner menu. Be sure to show up a bit early on weekends as there tends to be a wait.
Price Range: ¥2,000–¥10,000 • Open: Mon to Sat 11:30am–2:30pm, 5pm to 10pm; Sun & national hols 11:30am–9pm • Access: JR, Kintetsu, or Sennichimae Subway Line, Tsuruhashi Stn • hakuundai.com/tsuruhashi
It’s hard to know what to expect when first setting eyes on the plain, bleached exterior of Hayauchi. The interior is minimalist yet vibrant with paintings adorning the walls. Seating is limited with a bar that seats seven, and two four-person tables. Its small size means staff are able to efficiently cater to all customers. In addition, their knowledge of sake and noodle making is unparalleled. If you have the chance to go when they are making the noodles, normally around lunch, you will be treated to a show. From coarse-ground to finely ground noodles, they have it all. Ordering is easy with their English menu. Sadly this doesn’t extend to the sake, but if you are looking to expand your palate, then this is the place to do it.
Price Range: ¥800–¥3,000 • Open: Mon– Sun 11:30am–3pm, 5:30pm–9:30pm • Access: Tanimachi Subway Line, Shitenojimae Yuhigaoka Stn • yelp.co.jp/biz/はやうち-大阪市
Bearing a sleek exterior and a bright, colorful interior, Marufuji Dango in Tennoji is the place to go if you are craving some sweet treats. Located a few blocks away from the North Gate of Tennoji Station, it is a quick jaunt for anyone craving dango. With 12 different flavors to choose from, it can be a difficult choice to make. I recommend sinking your teeth into a ginger-flavored or a brown-sugar-syrup flavored dango. The ginger is well balanced while not overpowering the flavor of the green onions. The brown-sugar syrup is delightfully sweet. With any set of three dango comes complimentary tea. If that isn’t enough tea for you, then maybe their green-tea pancakes will hit the spot. They come paired with coarse-ground anko and the brown-sugar syrup.
Price Range: ¥750–¥2,000 • Open: 11am–9pm (L.O. 8:30pm) • Closed: Wed • Access: Tennoji Stn, North Exit • marufuji-dango.com