Just a five-minute train ride from Tennoji on the JR Yamatoji line, hop out at Kyuhoji Station, walk past the massive twin Mega City Towers that have made this place a bit of a hub over the last few years, and you’ll run straight into Bunsman where you’ll find the best burgers in town. Chat up Youichi, the man in charge, and it won’t take long for stories of his time in California to come out – sunning, surfing and eating those burgers that inspired him to start up this simple little shop. So, it seems fitting to try out the California Burger for ¥1,050, stacked with bacon, avocado, and jalapenos, this burger, along with everything on the menu, looks as good as it tastes. Add a side of fries and a root beer and enjoy a little bit of Cali in Osaka.
Open: 11am–9pm • Closed Mon • Price Range: ¥700–1,500 • Access: JR Kyuhoji Stn, 5-min walk south past Mega City Towers • facebook.com/pages/Bunsman/228477863840252
Why take the train when you can take a short, pleasant walk along the tracks from Kyuhoji Stn to the new JR Yao Stn, and up the station-front street to Manje (マンジェ) tonkatsu restaurant. This place is not hard to find, just look for the line of salivating fans chomping at the bit for their chance to bite into one of these legendarily juicy pork cutlets. With only a dozen counter seats, all with a perfect view of the chef in action, the atmosphere is matched by its reputation. So, don’t expect to find a time when you won’t have to wait, but this time the wait is worth it. When you do get a seat, try the Jumbo Cutlet Set for ¥1,260 – a delicious introduction at a great price.
Open: Lunch 11:30am–2:30pm; Dinner 5pm–9pm • Closed: Mon and every 2nd and 3rd Tues • Price Range: ¥1,000–2,200 • Access: JR Yao Stn, 5-min walk north • manger.co.jp
While Manju’s popularity is hard to miss, Ichu and its delicious hand-made udon is a bit more of a secret. However, when you do find it, you’ll wonder why the udon gods hadn’t led you there long ago. Walking into Ichu feels like you are walking into a friend’s home, though a special friend who’s been up since 4am beating and stretching his noodles to perfection. This homely feel is a perfect start as you wait for your noodles while mixing up your own sauce with as little or as much ginger as you like. The big size at ¥720 is probably enough to fill your belly, unless you’re brave enough to tackle the evenbigger special for ¥880. Get here early, as this place sells out regularly.
Open: 10:30am–3pm • Closed Tues & Wed • Price Range: ¥630–880 • Access: 5-min walk east of Manje (10-min walk from JR Yao Stn) • www.tt.em-net.ne.jp/~icchu