Whenever I get the chance to travel, I make sure to do certain things so I can get to know a culture better. Sometimes I go to photo-worthy spots, find restaurants and coffee shops I want to try, and even go to supermarkets because shopping for food is the ultimate shopping. I also try to go out of my way to try street food because 1) it’s cheap, 2) it’s fast, and 3) it’s almost everywhere. I’m sorry, that almost sounds like McDonald’s.
Throughout my short stay in Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto I was able to stop by street side stalls selling different snacks. I think most of the ones I hit up were near tourist spots but hey, it’s still food. Unfortunately, there were no farmers’ markets or night markets happening while I was in town. That would have been a blast.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I ate on the streets of Kansai:
Deep fried sweet potato fries with a light dusting of sugar. These were out in the cold for a little bit so they weren’t as crispy as I’d like them to be. Still delicious though but required more chewing than I expected. I liked how there was no batter when it was fried.
A giant ass crabstick right after my sweet potato fries. Grilled on an open flame, it was welcome warmth cause it was raining at the shrine. There was a bit of soy sauce brushed over it after grilling and I didn’t bother with the other sauces because I had the sweet potato fries in my other hand. Matakaw Mode: Activated! My parents would be proud.
Osaka wasn’t complete without getting an order of takoyaki (たこ焼き). Consisting of batter, octopus, pickled ginger, and tempura bits, this is probably the most famous street snack from Osaka. I think they generally take a while to cook so best catch a short line. It’s usually topped with teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, and katsuobushi.
On Halloween night along Dotonbori (never again), Big Brother and I were squeezing through crowds to get to a certain restaurant for dinner and passed by a guy grilling scallops. We swung by after and waited patiently for the scallops on a shell served to us. While the scallop was frozen, it still tasted sweet and the scallop juice was delicious.
Ending with sweet notes, I had some taiyaki (鯛焼き) and coffee jelly with red bean paste, ice cream, and dried fruit. Traditionally, taiyaki comes with a red bean filling but I do prefer the custard filling so that’s what I got. The unassuming fish-shaped snack is usually piping hot unless it’s been sitting there for a while. Technically, the coffee jelly was in a cafe but I still enjoyed it while writing post cards and charging my phone before I took the train back from Kyoto. I really like ice cream, especially in the cold so I did my best to not eat it so fast and enjoy it. The green tea and vanilla ice cream don’t clash and really accentuate the flavors so it makes sense to have that as a popular combination.
There were a lot of street snacks I missed but this means I can look forward to them in the future!