Im in Osaka for 7 days and was looking for some suggestions on good bakeries and pastry shops.
Im looking less for bread and more for cake/pastry/plated desserts but Im interested in both, as Im pretty unfamiliar with the japanese style of baking and Im curious to see as much as possible.
Thanks very much
Are you looking primarily for Japanese-style breads like anpan and the like? The best bakeries are mostly French-influenced--Bigot, Burdigala (B2 of Herbis Plaza--really excellent croque monsieur, too), Boulangerie Takeuchi, Boulangerie P&B (some Japanese-style breads, too), and Boulangerie Takagi are some that come to mind.
For more Japanese-style breads, there's Vie de France, Sizuya. . .
If you go to any depachika (Hankyu, Daimaru, and Hanshin are all in Umeda) you'll find oodles of examples of both French and Japanese bakeries. That might be a good place to start, so you can see a lot of examples in once shot.
I walked around a ton the last two days primarily in the underground station promenades and in the major malls in umeda, shinsaibashi and namba....i was really impressed overall and was happy to discover some totally new styles and presentations....it seems like everything is heavily influenced by french patisserie and Im glad to see that the standard overall is kept to a high level...
i was also curious....do you know of any good japanese style coffee shops (the ones that use the japanese style drip machines?)....i was sad to see seattles beast and starsucks all over the place....i was hoping to taste some local style coffees if you know of any places...
also, is there a culture of dessert bars/restaurants here? Something akin to chickalicious in nyc? It seems like most of the dessert places are for take out or for a quick afternoon tea/sit-down....but i havent seen anything like a bar that serves dessert.......not sure they exist like that here but was just curious to see more plated desserts and their presentations..
When you say "Japanese style drip machines", what machines would those be? Do you mean slow-drip ones or vacuum ones?
I don't really drink a lot of coffee, but Hiro throughout Kansai is very serious about its coffee. Each cup is brewed individually when ordered. They use cold brew slow-drip machines for making ice coffee, I think (judging by the picture I have, anyway), and they use these machines I've never seen before for drip coffee. I think the machine is really just used for holding water (like a vacuum pot), but they're designed to fit a sock-type thing for filtering. Hard to explain. Anyway, they grind the beans as ordered so you know the coffee hasn't been sitting around forever and a day. They also roast their beans in smaller batches so there's a high turnover rate. Many kinds of coffee, too, including real blue mountain (priced accordingly). http://www.hirocoffee.co.jp/ is their website (Japanese only). The cafes are mostly in suburban areas, though, so I don't know if you'll be willing to go out of your way to find one. As an aside, the guy who develops their cakes was part of the winning team of the World Pastry Cup or one of those big pastry competitions, and if you're lucky to visit one with an attached bakery, they have good breads and pastries, too.
There are loads of dessert places. I'm familiar with chickalicious, but I've never been there. Most dessert places are cafes, but you can stay as long as you want. I don't know of any that focus on plated desserts (as in those presentations similar to what you get at restaurants). Even places like Hidemi Sugino just put the cake on the plate and you eat it.
The closest to what you want might be in Tokyo at Toshi Yoroizuka. I tried to go there once, but the line up to get in was way too long (as long as Hidemi Sugino's place), so I gave up. The one at Ebisu (he has another place in Roppongi) might be a little more bar-like (I've only seen pictures). http://grand-patissier.info/ToshiYoro... (only in Japanese).
But if you're not going to Tokyo, I'm not as familiar with Osaka places except Burdigala (they have bread and pastries!) and the roll cake place in B1 or B2 of Herbis Ent. Madu??
Within Herbis Ent, there are a couple of other cafes that specialize in desserts--I just can't remember their names right now. One is really a chocolate shop--it might be called Palet d'Or?? It was quite expensive, though, and I thought not worth the price.
Hotel cafes might have more in terms of plated desserts--like the Hilton (very pretty desserts there) or Ritz Carlton. Both are very close to the Herbis/Herbis Ent buildings.
Not quite the genre you're looking for, but Comme ca Cafe on the 7th(?) floor of Yodobashi Camera has fantastic fruit tarts. That's pretty much all they have--dozens of fruit tarts really beautifully done. They're huge (as is the price).
Henri Charpentier had a large cafe/restaurant in Ashiya (just a short trip on the train from Umeda), but I heard they closed it. It might be worth asking around, though. It may still be open. I think they might have put a little more effort into plating.
If you're into chocolate at all, there's a fantastic chocolate place called Ek Chuah, about a 10-15 minute walk from Shinsaibashi. Excellent chocolat chaud, and they have pretty good desserts, too (though in limited selection).
There are some good bakeries around the Honmachi area:
Boulangerie Takeuchi http://tabelog.com/osaka/A2701/A27010...
(Very popular, always a line out front. Next door to the equally-popular, Michelin-starred noodle house, Sobagiri Masa)
(There's now a branch in Umeda Eki Marche, but the one in Honmachi is better)
My favourite of the Honmachi bakeries, Four de H, has now closed sadly - not sure what happened: http://tabelog.com/osaka/A2701/A27010...
its already been recommended, but i second it, boulangerie takagi
They have really good pastries up front, eclairs and whatnot, and the mochi-mochi pan is really good and is usually coming out hot. if you come out of takagi and make a right, go down for two or three blocks, theres a good old fashioned coffee shop, cafe SANTOS. This is all pretty close to Utsubo park, which is where takeuchi is. Edobori area, nearby utsubo park, has lots of old lunch places and cafes, really interesting. If you cross yotsubashi street, from takagi, thats where all the small restaurants are.