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Mar 30, 2014 09:27 AM

Izakaya recommendations among other things in Osaka~


I will be visiting Japan for the first time in mid May to Osaka and Kyoto, and was wondering if you guys could point me in the right direction. I am going mainly for food but am not budgeted to go splurging. I googled around and searched the board for a while and have not been able to find something that seemed like what I was looking for.

I am hoping to find something like an Izakaya that is somewhat English friendly. Also, i'm hoping to have a chance to taste horse meat, whale meat, ankimo and maybe shirako. I read in different places that horse meat you should be able to find more easily as whale meat seems to be harder to find and very restaurant specific. A place with all those on the same menu would be great, but I may be wishing for too much haha..

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. In Osaka look for a place called Binbiya. Superb, but you will need language help. Let someone else make the reservation, telling you eat everything (if indeed so)

    May is the wrong season for ankimo and shirako, I am afraid.
    Reliable whale is never budget friendly.

    Enjoy and report back

    2 Replies
    1. re: hblnk

      ah thank you so much, will definitely check that out.. i found a few chain izakayas that I may visit too while in kyoto, shoyu and kyoto hananomai. Though i would definitely prefer something not chained..

      1. re: vooshoo

        I'd suggest putting aside your prejudice against chain establishments - many of them are quite good and reliable, with good value for money.

    2. Kyoto - not an izakaya as such, but a nihonshu bar with small food dishes to match. User-friendly for non-Japanese speakers (the owner is Israeli). I've not been, but have only heard positive comments from those that have.

      Photos of interior, drinks and food (up to 5 pages of photos


      Allow around 5,000yen for a good selection of drinks/food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DirtyDen

        It's okay, but the atmosphere there is rather quiet (one could almost say stilted), the sake comes in rather tiny portions, and the pace is quite leisurely. Regarding the atmosphere - even though it's a bar and everyone there is a visitor, somehow it's quite awkward to talk to the people next to you.

        It may be a good introduction to sake, but it's certainly not an izakaya experience.