I can say definitively that Kuromon Ichiba Market was hands down my favourite destination in Osaka, Japan! Even during my research, I knew I would like this market and therefore, my bf and I actually stayed at an AirBnB that was directly above this market and we had a marvelous time!!
If you’ve been to the Tsujiri Fish Market in Tokyo, Kuromon is quite similar except it’s more affordable, less touristy (though still pretty touristy), and has a wider variety of street food in my opinion. They sell everything from clothes, fruit, spices, to everything! You can literally find anything here!
I would recommend coming late morning or early afternoon to avoid the crowds. It gets busy as early as 11am and stays pretty packed till about 4pm. Also, make sure to arrive hungry! There is so much delicious food, it’ll almost be impossible to try everything in one day.
Here are the top foods you must try at Kuromon Market!
King Crab Legs
They sell grilled king crab by the leg so it’s super easy to get just one to share. I would highly recommend trying this if you’ve never had Alaskan king crab. It tastes quite different than a regular dungeness crab.
Sea Salt Grilled Shrimp
Shrimp grilled in sea salt until they’re completely crispy? Yes please! The flavours are more intense and the shells look as crispy as chips!
These are ridiculously expensive (that box is $35-40 CAD!) but “when in Rome” right??
I ended up paying $5 CAD for this tiny little box of white strawberries and what I can tell you is, it’s not LIFE CHANGING. However, it is super unique and it tasted like a muted strawberry.
You can also get really cheap fresh strawberry (and white strawberry) smoothies for around $2-3 CAD.
This market has incredibly fresh and unique seafood so it’s best to take advantage of it while you’re here. If you’re scared about eating raw food at a dingy looking market, don’t worry. In Japan, the fish is so fresh and they’ve been doing it for so many years that they know how to properly handle their raw food. Even my boyfriend who has a generally weak stomach can handle their seafood (including eating a large raw oyster!).
I ended up getting a nigiri set which has chu-toro, large raw scallops, salmon, and a bunch of ikura (fish roe) on top. This one box costed about $30 CAD but it was worth every penny.
When it’s cold, there is nothing better than eating piping hot oden and sipping bonito broth from a street vendor. Oden is essentially fish cake and other items that are simmering in a light fish broth (usually in skewers).
Grilled Scallop on Half Shell
Not only should you eat raw seafood at the Kuromon market, I would highly suggest trying some of their grilled (and usually flame torched) seafood. Sometimes it’s just a large scallop on a half shell like this, sometimes it’s a scallop topped with uni, crab meat, and other delicious items. Either way, it’s delicious and a light way to enjoy some fresh seafood.
Grilled Wagyu Beef
I didn’t try this knowing I was going to a Wagyu Beef restaurant in the next couple of days. However I saw a lot of people lining up to try the famous Japanese Wagyu Beef that’s been perfectly seared on a flat top. It’s not cheap, but it will satisfy your Wagyu Beef urges if you can’t make it to a specialized restaurant.
Last but not least is the Takoyaki! If you live in any other urban city that serves this, you quite possibly could skip it. It doesn’t taste much different that the ones you get but it is a nice snack food when roaming the streets.
All in all, did I mention that Kuromon Market in Osaka is one of my favourite seafood/street food markets of all time? Haha.
What is your favourite item to eat at Kuromon Market? Let me know!