Barista at work (Photo: Lee Tan)

Cafe Hopping in Shinsaibashi

Getting high on caffeine in Osaka's youth district

Barista at work (Photo: Lee Tan)
Lee Tan   - 3 min read

Coffee lovers don't talk about Osaka with the same reverence as they do Tokyo and Kyoto. That looks set to change with a slew of cafes, master roasters and specialty blends hitting the market. So if you're all shopped out in Shinsaibashi, make a pit stop at one of these cafes for a good cuppa.

Streamer Coffee Company

The Osaka branch of this topflight Japanese cafe brand is all minimal style with communal tables and posh sofas for seating options. For those who don't know, Streamer was founded in Tokyo by Hiroshi Sawada, the first Asian champion at the world's latte art championships in 2008. This coffee company's fame also means a pricey ¥570 for a Streamer latte. Also check out their Military Latte, a house special made with matcha, white chocolate and espresso. What else to match it with but a Military Donut, topped with a funky camouflaged pattern.

1-chome-10-19 Nishishinsaibashi Chuo Ward, Osaka

Granknot Coffee

While not in Shinsaibashi, Granknot is situated in nearby Horie district, near chic Orange Street. This laidback cafe has a friendly vibe, thanks to the amicable barista and owner who's up for a chat with his customers, most of whom are regulars. The cafe has enough space so that you don't feel that you're taking up too much real estate, and is a cosy stop to nurse one of their excellent coffees. The baked goods from nearby neighbour, West Wood bakers, are good too - go for the maple, bacon and cheese scone. Others have recommended the French toast.

1-23-4 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka

Lilo Coffee Roasters

This small little cafe is a spin-off from a hair salon, a Shinsaibashi institution. As the story goes, Hotty the hair stylist used to serve delicious coffee at the salon, so good in fact that it lead to this cafe. Like its parent, the cafe is small and eclectic but popular with the denizens of this little quarter. They have a variety of beans to try as well as a full range of coffees in two sizes. Don't want coffee? Go for the chai latte or a beer. As befitting a neighbourhood joint, the place has a convivial vibe.

1-10-28 Nishishinsaibashi, Osaka

Lee Tan

Lee Tan @lee.tan

Writer, photographer and traveller.