Ever thought about indulging good street food while standing up for the entire time beside a street? What about drinking ice cold beer standing in a semi-outdoor setting that once was an open air parking lot? Looking for a spot to eat that is unique, a little on the wild side of an Izakaya experience? If you ever visit Osaka, Japan, be sure to check out Izakaya Toyo. This place is a kick-ass and wild spot that you will not be able to find anything like this anywhere especially in North America.
MoVernie FUN FACT: Did you know…..there is a Japanese word for “Standing Bars“? In Japanese, it’s called “Tachinomi“. “Tachi” means stand, “nomi” means drink. In Japan, it’s gaining popularity coz of limited retail space, but more importantly, people are on the go all the time that they don’t plan to stay long for a quick meal. Instead, they stand to eat and drink quickly and then call it a day.
What’s so special about Izakaya Toyo?
- Chef Toyo-san uses his bare wet hand to flame throw his signature broiled tuna dish
- Chef Toyo-san has a cool character and his love and passion for his food and customers are off the charts. Once he is done for the day, he will try to go to as many patrons as possible and thank them for their support. If you have a chance to talk to him, say hi to him, he speaks a little bit of English. Perhaps you can take a selfie with him and he loves that! LOL
- Izakaya Toyo was once a parking lot that turned into the Izakaya today, hence the dining area is right beside the road and it’s also located beside a cemetery
- People dine while standing up for the entire time with tables everywhere from wood tables to science laboratory tables
- People self-serve the Asahi bottles of beer from the fridge and when the bill comes, they count the # of bottles you had taken
- This place is lively, it’s nice and simple, super down-to-earth, people are easy going, there is no music, it’s just people laughing and having a good time, it feels like all the neighbours in the area are dining here for a cool party
- Price is relatively very reasonable (average around $450 yen to $1500 yen, nothing is crazy expensive here) and food is fresh and tasty
MoVernie TIP #1: This place opens up at around 3:30 pm but it opens til around 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm. I highly recommend you to go early if you can to avoid a long queue. At night, this place is hopping that you may wait for at least an hour or more. You also want to be here early to order Chef Toyo-san’s signature broiled tuna (we came late, and unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to taste his signature dish as it was sold out).
MoVernie TIP #2: Most of the dishes being served at Izakaya Toyo are mainly fresh sashimi and raw seafood, cooked food items are relatively limited such as the signature broiled tuna. So, if broiled tuna are sold out, anyone who doesn’t eat sashimi are limited with choices. However, you can still drink beer and really soak in the atmosphere. Remember, Izakaya means….you are basically ordering small shared plates, so once you are finished checking this place out, you can hop to another spot for cooked food. Or vice versa, I suggest you go somewhere to eat first, and leave some room to check this place out to try its dishes. Most of the time, it’s a long lineup, so eating somewhere first to fill your stomach at about 75% would be the most ideal.
MoVernie TIP #3: Although the proper mailing address of the Izakaya Toyo is shown in this MoVernie BLOG below, but the best way to find this outdoor standing bar is its proximity to the Kyobashi train station.
Let’s check out the photos & videos that I had taken during our dining experience here at Izakaya Toyo, coz the photos and the videos speak for itself, no extra explanatory necessary to describe the dishes. They were all fresh and delicious. The food were perfect with the ice cold Asahi beer.
Address: 3 Chome-2-26 Higashinodamachi, Miyakojima Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 534-0024, Japan
Phone: +81 6-6882-5768
NOTE: MoKenny found out about Izakaya Toyo courtesy from watching YouTube video from Luke Martin (ChopstickTravel.com) who made this sick video of Chef Tayo-san, the slow-mo visual effect of the chef’s flamethrowing skills was every bit of reason we decided to check this place out. Remember to check out Luke’s other travel videos and be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel.
For this Japan trip, our team used the Japan Rail Pass as our official mode of transportation, which these JR passes were provided by Japan National Tourism Organization (courtesy from the assistance from both Tokyo & Toronto branch locations). However, as always, the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.
I would also like to give a special thanks to Air Canada for providing the return Signature Class flights from Toronto, Canada to Tokyo, Japan. Without such hospitality and assistance by Air Canada, this Japan trip would not have been possible.