4 Cool Cafés to Check Out in Osaka

Osaka has something for everyone, and plenty of specialty-coffee shops and roasters. Here is a list of four cafés to visit during a long weekend in the city.


Photos by Tanya Nanetti

It took me three trips to Japan to finally get a chance to visit Osaka, and what a surprise! It may not impress at first glance like Tokyo, and is less classically beautiful than Kyoto. But Osaka knows how to captivate those who choose to wander its streets for a long weekend.

Cherry trees in full bloom, peaceful temples, and the splendid castle are just a few of Osaka’s main features. They’re enough to keep visitors busy while waiting to explore the city’s main attraction: its world-renowned food scene. Sushi, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, Japanese whiskey … there really is something for everyone here. So it’s no surprise that the city also hosts a vibrant specialty-coffee scene, with cafés and roasters scattered throughout the metropolitan area.

Here are four café-roasteries to visit to start savoring this new and exciting local scene.

The queue outside, and the counter inside, the popular Mel Coffee Roasters.

Mel Coffee Roasters

What we realized after only a few hours in Japan is that queuing is normal here if the place (be it restaurant, bar, or coffee shop) is really worth checking out.

That’s why, on a normal Tuesday morning, we waited for more than half an hour in front of Mel Coffee Roasters, full of expectations for the pourover we were about to drink.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Despite the long line, we still had a chance to chat with the lovely team, choosing exactly the coffee we wanted to drink and also getting a chance to take a look at the roasting operations, carried out in the small café by owner-roaster Masahiko “Masa“ Fumimoto. As we drank our delicious Kenya we also had an opportunity to have a quick chat with Masa who, in between roasts, took the time to briefly explain the history of the roastery. “Mel is named after Melbourne, the city where, in 2010, I first came across specialty coffee—the city where I started working in a coffee shop, learning how to make coffee. … Melbourne is where my coffee story actually began, which is why I chose to name my company Mel,“ Masa said.

Lilo Coffee Roasters’ roastery offers several roast profiles for all coffee drinkers.

Lilo Coffee RoastersLilo Coffee Kissa

We had the opportunity to try the delicious coffee roasted by Lilo’s during our stay in Bangkok, so we were quite excited to have the opportunity to visit their roastery in downtown Osaka, a small place that teems with people until late into the night.

With a long list of home-roasted beans spanning all roasting styles (from super-light and fruity single-origins to dark and chocolaty blends), friendly baristas, and a cozy environment where it’s easy to chat and meet new friends, it’s no wonder that Lilo is so popular.

And if you love the roastery, don’t miss Lilo’s second location, Lilo Coffee Kissa, just a few blocks away. Inspired by the traditional Japanese Kissaten (literally “tea-drinking store“), Lilo Kissa is a small space that is all wood and warm light, with a shorter menu focused on pairing drinks and small treats. It’s a perfect place for a romantic date or reminiscing with friends, a place to fully savor another delicious coffee. And if you’ve chosen to visit either location late at night but fear a caffeine overdose, don’t despair: Lilo also roasts a delicious Mexican decaf, perfect for a late-night latte.   

Haiku is a small shop inspired by owner Cali’s native Hawai’i.

Haiku Coffee Roasters

Think of Haiku and probably the first association that comes to mind is the typical Japanese form of poetry, unless you have previously visited the island of Maui, Hawai’i. There, you may have spotted on the map or your GPS a small town called Haiku.

And that’s where the name of this little roastery comes from. Cali is co-owner with her husband Kazu of this hidden gem on a residential street in downtown Osaka. Haiku is Cali’s hometown, and she brought its island flair to Osaka.

At Haiku Coffee Roasters everything is reminiscent of Hawaii, thanks to the soft music, flowers, ukuleles and paintings hanging on the walls, and the kindness of Cali and Kazu. The vibe is cozy and relaxed, starting with the delicious home-roasted coffee, served only as pourover, with no espresso-based options.

As Kazu explained to us, the reason for this choice is quite simple: “I love to drink and serve only pourover, especially with light roasts, but I also have some darker roasts available to satisfy every customer. And when someone asks for a milk drink, I make an AeroPress latte by brewing a shorter coffee and then pouring it over cold milk, or with hot milk steamed with a small steamer.“

Still skeptical? Visit Haiku and you will change your mind instantly.

Glitch is located on the ground floor of the opulent Festival Tower, and can provide a customized drink experience for each customer.

Glitch Coffee Roasters

It took seven years for Glitch Coffee Roasters, one of Tokyo’s top specialty-coffee roasters, to open its first location in Osaka. But when it finally did, it chose a bold approach, opening a simply outstanding space.

Located on the ground floor of the Festival Tower, Glitch is stunning at first glance. A black coffee counter is nestled under the escalator leading to the lobby of the Conrad Hotel, and a huge open-plan seating area is lit by ceiling-to-floor windows, with comfortable vintage couches and armchairs. Moreover, the selection of beans, with more than 10 options for both pourover and espresso, includes many exclusive (and often expensive) gems hard to find elsewhere, lightly roasted to release a complex array of flavors.

The café may look upscale, but Glitch knows how to be welcoming to all, especially thanks to its friendly baristas, who are able to tailor a specific coffee offering for each customer who walks in. All in all, Glitch is truly a unique space in the city.


Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the coffee machine (or visiting some hidden corner of the world), she’s busy writing for Coffee Insurrection, a website about specialty coffee that she’s creating along with her boyfriend.

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