Critters Burger is not home to the biggest burger in Osaka — that award almost certainly goes to the towering stacks at The Panhead’s Heaven Saloon, which practically need scaffolding to make it intact from kitchen to table. But Critters is home to the best burgers in Osaka. Tabelog, the restaurant listings website, had Critters in its top 100 burger shacks in Japan for 2017. And deservedly so.
The burger menu at Critters is both ambitious and lengthy. The usuals are accounted for, but I recommend trying some of the more adventurous combinations such as the spinach and bacon burger, the jalapeno cheese burger or the chili cheese burger. There’s plenty of on-trend variations too, such as the avocado paired with mozzarella, Gorgonzola and prosciutto. Another burger to consider is the mushroom lineup, which pairs button mushrooms with Gorgonzola or mozzarella for a double whack of deliciousness.
A good burger is the sum of all its parts, and Critters takes this seriously. The sesame-topped buns are made by Critters’ sister shop, West Wood Bakers, in the nearby neighborhood of Minamihorie. The patty, a mix of domestic and imported beef, is juicy without being oily and has a delicate crust. Smothered in cheese, it’s one the best mouthfeel burgers in the city.
This year there’ll be some light competition when Shake Shack opens in Umeda. But as Critters approaches its 10th anniversary, I doubt anyone there will be too worried.
Burgers from ¥950; no smoking before 5 p.m.; English menu; some English spoken
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5