I am an American from the Midwest, right between New York City and Chicago. One of the most divisive debates in that region is about pizza. People always want to know if you prefer New York-style pizza with its large, foldable slices designed to be eaten while on the go, or Chicago-style deep-dish pizza that is best eaten with a knife and a fork.
I was pleasantly surprised, upon moving to Tokyo, to discover that I had the option to enjoy both of these, as well as many other varieties of pizza. I have made it a personal mission of mine to try all the different restaurants and pizzerias. The following is a list of a few of my favorites.
1. Rocco’s New York-Style Pizza
This is my favorite pizza place in all of Tokyo. The pizza is delicious and is a perfect recreation of a New York-style slice. The restaurant atmosphere is homely and inviting. It gives the impression of a corner pizzeria in the heart of Brooklyn. The staff is bilingual, which makes it easy for tourists and locals to get exactly what they want.
If you’re looking to enjoy some delicious New York-style pizza in a comfortable atmosphere, just hop on over to Oji and give Rocco’s a try.
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Though I am from the Midwest, I’m not from Chicago. Surprisingly, this means that I cannot get Chicago deep-dish pizza in my own hometown. It’s exclusively a Chicago thing, and commands a visit if you’re passing through the “windy city.” I was ecstatic when I found out that I could get Chicago deep-dish pizza right here in Tokyo.
Not only that, but DevilCraft operates numerous branches within the greater Tokyo area. Each location has its own unique atmosphere, but maintains the overall feel of the DevilCraft brand. DevilCraft is also an accomplished brewery that offers some delicious craft beer and their selection is plentiful.
Craft beer is another rare find in the concrete jungle known as Tokyo, which makes this place a unicorn of sorts. DevilCraft is a must for any pizza or beer connoisseur. It’s also a great introduction for those not familiar with Chicago style deep-dish.
Pizzakaya is a straight forward American pizza restaurant. The name cleverly combines “pizza” with the Japanese word for pub, “izakaya.” Located close to Roppongi Crossing, this pizzeria offers pizza and other assorted Italian-American inspired food such as pasta and salads. Pizzakaya also has a varied and diverse craft beer selection available, with weekly specials. The interior feels like a family-owned pizzeria in the States.
4. Pizza Slice
Pizza Slice, also referred to as Slice, is another restaurant that operates a few locations in the greater Tokyo area. Pizza Slice is all about the New York-style pizza. They serve it by the slice. A very large, foldable slice. There is pizza-themed décor placed about these restaurants. Shibuya has Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys and other trinkets.
The Roppongi location has a small patio with a New York feel. And the Omotesando location has an interior designed to appear like a New York City street at night. Images of yellow cabs and street graffiti immediately come to mind.
5. The Pizza
The Pizza was a happy little discovery that I made while walking through Hiro-o one evening. It instantly became one of my favorite pizzerias in Tokyo. The Pizza has a small counter and serves New York-style pizza by the slice. There’s not much room for dining in, but it lives up to what you would expect from a New York pizzeria. They have daily specialty pizzas and do a lot of take-out business. The Pizza is conveniently located between JR Ebisu Station and Hiro-o Station via the Hibiya line.
The first time I tried Spontini, I thought it was amazing. I visited the old location in the heart of Shibuya. Since my first visit, Spontini has relocated to a back corner of Harajuku very close to JR Harajuku Station. This is an Italian pizzeria that serves its pizza by the slice. To say that the portion size is generous would be an understatement. These slices are huge.
Spontini also offers meal sets that may include a side salad and a drink. The large set includes a regular slice of pizza and a mini slice of pizza. It is very filling.
7. 800 Degrees Pizza
800 Degrees Pizza is located at JR Shinjuku Station, right across from the South Exit. This is a franchise with a few locations. Here you make your own pizzas in an assembly line fashion. You select the dough, sauce and toppings that will be included. There are recommendations and set pizzas that can be ordered as well. It’s a great experience to see your pizza made from scratch, but avoid the messy clean up.
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8. Savoy Pizza
Savoy comes on a very enthusiastic recommendation from Aziz Ansari, who is a foodie and who greatly enjoys that scene in Tokyo. Savoy, nestled in Azabu-Juban, serves more traditional Italian-style pizza. The interior feels like a quaint pub and the atmosphere is cozy. Prices are reasonable and the staff was very accommodating.
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9. Frey’s Famous Pizzeria
Another pizzeria located near Roppongi and Azabu-Juban. Frey’s also serves Italian-style pizza and has an interior decor that has a very American vibe. From the outside, Frey’s looks just like a pizzeria in New York. Frey’s has friendly staff and great pizza at very reasonable prices.
10. Baird Beer (Nakameguro)
Baird Beer is well known for their delicious beers. They have a few taprooms scattered about Japan. The unique thing about Baird Beer taprooms is that they all serve a different style of cuisine. The Nakameguro location specializes in pizza. Their pizza is a delicious style of American bar pizza. It is perfectly paired with Baird’s original beer.
Tokyo is known as the city with the highest density of Michelin-starred restaurants. You can enjoy faire from all over the world, served by master chefs who perfect their craft. If you’re craving a more Western-style meal while in Japan, these pizzerias while satisfy your appetite.
See you again next time!