While Japan is well known for its glorious food, no matter how much you love sushi, tempura, or shabushabu, there is a good chance that you will find yourself craving food from back home. For me, it’s pizza. I’m totally hooked on the circular discs of cheesy joy.
Fortunately there are loads of fantastic pizza places around our fair city of Nagoya, and below we have listed a few of them. Keep in mind that this is just for information purposes, and that Japan Info Swap does not endorse any of them.
Pizzeria Trattoria Cesari
Nestling amongst the crazy clothing outlets of the Osu shopping arcade you will found Pizzeria Trattoria Cesari, perhaps the best known pizzeria in the city. Part owned by Pasquale Makishima, Cesari was opened in 1993. What makes it so famous is that Makishima, who trained in Naples, won the prestigious World Pizza competition in 2010, something that surprised the Italian pizza press at the time. The pizzas are cooked in a wood fired kiln oven, and the restaurant is recognised by the Association for Genuine Neapolitan Pizza, one of only 23 restaurants in Japan to be so. It is advisable to book ahead as lines can be looooong!
Address: 3-36-44 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, 460-0011
Solo Pizza Napoletana
Okay, this is kind of a cop out entry as it is actually the sister restaurant to Cesari, and is in fact next door in Osu. However, there are two good reasons why it gets a separate entry: one is that, while Cesari is more of an upmarket restaurant, Solo is laid back, much like any drop in restaurant you are likely to find around Italy. The other reason is that it serves the best pizza in the world. Sound like hyperbole? It’s not. 32 year old chef Mayo Ota has been working with Makishima since she was 19, and in 2014 she won the coveted first place in the World Pizza championships, the same prize her boss had won four years previously. It’s a dynasty well worth checking out.
Address: 3 Chome-32-8 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, 460-0011
Salvatore Cuomo – The Kitchen
There are various restaurants set up by the famed Italian chef around Nagoya (the one in Kanayama is particularly pleasant to sit outside of on a sunny Spring day), but perhaps the pick of the bunch is the one on the 12th floor of the JR Nagoya station. The restaurant is centred around its open Neapolitan kitchen, and is fine Italian dining in the extreme. Either choose their deluxe lunch buffet for 2,380 JPY, or go in the evening and enjoy the lively atmosphere as you await your mochi-mochi light pizza to arrive.
Address: JR Central Towers Office, 1 Chome-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 450-0002
There are various Italian restaurants called Bambina around Nagoya (mostly part of the Sora group), but don’t let the fact that this one is called ‘seconda’ fool you into thinking that it’s not in the top bracket. If you are a fan of the authentic Italian dining style: a lively atmosphere where you are virtually sitting in each other’s laps, then you’ll like it here. The pizzas cooked in their stone baked oven are simple and classic, and there is an extensive menu to choose from, though their special boards sometimes throw up something a little on the different side to keep regular diners on their toes.
Address: 3 Chome-23-14 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya
Diavolo e Bambina
Another member of the Sora Group, there are two Diavolo e Bambinas in Nagoya. The original one in Meieki is a stylish classic Italian restaurant whose wood burning stove can get a little busy (get your orders in quickly!). But even if you have to wait, the pizza, the calzone in particular, is definitely worth it. However, if you happen to be in Kanayama you can find the new Diavolo in the recently opened MPLAT shopping complex, and at 1,000 JPY for a soup, pizza and drink lunch set, you can’t really go wrong.
Address: 11-17, Meieki 3-chome, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya
Address: MPLAT, 1-1-18, Jinshan, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya,
Trattoria Pizzeria Acquario
Formerly Da-Carlo, Trattoria Pizzeria Acquario can be found in Tsuramai. It is a delightfully open, slightly kitsch restaurant that, although they do a great lunch set for under 1,000 JPY, lends itself perfectly to evening dining. While the décor leans closer to the Japnese idea of American style restaurant than Italian, the pizza is certainly of the European variety. Check out the video on their website to see chef Dario perform not only dough tossing tricks, but also the fine touches they add to get the crusts perfectly crisped in their stone baked oven.
Address: 4-7-1 Chiyoda, Naka-ku, Nagoya, 460-0012
By Mark Guthrie