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Bakka: Neapolitan-style pizza al fresco in the heart of Shibuya

by Robbie Swinnerton

Al fresco pizza and beer. It doesn’t get much better than this in the middle of Shibuya. Who cares if your seat is a hard, narrow trestle, the view is an inner-city abandoned lot and the pies are served on flimsy paper plates from the back of a converted delivery van? You don’t come to Bakka for home comforts. You’re here because this is some of the best street food in the city.

Owner-pizzaiolo Yutaka Hazama is self-trained but he has learned his craft well, and he has a scaled-down version of a classic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza oven in his truck. He does the standards well, both Marinara (from ¥450) and Margherita (¥750). His herb and garlic sausage pizza (¥1,000) is even more satisfying. And he now serves a great range of side dishes, from oven-fired spare ribs to mushrooms ajillo (in garlic oil), with tiramisu for dessert at ¥500. The drinks menu starts at ¥500 (or ¥250 for soft drinks) and includes wine and world beers.

Look for Bakka in the narrow street running behind the Labi electronics store, just off Dogenzaka. But check the website first, as Hazama does take unscheduled holidays (he just took his truck to the Summer Sonic music festival).

No fixed address (but mostly in Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo); 070-6640-5126; www.bakka.jp; open 6-11:30 p.m. (Sun. from 5:30 p.m.). Nearest station Shibuya; smoking allowed; pizza from ¥450); no cards; English menu; English spoken.