Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Fakalo Pizza Gallery: New digs, same heartfelt pizzas

by Robbie Swinnerton

Contributing Writer

Given all the uncertainties and risks involved in eating out at the moment, going takeout-only could be the best business model for a fledgling food operation. This includes Fakalo Pizza Gallery, which started off last year as an itinerant pop-up food truck with a built-in wood-fired oven.

By December, the truck was occupying a vacant lot in Bakurocho, with just enough room for a temporary awning to keep out the elements. But since then, Fakalo has moved to a permanent home in Higashi-Ueno, inside the rambling premises of Route Common, an old commercial property that’s been reborn as a bookstore, gallery, cafe, event space and community hub.

When the moon hits your eye: One of the excellent items on Fakalo Pizza Gallery's compact menu is a half-moon calzone. | Robbie Swinnerton
When the moon hits your eye: One of the excellent items on Fakalo Pizza Gallery’s compact menu is a half-moon calzone. | Robbie Swinnerton

Even with its handsome new black-metal, gas-fired oven, Fakalo is clearly a labor of love operation. The pizzas are honest, with half a dozen varieties each of red (tomato) and white (cheese), plus an excellent half-moon calzone. There’s also a parallel menu of panini and wraps, which have a separate identity as Fatican Panino.

Best of all, once your sandwich or pizza is ready, those who don’t want to take their food home can eat next door in the peaceful chambers of Route Books. It’s a great space to kick back for a while with a coffee or beer.

Open 12-8 p.m. (occasional irregular holidays); pizzas (takeout only) from ¥1,100; English not spoken

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
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