Crowds of pink-haired locals shopping for the latest fashions, costumed tourists navigating Tokyo traffic on go-karts and YouTubers pulling dumb pranks in the streets are all par for the course in Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya district.
If you happen to be in the area — perhaps you’ve got friends in town who’d like to see this sort of stuff — you might want to take a break from all the weirdness. Finding a quiet spot near Shibuya Station — just steps from the world’s busiest intersection — isn’t as hard as it might seem when you’re struggling to think over the clatter of pachinko parlors.
All you have to do is navigate with thousands of others across that busy intersection and wander down a few back alleys to arrive at a staircase leading to Pizzeria La Soffitta, which touts authentic Milanese pies and imported Italian pastas and wines.
La Soffitta serves several types of pizza, including the staff-recommended Margherita and Funghi e Mortadella, which they say “has a lot of mortadella and mushrooms.” Beverages options include beer, wine, cocktails, coffee and soft drinks.
The restaurant, according to the Savor Japan website, boasts that Italian people living in Tokyo often visit “to enjoy the authentic taste of their country.” It says a specially-ordered brick oven from Italy is used to bake the pizza at high heat using firewood.
I went for a 1,000-yen (about $9.10) lunch set that included an approximately 12-inch Genovese pizza, salad and a drink. My pie had a soft, thin crust, about the right amount of cheese, garlic, basil sauce and potato. It tasted pretty good and packed enough calories to power me through another foray into the madding crowds outside.
This lodge-like pizzeria offers both indoor and outdoor seating. If it’s a nice day, the wooden deck at the top of the staircase is a good option. You can watch locals and tourists file past in the lane below or observe felines frolicking in a cat cafe across the street.
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Location: 16-12 2F Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0042Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Weekends and holidays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.Prices: Lunch sets will set you back about 1,000 yen.Dress: CasualDirections: About a 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station’s Hachiko Exit.Information: 050-5269-7833