Ok, you’ve been enjoying your authentic Japanese food and can’t imagine missing normal, unexciting Western food. But that moment will come, so you’d better be prepared. The first thing you’ll miss is probably pizza, but you might end up missing the unexciting Western prices as well. To indulge your nostalgia and save your wallet the pain of saying bye-bye to several lovely Hideyo Noguchi’s (yes, that’s the name of the person on the 1 000 yen banknote) you can try this cheapo Italian joint.
Italian-born Luigi Di Clemente, the owner of Napolimania, a tiny restaurant in Shibuya, is brave enough to serve a massive (30 cm) real Italian-style pizza for 700 yen (tax included) take-away (the offer is valid only for margherita, marinara and daily-special pizzas + coffee or orange juice) and 900 yen (with drink) if you eat in. If you don’t feel like eating pizza (if that’s even possible), you can choose between two types of pasta and three starters among 30 for 800 yen take away (+drink) or 900 yen (+ drink) if you eat in.
There is also a third option which includes a saltimbocca (an Italian variety of panini) and two starters, with drinks included (note that prices may differ from the ones displayed on the website). Besides the reasonable prices, the restaurant is really close to the hustle and bustle of Shibuya (around 5 minutes walk from Yamanote Line South Exit). Close, but not on top of it all – the restaurant is tucked away down a quiet, narrow street.
The bad news is that the cheapo prices are for lunch only. During dinnertime prices levitate as easily as the yeast in the pizza you’re craving. 1 200 yen for a margherita is no longer all that reasonable. But if you want to splash out, you can still get a DOC pizza (with buffalo mozzarella) for 1800 yen which is not bad compared to the prices of fancy Italian restaurants.
The restaurant has been going for three years. The staff are kind, and the atmosphere is cozy and welcoming. Truth be told, it truly is tiny, but there’s no need to worry – if there are too many people queuing and you don’t want to wait that long, you can just go to the nearby Gino by Napolimania (not even 2 minutes on foot). Same owner, same prices, more space.
Napolimania proudly displays an “Ospitalità Italiana” ( Italian hospitality) award near the counter.
This award is issued by the Italian Republic to honor Italian entrepreneurship trying to promote Italian culture around the world. So if you’re wondering if the pizza is going to be the real deal, the answer is yes.