Nakano: Pizzeria
Tototo (Nakano: Pizzeria)
Open noon-2, 4-10pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Tototo's pizza wizards turn out some of the most exciting pies in town, backed up by first-rate side dishes and an impressive (and very affordable) wine list. The attractive decor is sleekly minimalist, with a huge open kitchen area and comfortable seating at the spacious counter.

The pizza selection changes seasonally, but you can count on top-quality ingredients in interesting combinations as well as tasty crusts. The mixed pepper (shishito, togarashi, jalapeno) and lardo (pork fatback cured with herbs) is a standout, as is the nduja sausage, a spicy spreadable pork sausage from Calabria. Hot smoked salmon and arugula is another strong contender.

Other intriguing toppings include conger eel and sansho pepper; wasabi, mushrooms and pancetta; pulled pork, porchetta and green chili salsa; and sakura shrimp with green onions. Happily all the pizzas are available in half sizes, because you'll probably want to try more than one variety.

The pasta menu is smaller, but features interesting variations like mountain-vegetable (sansai) and venison meat-sauce pastas. The Setagaya Salad showcases fantastic fresh vegetables sourced from a small farm in nearby Setagaya-ku. There are also good seafood appetizers, since Tototo is a spin-off from tuna specialist Maguro Market just down the block.

The drinks list offers 17 wines by the glass, with sections for red, white, orange, green and sparkling. There are also original highballs and sours made with fresh fruit. Budget around Y3,000-4,500 for dinner with drinks - an absolute steal for this level of quality.

by Robb Satterwhite

Nakano-ku, Nakano 5-57-5.

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended